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September 27, 2017 11 Comments


September 27, 2017 11 Comments

I AM SO EXCITED FOR FALL. It is after all my favorite season! Gimme all that sweater weather. But transition seasons are so unbelievably challenging. They are always the toughest on my capsule wardrobes because of the changing temperatures. So far it looks like my fall capsule is really going to be put to the test!

I think I went a little bit overboard with how many items I’m including. The total came to 42 and I have one or two pieces on the way. Normally I like to stick below 40 pieces in a capsule. I tried to trim down but this will be my first fall in Portland and I’m not exactly sure what to expect. Obviously a good amount of drizzly rain and cooler temps but the temperatures are still varying and I want to be as prepared as I can be!

This post is a little bit of a doozy but has some great info if I do say so myself! Today I’m sharing a little guide on how I built my fall capsule (this includes tips for those that have never built a capsule before & tips for those of you who are capsule pros!), the pieces I’m including, some of my wish list items and Pinterest outfit inspiration! Now lets jump in!

I’ve separated these tips into two different categories. One is for those of you who have been living with capsules and the other is for those of you who are just getting started! I’m working on some more formal workbooks in the future but wanted to give you an idea of how I create my capsules in the first place!

New to Capsules

If you’re new to capsules, WELCOME! Whatever your reason is for trying out a capsule wardrobe, I hope you’re super excited and I’m super excited for you! Fall is a great time to try out a capsule wardrobe because you can play around with layering items and get super creative! Here are some steps I would take to create your first capsule.

1. Audit your current fall wardrobe.
Pick out the pieces that you 100% love. The ones that you know get a ton of wear year after year.

2. Come up with a general number for your capsule.
I’ve found that having a certain number of pieces in mind helped me when I was starting out. I didn’t want super strict rules but I did want guidelines. Otherwise, my closet would have been just as big as it was before. I normally start with a number from 35-40. If it goes a little over that’s ok but come up with a number to start. Here’s a little guide you can look at if you’re struggling with numbers:
37 Pieces
– 8 tops
– 8 sweaters
– 7 bottoms
– 3 dresses
– 5 coats/jackets
– 6 pairs of shoes

3. See where you have holes.
Group your favorite items into categories (tops, bottoms, dresses, coats/jackets, shoes) You may be realizing that you have come away with a million tops and no bottoms or you have only one coat that you actually like but it’s not waterproof for rainy days. That’s ok! Take note of those holes because those will be the pieces that you want to invest in.

4. Make a wishlist.
Make a wishlist of those items that you really need. Maybe you need a nice black pair of dress pants or would like a high waist pair of jeans. Write all of your “hole items” on a list and make sure to write a detailed description of exactly what you’re looking for. For example, lets say I have no black pants in my wardrobe and I’ve decided I want a black pair of jeans. I would write:

black denim: high waist, skinny leg, no distressing (rips/tears/etc.), black coloring won’t fade, ethically made (price range: <$150)

Get super specific. This will help you wait for the perfect piece and not cave on a purchase just because you want it right away. I also like to add a price range to my wishlist or the price of the item I know I want. This will help me when I’m ready to do a little shopping.

5. Prioritize your wishlist.
I always prioritize my wishlist and honestly the priority constantly changes and sometimes things even fall off! If you prioritize your wishlist based on things you truly need immediately and ones that can wait it will help you focus your shopping even more. If you see a really awesome sale just go back and remember your prioritized wishlist and say to yourself “is that item really worth sacrificing a piece I need.”

6. Set a budget.
Don’t go on a spending spree. It is going to be so tempting, trust me. I even fell into a little spending spree when I first tried capsules. But if you wait and invest in pieces that you really really love to fill those holes you will start to build a wardrobe that will last you for years and years.

7. Ask me questions!
I’m happy to answer any questions you have or if you’re struggling or getting frustrated by your closet I’m happy to lend a listening ear!

Currently Living with Capsules

1. What worked last time.
After each of my seasonal capsules I like to make a list of the pieces I really really loved. This helps me if I feel like there is something I need later down the rode or can help inform different pieces for another season. For example, I really like wide leg pants (I know, shocker). But once I realized this I was able to start adding those types of pants in my other wardrobe collections when it made sense!

2. What didn’t work last time.
I’m on my 8th capsule and I still make poor decisions every now and then and that’s ok! Sometimes an item doesn’t work or it’s really no longer your style. An example of this for me are flannel shirts. I still really love them but I’m not sure how to mix them into my current minimal, clean style. This is something I don’t want to give up on but right now it’s not necessarily a good fit. However, that won’t stop me from borrowing one of my husband’s shirts to experiment with 🙂

3. Pick your pieces.
After multiple capsules I no longer fixate on a number but focus on the pieces I know I loved from my previous capsules and go from there. I may find gaps but that is what my wishlist is for 🙂

3. Evaluate your wishlist.
If you have an on going wishlist see if there is anything that is appropriate on there for investing in this season. For me I’ve had cognac ankle boots on my wishlist for several years now. I had a pair that I purchased years and years ago but felt like they were a little too western looking for my style. They were perfectly fine boots so I kept them but now I feel like I need to invest in a pair that will really work for me and sell the old pair. It takes time to build your ideal wardrobe and you’ll forever probably need to make small tweaks here and there but constantly referencing your wishlist will help you make more mindful decisions.

4. Set your budget.
Always make sure to set and reference your budget if you are going to go on a little shopping trip!

5. Ask me questions/share your capsule!
Whether you’ve been doing this for a long time or are just starting out, I’ve loved collaborating and learning about different peoples’ experiences with capsule wardrobes so please feel free to share!

Now here are my items that I’m including in my fall capsule!

| LINN CROP TOP | elizabeth suzann / made in Nashville, TN / size: OS / similar ethical version under $15

| WOOL GEORGIA TEE | elizabeth suzann from sample sale / made in Nashville, TN / size: OS / similar ethical version with very cool cutout design / similar ethical version in black

| COURIER SHIRT | madewell / size: small / similar ethical version / similar under $35

| BLANK CANVAS CROP TOP | jamie + the jones / made in Nashville, TN / size: small

| CROP PRINT | north of west / made in Portland, OR / size: small

| OVERSIZED MOCK NECK | johan / vintage / similar under $55

| SILK BLOUSE | zara / 5 yr old / similar ethical version / similar ethical versionsimilar under $45 /

| LINEN GEORGIA TEE | elizabeth suzann / made in Portland, OR / size: OS

| HIGH-LOW CARDIGAN | madewell / 5 yr old / similar ethical version / similar under $70

| CROP CARDIGAN | everlane / made in Dongguan, China / size: small

| HEAVY WEIGHT T SWEATER | jamie + the jones / made in Nashville, TN / size: small

| OVERSIZED SWEATER | c/o vetta / made in NYC / size: small

| MOCKNECK BOXY PULLOVER SWEATER | madewell / gift from family / size: small

| PULLOVER SWEATER | zara / 4 yr old / size: large / similar ethical version (get $20 off at garmentory) / similar under $30

| HIGH-LOW PULLOVER SWEATER | madewell / 3 yr old / size: small / similar under $70

| PLEAT-SLEEVE PULLOVER SWEATER | madewell / gift from family / size: small

| SILK MIDI SKIRT | elizabeth suzann SS16 collection / made in Nashville, TN / size: small / similar in cotton poplin

| HIGH RISE SKINNY JEANS | madewell / purchased secondhand / size: 27 / similar ethical version

| CROPPED WIDE LEG JEANS | madewell / 1 yr old / size: 27 / similar ethical version

| LINEN TROUSERS | elizabeth suzann / made in Nashville, TN / size: small regular

| LINEN JUMPSUIT | elizabeth suzann / made in Nashville, TN / size: small

| BOX TROUSERS | the general public / purchased via johan / size: small/medium

| PLEATED TROUSERS | aritzia / 4 yr old / size: small / similar ethical version / similar ethical version / similar under $60

| MOM JEANS | eddie bauer / vintage via johan / size: 8P / similar vintage version

| PLAID TROUSERS | topshop / purchased secondhand / size: 6 / similar version under $70

| WOOL DUSTER | elizabeth suzann sample sale / made in Nashville, TN / size: OS- / similar ethical version

| FUZZY PEACOAT | madewell / 3 yr old / size: 4

| DUSTER | open air museum / made in Portland, OR / size: OS / similar with buttons

| RAIN COAT | everlane / made in  Bac Giang, Vietnam / size: small

| DENIM JACKET | madewell / gift from family / size: small / similar ethical version

| HOUNDSTOOTH BLAZER | etsy / vintage / size: 6 / similar vintage version

| LIGHTWEIGHT JACKET | aritiza / 4 yr old / size: xs

| BLACK BLAZER | aritzia / 4 yr old / size: small / similar ethical version / similar under

| TRENCH COAT | c/o everlane / made in Suzhou, China / size: small

| BLOCK HEELS | c/o everlane / made in / size: 7

| COGNAC ANKLE BOOTS | rachel comey / purchased secondhand / size: 7

| LOAFERS | everlane / purchased secondhand / size: 7.5

| OXFORDS | madewell / 2 yr old / size: 7 / similar ethical version / similar ethical version

| WHITE SNEAKERS | veja / made in france / size: 38

| BROWN CHELSEA BOOTS | madewell / 1 yr old / size: 7 / similar ethical version (get $20 off at garmentory)

| BRIXTON BOOTS | everlane / made in / size: 7.5 / similar ethical version

| BLACK ANKLE BOOTS | madewell / 2 yr old / size: 7 / similar ethical version

Fall Wishlist

 Photos (starting left to right):  lacausa ,  net-a-porter ,  Photos (starting left to right): lacausa ,  net-a-porter ,

I’m sticking to my high waist theme and looking for trousers that have a high waist and either a wide crop leg or tapered look. I really like how they can dress up a casual outfit. I’ll be focusing on more neutral colors but I’m also really loving  plaid & houndstooth styles to add a little more dimension and texture. I’m mostly looking for vintage pieces but I’m obviously scooping out the ethically made options as well 🙂

 Photos (starting top left):  Reformation ,  Fashion Medley ,  Reformation  Photos (starting top left):  Reformation ,  Fashion Medley , Reformation

As part of my femine/masculine mix I’m looking to add a few long blazers to my collection. Instead of sticking with a traditional solid color I’m really looking for a minimal houndstooth or plaid version (same as the trousers!) I plan on styling this with some of my skinny jeans or black slim leg trousers, a white tee and either ankle boots or kitten heels.

 shoes:  loq , necklace:  maslow , handbag:  crescioni  shoes: loq , necklace: maslow , handbag: crescioni

From handbags to necklaces and shoes. This fall I’m craving white accents. Fall colors can be so rich and while my capsule is rich & neutral I think white accessories would be a lovely pop.

Fall Outfit Inspiration

This season I’m craving a minimal effortless style that looks just put together but adding a structured coat or pant. Think lots of oversized sweaters with trousers, turtlenecks and high waist jeans with blazers and wide leg pants with long trench coats.

 Photo:  Death by Elocution  Photo: Death by Elocution

 Photo:  Pinterest  Photo:  Pinterest

 Photo:  Alice Catherine  Photo: Alice Catherine

 Photo:  Design Love Fest  Photo: Design Love Fest

 Photo:  Pinterest  Photo: Pinterest

 Photo:  Pinterest  Photo: Pinterest

 Photo:  Pinterest  Photo: Pinterest

Thank you for stopping by and if you’re creating a capsule please let me know!



  • Lauren H September 28, 2017 at 3:21 am

    I was so stuck on flannels until this season too! I realized that plaids weren’t a pattern I liked, and I wanted to stick to neutrals!
    I thrifted a neutral wheat colored patternless flannel from Madewell! They brought the flannel back with side buttons this season in the same color. 🙂 Just a thoughtful way I filled that same gap that I figured I’d share!

    • Allison Karaba October 3, 2017 at 3:57 am

      Hi Lauren,
      So happy hear I’m not alone in my flannel struggles! I love the idea of a neutral plaid and that Madewell one is gorgeous! I may keep my eyes open on my thrifting sites for a similar plaid/flannel 😉
      xo Allison

  • Krystal September 28, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    I love your Fall inspiration – the colors are beautiful!
    I’ve never "capsuled" really because a) I don’t really have enough clothes to do that since I’m still building a good ‘core’ wardrobe and b) my workwear and me-wear are so vastly different. I have, however, been contemplating creating a seasonal "travel capsule" of easy to mix and match pieces to select from when we head out of town.

    • Allison Karaba October 3, 2017 at 3:55 am

      Hi Krystal,
      Thank you so much! I hear you on the work vs every day wear. Maybe once your core wardrobe is done you could try out a workwear capsule? Or see if there are any items you can work into your every day or vice versa? If nothing else it would be a fun little dress up exercise! I normally like to play a little mix and match with my wardrobe with a little glass of wine and some good tunes on 🙂
      I love the idea of a travel capsule! That would make packing so much easier and one less thing to think/worry about!
      xo Allison

  • Andrea Hartman September 29, 2017 at 5:47 am

    This is so, so good! I love your inspiration especially. I’m excited to see how you put them together in the Portland fall. I bet those Brixton boots will come in super handy!

    • Allison Karaba October 3, 2017 at 3:50 am

      Thank you Andrea! Yeah I’m a little nervous for my fall capsule since I’m not used to Portland weather and it seems to fluctuate so much through out the day! Those Brixton boots will definitely help me get through the rainy days though 🙂
      xo Allison

  • Amber Baur October 3, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Can you let me know where that black bag is from on the last photo? I love it!

    • Allison Karaba October 3, 2017 at 3:48 am

      Hi Amber!Sadly I found it at a vintage shop in Portland! It is a coach bag and usually you can find a bunch of vintage coach bags at fairly reasonable prices on Etsy. Thank you for stopping by!
      xo Allison

  • Lo October 3, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Obsessed with your capsule! All your earth tones are so beautiful, and I can’t wait to see how you style these pieces. And I have to second your advice for people who’ve been living with capsules to look to what worked and didn’t work last time. I make myself jot down some notes at the end of every capsule, so I can go back and learn from it!

  • TaniaS February 21, 2018 at 7:21 am

    Just going into Autumn now and your post is really helpful. I’ve been using a capsule wardrobe model for nearly two years and love it! I really need to make notes about what does and doesn’t work for me, great idea. I would love to hear about how you get a colour scheme or add a new colour to your capsule. Cheers

    • Allison Karaba March 1, 2018 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Tania,
      I’m so glad you found my post helpful and WOW! capsuling for two years that’s awesome! 🙂
      I’ve found color to be such a tricky thing to incorporate in my capsules. For me I tend to crave a different color each season and each year. Last year I loved blush for spring but this year I don’t feel like the color blends in well with my current closet and I just don’t want to wear it! I’ve been thinking about ways to be able to rotate a couple color pieces into my wardrobe whether that’s selling the color pieces I don’t like anymore and using that money to invest in a couple new color pieces or focusing on other aspects to bring color into my wardrobe such as accessories, lipstick or nail polish. It’s definitely still a work in progress for me but hopefully this gives you some ideas on how to work color into your own wardrobe 🙂

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