Fall Capsule Wardrobe Check-In

September 18, 2017

2017 fall capsule wardrobe before

It’s been 1 month since I started wearing my Fall Capsule Wardrobe. Since fall is my favorite season to dress for (the colors, the layers, the boots, and let’s not forget the pumpkin well everything, yum), my fall capsule is also my favorite wardrobe capsule to work with.

However, my fall capsule wardrobe was prepped back in July and early August, and then sat unworn until now. The long delay gave me a chance to review my fall capsule wardrobe with a fresh set of eyes, and I noticed something disturbing about this capsule wardrobe.

My fall capsule wardrobe began with a staggering 58 items, yowza!  That’s a lot of clothes.

Or is it, really?

The answer depends on how often I want to wear everything in this capsule wardrobe.

For any capsule wardrobe the same general rules apply:

The more pieces in the capsule wardrobe, the less chances you get to wear each item.

The less pieces in the capsule wardrobe, the more chances you get to wear each item.

Due to this inverse relationship between number and frequency of use, how much clothing should be in my fall (or any) capsule wardrobe depends on the answer to this question. Looking back on my previous capsule wardrobes for spring and summer, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend, the total number keeps creeping up. 40 items for spring, 49 items for summer, and now 58 items for fall.

Uh oh. Well that’s not a good sign.

To stop the wardrobe creep before it can continue, I decided to reduce this capsule wardrobe by 16 pieces.  This takes the total count back to 42 items, which is similar in size to my spring capsule wardrobe.

How did I do it?

I followed a very specific closet edit. And since I enjoy crunching numbers I’m going to walk you through exactly what I did, step-by-step to remove these 16 pieces from this capsule wardrobe. To begin, let’s take a look at what was removed.

fall capsule wardrobe donated items_01

7 pieces donated from the fall capsule wardrobe

Seven pieces were donated. I’ve been slowly removing the black from the wardrobe over time, and any closet edit is a great opportunity to remove black pieces. I also removed the white items, white doesn’t stay bright very long so I tend to turn over white clothes quickly. Additionally 9 pieces put on “hold,” 3 for spring (denim jacket, olive jacket, black off the shoulder top) and 6 for winter (hoodie, knit, bootcut jeans, 3 black boots).

To pick these pieces I started by purging anything that was worn out, torn, damaged, didn’t fit, or I was just tired of and ready to move on to another home. This removed 1 piece (1- tan pullover knit). That’s not a very good start.  Looks like it’s time to roll up the ol’sleeves and make some tough decisions.

I reviewed the categories for anything over the number 7. The pieces over 7 were purged or put on hold. For example, I had 10 tops so I purged 3 (1- white short sleeve modal top, 1- 3/4 sleeve black tunic, and 1- 3/4 sleeve black knit). I also put the black off the shoulder top aside to be used again when I set up my spring capsule wardrobe. That brings my tops total down to 6 and the total I’ve removed from the capsule wardrobe to 5.

In addition, I had 10 pairs of shoes/boots. Boots are harder for me to fit and cost more than the tops, so I put 3 pairs aside until I set up my winter capsule wardrobe. This brought my total removed from this capsule wardrobe to 8 pieces.

Ok. I’m half way there.  Now what?

I finished up by removing 1 item from each category until I reached my goal of 42 items. I purged 1 long sleeve t-shirt, 1 tank top, and 1 short sleeve t-shirt. That’s 3 more gone! I also put 2 jackets aside for my spring capsule wardrobe. With only 3 more items until I reach my goal, I added 1 hoodie, 1 pair of bootcut jeans, and 1 pullover knit to the hold pile for my winter capsule wardrobe.

After all of the shuffling here’s what’s left in my wardrobe.

  • 1 hoodie (1 put on hold for winter)
  • 2 blazers (no change)
  • 1 jacket (2 put on hold for spring)
  • 4 cardigans (no change)
  • 1 pullover knit (1 purged, 1 put on hold for winter, 1 left in capsule)
  • 5 t-shirts (1 long sleeve and 1 short sleeve purged; 2 long sleeve and 3 short sleeve are left in capsule)
  • 4 tank tops (1 purged, 4 left in capsule)
  • 8 tops (1- 3/4 sleeve tunic, 1- 3/4 sleeve knit, and 1- short sleeve modal purged; 1 off the shoulder put on hold for spring; kept 3 shirts, 2 three-quarter sleeve tunics, 1 long-sleeve, and 2 sleeveless in capsule)
  • 6 jeans (1 bootcut on hold for winter; 1 boyfriend, 4 skinny, 1 bootcut)
  • 3 scarves (no change)
  • 7 shoes (1 OTK boots, 1 knee high boots, 1 short boots on hold for winter; kept 2 cowgirl boots, 2 short boots, 2 ballet flats, 1 sneakers)

To recap, I’ve purged 7 items from my wardrobe.  I’ve also placed 9 items on hold (3 spring and 6 winter).  Now my fall capsule wardrobe is back to a more manageable number, 42 pieces.

Of course, when I start fussing with a capsule wardrobe I usually end up making some additional changes. Find out what happened in my next post and I’ll show you every single item in this capsule wardrobe, including the total cost.

Do you ever adjust a capsule wardrobe during the season?


  1. I find it difficult to narrow down my wardrobe. I just lost over forty pounds and hope to lose more I donated all my large and extra large clothes and am now buying medium and small. Since I am in flux and buy at thrift shops, I tend to accumulate more not knowing fit or changes in my body. I don’t have as much as I used to but when I see j crew tops for $1 and get leather knee high boots for $4, it is really not my jam to turn away from accumulating. I see your point, but am not there yet.

    1. Congratulations on your weight loss, that’s wonderful! Dressing for a changing body is a challenge but this can also be a fun time. Because you are shopping often (due to size changes) you have an opportunity to try out new trends and hone in on what you want your personal style to be.

      One way to keep your wardrobe from accumulating too much is to stick to a one in/one out rule. This way, you can continue to remove the pieces you no longer like, or fit into, or simply don’t want to wear anymore and add new things that fit your new body and personal style. Every time you bring something new into your closet, decide on one item that has to go. The nice thing about shopping at thrift stores is that you can overhaul your entire wardrobe, without spending a lot of money. And it’s also environmentally friendly. Thanks for commenting and stopping by! Lisa

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