A new season has arrived now it’s spring here in Australia and autumn/fall in the Northern Hemisphere. I thought given the change of season it may be helpful to share a capsule wardrobe for autumn/fall for 2021. I recently shared a video on this topic here on my YouTube channel so I will also link that video at the end of this blog post in case you’d like to watch it.
What I’m going to be sharing with you today is a very quick introduction into the concept of a capsule wardrobe and we’ll have a look at the colour palette I’ve selected. This is a 21-piece capsule wardrobe for autumn/fall consisting of clothing, shoes and handbags.
If I had to describe this 21-piece autumn/fall capsule wardrobe collection in three words it would “sophisticated smart casual”! I feel there’s pieces here which work really well for if you’re going into the office and conversely, they work really well if you’re working from home or just on the weekend.
What is a capsule wardrobe?
The concept of a capsule wardrobe at its core is simple – it’s a collection of pieces which ideally will interchange with each other seamlessly to create a variety of looks. A capsule wardrobe can apply to a particular season or all year. The purpose of the capsule wardrobe is to limit the number of items you use to pieces which are truly versatile so they mix & match effortlessly with each other.
This also helps to really focus on your personal style as it allows you to define the overall aesthetic you like and potentially to identify any gaps within your existing wardrobe. Some people are quite strict when creating their capsule wardrobe – they might limit the number of items to 10 or 15 pieces. Capsule wardrobes can be tailored to include accessories, footwear, handbags and clothing or a smaller mixture, depending upon your preference.
The colour palette
The colour palette I’ve created consists of base colours including black, navy and cream. These colours form the foundation for the majority of my outfits. The accent colours are white, blue, teal and camel, which easily mix & match with the base colours. Autumn/fall usually sees an abundance of rich & warmer toned colours when it comes to clothing, footwear and accessories.
Colours such as deep wines, camel, forest green, creams and browns are consistently found throughout this season. As much as I love warmer toned colours I know that these generally don’t suit me personally. I’ve tailored my colour palette in this capsule wardrobe to a selection of tones which I feel best enhance my hair colour, eye colour and skin-tone.
What are the 21 pieces in this capsule wardrobe?
I’ve selected a mixture of clothing items, including bottoms, tops, outerwear, footwear and handbags to form this capsule wardrobe for autumn/fall. Below I will list each of the pieces I’ve selected and why and also provide links to these items where available. As I tend to keep clothing for many years, some of these items are from past seasons so where they are not available, I will link similar items for you.
A marinière is one of my favourite types of tops as it adds that touch of French style to an outfit and easily pairs with denim, skirts or trousers. Whilst I favour the traditional cream/white and navy stripe for a marinière there are alternative options such as cream and white which would work just as well, depending upon your colour palette.
This option is made from organic cotton so it feels slightly heavier compared to a lighter cotton, making it a worthwhile option for autumn/fall as the temperatures drop. I like the added effect of the two navy buttons on one shoulder as it adds a point of interest to this top. The sleeves sit just above the wrist and can be worn pushed up slightly to create a true ¾ sleeved length. This particular version is also available in multiple colourways.
Including a t-shirt may be surprising for an autumn/fall capsule however this will come in handy especially during the start of the season when there are those unexpected warm days. This t-shirt is made from cotton so it feels very light to wear and also nice against the skin. T- shirts are amazing to use as a layering piece as well – so you can wear these underneath a jumper, hoodie or cardigan whilst they also work as a useful base piece to wear underneath a blazer or jacket. My favourite pick for cotton t-shirts are from Reiss – available in a range of colours and neck-lines, these are the comfiest and best quality t-shirts I’ve ever had.
3. Fine knit top
Perfect for when you need to wear short sleeves yet you need that touch of warmth when there’s a slight chill in the air…a fine sweater knit is a great choice for a top. It will pair easily with any separate you can imagine. Ralph Lauren offers high quality short sleeve knits available with a preppy cable knit detail and Sézane have a variety of options available too. These look perfect off duty as much as they do when paired with smart trousers for work.
4. Floaty blouse
Including a floaty blouse in this capsule wardrobe was a must due to the feminine touch it brings to an outfit. I’ve had a 3/4 sleeve white blouse from Review for many years and have worn it mostly to the office during autumn/fall and spring. I feel a floaty blouse is the type of top which suits most body shapes and it would also work well incorporated into an off-duty look. This is a transitional season piece which also can be effortlessly layered under a blazer or over a camisole.
5. Hoodie or cardigan
I think this option can be suited to your lifestyle. With working from home more and more, I decided to invest in a light & soft cashmere hoodie in a lovely cream colour. This is so easy to pop on over a t-shirt and the cashmere fabrication means it feels gorgeous against the skin. Hoodies can be luxe if you get the style & fabric right! I feel this one certainly does the job and even better, it comes is a range of different colours.
6. Collared shirt
A collared shirt is another capsule wardrobe favourite for many women and I feel this is once again due to the versatility it provides. It is the perfect option for wearing to the office yet also affords a lovely smart casual vibes when paired with denim on the weekend. A shirt like this striped one from Ralph Lauren looks classic and can be worn as a layering piece underneath a crew neck knit or jumper, with the collar and cuffs peeping out.
A turtleneck is a piece which will serve you well as autumn/fall truly gets underway, particularly from the mid-late season as winter approaches. Including one of these in your style repertoire in a neutral colourway such as black, cream, navy, camel or grey scores you extra bonus points for versatility! Black is a colour which I adore in this style of knit, especially when paired with black trousers. I’ve selected a fine wool black turtleneck, it’s a fine knit so it retains that breathability factor. Wearing this turtleneck with a pair of black trousers will provide a blazer/coat/jacket or accessories to truly pop against the dark foundation of your outfit.
8. Cashmere knit
Cashmere is one of my preferred fabrics – it feels so luxurious to wear against the skin and envelopes you like a soft cloud. I’ve selected a cream-coloured cashmere knit for this capsule collection which features a roll-neck design. It’s in a relaxed fit and again pairs so well with the jeans and black trousers in this capsule. Cashmere is a fabric which is well suited to the transitional seasons – it will keep you warm and also cool, no matter the weather due to the natural fibers.
9. Straight-leg jeans
What I love about straight leg jeans are they’re a classic style of jeans which mean they will never go out of style. I’ve selected a standard 5-pocket, mid-blue denim wash with this pair from Sézane. These are 99% cotton so they feel thicker compared to jeans a lower cotton composition and are a great choice for autumn/fall due to the heavier weight of the material. There isn’t a lot of stretch to these but they hug you in all the right places! These come in alternative denim washes so you can find one which suits your wardrobe color palette.
10. Black trousers
A pair of black trousers are useful because they can be paired with an abundance of tops and knitwear. With the ability to work for the office as well as being used to create a chic or dressier off-duty look, I feel black trousers are one of the core pieces in an autumn/fall capsule wardrobe. The style of the trousers can be suited to match your body type. I’ve selected a pair of skinny black trousers from Reiss which I purchased earlier in the year.
Midi skirts are one of the trends for autumn/fall 2021 and are one of those items which I feel add an elegant and sophisticated allure to an outfit for women. Given my love for pleats, I’ve selected a white pleated skirt from Reiss – given it’s neutral colour, it pairs seamlessly with many tops in this capsule collection.
12. Your favourite style of jeans – skinny, wide leg, flared, boyfriend style
Apparently skinny jeans are on the way out but I’ve still included them in my capsule wardrobe for autumn/fall! This pair from Ted Baker are my most comfortable pair of jeans and I’ve gotten the cost per down to such a low amount now through wearing them so many times. This indigo pair is in a darker colour to the straight leg option above – I included them in the capsule because I feel that having a pair of indigo or black jeans is another versatile option for the cooler season and will also last you well into winter.
13. Wear-anywhere blazer
A versatile blazer is a surefire way to instantly elevate an outfit for autumn/fall. A staple piece in any cool weather capsule wardrobe, it will easily pair over a t-shirt or knit. I decided to invest in a blazer from Anna Thomas, an Australian designer, and was left highly impressed with the design & quality of her range. Finding one of these in a neutral colour which fits in with your capsule wardrobe will ensure you can easily pull this out for a variety of on/off-duty outfits.
14. Tailored blazer
My second investment blazer purchase from Anna Thomas, I selected the Selina blazer in teal, set off with a duck-egg blue satin bow as the final flourish. This accent adds a feminine detail to an otherwise masculine piece and the look can easily be achieved with any blazer by including a bow separately which ties around the collar and neckline. Finding a blazer which fits you like a glove is a must-have to looking polished during this season.
15. Trench coat
The quintessential autumn/fall outerwear piece of choice by men and women all over the world. The trench coat has humble military ancestry and was designed around practicality and function. Today it’s adored by many who view the trench coat as a chic yet pragmatic outwear option. I’ve had my black trench coat from British retailer, Jigsaw, for what feels like almost a decade now. It’s one of the best investment purchases I’ve ever made. Purchase yours in a neutral colour such as black, navy, camel or tan, to ensure this piece becomes a versatile staple in your wardrobe.
No footwear option encapsulates autumn/fall like a pair of loafers! I noticed these were worn by the majority of women during my multiple visits to Paris during this season. A chic and comfortable footwear option, adding a pair of loafers injects an element of preppiness and masculinity to an outfit. My preferred pair of shoes are my Gucci Jordaan loafers in the safe black colour. They are the best shoe purchase I’ve ever made, the feel extremely comfortable to wear and uplift any outfit.
Autumn/Fall is the perfect season to pull out a pair of mules – specifically loafer mules like these ones from Gucci. The Princetown loafers come in as a close second to the Jordaan style, and they also add a chic touch to casual outfits on the weekend. Mules work back seamlessly with denim and trousers and impart a slightly more casual look compared to loafers. So, if you’re after an effortless yet sophisticated element when it comes to your autumn/fall footwear, I’d highly recommend including a pair of mules into your capsule wardrobe.
18. Block heels
For when you can’t be bothered with wearing a pair of thin stiletto heels, a block heel is a practical alternative. These will still provide a height boost, yet the thicker and sturdier block heel allows additional balance. Inherently more comfortable compared to stilettos, block heels are a great choice and come in a range of options, from open toe sandals to closed in cuties like these ones from Salvatore Ferragamo.
What can I say about sneakers? Whether you’re pairing these with a suit or your midi-skirts, sneakers can offset a dressed-up outfit by their sheer relaxed vibe. They’re also supremely comfortable and a must have for most people. Pair them with denim for an off duty look or add them with a slightly dressed up outfit for the ultimate juxtaposition in style. My preferred style are a simple white slim style sneaker, like these from Lacoste.
20. Black handbag
The first bag I’ve selected here is one in black leather and it’s a non-luxury designer bag. This is perfect if you don’t prefer to carry around luxury designer items or if you don’t feel quite comfortable taking a designer bag into the office. With a top handle and removable/adjustable shoulder strap, there’s multiple ways to carry this around. This simple yet eye-catching shaped handbag has enough room to fit your essentials plus more – and it comes in three different sizes.
21. Neutral handbag
I had to include my favourite handbag in this capsule collection! The Chole Nile bracelet bag in biscotti beige is the perfect colourway to pair back with the neutral tones in this capsule wardrobe. Having another choice of bag in a different colour to black is great, because it affords additional versatility with outfit styling options. The brass coloured handle and equestrian inspired saddle bag shape also adds a point of interest for autumnal/fall inspired outfits.
That’s the roundup of the 21 piece capsule wardrobe for autumn/fall! This was also the first capsule wardrobe I’ve ever created and was quite a challenge to put together. Some of the pieces here are more suited to the start of the season, some are aligned towards the end of the season as winter approaches. I’ve tried to envision what are all the different kinds of items across the entire season which may be needed, so I hope this inspires you when you’re reviewing your own wardrobe.
If you’re interested in seeing the outfit combinations I created from this capsule wardrobe, then you can head over to my YouTube channel to watch this capsule wardrobe video. I will link that video down below here on the blog for you as well. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this autumn/fall capsule wardrobe for 2021 – are there any additions or changes you would make? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!