Thoughts on using a Warm Fall capsule

In August my goal was to form a closet with capsules for our weeks of weather in early fall when it is still hot. 

  The goals were:

1:  To appeal to my need to wear fall colors but in outfits that could still be cool to wear on hot days.

2:  To try to keep from getting bored with my summer wardrobe.

3:  To attempt to not shop for or buy more hot weather clothing so late in the season.

I was successful in these goals.

1:  I pulled out autumn accessories and used my small amount of warm weather weight items in fall colors with neutrals

2:  This worked.  I had planned to do this from the beginning of summer so held back on wearing much brown, orange, and even red during the summer, so was happy to see something "new".

3.  I avoided end of summer sales and buying refreshers, telling myself to wait until next spring.  Experience has shown that my needs and tastes can change.

I would do this again although keep more other colors out.  I did get a little bored with this warm fall capsule and long for the weather to cool down.

Now we come to the hardest part of the year, along with the transition between cool spring and hot summer.  The closet gets packed because there are still hot days but more cool ones calling for long sleeves, long pants/jeans and even light jackets.  It's hard to pack anything away without having to pull it out.  I want to transition into a cooler fall closet but usually that isn't practical until November.  What do you who live in 4 seasons do?

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Stephanie replied 7 years ago

    I missed your original capsule forum post but just wanted to chime in and say this is an excellent idea! I live in Florida and have been itching to wear fall clothes, but the weather is still too hot. I think I'm going to keep this idea in mind for transitional weather and copycat for next year.

  • Word Lily replied 7 years ago

    I agree, it gets crowded when you need hot-weather clothes sometimes and full-on fall clothes the next. And that's even with everything ostensibly out year round.

    I'm glad it at least kind of worked! And you have ideas of how you'll do it better next time, so that's a win.

  • TraceyLiz65 replied 7 years ago

    This is something I definitely connect with as we don't get cooler until late October and I am very over summer clothes. I am wearing more pants and flats or pumps instead of sandals.    I only pack away my sweaters and boots with the remainder of my Fall/Winter remaining in my closet .  I bought these to put off season tops and jackets on to conserve space , but still allow them to be available when this change of season begins.

    This change from summer to Fall remains the most difficult and quite frankly makes me moody... 
    I am not as organized as you are into capsules but love the idea of that. 

  • milehighstyle (Linda) replied 7 years ago

    Yes, this exactly.  What to wear in the wishy-washy months of late spring and early fall.  I have not changed my closet out entirely from warm to cold weather clothing yet.  I don't need heavy sweaters and wools in October either.  I'm feeling it's not time for tights yet, but I get bored if I wear pants every single day and I'm feeling a bit too exposed with completely bare legs. What I'm wearing is 3/4 sleeve and long sleeved dresses with tall boots, no tights; ponte pants with booties, light weight long sleeved blouses/tops with vest or blazer; cropped pants with higher shaft booties and button front cotton shirt.  I may try a midi skirt with booties, exposing only a bit of calf skin.  There are days when I go out at lunchtime and I'm dressed too warm.  It's challenging for sure. 

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    TraceyLiz, those are a good idea.  I probably should just get rid of more.  My closet is small and not a walk-in.

  • Suz replied 7 years ago

    Joy, congratulations! It sounds as if this was a very successful experiment for you in all ways.

    As far as the closet switch out is concerned, I go in stages, paying attention to the weather. Our temps are still quite warm here for the most part -- it is around 16 today -- and humid, so it feels warmer. But we've also had a few days below 10, and the warmer days are definitely on their way out. 

    So... I've just put away almost all my sleeveless tops and most of the tees. I have left one heavier weight tee and a few linen 3/4 sleeve ones -- those will in turn get packed away when the weather truly changes. I have put away the shorts, but keep cotton and cotton blend sweaters (which will go away in November). My blazers are available to me now but I put away my white denim jacket. I am wearing my few pairs of shoes (as opposed to booties). And so on. 

    I am lucky in that my storage spot is only steps away from the bedroom, so if I truly need something from out of season, I can simply grab it. But I rarely pull anything. 

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    Linda, I missed your reply.  Next week we will be high in the Rockies and I keep wondering what to pack.  You have given me some good ideas for the trip and weather here.  The light weight blouses/shirts are something I need to look for.  Last year in October my favorite shirt was a sheer one with a blue plaid that went well with denim.  It also has those little tabs that hold the sleeves in rolled position.

    Some women here are starting to wear knee high boots, but they still look a little off, especially when their friend is wearing flip flops.

  • rachylou replied 7 years ago

    Right now I'm trying sweaters. Trying to do the early morning walk in a heavy sweater, so I can just take it off when it gets hot. It's not really working. Pants and socks are too hot. I've just been suffering because I'm tired of doing the complete outfit change.

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    I hear you, RachyLou.  I'm trying to use light sweaters in rayon-cotton, linen or silk as wool and acrylic quickly get too hot.  My mixed media sweatshirt is too hot except outside at night.  The trouble is that many years the weather goes from hot and humid to cold and damp with no transition.

  • Windchime replied 7 years ago

    I also do transitional capsules, Joy, and was finding them the biggest capsules by far because, as you pointed out, they need to cover such a wide range of temperatures. I've come up with a solution that works for me, and that's to pull from one of a few capsules based on temperature. For example, right now I'm technically in "early fall", but if the temperature goes over 80° F I grab an outfit from my "summer" capsule. And for the last several days, with unseasonably cool temperatures in the 40's and 50's, I've reached for items from my "late fall" capsule. Trying to cover all weather contingencies, I was ending up with such big capsules that most items were worn only once or twice. Thus my decision to break the year into about half a dozen mini seasons, each with a change in color and fabric weight.

  • replied 7 years ago

    Didn't want to read and run... I'm not into "fall colors" they always make me look like a 70s reject. The only thing I pack up per season is sweaters and shorts. Everything else gets worn year round. But for you, a capsule seems like a good idea!

  • Alassë replied 7 years ago

    I second Windchime's temperature strategy. For those in between days of 70s, I wear 3/4 sleeves with shorts/knee length skirts, or short sleeve tops + cardigan with shorts/knee length skirts. For highs in the 60s I cover both arms and legs, so 3/4 or long sleeve tops/cardigans with maxi skirts/trousers/knee skirts + tights or boots.

  • milehighstyle (Linda) replied 7 years ago

    Joy, I swear half my closet is long sleeved button front shirts - some silk, some cotton; some collared, some not.  I roll the sleeves or leave them down depending on the temperature.  Sometimes wear them as a jacket over a short sleeved tee or sleeveless dress, tying the tails in front if I need waist definition.  Sometimes put a layer over them.  Most of mine are from Gap and Banana Republic.

  • shedev replied 7 years ago

    I don't pack anything away. Except 2 pairs of sandals that I put in clear shoe boxes to keep dust off them. I wear my tanks tucked in as undershirts in the winter and layer transitional tops with my toppers. I only have a few deep winter weight sweaters. I'm probably almost as seasonless as a person who lives in a 4 season climate can be.

  • Beth Ann replied 7 years ago

    I hear you on this, Joy!  Now that I'm in Indy, I'm in your agricultural zone, although, since it's woodlands and not plains, it seems less hot, and has more snow in winter. 

    For the past couple of years I do mini-season capsules, much like you did.  Fortunately, I run warm, and I love transitional dressing!  I'm still wearing white, but today it's paired with smokey plum.  I also pair it with black and chambray/denim, but no bright or summer colors.  I'm still wearing some of my sandals --- the more substantial ones in neutral colors.  The cute teal sandals are packed away, along with the shorts!  Some items have been moved from the front to the back of the closet.

    I will wear sandals down into the 60's, and avoid moving to booties or coats until we're at 50.  I also hold off on my heavier sweaters and pants.   Winter will be long enough!  Right now, I'm wearing my few pairs of cute flats, sans socks, and ankle pants and rolled hems.  I wear sleeveless tops all year round --- just with toppers when the weather turns cool!  It will be near 80 this week.  I have a black sleeveless tunic that I'll likely wear, or a black sleeveless dress.  I'll just style them differently, with darker colors and more autumnal accessories!

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    Suz! I just realized that I missed your very helpful post. The mini season closets are an idea I got from you. Taking time to form actual capsules with my few autumn-looking warm weather pieces was new and a great time saver. I have switched out gradually in the past and that is probably my best choice. This week temperatures are predicted to go from 8-30 C here. I have put away open toe shoes but not perforated ones and gotten out a few booties but am mostly wearing ballet flats and loafers with bare feet or nude kneehighs.
    Windchime, that sounds like it works well.
    AlwaysAsking and Shedev, I have some things like sleeveless tanks, pencil skirts and some basic buttondowns that are out and worn all year. I had hoped to be able to do what you do, but really need several outfits for really hot and really cold weather.
    Linda, I agree about the buttondowns and find them versatile. I really like the ones you have posted.
    BethAnn, I hear you on not getting out those cold weather items too soon because winters can be long.

  • CocoLion replied 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.  And good job at avoiding late season sales.  I have a hard time doing this, as Summer is my dominant season plus if I go somewhere tropical in January, I can justify wearing pieces sooner.  It's really nice to have brand new things for a tropical vacation.

  • Laura (rhubarbgirl) replied 7 years ago

    Great plan and explanation. I've been trying to do this too; it's still warm here (70s-80s) but not as eye-poppingly hot as it was last month. I've put away my sandals and shorts, but kept out the sleeveless tops to wear layered. Pulled out the jeans but am wearing skirts a lot too.

    I didn't do a lot of end of season shopping, although I did buy a pair of black sandals to replace my current pair, which are on their last legs. I haven't even gotten to wear most of my NAS purchases yet!

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    Ah, yes. Those end of season sales. In the past you couldn't keep me away, but I found that by the time next summer came, i didn't always feel so excited about those purchases. Replacing worn out basics would be a good idea if one can find the right ones.
    This year I decided that if something wore out, it was an opportunity to use something else from my closet...a challenge of sorts. However, if the right pair of flat tomato red flats or a great dove grey sheath dress turned up, I'd grab them.

  • kerlyn replied 7 years ago

    Great job, Joy!  I didn't do so well avoiding end-of-season sales, although (in my defense) I did score some great deals on summer things I'd been stalking for months!  We're still getting up into the 60s around here, and I actually wore my gladiator sandals today.  Although I did wear them with darker colors and fall textures.  I figure winter is long enough, I might as well get a few more wears out of my sandals before boots take over completely.
     I've added a few lightweight tunics in the last couple months, and I've found them perfect for this time  of year.  I don't change out my closet since it's decent size, but I find I'm definitely reaching for some things more than others.  Fewer brights, and more earthy tones along with dark neutrals.  Although I don't tend to have a lot of brights in the first place, since I'm an autumn and earthy tones are more my thing.  The temperatures are certainly a challenge, however.  I have a goal of finding more tops that can stand alone (don't need a topper), hence the new tunics.

  • Meredith replied 7 years ago

    This year I didn't have as much of an itch to wear fall colors in September. Even now as I'm thinking about true fall I seem to be reaching for winter colors. My warm fall goals were to wait until October to start shopping for fall and not to wait until December to buy sweaters-two big mistakes from last year.

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    Kerlyn, I like your idea of stand alone tops. Toppers often tip the balance adding too much warmth.
    Meredith, you have a good plan too. Those sweaters can be on sale in October and really picked over by December.

  • Sal replied 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!
    I can see how this can work so well in parts of the USA, a great idea to keep it all interesting, and have the fun of dressing seasonally even if the weather is not quite there.

  • Jenn replied 7 years ago

    I don't know that there's any way to really completely stem that "ready for the next season" feeling if you're accustomed to a four-season climate. It's a sense of time passing and cycles that's built in for us. Accomplishing your goal of avoiding the end-of-season sales is fantastic, though!

  • Joy replied 7 years ago

    Beautifully said, Jenn.

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