Over the last couple of weeks we looked at ‘where to buy the best’, so this week we go seamlessly into another 15-piece capsule wardrobe. This should give you some simple ideas for easy dressing over the next couple of months. Autumn and winter capsule collections are much harder to narrow down, as once we get into the chillier weather there are so many extra things to consider – jumpers, coats, jackets, boots… I’ve left out accessories this time because there’s no way I could narrow it down to 15 if I started adding bags and scarves etc. But we’ll stick in 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. But it will give you some options if you’re looking to slim down your wardrobe. This time round, I’ve gone for a mix of ‘being sort of smart for work’ but with a few casual options thrown in as I’ve had a lot of requests for office wear recently, so I hope this helps with that too.
Here’s the list I’ve compiled. These are my personal favourites. I’ve also done other options at varying price points for all of these below too. But the trick is to choose wisely and pick things that will work with many other items – let’s call it ‘fashion sudoku’.
YOUR 15 PIECE AUTUMN CAPSULE WARDROBE LIST
JEANS: Up to you which style to go for. Personally, my most worn jeans are still the Raey ‘Dad’ boyfriend style ones so I’m going to plump for them again here. (SIZE DOWN if you go for this style.)
CHELSEA BOOTS: In autumn I favour a Chelsea boot over a hiker boot (I’ll save those for the winter capsule). I would go for a simple black pair, not too chunky, just classic. I like the DM Flora style, but also have it on good authority that these Jigsaw ones are a winner.
CHUNKY LOAFERS: Something to wear with all your great socks that you can’t see under your boots! My favourite pair are the Philippa style ones I got last year from Grenson. They were super comfortable from first wear (very important) and are chunky without being TOO chunky. Currently 45% off at The Outnet!
MIDI DRESS: I’d probably go with something patterned here as the rest of the list is quite plain and you only need to match your dress with your coat, so you don’t have to worry about clashing too much. I love this one from AND/OR at John Lewis. They’ve got a new creative director for this in-house brand and there are some really lovely things coming this season. I’m also keen on this one from Free People, although it’s a bit more maxi than midi, but the length is, of course, up to you.
CASHMERE JUMPER: As mentioned last week, one of my favourite places to get cashmere is COS, and their oversized navy jumper is my top pick. I’ve had mine for four years and it’s always a staple at this time of year. Take your regular size for an oversized look or go one size down it you don’t want it too big (will still be loose though).
NICE BLOUSE: Personally, I’d go with one of my white ruffle-type blouses from & Other Stories here as I like a bit of frou-frou every now and then, and I have a few! This one is probably most like the older ones I have, but you could go with your favourite leopard or floral blouse.
CARDIGAN: We all need a good cardi for layering. I’m going for green this year, but navy, black or cream would also work just as well. For the purposes of this blog, let’s pick this one from the John Lewis ANYDAY range.
OVERCOAT/TRENCH: I’m saving proper coats for the winter capsule guide, especially as I’m going through the hot flash stage of the perimenopause right now – I don’t need anything too thick and heavy until we dip into single-temperature figures in the daytime. I have a great khaki trench from M&S back in 2016; the most similar I can find is this one. I also like the look of this oversized cream one from River Island.
MIDI SKIRT: For me, I’m going for leather as I want to get a lot of wear out of this Warehouse skirt I have, but satin is also a big trend for this season.
SMART SHIRT: Usually I’d say white, but I’ve got a hankering for a good pale-blue, men’s‑style oversized shirt this season like this one from Uniqlo.
STRIPE TOP: I mean, always a staple in anyone’s wardrobe, right? I like the classic, thick cotton, long-sleeved version. Ivy are an independent small brand who do great ones, and this one from Mango is just right too.
PLAIN T‑SHIRT: White or black, depending on which you prefer. I’d go for a boxy white T‑shirt, slightly oversized so I can tuck it in. My favourite is this one from & Other Stories.
TRAINERS: Either go for simple white ones, or pick a pair in a colour you wear a lot. I’m really into New Balance right now. I particularly like the classic 574 trainers.
Here are nine outfits that you can make with these 15 items, but I’m sure you could get at least four more out of them if you put your mind to it…
One for work. Pair your nice blouse with your tailored trousers and add the blazer, loafers and a really good pair of socks. Of course it’s completely up to you if you match your socks to your bag. You know I would.
1. & Other Stories scallop collar blouse
2. & Other Stories green leather crossbody bag
3. Isabel Marant Etoile Charly herringbone wool jacket
4. Cos wide leg tailored wool trousers
5. Grenson Philippa leather loafers
6. Cos cotton socks
Easiest casual outfit ever. Plain white T, navy jumper, jeans, trench and boots. This one can take you anywhere, chic and simple.
1. Cos oversized navy cashmere jumper
2. & Other Stories wide sleeve crew neck t shirt
3. Raey Dad boyfriend jeans
4. River Island oversized longline trench coat
5. Jigsaw Masham leather Chelsea boots
Pairing a good dress with Chelsea boots is my favourite way to wear one. Add some understated earrings and your blazer.
How I plan to wear my leather skirt before it gets too cold for a bare leg. Striped top, trainers and a bright cardi for added colour.
Another for the office, making it a little less corporate with the trainers. Either wear the shirt loose over a white T or tuck it in nicely and add a belt.
1. & Other Stories wide sleeve crew neck t shirt
2. Uniqlo blue cotton striped shirt
3. Isabel Marant Etoile leather buckle belt
4. Cos wide leg tailored wool trouser
5. River Island oversized longline trench coat
6. New Balance 574 suede trainers
A casual jeans outfit lifted a bit with the addition of a nice white blouse. Layer up with your cardi and blazer if it’s chilly first thing.
Smart for work. I feel like Hannah from The Split would wear this one. She might change loafers for heels but you can stick with flats for comfort.
1. Uniqlo blue cotton striped shirt
2. River Island oversized longline trench coat
3. Honey & Toast half moon yellow leather bag
4. Warehouse leather A line midi skirt
5. Grenson Philippa leather loafers
Layer your navy jumper over your dress instead of wearing a coat or jacket. Add secret leggings if it’s not warm enough for a bare leg underneath.
1. AND/OR Abigail Wonderland dress
2. Martha Calvo beaded harmony necklace
3. Auree Ortigia hoop earring
4. Cos oversized navy cashmere jumper
5. New Balance 574 suede trainers
6. Mango nylon tote bag
Finally, your classic stripe top and jeans. Show off your matching socks by rolling up the hem of your jeans a little more.
1. Isabel Marant Etoile Charly herringbone wool jacket
2. Mango long sleeve stripe t shirt
3. Raey Dad boyfriend jeans
4. Anya Hindmarch ‘I’m a Plastic Bag’ tote bag
5. Arket striped cotton socks
6. Grenson Philippa leather loafers
I hope this has given you a little food for thought wardrobe-wise. It’s fun to make so many outfit combinations with just 15 pieces.