Shopping: Planning a Fall Wardrobe

As I mentioned in my last post on capsule wardrobes, I’m moving away from the concept. Rotating through four seasonal capsules last year definitely helped me get a grip on spending on clothing and helped me avoid impulsive clothing purchases. It also helped me figure out what I like wearing versus what I don’t. But, the process of capsuling takes a lot of time and effort and I’m not interested in investing that time or effort anymore.

One interesting discovery I made doing capsules: I love wearing dresses. I always thought I was a skirt person, but dresses are so easy. It’s one piece. If it fits you well and looks good, all you have to do is put it on and you’re good to go. Of course, the fit part is key.

Another thing I learned from capsuling: I hate quantifying my closet. I really don’t care if I have 37 pieces or 50 pieces, as long as they are pieces that I love and actually wear. That’s mainly why I’m not going to bother with capsules any more. As long as it’s not excessive for you, there’s no reason to obsess about numbers.

Putting Together a Fall Wardrobe

The aspect I did like about having a capsule was taking the time to plan my wardrobe out. For fall, that means taking a peek at what I have and figuring out if there are any gaps. For example, I don’t currently have a basic navy or black pencil skirt. I have a colorblocked number from Boden, but it’s not that versatile. I’d like something that I can wear pretty much all the time.

Because I love the fabric the Miyani dress from Theory is made out of, and have a blazer in a matching fabric, their pencil skirt is at the top of my list for fall pieces. It’s also made in the US, which is another plus. I actually went to Nordstrom a few weekends ago to try on, but they didn’t have it in stock. That’s OK, though, because my plan is to wait for it to go on sale during a Friends and Family event or similar, rather than pay full price.

Other Fall Wardrobe Pieces

To round out my fall wardrobe, I’d like a casual, light jacket. The jacket I’ve been wearing since 2012 recently ripped and I’m a little over its style (it was a moto style jacket in a French terry fabric. Kinda edgy, but also kinda suburban).

I am usually drawn to coats with some sort of military detailing. For example, I can’t afford it, but I love this jacket from Burberry:


This coat from Banana Republic is a pretty decent and affordable substitute:

Along with a fall jacket, I’m hoping to add a few every day dresses to my wardrobe. I’ve recently become a bit enamored of the selection from Brooks Brothers. I know they’re usually so preppy, but they recently hired Zac Posen as their creative director, and I have to say I really like some of their pieces. A brown and black houndstooth print wool dress is standing out to me particularly. They also have some jackets that look fantastic.

I’m also looking at the Hattie dress, from Boden. It seems to be a simple, stretchy dress with a flared skirt. Perfect for everyday work wear. I’m unsure whether I want to venture into pants this fall, but if I do, the Foster pant from MM LaFleur seems perfect. Everlane is also introducing a ponte pant, which might be worth checking out.

Fall Wardrobe Budget

I’d like to budget around $600, at the most, for this fall’s wardrobe. But the sticker price of all the items I’d like to get for fall is more than $1,000. Yikes. That’s what happens when you start looking at quality over quantity — the price jumps. For that, I could afford to get that Burberry coat (but then, that would be all I could get…).

Of course, we live in the era of never ending sales, or so it seems. For example, I’ve already ordered the jacket for Banana Republic for 40 percent off, and it’s not even the end of August yet.

Still, I’ll obviously¬† have to make some cuts and decisions about what to get and what not to get. That’s another reason why I’m moving away from a capsule concept.

With the capsule, you stock your wardrobe at the start of the season, which I think can lead to making not the best purchases. Instead, I plan on making sure I actually have a need for an item (like a casual coat, which I will definitely need when the weather gets cooler) before purchasing it. Will I actually¬† have a need for a new pencil skirt? We’ll see. It might be that I can find one that’s less expensive than Theory, but equally as good.