HAPPY GLORIOUS AUTUMN, MY FRIENDS. For the first time in what seems like 84 years (love you if you get the reference), San Francisco has a chill in its air. And, like the San Francisco weather, the W&S household is starting to get that Autumn feel: candles burning until late at night, cozy movies a near nightly occurrence, and yes — the cat has a catnip-filled pumpkin. Color me toasted brown and russet, I believe Autumn has sprung.
However, if I’m honest, when it comes to my Autumn capsule wardrobe, I’m feeling a little — unprepared? Wondering if I’m boring for having pretty much the same taste and palette, year after year? If you read (thanks!) my Autumn Wardrobe Inspiration post and, subsequently, my Autumn Capsule Wardrobe post last year, you’ll notice that this year’s iteration is hardly any different. A bit bigger now (I think it’s more reflective of a true wardrobe). But really, the same. Because.. I like shades of brown and neutrals *giant shrug*.
This Autumn in particular, I’m feeling torn between styles, which maybe why I feel a little ‘stuck.’ Part of me — the romantic — is drawn to romantic details, whimsical inspiration, and historical references, conjuring images of lace, ruffles, billowing dresses, and vast Autumnal landscapes. The other — the practical — knows she lives in a city, and whimsical dresses just don’t work. Combat boots, straight-leg denim, oversized tops, things that I can throw-on-and-go.
And so, rather than try to pick between these sartorial directions, I said, the hell with it, let’s do both. So yes, this year’s (mostly) sustainable capsule wardrobe bridges that edge between whimsy and sharp, romantic and classic, ‘cottagecore’ meets ‘city-slicker’. But, just like my personality — and like all of ours, I can imagine — your wardrobe doesn’t need to fit neatly into one box. Let’s embrace all the boxes.
What’s your favorite pick from my bunch below? Are there any trends (classic or trendy) that I’ve missed out on? Let me know in the comments!
AUTUMN CAPSULE WARDROBE: INSPIRATION
// You can find all of these and more on my Pinterest //
THE (MOSTLY) SUSTAINABLE AUTUMN CAPSULE WARDROBE
Shop the Post through each section below — with more picks I just couldn’t fit into one capsule wardrobe!
ROW ONE // OUTERWEAR & CARDIGANS
CAMEL COAT // ARITZIA — (Sustainable) Okay, I wouldn’t normally consider Aritzia a sustainable brand. But made with 100% merino wool and of such good quality, this is one of those ‘looks like it cost $1,000 and will last you for years’ kind of coats. I bought a Size Small in ‘Chasm’, which fits oversized but not too oversized. It’s also a beautiful not-quite-camel, not-quite-beige shade that’s so unique. I almost included (and bough) Sezane’s Johnson coat* instead, if you’re looking for something more traditional camel colored.
BLAZER // MANGO* — (Sustainable) Made with recycled polyester, this checked blazer is the perfect patterned-but-neutral jacket for Fall. It also has the best cut, fitting long but not oversized.
SHACKET // ISABEL MARANT* —If you had to make one purchase this Autumn, let it be a shacket. The humble ‘shirt jacket’ (get it?) is the perfect throw-on layer, looks great with jeans and dresses, and while is very 2020, is really just a classic wardrobe staple. This one from Isabel Marant is the perfect plaid. But, if you’re looking for something cheaper (and, sigh, more sustainable), Sezane’s Will jacket* is my second choice.
LIGHT CARDI // H&M* — (Sustainable) It was a toss-up whether to feature the H&M cardigan* (made of 64% recycled materials), the Everlane Texture Cardigan* (100% cotton), or the more expensive — but so well made — Babaa No. 18 cardigan. I chose the H&M due to the price point, the fact that it’s a majority recycled materials, and because it has a more creamy, softer hue (and material). But all three would be ideal options for a capsule wardrobe, particularly when worn over a dark jumpsuit.
BROWN CARDI // ALEX MILL* — It’s not necessarily sustainable, but this 100% cotton cardigan is at least made with natural fibers is the best weight, fit, and cut that will last you for years and years. And what’s more sustainable than keeping, and wearing, a piece as much as possible? Throw on top of the lounge romper* for a charcoal-golden-brown combo that is nothing short of ‘elevated lounging.’
ROW TWO // DRESSES & JEANS
PUFF SLEEVE DRESS // H&M — (Sustainable) Blame the Emily in Paris phenomenon, but I am suddenly drawn to a more mini-style, printed dress, points with puffy sleeves. This one from H&M is made with recycled materials and essentially combines all of Autumn’s trends into one.
VICTORIAN-STYLE DRESS // MILLE — (Sustainable) This, my friends, is my birthday dress (which is coming up sooon). The perfect shade of clay (which is a brown-rust shade), with a nod to period dressing, it’s the perfect Summer-meets-Autumn dress.
SILK SLIPDRESS // CUYANA* — (Sustainable) It may seem strange to include something so slinky and, well, cold in an Autumn capsule wardrobe. But a silk slipdress — particularly as one as well-cut and classic as Cuyana’s* — has versatility all year long. In Autumn, throw a sweatshirt on top and pair with combat boots, or even a cotton cardigan with sneakers.
MID-BLUE STRAIGHT JEANS // TOTEME* — I realize these jeans are expensive, but honestly, have you seen a better-looking pair of mid-blue denim? While Madewell* and AGOLDE* do my favorite jeans overall, if you’re looking for that 100% cotton, perfect straight-leg denim, this is your pair for all seasons.
DARK BLUE SLIM JEANS // MADEWELL* — (Sustainable) See note above: I love Madewell Jeans. Being 5’5″ with a straight body shape, I am not going to lie, this ‘high waist’ denim trend usually means I can’t sit down. But Madewell do a great under 10″ rise (perfect for me) pair of jeans, and if you’re looking for ones that are slimmer (i.e. great for boots), these are the best. Pair with a baggy sweater and combat boots, and you’re Autumn uniform is sorted.
VINTAGE BLACK JEANS // H&M* — I didn’t quite know how to describe this shade — not quite a black, not a grey, but a vintage, worn-in ‘black jean.’ While Toteme do the best looking (sorry, guys), H&M do a fantastic dupe. Also, if you’re looking for a all-around great traditional black jean, Frame do my favorite*.
ROW THREE // TOPS & SWEATERS
NEUTRAL TEES // MOTT & BOW (WHITE)*, & OTHER STORIES (BLACK)*, SEZANE (GREY)* –(Sustainable) These are the tees I turn to time and time again, and I can absolutely say these are the best tees I’ve tried. If you’re curious how the Sezane Conrad tee fits, head to my Sezane Try-On post!
COZY SWEATER // NADAAM* — (Sustainable) Nadaam make some of the best sweaters you can buy, and this one is probably my favorite. The perfect crop (but not too cropped) cut, cozy turtleneck, in the best shade of brown. Wear with light denim for your go-to uniform all Autumn (and Winter) long.
STRIPED SWEATER // ALEX MILL* — I am not one for stripes, but the thin, classic style of this Alex Mill striped sweater is exactly the kind I go for. French chic, but the gathered sleeves and oversized shape are very modern. Trust me, I had to narrow down a lot of sweater options for this capsule wardrobe post (I LOVE SWEATERS). So you know, to make the cut, this has to be good.
RUFFLED BLOUSE // DOEN (OLD, SIMILAR*, SIMILAR IN GOLD) — (Sustainable) The Doen River top (which, sadly, is now wold out) is my quintessential Autumn blouse. It’s the perfect jeans-and-top outfit that makes you feel Autumnal, comfy, and put-together all at once.
PUFF SLEEVE BLOUSE // & OTHER STORIES* — (Sustainable) Really, this could have said ‘romantic white blouse,’ which I’ve literally included on every capsule wardrobe post I’ve done. That’s because I could wear a white puff-sleeved/lacy blouse with jeans every. single. day. It’s just so beautiful, romantic, and stylish. This one from & Other Stories is the perfect Victorian-meets-modern iteration.
ROW FOUR // LOUNGE
SWEATSHIRT // ANINE BING* — I fully admit that this is not a “Capsule Wardrobes are great for classic style” choice. Yes, it’s a giant tiger face. Yes, it’s not necessarily sustainable (but super high quality). But I don’t know why… I love this Anine Bing Sweatshirt. Wear on top of the Cuyana silk slipdress with the combat boots, and oh gosh, the perfect outfit exists.
LOUNGE JOGGERS // LUNYA* — (Sustainable) If you’ve read this blog ever, you know I feature Lunya pretty much in every capsule wardrobe post. That’s because, honestly, Lunya makes some damn good products. Expensive, but the feel is luxurious and elevated. These joggers hover somewhere between ‘comfy at home’ and ‘cool brunch outfit.’
LOUNGE JUMPSUIT // LUNYA* — (Sustainable) Lunya’s restore fabric claims to help restore the body and blood flow. While I don’t know about that, I can vouch that it’s a damn comfortable fabric. This lounge jumpsuit will take you from bed to meeting (blazer on top) to errands (cardigan and white sneakers).
SILK PAJAMAS // REFORMATION* — (Sustainable) It’s Autumn, and if I’m going to be spending 75% of my life cuddled up with my cat on the sofa, I may ask well feel like a sophisticated Parisian woman while doing so. Reformation’s silk pajamas* are the perfect shade of chestnut, and being from Reformation, you know are a sustainably good option.
CASHMERE LOUNGE SET // MADEWELL (PANTS & TOP)* — (Sustainable) Has there ever been a more perfect cashmere lounge set? This one from Madewell is made from recycled cashmere and boasts the most perfect Pumpkin-camel hue that just screams ‘Happy cozy Halloween!’
ROW FIVE // SHOES & ACCESSORIES
GOLD JEWELRY // MEREWIF NECKLACE, SHAPES STUDIO RING* — Like the romantic white blouse mentioned above, I can’t imagine putting together a capsule wardrobe without gold jewelry. Layer on your necklaces with chains, and cover your fingers with rings, is my motto as of late. I’ve included a few extra pieces that I own and love in the shopping strip above.
ACCESSORIES // NISOLO BELT*, NAMJOSH HAIR TIE* — (Belt Sustainable) I realize it’s 2020 and none of us have worn anything constricting around our middle in months, let alone jeans. But, hear me out, because a belt is what takes your jeans-and-top combo from cute to elevated. And the hair tie, while not sustainable, is a cute, affordable option to keep around your wrist to add a little color to an otherwise neutral outfit.
SUEDE BOOTS // MATISSE* — (Sustainable) These boots are quite affordable considering how high quality they are. I’d pair these with the dresses in this wardrobe, the coat, and run out the door in a flash. Most Western-style boots I find too Western looking — almost comical. These balance the ‘classic’ with ‘trend’ look flawlessly. They’re also featured in my Wyoming packing guide.
LEATHER LACE BOOTS // FRYE* — (Sustainable) A more streamlined, feminine take on the heavy-soled lug boots that have been everywhere these past 2 A/Ws. Being 5’5″ and not super slim, that trend just makes me look clunky and messy. These would look great paired with the feminine dresses included in this year’s Autumn capsule iteration.
WHITE SNEAKERS // VEJA* — (Sustainable) — A pair of white Veja sneakers will probably be on every Capsule Wardrobe list I put together. White sneakers just make every outfit look instantly cool, from dresses to jeans. And Veja’s are the most sustainable, comfortable leather sneakers around.
LOAFERS // M.GEMI* — (Sustainable) A snakeskin loafer elevates any otherwise neutral outfit. Plus, these ones are currently on crazy sale.
BLACK CROSSBODY // CUYANA* — (Sustainable) I have this one in the smooth leather, and to be honest, I wish I had the croc. It’s the perfect shoulder-turn-crossbody, making it ideal for travel. Enough so that I featured it on my (would have been) honeymoon packing list.
BROWN TOTE // POLENE — (Sustainable) The bag to end all bags, which conveniently snaps into different shapes (both long and horizontal). It also looks about twice as expensive as it actually is. Tuck your life into this and you’re good to go. If I had a zillion dollars, I’d be snapping up the Loewe hammock bag* as an alternative. It’s, quite literally, the perfect bag. But, le sigh…
*Links indicate affiliate links. This means, if you choose to purchase the product linked here, at no additional cost to you I will make a small commission. Considering this post took me close to 20 hours to put together, it is very, very appreciated. Thank you for supporting sustainable brands, and thank you for supporting this blog!
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