My 2017 Fall Capsule Wardrobe: Very First Attempt (Plus a Free Download)

My 2017 Fall Capsule Wardrobe - The Calm Collective

Jeans | Sweater Cardigan | Joshua Tree Print | Headboard | Linen Duvet Cover

Happy Monday, babes. Before we dive in to my very first capsule wardrobe (!), allow me to recap on the past week. It’s been a little nuts (in the best way), as Chris recently bought a home in Northern Michigan. We’ve been knee deep in renovations since he’s gutting it entirely – I even took out an entire wall with hammer! It’s such a sweet spot; a little A-frame chalet that sits on 6 acres and overlooks a valley. Not to mention, the sunrises and sunsets are to die for. (and the other night, we looked out the window of the bedroom and all you could see were stars! You certainly don’t get that in the city) I’m sharing a lot of behind the scenes over on Instagram stories if you want to follow the experience ;)

So as you can tell from the title of this post, I leaned into the idea of building a capsule wardrobe and the timing couldn’t have been better. This past week in Michigan (as I mentioned above) was a real light bulb moment for me as I looked through my suitcase and realized that I had completely packed without  thinking: (t-shirts and kimonos and no jacket for early fall?!)  Super frustrating, and my first instinct was to run here and pick up some fall clothes (yep, see? Still a work in progress and my brain likes to try and play tricks on me) but instead, I got creative. I either wore something of Chris’ like an oversized flannel or sweatshirt, wore the same sweater day after day, or layered to make my spring-y options a bit more fall-ish.

The point? I finally realized that my life would become so much more simple if I had a small, go-to wardrobe for the season.  So after a year or so of deliberating if this was the right move for me, I created my own capsule wardrobe without looking back.

First thing’s first: what is a capsule wardrobe?

I’m sure by now so many of you have heard the term Capsule Wardrobe. I know I’ve heard it hundreds of times and would always respond with the same old statement, “there’s no way I could do that.” I also said that about being vegan, and then there I was, almost 5 years in (but no longer, just to be clear!) While I’ve definitely improved with my ability to no longer impulse buy, rather, buy the things that I actually need and will find real value in long term, I still struggle with feeling overwhelmed by my options. So enough was enough, and I finally decided that there was no harm done to just give it a try. I have to say, putting together the capsule wardrobe was actually so much fun and therapeutic. I was able to sift through the items that I already owned, knew I loved, and buy select pieces that I knew were missing. (read: sneakers that don’t have black Adidas stripes) I ended up with 30 pieces – only 30! and felt like a new woman by the time I organized and arranged everything just so. Now the key piece here is that I paid mind to not be like anyone else. There are so many bloggers out there with an array of styles, and it’s hard to not compare and wonder if we, too, should be wearing y and z. But the thing is, that’s just wasted money. At the end of the day, you’re still you. You will always come back to that (thank goodness), so it’s imperative that we listen to our inner voices when determining what it is we want for our seasonal wardrobe.

If you’re like me and start off a little hesitant with the trend of the capsule wardrobe, I hear you loud and clear. But honestly? I can’t recommend it enough. Peace of mind and lack of choices is actually a really beautiful thing that we too often overlook. We’re so used to the overwhelm, a slew of options, the lugging of multiple suitcases and sore backs from carrying them around the airport. We’ve become accustom to being “okay” with what’s in our closet rather than “in love” with any of it. I for one am so, so tired of feeling this way – and the amazing part? We’re in full, total control of it all. We just have to give ourselves the permission to make a change.

So what do you think? Will you start your own capsule wardrobe?

Mind you, it doesn’t have to be 30 pieces like mine! It can be less than that, it can be more than that. But I challenge you to give it purpose and structure. Each item should be able to flow with another. In this case, less really is more.

So lets dive in to the 30 pieces that I’ve chosen to wear throughout the fall season (and here’s hoping that fall lasts longer than a month!)

My 2017 Fall Capsule Wardrobe - The Calm Collective

My Fall Capsule Wardrobe: in detail


FLEECE LEGGINGS by Steve Madden from Zappos / similar

The perfect wear for fall weather. Whether you’re working from home, heading to the office – basically whatever is on your agenda, these fleece lined leggings are a solid go-to. (and they’re so warm!)

LEATHER LEGGINGS (under $30) from Nordstrom / similar

I love that I can style these to be dressed up or dressed down with any of the other pieces from my capsule. They’re thick enough to keep me warm, but still allow my legs to breathe.

DRAWSTRING PANTS by Rag & Bone from The Real Real / similar (under $20)

These comfy pants are something I’m always grabbing for in my closet, so when I began capsuling, I knew they had to make the 30 list. I love pairing them with my bell sleeved sweater or turtleneck bodysuit.

SKINNY JEANS (with stretch) by Rag & Bone from Nordstrom / similar (under $65)

A key staple in any closet, especially when it comes to wearing tall rider boots. My friend Jess introduced me to these, and they’re my repeat offender pair for sure. They hold up so well in the wash, too!

BOYFRIEND JEANS from Gap / similar

It took me a bit to get on this bandwagon, but now that I’m here, I’m in love. Like all of my clothes, they’re so incredibly comfortable, and make styling with other items a breeze.

JERSEY KNIT MIDI DRESS from Forever 21 / similar (with sleeves)

Dresses for fall aren’t the most obvious, but these jersey knit dresses are perfect for layering with other clothes. Whether that’s a button down, a moto jacket or a cozy cardigan. Almost all of my tops and sweaters in my closet can be styled with this dress.



BELL SLEEVE (old from Zara) / similar / similar

My favorite sweater on the planet. I know you’re not supposed to love things, but, whoops. Another repeat offender that I pull from my closet every week, whether I’m working from a coffee shop or straight from my couch.

DUSTER CARDIGAN from Asos / similar / similar (under $20)

I love duster cardigans for the simple fact that it feels like you’re getting away with wearing a robe all day! The one I have from Asos feels like you’re wrapped up in a plush blanket and goes so well with all of my other items.


It’s rare that I really buy colored items, but this subtle multi-colored cardigan from Anthropologie immediately caught my eye when I was shopping for some fall clothes a week or so ago. I will say, it runs very large, so go a size or two down. I purchased an XS.

GRANDPA CARDIGAN by Free People from Asos / similar

What is fall without an oversized grandpa cardigan though, really?! I love wearing this piece with skinny jeans, a simple white tank, a belt and some booties. It’s the perfect fall outfit and knew it had to be a part of my capsule wardrobe.


My friend Jess also tipped me off on this sweater, and I’m so glad she did. It’s light weight, but so versatile in the way that it goes from a turtleneck to off the shoulder! So if you’re working all day, you don’t have to come home and sift through your closet before meeting friends for dinner. You basically just shimmy down the neck, and you’ve got yourself a new look entirely.

Tops & Layers

BLACK & WHITE TANK SET from Asos | similar

The easiest pieces when it comes to styling. I love using these tanks as my base layer, and playing around with my cardigans and jackets to create new outfits.

TURTLENECK BODYSUIT (old from Forever 21) | similar ($20)

I’m sad my bodysuit item is no longer available  but my friend Meg has the similar linked item and it’s just as good, sans turtleneck. Totally understand if you can’t get on the bodysuit train, though. I’m a rare one in this department, I know! But I love them.

SATIN CAMI from Asos | GREY SATIN CAMI from Forever 21

This is another fall capsule wardrobe item that had to make it to the list. I wear these all year round, actually, as they jazz up any outfit with minimal effort. Plus they’re so soft and comfortable.

GREY V-NECK TEE by Madewell from Nordstrom

I wear this tee whether I’m working out, out to a meeting, on my computer, out with my friends, etc. I sometimes add a little knot to the corner to give it a more playful look.

Jackets & Accessories

MOTO JACKET from Nordstrom

It took me a while to find the perfect “leather” jacket, and for years I was wearing such a poor quality one that left my arms feeling stiff and the rest of me incredibly uncomfortable. Since it’s something I love to wear, I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a good one, and I’m so happy that I did. I love this jacket, and it’s so perfect for fall.

BLANKET SCARF (old from Zara) | similar

Because what is fall without a blanket scarf? I get so much use out of mine. I also love using this whenever I travel as it’s the perfect pillow/blanket in one.

OLIVE DUSTER JACKET (old from Forever 21) | similar

I’ve had this jacket for years and I love styling it in a variety of ways. I dress it up with leather leggings, or I dress it down with my favorite fleece lined leggings and sneakers. It’s light weight, which makes it great for fall since you’re able to wear it with sweaters (the sleeves aren’t tight)

BLACK CROSSBODY BAG from Asos | similar | similar

A basic cross body that doesn’t add heavy weight to my shoulders, and makes it impossible for me to hoard things in my purse. I can’t stand having a messy purse, so I love this little gem that holds the bare minimum, but still gives off a timeless, classic style.

TAN QUILTED BACKPACK (old) | similar (comes in two colors)

I got my beloved quilted backpack from TJMaxx, and when I went to go pick one up for my best friend, they were all sold out. It’s my “working outside of the house” bag, or running errands bag since it can hold a decent amount like my laptop, any small grocery items I need to pick up, etc. Plus the tan color fits perfectly for fall.


SAM EDELMAN RIDING BOOTS from Nordstrom | similar | similar (under $40)

I love riding boots and wear these at least 3 days a week during the fall. They’re so comfortable, and easily go over jeans or a pair of leggings, which I love. Nothing more frustrating than when your pants bunch up inside your boots ;)

DR SCHOLL’S SLIP ON MULES (old) | similar with heel

The most low maintenance piece in my closet for sure. These never get scuffed, they slide right on, and they’re like walking on a cloud.


My mom gifted these to me for my birthday, and I love the navy blue color so much. They go with every single item in my closet, and have the most comfortable low heel.

** UPDATE! ** CONVERSE SNEAKERS from Nordstrom Rack


The converse sneakers made me feel like I had incredibly large feet, so I tried on a few other brands before deciding on the Superga’s.  I’m so glad I came across them at Nordstrom, because I’m in love, and I have zero intention of going back to any other kind of basic white sneaker. 

BLACK SUEDE HEELED BOOTIES from Nordstrom | similar

Another birthday gift from my mom, these black suede booties have a bit more of a heel, but not by much which make them a really great all day-every day shoe.

Sidenote: Keep in mind my capsule wardrobe doesn’t include my undergarments, lounge clothes / pajamas and my work out clothes.

Lastly, I won’t lie to you and say that building a capsule wardrobe is easy breezy. There’s some light work required, and many internal conversations you’ve got to have with yourself.  I’ve made a little cheat sheet to help guide you, so feel free to Pin it or print it out :)  I hope this is helpful, and I’m so curious if you’ll be giving it a try.  I’ve also created a FREE capsule wardrobe worksheet that you can fill out to keep track of your final edits. The best part? You can print out multiple copies to use each season.

Be sure to visit over at Instagram where I’ll be sharing real updates on how it’s going, as well as photos from my outfits from time to time. Happy capsuling! x


My 2017 Fall Capsule Wardrobe: The Guide - The Calm Collective