I was so inspired by Kristin’s recent decluttering series, I plan to write some posts about how I’ve applied the principles to my own life over the past 2 months. It’s truly been life-changing!

One of the first areas I tackled was my closet. I try to do a big purge every two years or so, but I needed to do my biggest purge yet because:

  • I buy very few clothes for myself now that I also have to buy clothes for the kids, so most of the clothes in my closet are 4+ years old. I even had a couple of items from high school yikes!
  • My body has changed after 2 kids. Even though I weigh about the same, a lot of my clothes just don’t fit the way they used to.
  • Most of my clothes fit a lifestyle that I don’t have anymore post-kids. When I worked in the wedding industry, I went to a lot of events that required dressing up. These days my uniform is 100% casual, 99% of the time.

I ended up donating more than 70% of my wardrobe to the Salvation Army, and I’m still not done purging!

During the process, I realized that I wanted a capsule wardrobe — a collection of a few essential items of clothing that won’t go out of style, and can be updated with seasonally appropriate pieces. Most of the items in my closet like cocktail dresses were not versatile and only had one use.  Like Kristin, I wanted to have some outfits that I loved and could wear over and over again, rather than a large wardrobe where most of the pieces didn’t get worn regularly.

So I turned our resident fashion guru Brandy for some help in revamping my wardrobe. She pulled together 18 fall wardrobe essentials, and shared how they can be styled into different outfits below!


This is a list of 18 essential items to be used as a wardrobe base – they are not budget priced, since they should be bought to last more then one season. You can easily mix and match these items with trendier items bought each season, or ones living in your closet already.

1-3) White teeGrey teeBlack tee – A great fitting white, black and heather grey tee are all wardrobe musts. They literally go with everything.

  • pair with the high waisted black skinnies, skinny jeans or boyfriend jeans – layer under the cardigan, chambray or plaid shirts.
  • pair with the pencil skirt and wear the booties, sneakers or flats on your feet – automatic effortless cool.

4) Dress – a dress you feel comfortable in and can be worn for all occasions.

  • Wear it on its own, with the booties, sneakers or flats.
  • Layer it over the chambray, plaid shirt, or striped shirt.
  • Wear the sweatshirt or sweater over top

5) Striped shirt – The base of all wardrobes should be a great striped shirt. This one is on the longer side so it can be worn in multiple ways.

  • tuck into the high waisted black skinnies and wear with booties, sneakers or flats.
  • wear under the dress with booties
  • wear with the skinny jeans, cardigan and pair with booties or sneakers
  • matched with the pencil skirt, tucked in with the chambray shirt open over top – booties or flats.
  • messily tuck into the boyfriend jeans, and wear the plaid shirt open over top – booties or sneakers for the feet

6) Plaid Shirt – a classic plaid shirt is a must. Nothing too trendy though, as you want it to be seasonless.

  • Buttoned up and worn under the dress, pair with sneakers or booties.
  • Casually buttoned up and worn with the skinny or boyfriend jeans, booties, sneakers or flats for your feet.
  • Worn under the sweatshirt with the pencil skirt or jeans.
  • Button up and tucked into the high waisted skinnies (grab a belt from your closet for a polished look)

7) Chambray shirt – This item went from trendy to classic in a few seasons. A good chambray shirt goes a long way in your wardrobe.

  • Buttoned up and worn under the dress, pair with any of the footwear.
  • Buttoned up and worn tucked in or casually buttoned and untucked with the pencil skirt, pair with any of the footwear options.
  • Buttoned up and tucked into the high waisted skinnies, pair with any of the footwear options.
  • Layer underneath the sweatshirt and pair with the pencil skirt or high waisted skinnies.
  • Try pairing it with the skinnies or boyfriend jeans for Canadian tuxedo look.

8) Jacket – a great classic jacket that works with everything, and can carry through to the spring (minus a few layers).

  • Wear over top any of the outfits and add to the pulled together look.

9) Basic Sweatshirt – a classic style that adds a layer of warmth and comfort, but still keeps you looking pulled together.

  • Great paired with the skinny jeans, high waisted black skinnies, or the boyfriend jeans. Dress up oor down, with any of the footwear options.
  • Layer over the dress, maybe with the plaid or chambray shirt underneath. Booties or flats for this one.
  • Wear with the pencil skirt, alone or layered over the plaid or chambray shirt. Try the sneakers, booties and the flats.

10) Cardigan – a classic versatile cardigan, in a neutral colorway – this layers great with everything in your closet.

  • wear over a top with any of the jeans or the pencil skirt.

11) Sweater – a statement making sweater that is still classic and versatile.

  • Wear with any of the jeans.
  • Pair with the pencil skirt
  • Try wearing over the dress
  • If your chambray or plaid shirt is long enough, layer the sweater over top and get a layered look with any of the jeans or the skirt.

12) Booties – a basic pair of black booties will go with every one of your outfits and stay in style for a couple years.

13) Sneakers – a classic white pair of sneakers is a closet must. They automatically make an outfit casual and keep your feet comfortable.

14) Flats  -A touch of leopard is always a good idea; it’s a neutral that’s not a neutral. Choose a pair of flats that can be worn on a dressier day or a casual day (print or no print).

15) Pencil Skirt – a classic and will work no matter how casual or business your style is. Something with a comfortable waist band or made in stretchy fabric will be your friend.

  • all of the tops will work, layered or not.
  • any of the footwear options would be a great pair.

16) High Waisted Black Skinnies – or dark denim high waisted skinnies. It’s always nice to have a high waisted option and the darker color never goes out of style.

  • all of the tops will work, layered or not.
  • any of the footwear options would be a great pair.

17) Skinny Jeans – a classic blue jean in a flattering fit.

  • all of the tops will work, layered or not.
  • any of the footwear options would be a great pair.

18) Boyfriend Jeans – the right fit is key, not too baggy and still a bit fitted.

  • all of the tops will work, layered or not.
  • any of the footwear options would be a great pair.

.  .  .  .  .

Thanks Brandy!

Do you have a capsule wardrobe that you can easily mix and match? Or is your wardrobe in need of some serious purging like mine was?