I’ve been building a capsule wardrobe for fall winter and I didn’t even know it. As an avid traveler, I’ve cut my wardrobe to the bone, so I can shove it all in one carry-on suitcase. Here are 20 essentials I discovered that are super versatile, season-after-season.
1. Basic T-shirt
This is about as basic as you can get. A plain, well-fitted, t-shirt is a year round style essential in my opinion. This is why it tops my Fall Winter capsule list. I own some in black, gray, and white. The styling options are limitless. The key to a great t-shirt is quality. Not all t-shirts are created equal, so take your time selecting the perfect one. My personal fav is by Cynthia Rowley. Her pieces are super soft and hold their quality wash-after-wash. I purchase mine from Thredup at a deep discount.
Coming in at a close second is the turtleneck. I only wish you could comfortably wear them all year. They’re the best because they look classy. Bonus, you don’t have to blend your makeup into your neck when you wear one. That’s a win-win for me.
Blouses definitely give you a grown up feel. They can do a lot to dress up an outfit. I prefer to wear button-ups because I can transition them into Spring or Summer by tying them up. Although I drift towards neutrals, you can still get a ton of use out of a blouse in a solid color or classic print.
4. Cashmere/Wool Sweater
When it comes to warmth, not much can beat cashmere or wool. They are natural insulators. This is why I keep a few on hand for my capsule wardrobe. I have great success finding thrifted pieces on Thredup. I can find almost anything I need there. The best part is that is that shopping secondhand supports sustainable fashion.
5. Cable knit sweater
When Fall Winter comes around I want to be two things, warm and cozy. A classic cable knit sweater provides both. I’m not sure why but the thick weaving of cable knit screams luxury to me. You can wear this with jeans but I prefer to dress it up with trousers or a midi skirt.
6. Denim Jacket
Honestly, how cool are denim jackets? They come in so many different washes, colors and fits. There is a perfect denim jacket for everyone. I own cropped, fitted, and oversized ones. I wear them with pants and also over dresses. But, if denim isn’t your style, a (faux) leather jacket is fashionable alternative.
Want to instantly make your Fall Winter wardrobe look chic? Add a blazer. It’s really that simple. If you do not own a blazer, take a pause and order one right now. I started my blazer collection with black, then I added white and navy, because I feel instantly put-together in one. You can pair your blazer with jeans, shorts, pants, or even dresses.
8. Packable down jacket
I know, I know, this isn’t the most fashionable essential you can think of but, hear me out. I travel between climates and know that weather can turn quickly. When I discovered a feminine-cut packable down jacket, my life was forever changed. I can squish one of these bad boys into the tightest packed suitcase with no problem. I wear it constantly from Fall to Winter to keep warm, and I receive no shortage of compliments in it. Style this with leggings or pants and you’ll be looking like a chic snow bunny.
9. Camel Coat
Want to look expensive? Grab a camel coat. As a 90’s child, camel coats reminded me of Keven McCallister’s mom. Real wool or cashmere one’s are pricey, which explains how Kevin’s mom could afford to take twenty family members to Paris for Christmas. Whether you go for real of faux, this coat is going to serve you well for the Fall Winter months. It is effortlessly stylish and pairs with more outfits than I can count. Wear it with heels or flats, this coat’s got you covered…literally.
10. Dark Denim Jeans
You probably already own a pair of jeans, which is awesome news. But, do you really love them? I never understood spending big bucks on denim until I owned a pair of Joe’s Jeans. The comfort was superior, and the fit made every outfit look better. I wore my favorite pair until they fell apart, and now I make sure I have at least one pair of well fitted dark denim jeans at all times. A great pair of denim is worth the splurge because you’ll get your money’s worth from them.
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11. Leather Pants
Who knew leather could be essential? My Free People vegan leather pants are the most pleasant surprise in my wardrobe. When I purchased them, I had no idea how much I’d love them. Wear them with flats and an oversized sweater, to feel super cool, or dress them up with a pair of heels. Any way you wear them earns you some major style points. If a fitted skinny leg isn’t your style, no worries. Boxy fits with paper bag waists are also ultra cool.
12. Midi Skirt
Just because it’s cold, it does not mean it’s time to stash your skirts. A midi skirt is classic and can keep you a little warmer for breezy Fall weather or even Winter months. Layer them with tights, socks, or boots to stay extra toasty in the cold. They easily pair with your other essentials like turtlenecks, knits or blazers.
13. Sweater Dress
Sweater dresses are incredible and their inventor should be thanked. All bodies can rock a sweater dress. Whether you prefer fitted or loose, sweater dresses are must for Fall Winter. They’re a reminder that you don’t have to wait until Spring to wear a dress.
14. Little Black Dress
Every woman should own a little black dress, no matter the season. I find them especially useful for Fall and Winter. A classic little black dress can take you so many places. Plus, black is always flattering, especially during the holidays when most of us, myself included, indulge on meals and treats.
15. Black Belt
Tie your look together with a black belt. Not only do belts make your clothes fit better, they double as a style accessory. I get the most use out of a black belt, which is why I suggest starting there. If you prefer a softer look, brown tones are a stylish alternative.
16. Metallic Jewelry
If you’re unsure how to style jewelry, minimal metallic basics are the perfect place to start. I am a big fan of jewelry, but traveling with chunky accessories can add a lot of unnecessary weight to your luggage. I find that packing a few pieces of silver and gold jewelry, are the easiest quick accessory. You can wear them alone, layered or even mixed. Metallics are truly the solution to all your jewelry needs.
Purses are an essential for most women, year round. We tote them everywhere. But, many of us forget to incorporate it into our look. I gravitate towards purses that will go with the majority of my wardrobe. For me, this means a black or brown bag. But if your entire wardrobe consists of neural colors, a handbag can be the perfect opportunity for a pop of color.
18. White Sneakers
White sneakers were a staple of my childhood wardrobe. I lost my love for them when I discovered heels, and now things have come full circle. Several years ago there was a white sneaker trend in the fashion blogging world, and in my world, they’re here to stay. Rock these kicks with literally anything you want. Dresses, pants, skirts, or leggings, there’s no rules for this one.
I can probably dedicate an entire blog to boots, but I’ll save you the rant. These babies are a must-have. Choose a pair that will give you the most wear. If you lean towards casual styles choose a flat or low heel. If dressing up is your thing, grab some heels. Select height or colors that will pair best with your favorite basics. My personal favorites include a leather knee-high boot for maxi skirts, and booties to wear with pants.
20. Black pumps
Grab yourself a classic black heel and you’re good-to-go. Looking back at my own fashion history, I regret not buying these sooner. They instantly elevate your look and go with nearly every thing you could possibly wear. From work to wine at a trendy new restaurant, these heels get the most wear out of my wardrobe.
For more heel essentials WATCH THIS