Elsie’s Autumn Capsule Wardrobe

Hi there! I finally took the plunge and decided to do a true capsule wardrobe this fall. My primary motivation for doing so was to do my shopping all at once and then take a shopping break for three whole months. First, I’ll share all the pieces I chose (a lot of these I already owned), and then at the end of the post I’ll share more about my goals for doing this challenge!

First up … tops!

Here are the links: 1. Smiley Sweatshirt 2. Stripe Crewneck 3. Cropped Sweater (similar here) 4. Cold Shoulder Top 5. Gingham Ruffle Blouse (similar) 6. Black Turtleneck 7. Stripe Crewneck 8. Rosemary’s Baby Tee

Notes: I would say tops are the area where I struggled the most and am still not sure if I did it right. I do have some anxiety limiting them this much, but hey, this is an experiment. So whatever!

Bottoms! I have a few more pairs of jeans than are pictured here, including my old favorite J Brand bell bottoms and some ripped jeans. Also not pictured, a past season black and white plaid skirt from Madewell.

Links: 1. Denim Skirt 2. High-Rise Skinny Jeans 3. Basic Black Skinny Jeans 4. Scalloped Denim Skirt

Notes: I feel pretty confident about my selections here. These are all basics that I know I will reach for over and over (a lot of them are purchases from last year).

You all know I love my jumpsuits.

Links: 1. Overalls 2. Dots Jumpsuit 3. Floral Tile Jumpsuit 4. Bell Bottom Overalls 5. Red Jumpsuit (I have this in white too and love it!) 6. Corduroy Dress

Notes: These are a real staple for me. I wear them all the time and they make getting dressed so easy! A few of these are new and some are ones I’ve had and loved for a while.

Dresses! Typically I have way more dresses, but lately I just haven’t been finding as many. I think it’s just the styles that are currently in stores. PLEASE GOD, let belts come back in style! I’m so done with oversized dresses.

Links: 1. Embroidered Dress 2. Denim Dress 3. Navy Dress 4. Gingham Dress (similar)

Notes: I have a bunch of vintage dresses on hand as well. But since I will probably only wear each one once, I didn’t count those. These are my go-to everyday dresses. I have a couple more that aren’t pictured here because they are sold out, but this gives you a pretty good idea. Sticking with those autumn vibes!

Outerwear. I am going to skip the work of shopping for a new coat unless something crazy amazing comes along. I would like to get a leather bomber jacket, but it has to be perfect, so I will be patient.

Included here is my leopard coat from last year, the denim jacket I already wear every day, a fuzzy coat and a hoodie in my favorite color for this season.

Links: 1. Leopard Coat 2. Denim Jacket 3. Fuzzy Coat (and a pink version) 4. Hoodie

Shoes! My favorite.

Links: 1. The most flattering mules ever 2. Leather Ankle Boots 3. Cute slip-ons 4. Short Hunter Boots (I find these much more flattering and comfortable than the tall ones) 5. Yellow Sneakers 6. My go-to sandals (because even if it’s technically almost fall, it’s still hot out).

Notes: I had a hard time narrowing down what shoes I need. I am curious to see how this plays out and whether I’m happy with only six options or constantly raiding the rest of my stash.

In my bedroom, I have a double closet. So what I did was I moved all the rest of my stuff to the other closet, and I’m planning to just keep that door shut and see how it feels to wear outfits from just this section. I honestly have no idea if I will love this experience or hate it!

In the past, I have considered myself an adventurous dresser and shopping a hobby. But currently, I don’t think I really want shopping to be a hobby in my life. I just feel like I have so many other things I want to be focused on. Plus since I started shopping for Nova, I don’t really feel as much desire to shop for myself. Also, we are saving up (starting to save for our second adoption now!) and constantly shopping slows that down.

Maybe it’s just a phase, but currently I am open to a more simple way of dressing.

In addition to what you see here, I have lots of accessories to add some element of fun.

To me, this closet photo looks sort of EMPTY. So I am definitely a little nervous. I don’t want to feel like I am wearing the same things all the time.

What I am HOPING is that I’ll feel more freed up to focus on other things. I love fashion, I really do! But since we aren’t fashion blogging here anymore, I don’t feel like I need many new things all the time.

One of the reasons Emma and I decided to stop doing Sister Style was that we felt like we had to buy clothes our blog readers would like. And we felt pressure to not be boring. Towards the end, I was getting a lot of negative feedback about how boring my outfits were. But I was happy and so, yeah, I guess it feels good to have permission to be kind of boring now. 🙂 In this season of life, I really need to simplify as much as I can.

I have wanted to do this for years, but it seemed impossible to me. I will update you all in December as to how this experiment goes!!!!

If you are interested in trying a capsule wardrobe, read this blog post. I also highly recommend The Curated Closet. It changed my shopping habits completely. It’s SO good.

Thanks for reading! Elsie

Credits// Author: Elsie Larson.
  • I love this idea, and I’ve been kinda nervous to try it out myself! Maybe I’ll give it a go
    Also, I’m surprised not to see any Hasbeens in your shoe selection! 😉

  • The cropped yellow sweater is everything. I am just in love with that color right now.

    I wish I could find a way to bring it down to a capsule. It won’t happen for me. I love new things or new to me things.

  • i just did this last night! 50 pieces including shoes. i feel so good about it, i love minimalism and i actually felt peaceful when i went in my closet this morning! makes getting dressed SO easy, everything matches!

  • I thought your clothes were so fun! Sister style was a fave of mine, you two are just totes. Although I haven’t had the courage to fully scale down to a capsule wardrobe, I did some major purging last summer and it is so freeing getting dressed now. It motivated me to get creative with what I had left, and put different things together that I never would have thought of before with more clothes.

  • To be honest, as much as I love both your styles, my favorite part of Sister Style was you and Emma covering a random topic while showing off your outfit. That’s what I’ll miss – that back and forth dialogue on something fun and random.

    Part of it probably is the fact that I’m plus sized and while I have no resentment with where you and Emma shop, I just have a very different body type and a lot of those outfits didn’t even come in my size. It’s hard to please everyone and we all look good in different styles so I’m glad there’s something new in the mix.

    But more chats with Emma please. <3

  • Ah good luck Elsie – capsule wardrobes are the best! I’ve moved to a capsule wardrobe myself as it’s one of the ways I try to help the planet. Fast fashion isn’t very ethical. I buy 2-3 new items every 3 months now and the goal is that once my wardrobe is complete I only replace what needs updating with quality pieces. It’s been really easy to save money actually.

    My secret to a super versatile capsule is to work with the following principle.

    Make sure you have a light piece, a dark piece, a colour and a print in each item. That way you add interest and depth to each outfit mixing and matching them. My colours are restricted to cool skin approved colours – I look best in pinks and blues – but my palette consists of 7 colours that all work together. I never feel bored & always find new ways to mix & match. I’m currently loving pink & burgundy working together.

    Oh & warm tan boots go with everything!

    Good luck xx

  • I tried a capsule wardrobe just for a month several years ago but I only chose 10 pieces. My takeaway was that I had to do A LOT of laundry! Haha! But I think your plan is way smarter than mine was so maybe I’ll try it again! I love the thought of having less things that I love more. ?

  • So cool, Elsie! I did a capsule once a couple years ago and it was a positive experience! I’ve been wanting to do it again and my plan was to do it this fall! Yay, excited to follow along!

  • Will you post outfit photos on IG or something? I find it so inspiring the way people mix and match their wardrobes! It always gives me new ideas for mine. A few years ago I set aside a capsule wardrobe to try the concept. A couple weeks in there was an electrical fire in my closet (!!!!!!!) (everything is fine now :)) and while everything else was getting professionally cleaned for smoke damage and the house renovated I only had my little capsule for months. I burned myself out on it real fast and now it’s like I have capsule wardrobe PTSD, ha! I really want to give it another try though. Maybe over the holidays?

  • So sad that sister style won’t be happening again! Maybe you can do it once per season? It never ever bored me.

  • It’s funny, after I had my kids I mostly just shopped for them! Of course I still buy what I need for myself but it’s way less often than buying for the kids. Also, kids’ clothes are SO fun to buy!

  • I love the capsule concept and have been using it for years. For me, it is not about being a strict follower of a set number of items, but rather living with a more curated collection overall. Dressing is easy and enjoyable, and I think you made some powerful points. You are in a season of life where spending a lot of time on trendy fashion does not feel like a connection point. You are simply drawn to other areas. A curated collection, for me, means that I always have a good outcome and my mind is able to focus elsewhere. It also connects to my overall belief in quality over quantity. Once I started following a capsule/curated wardrobe, I found the approach that worked best for me was not X# of this and Y# of that. Rather, I started focusing on types of ensembles and curating the right Items based on overall activities of my life. Alyssa Rosenheck seems to be a master at this approach (and is a million times more stylish than I am). She is always pulled together yet also dressed appropriately to fold herself into a closet to get the shot, if needed. For me, I need more tops than pants, a few dresses, and very very few skirts. I love lounging at home with my sweetie, so I have also found that I love having excellent jammies! Other women love to lounge in an old T but have 10x the number of party frocks that I do. Whatever fits the lifestyle! For you, you may find that you want two dozen jumpsuits on rotation, for different moods, and then just a few styles of tops that complement. No right or wrong, just whatever feels best to the individual. For me, curated does not mean limited; it simply means valued. Just my thoughts re how I have made the capsule concept practical and a delight for my life. XOX.

  • Side note–NOVA! That is my daughter’s name too. I may be biased but I think that is the most beautiful name! ?? And shopping for babies is so much more fun–especially girls–I hardly ever shop for myself now that Nova gets things 🙂

  • I love that you’re doing this! Such a cute (and NOT boring) capsule!! With all the decisions I assume you make daily, hopefully this lightens the load. I’ve had a Capsule wardrobe for four years now and it has reduced morning stress by 1000%! It’s easy to feel confident when your wearing your favorites daily.

  • Wow, that closet photo does look bare— but that’s kind of exciting! You seem to always have new outfits so I’m sure this a big step out of your comfort zone, you’re so brave! haha Reading this made me realize I do go through phases of wearing certain things all the time so maybe I could give it a shot in a more intentional way. I don’t consider myself a seasonal shopper but you don’t realize sometimes how all those little TJ maxx impulses can add up over a season. I feel like your decision to finally challenge yourself to do this is definitely your way of preparing for parenthood and that’s so so exciting! ?

  • This is cute and I’m excited to see how you like it! It stinks that you felt pressure to shop for “exciting” clothes that you weren’t into, it totally takes the fun out of shopping! Are you planning on using this capsule through the holidays too or switching it up before then?

  • I’m so excited to hear how this capsule goes for you, Elsie!
    I love the idea of a capsule wardrobe and I feel like I tend to unconsciously have my favorite items in my own closet for each new season, but I’m personally just trying to minimize my wardrobe overall rather than selectively narrow it for seasons. Maybe others can relate, but living in a place with all 4 seasons (and kind of long winters), it brings me joy to pair a favorite summery blouse under a big thick cardigan in the cold season to bring some lightness back. Not sure whether I’d love or hate a capsule either! 🙂

  • Oh love this idea. You’ve inspired me to try.

    Oh second adoption. So exciting and so happy for you both. You bring such joy to people’s lives with this free service (the blog) I can’t believe someone would have the nerve to comment that your outfits are too boring. Your style is so fab!

  • Hi,
    I rarely comment but I just wanted to say I can’t believe people would complain about your outfits being boring! It reminded me that commenting nice things can counter this negativity. Great post, thank you, good luck with your capsule.
    Bec

  • Love it!! Dress for yourself – when you love what you wear it shows ?. Besides you will soon be so busy being a new mom, you will be glad that you took the time to figure all of this out while you still have the brain space!

  • Yes! I split my wardrobe into 4 seasons and I found that with less clothes to choose from I actually started wearing all my vintage silk scarves a lot more – I feel like nothing is festering in the drawer anymore and its great.

  • I have that free people dress in another color and wear it probably too often. I want it in another color.

  • Hi Elsie, spot on! I now have 2 kids and could really see how I have withdrawn myself from fashion shopping over the years. I stick to being practical and convenient. I only shop if I need something, like a good pair of jeans or a white blouse. I guess my style has turned boring………. but I am now inspired by you to be proud of my simple wardrobe (a quarter of them taken over by kids clothes) yet able to dress with stye! Will really love it if you could share how you play around with the limited clothes yet beam with style 🙂 🙂 And yes I agree to most readers commenters here, your style on Sister Style are never boring to me! Most times I see your new outfits and thought to myself “hey! I need that!” 😀

    And congrats on the adoption! Nova and the 2nd baby that gets matched to you guys are very blessed kiddos! 🙂

  • I never thought your outfits were boring! And when people are saying your clothes are boring, they meant to say they look comfortable (because that’s the most important part, right?). I really enjoyed Sister Style, but I understand that it must also cost a lot to constantly be buying new & interesting clothes. And y’all aren’t really trend followers, but trend setters. I think your style is very unique, a homage to retro times with your pop of color or twisted with a more modern pattern to add the Elsie touch. You keep doing you boo & do whatever the f*ck you want.

  • It’s funny you say that you were getting feedback that your outfits were boring. I didn’t think so at all. In fact I’ve been reading your blog for a long time. And while I have always thought you have killer style, really fun, I found your recent Sister Style posts much more relatable to my own style. In fact it was one of your posts I most looked forward to. And I love seeing girls remix their own basics! Love this capsule wardrobe idea and I so admire you for giving it a go!

  • Hi Elsie! I have to say that really do miss sister style because you and Emma one of my fashion idol ?

    I’m doing the curated closet project right now and it’s amazing! Can you post your inspiration board from the prosees? Or maybe recommend good fashion blog to follow ?
    ? thank you

  • This post has crazy inspired me. I got rid of HALF my wardrobe and I feel soo much better and less cluttered! It’s been a mental detox. Ha! Also I thought maybe imagined?) you mentioned you wanted reccs for clothes for Nova. A friend of mine makes custom dresses and has a store, I love the gingham and yellow checkered one. But she can do anything with a sewing machine, and it’s reasonably priced. Thank you again for this lovely post!

    http://instagram.com/bakers_bespoke

  • Best Best Best Part of this post… “PLEASE GOD, let belts come back in style! I’m so done with oversized dresses.” I feel this soon hard. I wear dresses everyday and almost exclusively. This month, I bought two new pairs of jeans. That’s how bad this dress situation is getting. The struggle is real.

  • I love this idea and have just started planning for my capsule wardrobe too! I think finding clothes we are happy in is a fab idea and saves so much time and energy each day if we know we love our selection. Good job Elsie!!!

  • I do not usually comment, but I want to jump in and say you are on the right track. I live in Europe and it is a different culture here. Shopping is NOT a hobby. Really every dollar spent equals hours worked. You are literally spending your life´s time on clothing and shoes. There is no return on investment there except emotionally. I have lived with a “capsule” wardrobe all my life and it makes life so much easier. I have never understood women who own 100 pairs of shoes, or 20 white shirts, or 50 t-shirts. I spent the money I did not spend on clothing on a cottage in Greece, a small house in Portugal and a pretty apartment in Paris. By the age of 38 I owned all three and have enjoyed sharing them with family and friends. Clothes are just a covering for the real you. Find what suits you and stick with it. Perhaps this experiment will change the way you think about clothing and the amount you spend on it, and what that says about your priorities. I would be interested to hear the result.

  • I can’t believe that people are so rude to tell you that they thought your looks were boring. So glad you finally decided to free yourself from that. I can’t afford to buy new clothes but you have definitely inspired me to really look at my closet and cull what I don’t wear and curate it so there is less pressure. Thank you for the continued inspiration.

  • If anything…it seems like the capsule concept would help you be more mindful when shopping and that seems like a very good thing!! I think the older we get, the more we want to spend money on things that bring more joy to our lives–for me it’s grandkids!! Ha!!
    Mary