This week I’ve attempted to do a 15-piece autumn capsule wardrobe for you. I was going to call it ‘fall’ only because ’15-piece fall’ sounded better than autumn. But I couldn’t bring myself to go all American on yo ass… I found this quite a bit harder than the spring and summer versions. I think this was because, once we get into the chillier weather, there are so many extra things to consider – jumpers, coats, jackets, boots. I’ve left out accessories because there’s no way I could narrow it down to 15 if I started adding bags and scarves etc. But I’ll include some options anyway.
As ever, you don’t need to be buying new things all the time: I imagine most of you will have at least some of these items, or very similar, and it’s definitely not a hard and fast list. Hopefully it will give you some options if you’re looking to slim down your wardrobe or if you’re lucky enough to be going on a trip that you need to pack for. Oh, to be having fall in Vermont or something. The furthest I’m going is Yorkshire, but of course I am very much looking forward to that as I enjoy the North immensely.
Here’s the list I’ve compiled. I’ve also done other options for all of these under the outfit pictures below. But the trick is to choose items that will work with many other items – let’s call it ‘fashion suduko’.
GOOD PAIR OF JEANS: They don’t have to be really expensive. For the purposes of this post, let’s go for the Agnes relaxed fit from Hush. I have them in grey and they are a great shape. Nice bit of stretch too. Or, if you can find them in stock, the Slim High from Gap are VERY flattering.
CHELSEA BOOTS: If you want a pair that will last and won’t date, go for these from Dr Martens. Take your regular size.
CHUNKY LOAFERS: There are lots to choose from, but my favourites have to be these from Grenson. True to size.
TRAINERS: Always have a place in any capsule wardrobe. This time, how about a pair of hi-tops? We’ll go with these from Nike.
PLAIN DRESS: A good sweater dress will see you through to winter. This one from & Other Stories gets my vote.
CASHMERE JUMPER: Ideally without pattern and in a neutral colour. If in doubt go for cream, navy or black. This one from Cos is my favourite but also look to the men’s departments.
CARDIGAN: A good boxy one to wear over dresses. This one from Albaray comes in black and camel.
QUILTED JACKET: Again, see the full post here, but my current favourite is this one from Mango.
CLASSIC OVERCOAT: I think this Maxi City Coat I got from Jigsaw last year is possibly the perfect coat. They’ve brought it back this year in a few colours. True to size.
CORDUROY/WOOL TROUSERS: Cos is my go-to for good trousers, so let’s take their corduroy chinos.
OVERSIZED SHIRT: Doesn’t have to be massive, just not fitted; we want some room in our shirts these days. I like this one from Arket.
TANK TOP: They aren’t going anywhere, ladies. Very useful for autumn layering. Let’s go for this loose-fitting one from H&M.
LONG-SLEEVE STRIPE TOP: Because it’s always a wardrobe staple. This one from Cos is perfect.
Here are just 6 outfits that you can make with these 15 items, but I’m sure you could get at least 4 more out of them if you put your mind to it.
QUILTED JACKET AND CORDS
The quilted jacket is your friend in the autumn. I won’t bang on about them too much as we had a full post the other week. I didn’t need to buy another one, but I’ve already had five wears out of this Mango one in only two weeks so I think it will pay for itself in cost-per-wear within about two months. Great dog-walking jacket as it’s showerproof and has nice big pockets for treats and balls. I went up a size so I can wear with bigger, chunkier knits in the coming months, but I’d say go for your regular size if you don’t want it too oversized. Will work with jeans and over casual dresses.
CASHMERE AND JEANS
A good cashmere jumper should last you for years. The king of all knitwear fabrics. Once you try it, all your common-or-garden wool sweaters will pale in comparison. It’s expensive but the high street has some good options. H&M does a decent range and Uniqlo has many, many colours. I buy the men’s cashmere jumpers from Uniqlo in a size medium. I find them better than the ladies’ version as those are too much of a slim fit. We’ve established before that I’m not a fan of a slim-fit top. A nice oversized one works with jeans, trousers and over your dresses when it gets really cold.
STRIPES AND LOAFERS
This is probably my favourite outfit on today’s post. It just says ‘French chic’ to me. I will 100% be trying out this look next week. I’m pretty sure you all have these items in your wardrobe already. Add some cool socks in a contrasting colour to your loafers for extra effect. Maybe not white socks though, that’s too reminiscent of Michael Jackson in his Thriller days. Not a look we really want to emulate.
KNITTED DRESS AND BOOTS
have been lacking in the sweater dress department of late, but they are a really useful wardrobe item. Comfortable enough to wear at home all day but add a pair of boots and a nice coat and you are good to go anywhere. Also, no waistband. Always a plus in my books, but if you fancy a waist cinch, add a belt. Please not one of those awful wide elastic ones that Gok Wan used to brandish around though. This isn’t 2005.
CHECK DRESS AND MAXI COAT
I get asked a lot about what kind of coat to wear with dresses. For me the ideal is a coat that is either longer or the same length as your dress. This isn’t a hard and fast rule by any stretch, a slightly shorter coat also works fine, but below knee length is definitely preferable. This coat from Jigsaw is basically my ideal. It’s super-soft, true to size and a great length. I’m 5’7 and it hits just above my ankle. It’s not cheap, but it’s a classic that they do every winter that should last for a few years to come. This year it comes in khaki, navy and dark grey.
WHITE SHIRT & TANK TOP
A good white shirt is always something that should have a place in your capsule wardrobe. Plus a tank top… Hopefully you are not still resisting the tank top/sweater-vest/tabard trend. It’s well into its second year now and there are loads to choose from. A loose-fitting one with slits at the sides like this one from H&M will work over shirts, tops and dresses without bunching up around the waist.
I hope this has given you some ideas on outfit planning with a limited capsule wardrobe. I’d love to say I practise this but I’m way too much of a magpie to stick to 15 items.