How to Create a Fall Capsule Wardrobe (That’s Frugal)

Fall outfits are always something to look forward to as the season nears. From fuzzy sweaters to jean jackets, it’s the perfect time to create a fall capsule wardrobe. With as little as 12 staple pieces, you can create 29 outfits to feel confident and comfortable all season long.

Anyone can put together a simple fall capsule wardrobe in 2023. No matter your size or style. It’s the perfect way to dress for the cooler weather without breaking the bank. Capsule wardrobes make getting ready each day simple, reducing the obsessive thought, “I never have anything to wear.”

bed full of clothing
Source: Plum Branch Home

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I love cozy sweaters, stripped long tees, jean jackets, and neutral staples. So that’s what I chose out of my closet for this years fall capsule wardrobe. These 12 items will be mixed and matched to create cozy, put together outfits all season long.

If you don’t have a large wardrobe, you’re not alone. I have a very minimal selection of clothes in the closet. That’s from a mix of traveling full-time in the previous years as well as saving money. This just shows you don’t need a large closet or a shopping trip to create your capsule wardrobe.

What Exactly is a Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule wardrobes are a small collection of essentials that never go out of style. The idea dates back to a boutique in London during the 1970s. The owner, Susie Faux, wanted to help women create a minimalist collection of clothes they absolutely loved. Her goal was to help women feel confident.

Today, capsule wardrobes are popular all over the world. My favorite part about them is the simplicity they bring. You just know the clothes you’ll be wearing, no matter the day, will make you feel and look good!

Benefits of a Fall Capsule Wardrobe

  • less decision fatigue
  • more confidence
  • less stress
  • save money
  • more time
  • more sustainable

Why You Need a Capsule Wardrobe this Fall

By creating a capsule wardrobe this fall, you won’t go a day wondering what to wear. That means knowing exactly what to wear on a date with your hubby, to go apple picking, or work from home.

You don’t need to go shopping to do this. You can look through your current wardrobe and choose staple items you love.

Each woman’s fall capsule wardrobe will vary. Some women like vibrant colors other like more skirts. It’s all up to your personal style!

Frugal Fall Capsule Wardrobe Tips

  • always stick with pieces you love (not a style you hate)
  • shop your closet first
  • if you don’t have extra money in your budget stick to what you have (that’s what I did)
  • shop sales and use cash back apps like Rakutan.
  • trade with a friend (maybe she has an item she doesn’t like and vice versa)
  • shop local thrift stores for new pieces

Speaking of thrift shops, my favorite is ThredUp. You can find gently used name brand staples for a fraction of the cost. Use my referral link for 45% off your first purchase + free shipping.

How Many Pieces in a Fall Capsule Wardrobe

In this particular capsule wardrobe checklist I’m sharing 12 pieces that create 29 outfits. You can decide to add more: I’ve shared additional ideas at the bottom of the post.

Remember you can choose any colors or style for your wardrobe. This outline helps guide you but doesn’t need to be exact.

How To Build a Fall Capsule Wardrobe

Choose 4 Pairs of Pants/Bottoms

1. Jeans

Choose any style of jeans, straight leg, boot cut, even flare jeans. Just be sure to pick a style that goes with multiple outfits for different occasions.

My favorite are skinny jeans from a boutique back in my home town. Shop ThredUp for gently used American Eagle, Hollister, and other name brands for less.

2. Black Leggings

Every woman needs a pair of black leggings. You can dress them up with a nice shirt and cardigan or dress down for a cozy day working from home. My favorite pair are from Target, I got them a few years ago and still love how they fit.

3. Mid-Length Skirt

A mid-length skirt is my favorite fall capsule wardrobe addition. You can mix match with different tops and it’s modest enough to wear on a date or to church.

I made my floral skirt by repurposing a piece of clothing in my closet I didn’t wear. A little work with a sewing machine can save so much money!

4. Lounge Pants

To complete your fall capsule wardrobe pants section, a pair of lounge pants is a necessity. These can be linen, cotton, or any fabric you love. My go-to from JCPenney. They feel like yoga pants and look great with a sweater or long sleeve t-shirt when working from home.

Choose 5 Tops

5. Black Tank Top

Choose any black tank top that you love.

6. White Tank Top

Any white tank top will work well. My favorite is from Target, it was $3-$4 and isn’t see-through. P.S. Wear a nude or white bra to help disguise it.

7. Neutral T-shirt

Choose any neutral t-shirt. I like a light tan or light mauve so it’ll go with almost everything.

8. Long Sleeve T-shirt

Choose any long sleeve shirt you love. My go-to is a stripped long sleeve from Old Navy.

9. Sweater

For a fall capsule wardrobe at least 1 sweater is a must! My go-to is a light weight burnt orange sweater.

Choose 3 Cardigans/Jackets

10. Light Cardigan or Kimono

A light cardigan or kimono is perfect for chilly fall days. My favorites are from Carly Jean Los Angeles. I’ve got a grey and light olive one. They’re so comfortable and made well!

11. Light Cardigan or Kimono (in different color)

Choose another color of the first cardigan or a different style. This will give you variety.

12. Jean Jacket

My go-to jean jacket is from Target. It’s a size larger than I normally wear which works great for rolling sleeves.

How to Create Outfits with These 12 Items

These 12 items can create 29 different outfits. They may look similar but they’re each unique. Base your outfits off of the pairs of pants. This makes creating different outfits simple.

You can change the cardigan and keep the shirt and pants. Or change the pants and keep the shirt and cardigan. To make each outfit feel more unique add different shoes, accessories, or change up your hair style.


Black Leggings

Mid-Length Skirt

Lounge Pants

Additional Fall Capsule Wardrobe Items

  • Coat
  • rain jacket
  • Sneakers
  • pair of nice shoes
  • necklace
  • pair of earrings

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