Looking for the ultimate fall capsule wardrobe for 2023 that’s minimal and effortlessly chic? This essential 2023 Fall Capsule Wardrobe will take you easily through this transitional season.
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Capsule updated for the 2023 fall season, scroll to bottom for last year’s capsule!
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Effortless 2023 Fall Capsule Wardrobe
Even though summer is still in full swing, fall is just around the bend. So, if you are already dreaming of “sweata-weatha” it’s a perfect time to curate your effortless autumn capsule wardrobe.
I’ve been using capsule wardrobes for years, and truly believe a capsule for fall is ideal, especially if you are a fan of minimal, neutral style. And if you want to streamline your wardrobe to reduce stress and the time it takes to get dressed. Plus, you can also save money as you won’t be buying new clothing all season!
The weather in the fall can be quite varied depending on where you live, so a thoughtful fall capsule wardrobe needs to contain items that can be worn on warm, sunny days, as well as cooler, rainy days that bring in that fall vibe.
What should be in a fall capsule wardrobe?
Versatile and transitional pieces that work for both warm and cooler weather should be in a capsule wardrobe for fall. Here’s what I’ve included in my Essential 2023 Fall Capsule Wardrobe:
- Long coat or Coatigan
- Denim jacket
- Leather jacket
- Plaid blazer or Shirt jacket
- Knit hoodie
- Long sleeve top(s)
- Striped sweater
- Turtleneck sweater
- Graphic tee
- Knit tee
- Knit Cardigan
- Vintage wash jeans
- Off-white jeans/pants
- Black leather pants (faux/real)
- Sweater dress
- Lug boots or Chelsea boots (black or brown)
- Heeled boots
- Loafers or Flats
- Tote bag
- Crossbody bag
- Sunglasses & Accessories (jewelry, belt, etc.)
Read on to understand how I thoughtfully chose each piece for the capsule and why they are perfect for fall. And, learn how you can adapt the pieces to suit your individual needs.
Long Coat or ‘Coatigan’
A long coat the ultimate staple in my fall wardrobe capsule. Depending on where you live, you can choose from a wool coat, a “coatigan“, or a trench coat.
This coat can be easily dressed up or down, and because fall is cooler, this layering piece is a sophisticated way to handle the weather and look great doing it!
For my capsule graphic I included the J.Crew Juliette Sweater Blazer, and I also love the longer J.Crew Ella Sweater Blazer. I personally own the Jenni Kayne Cashmere Overcoat in Camel (which unfortunately hasn’t come back in stock), but Mango also carries a very popular Coatigan that was in my Fall Capsule for last year.
If you are looking for an affordable dressier option, try this Cocoon Coat from Quince, or scroll below to see even more great fall capsule coats I sourced below!
When it comes to wardrobe staples, my denim jacket is an essential and very versatile layer. I can easily wear it from day to night, and depending on your style, you can go with classic blue wash denim or black or cream.
I love my Madewell Oversized Denim Jacket which I included in the Fall Capsule as it elevates any look (it’s a best-seller for good reason!). But, because the Madwell jacket sells out quickly, a great alternative is the classic Levi’s Trucker denim jacket.
Scroll below for more great denim jackets for every budget.
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A leather jacket is another great layering piece for changing weather in the fall. This is a piece I wear often as it has a modern, edgy look that pairs great with jeans, sneakers or loafers, and a graphic tee. I also often throw it over a long-sleeved top or a sweater dress with heeled ankle boots for date night!
I absolutely love the Quince Leather Biker Jacket (I’m wearing in the image above). It is an excellent price and of great quality. I chose to size up for layering and a slightly oversized fit.
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Plaid Blazer or Shirt Jacket
The next essential item in my 2023 Fall Capsule Wardrobe is a neutral or plaid shirt jacket or blazer. If you tend to dress more formally, opt for the blazer. Or if you prefer more laid-back outfits, opt for the shirt jacket instead.
Go with an earth tone plaid pattern, or if plaid really isn’t your thing, stick with a solid neutral like black or camel. I included the Theory Checked Jacket in my capsule (now sold out!), but also linked several great alternatives below!
Also, don’t miss this new Everlane shirt jacket that was just released late September. It’s pricier, but Everlane pieces are very well made, sustainable, and worth the investment!
shop plaid jackets:
On a cooler fall day, I love wearing my knit hoodie to feel cozy, but it also has an elevated look and feel, versus a basic sweatshirt. I love the Jenni Kayne Cashmere hoodie in my capsule with a pair of leather pants (or jeans) and sneakers.
But if you are working with a smaller budget, a more affordable alternative is the Cashmere Hoodie from Quince. I’ve actually compared the two brands side by side and the difference is minimal!
You can easily layer this piece under a coatigan for extra warmth. Or, wear it under a leather jacket for an edgy look.
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Long Sleeve Tops (2)
In my opinion, basic long-sleeve shirts are staple pieces that can be worn multiple times a week in the fall. Pair them with an extra layer over top (long coat, leather jacket, denim jacket), or wear it on its own if the weather is warm. I recommend going with ivory, white, black, or grey to keep the versatility.
I chose this budget-friendly ribbed top from H&M that adds interest and looks elevated with layered dainty pendant necklaces. If you need more formal items in your capsule, swap the basic long-sleeve shirt out for a button-up blouse.
One of the wardrobe essentials that will stay in your closet from season to season is a striped knit sweater. This style of sweater can be worn so many ways and is another great layering piece in a fall capsule wardrobe.
I love this stunning striped sweater from & Other Stories (also available in beige), and this affordable option from H&M (seen on me in the photo above). And if you have a bigger budget, go with this gorgeous striped knit from La Ligne NYC (it’s on my wishlist!).
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Knit Turtleneck Sweater
They don’t call it “sweata-weatha” for nothing! That’s why I have lots of sweater options in my 2023 fall capsule wardrobe. Another great knit piece is a cozy turtleneck sweater or a half-zip sweater.
I chose this stunning Cashmere Turtleneck from Everlane for my fall capsule, and also love the Half-Zip Cashmere Sweater from Jenni Kayne (if you prefer a more laid back look), or this budget-friendly Half-Zip Sweater from Quince. And, if turtlenecks and half-zips sound too warm, try a V-neck knit sweater instead.
A graphic t-shirt is a great addition to a fall capsule wardrobe as it’s laid-back and great for everyday wear. But also a fun option to dress up for a date or girl’s night out.
I love the fun and iconic graphic t-shirts from Anine Bing as they take neutral to a new level, without being too bold. I’m wearing the Anine Bing Lili tee above, and this is the shirt I chose to include in this year’s capsule.
These shirts are a bit of an investment, so I’ve included some more affordable alternatives below!
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A soft knit ivory t-shirt (or a couple in neutral colors) is a staple in all capsule wardrobes. In any season you can dress it up or down, and wear it over and over again.
I chose the versatile and affordable Cashmere Tee from Quince. It’s soft, elevated, and perfect for the fall season!
shop knit tees:
Layered over a t-shirt, long-sleeve top, or dress, a knit cardigan is another wonderful piece for fall. I absolutely love the Jenni Kayne Cashmere Cocoon Cardigan, along with the affordable Oversized Boyfriend Cardigan from Quince.
A cardigan is one of those items you’ll live in during the fall season. At home and beyond, it’s a great throw-on-and-go fall wardrobe capsule piece.
Vintage Wash Jeans
A staple in any fall wardrobe capsule is a pair of lightly distressed vintage wash jeans. When you find the perfect pair, you will wear them multiple times a week.
I love the Madewell Perfect Vintage Jeans (in all washes), as well as the Citizens of Humanity Jolene Jeans, and Levi’s Wedgie Straight. But, if you prefer darker tones you can opt for black jeans or a dark blue denim wash as well.
Don’t worry about not wearing white after Labor Day! A light pair of jeans, utility pants or trousers go a long way in the fall. Rather than stark white, go with an ecru or off-white tone which looks stunning when paired with tan, camel, or brown hues.
I dress my off-white denim down with sneakers and a leather jacket, or up with a sleek pair of ankle boots (I love the Toujours Boots from Poppy Barley) and a striped knit sweater. I chose to include the Everlane 90s Cheeky Jeans in Bone, and the Topshop Raw Hem Jeans as a budget-friendly option.
More great options linked below!
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Black Leather Pants (faux/real)
Sleek black leather pants (or faux leather leggings) are a great addition to fall wardrobe capsules for their versatility and ability to be dressed up or down. They have a polished look that with the right top, footwear, and accessories, can take you from running errands to date night.
I also love that they are naturally thicker so will be warmer than your typical pair of pants. If leather pants are a bit much for your style, you can easily swap them out for a neutral slip skirt or subtly patterned midi skirt.
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In this capsule wardrobe for fall, I included a ribbed midi dress from Reformation in black for its versatility. But, you can choose any long-sleeve dress to add to your capsule. If you tend to run hot, try this short-sleeved knit dress.
Stick with neutral color tones, patterned or solid (leopard print is fantastic this time of year), and a style that can be dressed up or down for different occasions.
I paired the dress here with the Decade Chelsea boots from Poppy Barley as I love the monochromatic feel.
In the fall there can be everything from rain to snow, so a classic pair of sturdy boots are a must when it comes to the footwear in your capsule. I love the look of ankle-height lug boots for practicality and style.
My top choices include the Anine Bing Justine Tan Boots (pictured in the capsule & currently 60% off!) and the Decade Chelsea Boot from Poppy Barley. If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, the Sam Edelman Laguna Boots are also highly rated. And, if you prefer a lighter boot for fall, the Kit Combat Boot is a great choice!
I’ve linked even more great boot options below!
A great pair of white or ivory sneakers are a must for any season. You can pair them with just about anything; jeans, leggings, dresses, etc. and be on your merry way!
My favorite are the classic New Balance 574 Sneakers. But, if you live where the fall gets mucky, opt for a pair of leather sneakers that can be wiped clean easily (instead of canvas). These leather sneakers from Everlane are sleek and come in great shades.
To elevate any fall capsule wardrobe outfit, a pair of leather loafers, pointed flats, or ballet flats add a touch of sophistication and class while still maintaining comfort and versatility.
In the photo above, I’m wearing my fave Gucci Horsebit loafers, but I also included these affordable look-alike loafers from Sam Edelman in the capsule. Another option is Mary-Jane flats which are great for transitional seasons and are very on-trend for 2023.
Just like loafers, heeled ankle boots add a polished appeal to any fall look. They are also a great option for any time you need to get a little more dressed up.
In my capsule I included the stylish and modern Toujours Boots from Poppy Barley in black (seen on me in the photo above). Warm, autumn-inspired colors like cognac brown leather or earthy brown suede are also stunning. If you go with suede boots, don’t forget the shoe protector spray!
Additionally, choose heeled boots with a slightly chunkier heel (not a stiletto) as you’ll get more wear out of them.
shop heeled boots:
Leather Tote Bag
A classic, large tote bag is a perfect, minimal, and practical addition to any capsule wardrobe. Black, brown, or taupe leather or suede is versatile and practical for the season.
Think of this as your catch-all carry-everywhere bag for fall! I chose to include the Mango Suede Shopper Bag in my 2023 fall capsule wardrobe. It’s chic and spacious, and a great price for genuine leather. If you prefer black, try the highly-rated Madewell Leather Tote, or this stunning Woven Leather Tote from Quince.
I’ve linked more excellent totes below!
A crossbody purse that can be dressed up or down is another great staple in a capsule wardrobe for fall. When not running from place to place, opt for a smaller crossbody that can hold just the essentials.
If you can, I recommend investing a little more in accessories to elevate moderately priced clothing items in your capsule. An investment purse goes a long way and can be worn daily.
I swear by my YSL Solferino Bag, and I included the A.P.C Grace Bag (currently on sale!) in the capsule. I also love the Demellier Vancouver Bag, the Medium Day-To-Night Bag from Poppy Barley, and this budget-friendly option from Quince.
Sunglasses & Accessories
Lastly, adding in a selection of classy accessories to your fall capsule wardrobe will tie it all together. I adore a great pair of sunglasses, neutral hair accessories such as clips and scrunchies, a quality leather belt, and dainty gold-plated jewelry from Mejuri (this necklace) and Quince (like these chunky hoops in my capsule).
You can never go wrong with subtle, classy pieces that are the cherry on top of every great fall ensemble.
How do you build a capsule wardrobe in the fall?
The best plan is to start building a capsule wardrobe for fall before the season begins. The following steps will help you build your capsule wardrobe for fall:
- Start by removing the summer items that you will no longer be needing from your closet and put them into storage bins.
- Keep any pieces that are good for transitional weather: light sweaters, jeans, basic t-shirts, sneakers, and a leather or denim jacket.
- Make a small list of items you’d like to add to your fall capsule, such as a long wool coat or cardigan, combat boots, knit sweaters, and heeled ankle boots.
- Stick to mostly neutrals as these pieces are the most versatile and can easily create a variety of different outfits.
What goes in a fall capsule wardrobe?
In a well-curated fall capsule wardrobe, you’ll find transitional outerwear, knits, basic tops, jeans, leather leggings, a sweater dress or midi skirt, ankle boots, sneakers, loafers, and chic, minimal accessories. It’s truly amazing how just a small selection of versatile pieces can make endless outfit combinations.
Your fall capsule wardrobe should reflect your lifestyle, whether it’s laid-back and casual, or polished and dressy. Choose pieces you know you will wear again and again, and resist the urge to buy more than you truly need.
Are capsule wardrobes still a thing?
Yes, rest assured that in 2023 capsule wardrobes are still very much a thing! In fact, the concept of capsule wardrobes continues to gain traction and popularity as many people aspire to be more conscious consumers through buying less and reducing overall consumption of goods.
Not to mention, the cost of living is steadily rising, so many Gen-X, millennials, and Gen-Z individuals are looking for ways to minimize and buy fewer items.
Last Year’s Fall Capsule Wardrobe
You may have navigated to this article through an image of last year’s fall capsule wardrobe, so I’ve left it below for you to peek at and inspire you further!
More Style Inspiration You’ll Love:
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- Effortless Spring Capsule Wardrobe
- Summer Capsule Wardrobe Checklist + What To Wear
- Effortless Maternity Capsule Wardrobe
- Neutral Winter Capsule Wardrobe
- How To Be Ruthless When Decluttering Clothes: Tips for a More Minimal Wardrobe
- How To Wear A Sweater Over Dress: Chic Outfits + Tips To Own This Look!
- What To Wear With Faux Leather Leggings: Chic + Modern Outfits
- Cheetah Print vs Leopard Print: The Difference + Outfit Inspo For Both
- How to Wear a Poncho: Chic + Modern Outfit Ideas To Try
Hi! I'm Christal - Editor-in-chief, published author, and minimalist fashion enthusiast! Welcome to Style Your Occasion, your styling inspiration go-to for every occasion, event, party, and trip! Click below to meet the rest of the Style Your Occasion team.
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