Slow Fashion Fall Capsule: Aspiration vs. Reality

Slow Fashion Fall Capsule

Slow Fashion Fall Capsule 2021

When I put together my Fall Slow Fashion Inspiration post in August, I was soooo confident that I had landed on a wardrobe that would suit me. The fact that I happened to be 1,000 miles away from my actual clothes at that time didn’t worry me too much.

But then I got back to New Haven and discovered both an overabundance of certain items that weren’t in my target color scheme and things that didn’t fit!

Working With a Broad Color Palette

The color thing I can deal with. I am of the mind that it’s not so much about how many colors you incorporate into your wardrobe. It’s more about whether or not you are willing to wear them together.

I also notice that I choose colors with similar saturation levels, which makes things feel more cohesive. I tend to go for something between jewel-tone and pastel, and find that most any color can work together this way.

Adapting to Size Changes

But the fit issue has been a headache! I already talked about replenishing my denim collection.

But I also ended up selling off nearly half of my fall and winter shoe collection. I basically lived through two winters without wearing most of my shoes: first, because I sprained my ankle in January 2020 and then, because the pandemic hit. The shoes I had accumulated during that time hadn’t really been wear-tested.

So when I actually put them on and took some walks in them, I realized I had made several mistakes. Some boots weren’t warm enough. Some didn’t have the right support. Others were too small, or didn’t have enough traction.

I also learned the hard way that I can’t really be a Doc Martens oxford person, because my heels are too narrow and the soles are uncomfortably heavy.

Basically, my wardrobe was turning into a Goldilocks situation. And nothing felt just right.

All that this means is that the simple aspirations I had in August had to be renegotiated to deal with actual life, in my actual body.

Renegotiating My Wardrobe

I hadn’t planned on purchasing very much. But I ended up buying:

  • two pairs of jeans
  • a denim skirt
  • three tops (that can be dressed up or down)
  • a little black dress
  • plaid pants
  • two pairs of boots

I purchased these items secondhand when possible. The jeans are fair trade certified. And most of the tops are 100% cotton.

Shop My Wardrobe:

Contains affiliate links

Slow Fashion Fall Capsule - Madewell Curvy Jeans
Slow Fashion Fall Capsule
Slow Fashion Fall Capsule - gingham pants
Slow Fashion Fall Capsule
Slow Fashion Fall Capsule - Blundstone

Clearing Out

I needed a way to bankroll unexpected purchases, so I listed several items on ebay. The nice thing about investing in high quality goods from respected brands is that you can recoup some of your money by reselling them. It’s not a way to make a profit, though, so I try not to buy stuff with the intent to resell down the road.

I ended up selling/listing/donating: (You can shop my stuff here)

  • three pairs of boots
  • one pair of heels
  • Doc Martens
  • one pair of mules
  • four pairs of jeans

While I was clearing out, I also went through scarves and winter hats, socks, and coats.

The end result is only a slight alteration in shoe choices and far less pink than I anticipated. The bones are still there, even if it took some work.

It has been unseasonably warm this year, so I’m still waiting to wear most of my sweaters. We’ll see which ones make the cut in the real world (rather than pandemic world and Zoom school).

Seasonal wardrobe planning is never a one-and-done thing, at least for me. It can take some time to adjust to the season and get a sense of what works.

More in Capsule Wardrobe

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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  1. Several of the links to the capsule wardrobe items all go to the black dress for me. I am not getting any links to the boots. Not sure if it is on my end or yours.

    1. I’m sure it’s my fault! I’ll go back and fix them when I can; thanks for letting me know. The boots are here:

    2. @Leah Wise, Thanks. That’s a nice boot at a nice price! Now I have to find a place that has them left in my size.

      1. Yeah…I think it was a last season item. I actually found my size available on Amazon, but always hate linking there. I hope you can find your size with a web search!

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