Men's Fall & Winter Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe - The Ultimate Guide
A mimalist capsule Fall & Winter wardrobe is a dead-simple way to create warm, layered outfits with as few pieces as possible. Get as many or few items as you see fit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a small, tightly-edited collection of foundational menswear pieces that work for every occasion you’ll encounter throughout the year. It is designed to give you the most bang for your buck and centers around classic, minimal, and neutral colors that never go out of style. This ultimately saves you time, money, the stress of shopping, and the annoyance of not knowing what to wear on any given day.
Think of it as setting an amazing foundation for your personal style that will get you through every situation from casual and smart casual all the way up to business casual and even professional.
Should you want to spice it up even more, you’ll be able to easily add in more key pieces or trendy items, as you see fit, to really showcase your personality.
Why are capsule wardrobes important?
They're designed to save you time, energy, and money, and from experiencing decision fatigue, on top of being environmentally friendly since you will be using everything you purchase.
Do I have to buy all new clothes?
You likely already own quite a few of the designated items already, but the only way to know is by going through the process of creating the wardrobe and determining what can and can't be used going forward.
How are fall and winter clothes different to spring and summer clothes?
The materials used in fall and winter clothes are typically heavier and warmer to help protect against colder temperatures. During these months you will often find men wearing thicker fabrics like wool and flannel, as well as layering pieces such as sweaters and coats.
Also, the color palette tends to shift, with fall and winter clothing featuring darker, richer colors like deep blues, browns, and grays. Spring and summer clothes, on the other hand, often incorporate lighter shades and brighter colors.
What colors work well for a men's capsule wardrobe for fall and winter?
For a fall and winter wardrobe, the colors that work well are typically darker and warmer tones. Shades such as navy, black, charcoal gray, and even camel are some of my personal faves. These colors not only complement the seasonal aesthetic but also provide a sophisticated and versatile look.
Are there any specific accessories that should be included in a capsule wardrobe for these seasons?
Yep! Some of the most essential accessories for the colder months include scarves, gloves, beanie hats, and more (listed below).
Are there any specific shoes that should be included in a capsule wardrobe for fall and winter?
You know it! It should go without saying that this time of year, we're favoring heavier and more durable boots over other types of footwear. These include lace-up boots, chukkas, and Chelsea boots.
How To Build a Fall & Winter Capsule Wardrobe
My tried-and-tested approach to building a capsule wardrobe for any time of year is outlined in this guide.
Fall & Winter Capsule Wardrobe Items Checklist
The goal is to have a wardrobe that will easily get you through a week without having to do laundry while also accounting for various scenarios - weather, occasions, trips, formalities.
Below are the base-level items that every guy should own.
- 3 Lightweight Jackets (1 Dressy, 1-2 Casual)
- 1 Heavy Jacket - Navy, Gray, Black, Camel
- 8-12 Tops (a mixture of shirts and sweaters)
- 2-6 Pants (1-2 Casual, 1 Dressy)
- 2 Pairs of Shoes (1 Casual, 1 Dressy)
- White Leather Sneakers
- Pair of Oxford Dress Shoes (Medium Brown or Black)
- 2 x Boots:
- Lace-Up Boots - Medium Brown Leather
- Chukka Boots/Chelsea Boots - Medium Brown Leather
- 8 Pairs of Underwear
- 8 Pairs of Socks
- 2 Pairs of Each Color
- Dark Gray
- 2 Pairs of Each Color
- Beanie - Navy, Black, or Charcoal
- Wool Scarf (1 Black, Gray, or Navy)
- Gloves, preferably leather (1 Pair - Black, Gray, or Navy)
- Belts - Leather (1 Black, 1 Brown)
- Sunglasses or Opticals (1 Black)
- Bags (1 Backpack/Briefcase)
- Luggage (1 Weekender, 1 Carry-on Roller Bag)
- Watches (1 Casual, 1 Dressy)
- Casual: Metal Bracelet - Blue or Black Face
- Dressy: Black or Dark Brown Leather Strap, White face/dial
- Wallet (1 Leather or Leather Substitute) - Black or Brown
Climate or Event-Specific
- Suit (1 Gray or Navy)
- Ties (1 Navy, 1 Black)
- Workout Clothes
Want to know which of these items you should be getting based on your specific age, height, body type, and skin tone? Check out my Essential Capsule Wardrobe App.
Best Colors For Fall & Winter
The Fall and Winter months are a time of year that allows you to incorporate new colors into your wardrobe.
Here are some of my favorite shades and patterns and how exactly you can wear them:
The most appropriate colors for this time of year are:
Remember to not go too overboard with the colors listed above. The worst thing you can do is mix and match a bunch of stand-out colors in one outfit so instead choose one item in a stand-out color and keep everything else neutral (black, white, navy, gray).
Like the seasonal colors listed above, when it comes to seasonal patterns you only want to choose one patterned item and keep everything else as a solid neutral color.
Combining different patterns can go really badly if you don't know what you're doing.
As far as patterns go, plaid is one of the best options.
It's a visually heavy pattern that works really well with the heavier-fabric items you'll be wearing.
For plaid, I recommend reserving it for collared shirts only.
Also, make sure that one of the colors in the pattern is a similar shade to another item that you're wearing in your outfit (pants, sweater, jacket).
This rule does not apply to your shoes or socks.
Choosing The Right Colors For Your Skin Tone
Darker Skin Tones
Darker skin tones can wear basically all of the seasonal colors listed above in your shirts and sweaters.
Just remember to keep it to only one item in a seasonal color.
Pale/Yellow-Pigment Skin Tones
If you're on the paler side or if your skin has a yellow pigment, then you have to be careful as some of these colors can make you look overly washed out/red in the face.
Camel, burgundy, or darker oranges should be saved for your outer layers, not a base layer.
You will also need a white or dark base layer to act as a barrier between your skin and your outer layer. Otherwise, you will look overly pale or washed out, depending on the color.