An Autumn capsule wardrobe

There is something hearty about Autumn. It makes me feel nostalgic. As the nights draw in, I want to snuggle up and surround myself with comforting things.

The changing colour of the leaves hypnotising us as they sway from side to side on their journey to the ground. The saying goes if you catch one it’s good luck.

The rustle under foot makes a real noticeable change in the season. It’s like when we move from the winter to spring, there seems to be real change, it’s obvious and we adapt.

Rich, warm colours such as rusty orange, earthy brown and moss green are merged with the temperature and mood change.

Soon to be hibernating humans, we venture out for a few hours to explore on a bright day, before we head home to hunker down and cosy up with some wholesome food and a cracklin’ log fire.

There’s a need for genuine and meaningful dressing. An urge to feel supported and satisfied by our outfit choices. Simple, considered and practical pieces that offer reassurance, comfort and contentment for the upcoming months.

The weather has an effect on the way we dress. Don’t we all say, what’s the weather like today? I certainly consider it when I am dressing.

Autumn dressing is a step from summer into winter. I see it as a chance for us to reset our outfit choices and move into the latter months of the year with ease. First come the longer sleeve items, then the knits, and then the coats.

We spend more time inside, as this is where we feel safe from the elements. I believe we want familiarity with what we wear. There are more moving parts to consider and this can make dressing a little bit harder.

Layering up and keeping warm can make us feel bigger. Maintaining our feeling of femininity in the winter months can be more difficult, so we need to be clever with how we do this. I am often asked about knitwear, an item that can challenge a lot of people.

There are many shapes to choose from. You need to try and see what you look and feel better in. You can go with a fine or chunky gauge. Choose the gauge and yarn that works best for you.

To approach your Autumn capsule wardrobe with confidence and style, you want adaptable pieces that you understand and that understand you. If you start here your wardrobe will offer you:

  • A Timeless appeal

  • Versatility

  • Movement and freedom, layering up for warmth can get restrictive

  • Quality investment items that will withstand the test of time

  • Clothes that you will feel optimistic in

I think that the Autumn Winter months seem to last longer. I feel I need more of an outfit plan, and having had a handful of months wearing my summer capsule wardrobe pieces I want to step into Autumn feeling reassured that I have a wardrobe that supports me.

As a personal fashion stylist, most of the women I work with find it harder to transition to Autumn than they do to Spring. We do need specific seasonal pieces but we can make some of our wardrobe pieces work all year round.

It is possible to wear one of your favourite summer dresses in Autumn. You can learn to add mid-layers, a cardigan or a blazer over your dress, or a long sleeve t-shirt or shirt underneath it.

Here are my suggested key Autumn items for you to consider. They will bring you pleasure and boost your mood each time you wear them.

  • A Trench - leave a little room for a knit or sweatshirt underneath so you can layer on the colder Autumn days. You can keep this traditional or choose one that has a ‘twist’ and will always work for you and your style. You can find some great vintage ones.

  • An oversized lounge cardigan, they offer space, warmth and comfort. It’s an easy piece you are able to reach for and rely on, indoors or outdoors. Add a belt for interest.

  • A good knit - V neck or round neck that you can wear on its own, over a shirt or a t-shirt - neutrals work well with everything.

  • The roll-neck is a perennial piece. Find one that works for you. It could be fitted or boxy, jersey or knit there is a roll-neck to suit everyone. The neck can be much looser and made into a real feature.

  • Jumper dress, such a good go to piece, add your knee boots and trench

  • An ‘I can go anywhere in this’ dress. It might be a floral, a check, or a plain colour.

  • A pleated skirt

  • A blazer, plain, pinstripe or checked. Something that you can layer over a dress, trousers or jeans.

  • An easy sweatshirt

  • A couple of t-shirts to wear under your knit or sweatshirt

  • A good pair of jeans, find your fit and your wash

  • A smart shirt worn easy

  • A smarter trouser that you can wear with a shirt, a roll neck or a prettier floral blouse.

  • A good piece of leather. Your choice, what works for you? A dress, a skirt, a jacket. A piece that doesn’t date.

  • An everyday boot. A chunky ankle boot that you can dress up with a floral dress. A knee boot that adds a smarter element. Don’t be afraid to wear them again and again. I have a heeled Prada ankle boot I bought over 10 years ago and I wore them every day for months. They went with everything.

  • A lightweight puffer for when you pop out for coffee or walking the dog

  • A smarter single-breasted coat. An easy navy or camel colour will be there for you to smarten up your casual outfit. This is my can’t-live-without capsule wardrobe piece for Autumn and Winter. My coat is my companion.

I think Autumn dressing has a back-to-nature feeling about it, a real sense of authenticity. Perhaps it’s the warm colours and luxurious fabrics we surround ourselves with.

Enjoy stepping into Autumn your way and feel good doing it!

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Sutton Valence, Kent

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