My First Capsule Wardrobe: Fall

Like so many women, I finally reached the point where I was sick of looking in my closet and drawers.  There were lots of pieces, but I felt apathetic about many of them and disliked others.  Why was I holding on to clothes that I didn’t feel confident and pretty in?  It made absolutely no sense that I kept trying to justify items that didn’t make me feel great.  Not “just OK” or “eh, it will do” but great.  Also, as someone who strives to be environmentally friendly, it isn’t right to mindlessly buy cheap clothes just because I can.

So I purged my closet and dresser drawers.  What was left over was scanty.  I started shopping with intention and was shocked at how often in my life I had justified purchasing a pair of pants or a shirt that, even though I didn’t love it, it was worth buying because it was pretty on the hanger, or I wanted a new shirt, or it was on sale at a great price.  I found myself walking out of stores empty-handed more and more because there wasn’t anything I loved when I tried it on.  It was then that it started making sense to have a capsule wardrobe made up ONLY of items that fit well and I felt comfortable and pretty it.  No exceptions.

My wardrobe it is greatly inspired by the foundation outlined by Caroline at the blog Un-Fancy.  A “traditional” capsule wardrobe includes 37 pieces that includes tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and shoes.  A capsule wardrobe piece count does not include other items such as lingerie, socks, scarves, jewelry and workout attire. Coincidentally, my wardrobe came it at a total of 35 pieces – a really nice collection with room for another piece or two if I come across something I love.


















Note: there is an extra pair of jeans shown in this photo, but I’m planning to get rid of them



  • 1 pair black knee-high boots
  • 1 pair dark brown knee-high boots
  • 1 pair waterproof black ankle booties


  • 1 knee-length mint green dressy jacket-coat
  • 1 chambray lightweight anorak (this one)


The task of paring down my wardrobe and adding in pieces I loved, and then taking a look at my “inventory” was very amusing and quite useful to me.  First of all, I feel I do have a certain style and color palette.  I gravitate towards black and pink more than any other colors (I knew that anyway, but this confirmed it again).  Also, I have a lot of classic cuts and styles, but with some nice textures (like lace and chiffon and knits) and a few patterns (like roses and polka dots).

I would call my daily style “business casual”.  I want to look polished and pulled together, but in the office I work, it’s not necessary to wear heels and dress pants.  Typically, my work outfit might be a pair of skinny jeans, a sleeveless blouse with an open front cardigan, and a pair of flats.  Once it gets colder, it might be more like a pair of skinny jeans, a light sweater, scarf, and black booties.  A few years ago, when I was teaching at a local college, my wardrobe consisted of heels, skirts, dresses, and dress pants, because those are the clothes I wore, but as my lifestyle has changed, so has my wardrobe.

My favorite pieces are clothes that are feminine, chic, and wearable.  If I had to pick my three favorite details to find in a piece of clothing, my honest response would be bows, pink, and lace.  The problem is, it’s difficult to find a piece of clothing that encompasses those details that is still work-appropriate and well made.  I think my favorite piece I now own is the sheer black long sleeve blouse with pink lip print and a pussy bow at the neck (shown in the top photo, second blouse from the left).  That piece embodies my style pretty well.

The only piece I can think of that I’d like to add to my wardrobe right now is the perfect long-sleeve black top.  I had one a couple of years ago that I literally wore to pieces.  But because I’m looking for the perfect fit and fabric, I’ll hold out until I find just the right one, or I won’t buy one.

It will be interesting to see how my wardrobe develops for this coming winter, and also into the spring of next year.  If all goes well, I will do a capsule wardrobe post for winter.  Additionally, I plan on incorporating more eco-friendly piece into my wardrobe in the future.  It will be interesting to see how that works, as it’s difficult to find such pieces in brick-and-mortar stores where I live, and I really need to try every clothing piece on before I buy because I am curvy.  Any tips for this?

Do you strive for a minimal wardrobe?


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