Prepping For Fall (Part One)

(This is part 1 of a 4-part series—Prepping For Fall.) (This is a long and photo heavy post.)

July 31, 2016

Fall/Winter Wardrobe Before The Closet Edit

Fall/Winter capsule wardrobe before the purge

Every year when My Favorite Sale Is Back, I use that event as the jump start to begin prepping my wardrobe for the upcoming fall/winter season.  In my last post I detailed how I narrowed down the large number of items from my wish list, to the smaller number that went into my shopping cart.  Today the attention is turned to the closet itself, specifically my Fall/Winter Capsule wardrobe from last year as well as my Business Capsule.

Over the years I’ve learned that I cannot shop the sale effectively without a little pre-planning.  In order for me to assemble a list of wardrobe needs and wants to shop for first I have to first review what is inside my closet.  For this closet review, I’m not only going to look at what’s currently in my Fall/Winter Capsule wardrobe, I’m also going to take a very close look at my Business Capsule, as this area fell out of sorts lately and I have been struggling with creating outfits that I am happy with.

 Reviewing and Editing The Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe

Even though I typically review and cull items from my capsule wardrobes at the end of the season, I always begin with another purging session right before the season begins.  I find that the time away provides me with a clear head and I look at my closet in a new light.  I often end up removing at least a few items, especially since I want to purchase something new.  The photo at the top of this post was my Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe before the purge, and before tackling the jeans.  As a reminder, my fall/winter wardrobe walked away from that recent jeans purge with 7 pairs of denim bottoms.

The first five to go.

The first 5 items to go.

Additional items I purged after a quick review of my closet included:

  • Black/Grey Knit-Damaged.  Always easy to purge something that’s ruined.
  • Grey/White Knit-I never could figure out what footwear to sport with this sweater/jumper.  Also the white neckline is already yellowing, yuck.
  • The bottom row were 3 impulse purchases from the sale rack that never went into rotation due to material (red blouse) or style (purple cardigan) or both (cropped grey top.)  One of these days I’ll learn not to impulse shop, but until then, I will end up culling items that were never worn.

Another 3 to donate.

The next 3 were problem pieces.  The two knits are itchy to wear.  The poncho should look familiar, it’s been donated, then saved, then donated again.  Every time it goes into the donate bag I take it out.  I like the drape of it and the color paired with black.  But the short sleeves have never layered well and I do not understand why a poncho, with a turtleneck, has short sleeves.  It’s never kept me warm without a layer under it.  I’m finally letting go of this troublesome piece.

Reviewing and Editing The Business Capsule Wardrobe

After the quick review came the big task, sorting my Business Capsule.  I only focused on the clothes in my daily closet, I’ll leave the additional items that are stored in another closet (suits and a special occasion dress) for another post.  My Business capsule wardrobe began with 23 items in it including:

6 pairs of trousers.

6 pairs of trousers.

Five blazers

5 blazers


6 pairs of shoes.

The Business capsule also had 3 blouses, 1 woven top, 1 cardigan, and 1 turtleneck (which I forgot to photo).  Before I could cull anything, I reviewed the outfits I have been using.  I started with something easy, the outfits I’ve worn for recent special occasions.


Special occasion outfits.

The outfit on the left is a black lace knit top paired with lined black trousers that make up my “suit.”  I sport this for the holiday’s come fall/winter.  On the right is my summer special occasion outfit—weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, etc.  My special occasion needs look covered to me, nothing to add to my shopping list.

Spring/Summer/Fall Business Outfits

Spring/Summer/Fall Business capsule outfits

The cobalt blazer and black blouse combination I sport with my full length, lined trousers from the special occasion outfit, along with my black patent pumps.  The black blazer was not purchased as part of a suit with the trousers, but the fabrics are spot on and I do wear this as my “suit” when I need one.  I included the printed blouse that I sport with the black blazer.  If I have a two day business meeting, than I’m covered with everything here.

However, I often need 3 days worth of outfits and that’s when I see the wardrobe holes.  I could really use a second pair of full length black trousers, preferably unlined, since I already have a lined pair.  The black patent pumps hurt my feet and I would like a replacement for them.  Also the ballet flats, they are not part of the Business Capsule but in a bind, I’ve worn them when the pumps became too painful to wear anymore.  The black cropped trousers, I’ve wanted to sport for the summer but I do not like how either shoe pairs with them.  Also, I’ve been rather warm layering a blazer over long sleeves in the warmer months, short sleeve options would have been helpful this summer season.

To recap here are the wardrobe holes for the Business capsule:

  1. Full length black trouser
  2. Pointy toe flat shoe
  3. Replacement for the black patent pumps with a heel
  4. Long Sleeve-Blouse for one of the blazers
  5. Three short sleeve tops for the blazers for warmer months

I don’t expect to find all of these items right away, but over time these pieces would make a considerable impact on the cohesiveness of this capsule.

Business Capsule in the winter.

Winter Business capsule outfits.

For the winter months, I have one black turtleneck that pairs well with the black lined trousers and cobalt blazer.   The black blazer has no knit top at the moment, even after I dig around in my Fall/Winter Capsule wardrobe.  The heeled boot is in good shape and is comfortable, I do not need to replace it.  And again, I have no third day outfit.  For fall/winter I’ve added an additional two items to my shopping list:

  • Knit for black blazer
  • Knit/Sweater/Cardigan for a third outfit
  • The black trouser request I’ve already covered in the Spring/Summer/Fall Business Capsule shopping list
Items to purge.

Items to purge.

Finally, what am I letting go of?  Well, reviewing what’s left from this capsule wardrobe, everything in this group has been a problem item:

  • Outfit #1-The corduroy blazer and blue trousers are difficult to pair with tops and shoes, and the color of the blazer washes me out.
  • Outfit #2-The grey trousers have once again always been a challenge for me to pair with an outfit.  The printed woven top looks too casual with the grey trousers on it’s own and I have no blazer or cardigan here (and it could really use one).  The grey suede booties are just as cute as they are painful to wear.
  • Outfit #3-The third outfit, I always felt frumpy in.  A classic button front crewneck cardigan and a plaid trouser, just feels stuffy to me when I wear these pieces.
  • Outfit #4-The pink (ish) blazer on the right and the brown tweed trousers, I could never figure out what to pair as a top and shoes for this outfit.  The open toe pump, never paired with anything and again it’s a painful shoe to wear.

It’s interesting that every single one of the pieces going into the donate pile were purchased on impulse in the past, and prior to me deciding to limit my Business Capsule to a base of black.  It’s no wonder I’ve been struggling to create outfits, I had a lot of troublesome pieces taking up room in this Business Capsule Wardrobe.

Bonus outfits.

Bonus outfits.

Finally I discovered a couple of bonus outfits.  The tan blazer from the Business Capsule, well it turns out that I actually do not like paired with any of the trousers from my Business Capsule.  But I do like it paired with my jeans!  If I sport it with my nude flats and a navy t-shirt from my Spring/Summer Capsule wardrobe, I can wear this outfit straight away.  Later, looking at items from my Fall/Winter Capsule, if I swap to a bootcut jean, the striped knit or the navy turtleneck, and use the leftover Business Capsule nude wedge pumps, I can transition this outfit for fall.  I’m not sure the height of the nude wedge pumps will make my feet happy, but I’m willing to give it a try.  If the wedges don’t work, I’ll just stick to the flats for fall.  I’m shifting the nude wedge pumps and the tan blazer to my Fall/Winter Capsule wardrobe.

My Business Capsule is walking away from this purging session with 12 items:

  • 3 pairs of shoes (black patent pumps, black heel sandal, black short boot) (moved 1 to Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe and purged 2)
  • 2 Blazers (cobalt and black) (moved 1 to Fall/Winter Capsule Wardrobe and purged 2)
  • 2 trousers (black lined full length and black cropped) (purged 4)
  • 3 Blouses (black, black print, blue)
  • 2 knits (black lace and black turtleneck)

And recapping my shopping list for my Business Capsule:

  1. Full length black trouser
  2. Pointy toe flat shoe
  3. Replacement for the black patent pumps with a heel
  4. Long Sleeve-Blouse for one of the blazers
  5. Three short sleeve tops for the blazers for warmer months
  6. Knit for black blazer
  7. Knit/Sweater/Cardigan for a third outfit

Coming up in this series:

  • I’ll share what went else went on my shopping list for my Fall/Winter and Business Capsule wardrobes as well as the totals of my Fall/Winter Capsule wardrobe before I shopped
  • In my third post for this series, I’ll share what happened with what I ordered and what I kept
  • Finally I’ll end with some number crunching and what I’m starting with for the upcoming fall season

Do you struggle with any of your wardrobe capsules?


  1. If I haven’t said this in a previous comment… I really enjoy your thought process. Certainly, you’ve given me some ideas for my own approach to downsizing and streamlining my closet!

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