Elsie’s Autumn Capsule Wardrobe

I’m so excited to share my autumn capsule wardrobe with you today!

Creating a capsule wardrobe has saved me time and money, simplified my closet (so every single item in my closet fits me and is something I am excited to wear) and, best of all, now that I have completed my capsule for the season I am ready to focus on other goals.

How I Define a Capsule Wardrobe

I define a capsule wardrobe as preparing your closet for the coming season, and then wearing those items for the full season. A lot of people do it by creating a minimal wardrobe (sometimes with a set number of pieces) and making sure everything matches so you can mix and match.

I find this appealing, but too limiting, so I don’t limit the number of pieces. I also don’t limit myself to strictly neutrals. I believe that to get the most out of your experience, you need to tailor your rules to your lifestyle and goals!

Why is a Capsule Valuable?

There are many different motivations for creating a capsule! One benefit is saving money. You can even create a capsule using only things you already own if you want. I always end up saving money by planning and sticking to a capsule, but it is not my main motivation.

Another benefit is saving time. This is my key motivation. I tend to get in a bad habit of online shopping way too much. It’s a huge waste of time! So for me I love to do this because I spend a lot of time on it for a few weeks and then I don’t really have to think about clothing for a full season.

My Capsule Wardrobe Rules:

My rules are simple! Create a closet for the coming season with ONLY items that fit me that I will wear, and that make me feel happy or confident (preferably both, lol) when I am wearing them.

Sentimental items (wedding shoes, funny clothes from high school and a dress from a first date) cannot stay in the closet unless I plan to wear them this season.

Clothes that don’t fit need to be tailored, donated or sold. Clothes that have a negative memory attached to them must go. Clothes that I am only keeping because of guilt (money spent, they were a gift, didn’t wear them much) also have to go.

Like I said above, I don’t limit my capsule to a set number of items. I don’t have any purpose or desire to get rid of all my clothing except for 40 items. So if I end up with 100 items, great—I don’t care. As long as I will wear them all, they can stay.

My Goals:

My goals are to simplify my process of getting dressed. I used to keep SO many clothes that didn’t fit me (either too small and I was justifying them as “goal clothes” or they needed alterations that I hadn’t gotten around to).

This is fine, but when your closet is FULL of clothes like this it makes getting dressed each day super annoying and discouraging. When your closet only has clothing that fits and that you like to wear, getting dressed is quicker and more fun.

My other goal is to save time. I love shopping, but shopping every night (online) is a waste of time. When I get all my shopping done for the season, it is so nice to free up all that time and use it for more important goals and passion projects in my life.

Click here to download my capsule planning sheet. Use this sheet to figure out what you already have to wear this season and what you would like to purchase.

Here are the items that made it into my capsule this year! There are also some items in my closet still left over from previous seasons (that I still wear and love!), but these are the bare essentials.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

1 / 2 / 3 / 4

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

OK! I hope this post inspires some of you to create your own capsule in some form or another.

Here’s a bit of reading material that I loved if you want to learn more about this subject:

The Curated Closet and The Curated Closet Workbook – This book is SO GOOD. I am currently reading it for the second time. It has a lot of homework that helped me to figure out my closet “issues.” I highly recommend both of these!

The other book I would recommend if you just need help cleaning out your closet is The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I tend to get a lot of mental blocks when cleaning out where I just feel like I can’t get rid of stuff, and the things I learned from this book always help me to keep making those decisions.

I’d love to chat in the comments if you have any questions or thoughts about planning an autumn capsule! xx – Elsie

  • Love the idea of a capsule wardrobe but haven’t taken the plunge yet!

    What is the nail colour in the top photo, please??

  • All you have to do is look at videos under the title “fast fashion, environmental impact” to give a sense of a what our consumption habits when it comes to clothing has done and continues to do to our environment.
    I have to say I was actually horrified at Elsie’s insta stories when she was cleaning out the closet and overwhelmed by the mountain of clothes. As I imagined the time it took to hunt for each item on line, then have it shipped with packaging, then have a space to store it my stress grew and it wasn’t even my stuff. I felt bad for her! It was stressful to think about just managing all of that. I feel bad about it all, especially because I feel like women way more then men are programmed from a very young age to feel good about themselves based on what they look like, or to get creative fulfillment from shopping and new things, or to fit in with other women based on what they wear, or even to convey status based on what they wear. A guy can have the same 5 t shirts and jeans for 20 years and no one cares. But there is a real cost to all of this programming and not much of the “price” we pay feels good to me. I’m sorry we have done this to ourselves as a culture.
    As a young kid, living in a very rural area I just didn’t have access to new clothes often, and believe me I paid a HUGE social price for it. Scorned and mocked. The “popular” girls always had new things. Now I buy almost exclusively 2nd hand because I like the thrill of the hunt and its a pleasant form of escapism from every day life. it still matters to me that I look and feel good when I get dressed so there are No easy answers

    • If you read her blog regularly, she talks a lot about shopping secondhand and even did a year of shopping only secondhand. And I’m sure she donates stuff she gets rid of. I buy exclusively secondhand but I’m sure it looks similar when I clean out my closet – there are times when I’ve worked near a thrift store and have gone thrifting every day and jusjust ended up with TOO MUCH STUFF! It doesn’t mean I’m buying a ton of fast fashion. The same is true for bloggers.

  • I love your capsule wardrobe rules, and taking EVERYTHING out of your closet that doesn’t fit the season. I struggle with that part for sure! Can you share how you store or organize your off-season wardrobe? Do you group items in garment bags and bins and then cycle through them during the year? I’m trying to figure out a system that works for easy rotation. ?

    • i found a lined and lidded wicker hamper at a yard sale and it perfectly fits my off season clothes – most of my husband’s as well. admittedly we don’t have a giant amount of clothes. i love switching out the seasons and it’s pretty to look at 🙂

  • I think it’d be fun to also see how someone transitions pieces they already own for a new season, maybe adding a few new pieces or accessories to the mix. While I am always inspired by your style and what you find, I’m changing my consumption habits to limit my impact on the environment and my wallet. I think your creativity (and your team’s!) would bring some really interesting ideas to the table when it comes to reworking and transitioning clothing you already own.

    • Hi Sarae!
      I definitely hope it’s obvious that we don’t actually buy all new clothing each season and we’re not promoting that idea. We make these guides to help people fill in their existing wardrobes with whatever pieces they still need or want. 🙂

      • It wasn’t clear, so thanks for clarifying. You mentioned you’ll be adding additional existing pieces but it sounded (to me) like everything shown here is new to your wardrobe for this season. Maybe showing a photo of your existing pieces would help encourage reuse? Regardless, I would still love to see a capsule of existing pieces paired with new ideas.

        • I totally understand! A lot of the items shown in this post are things I purchased in past years that are still for sale now.

          Thanks for your feedback!

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