Illustration representing a capsule wardrobe, with 3 figures wearing various combinations of the same garments.

How to Navigate a Capsule Wardrobe in the Fall

From neutrals to layers, capsule wardrobes give you the staple pieces you need every fall-winter season.


Before you even think about attempting a capsule wardrobe, let’s first understand exactly what it is; coined in the ‘70s, a capsule wardrobe can be explained as a minimized closet filled with interchangeable items that can be worn time and time again. 

Capsule wardrobes are about structure, organization, compatibility and simplicity. As the leaves change colour and wardrobes start flipping, these three steps are advised to help navigate the perfect fall to winter capsule wardrobe:


Layering remains the medulla oblongata of a minimalist wardrobe; without layers you cannot function. Two days into a capsule wardrobe and you’ll be running out of ideas, layering equals opportunity. 

Depending on your style, whether that be street, business, bohemian or grunge – you have to be prepared; this means you need to be equipped with a light cardigan, a knit sweater, a vest, a puffer or a long sleeve and of course a simple selection of t-shirts. These items are easily stackable throughout unpredictable fall and winter temperatures.


The worst possible thing you could do for your capsule wardrobe is to fill your drawers with patterns. Would you ever wear houndstooth with polka dots? No. So why would you ever fill your closet with patterns that do not mix? Patterns only further limit your already miamilized selection. If you’re inclined to wear patterns stick to simple designs, light pinstripes, neutral stripes, or even a pair of classic plaid trousers. 

Overall your wardrobe should be stacked with neutrals, including navy, white, grey, brown or black. Pro tip: mix between jeans with light or dark washes, it’s a subtle change but still blends with everything else in your wardrobe. 


Wearing the same pieces every day isn’t always the easiest, because just like any daily task, it gets boring, repetitive and unoriginal. Accessories, then, will be your saving grace. Since your base is made of neutral tones, any of your adjoining accessories have the opportunity to spark creativity and uniqueness to your outfit. 

Especially when it comes to the fall, colder accessories like a red toque or a yellow knitted scarf can drive a pop of colour into the centre of a neutral-grey look. If you’re wearing a white t-shirt, black cardigan and blue jeans, a pair of chunky gold hoops or a blood red bag will bring light to your look. While these accents are obvious, they still remain harmonious with every piece of clothing and every colour in your wardrobe, adding another reason to why neutral colours are important for the base of your closet.

No matter how many tips are listed, the key to all minimalists’ closets is to cap your wardrobe at twenty items, no more, no less. This limit prevents a temptation to indulge in more options but gives you room to interchange items. 

To help you stay under twenty options here is the ultimate list of items you need in the fall:

To start off you need three pairs of pants: skinny jeans, straight jeans and a pair of trousers whether that be khakis, chinos, pleats or cargos – you only need one. 

Next up you need a white T-shirt, a black T-shirt (graphic if you please) a blouse, light cardigan, a knitted sweater and a hoodie. 

For outerwear you need a blazer, a trench or pea coat, a vest (puffer or sweater) and a thicker puffer. 

For other accessories you need a belt, a knit or silk scarf, sunglasses, a canvas tote bag and a form of a purse, whether that’s a baguette, hobo, satchel, bucket or any of your choice.

Lastly, for shoes you need a pair of sneakers and a pair of heels, loafers or oxfords, as long as you keep it simple, (I recommend a pair of Stan Smiths and a pair of Dr.Marten chunky loafers).