This Fall Capsule Wardrobe Makes Getting Dressed Way Easier
That’s exactly what the Real Simple fashion team has curated here. We’ve pulled 10 essential staples—think a classic white shirt, comfortable jeans that flatter, and a chameleon handbag that goes with everything—that will carry you through fall and into the years ahead. You’ll be surprised how much further your wardrobe rotation stretches by simply investing in these closet must-haves.
The All-Occasions Matching Set
The office? A party? Weekend brunch? Check, check, and check. With a power set like this in your wardrobe, you’ll never be at a loss for what to wear.
Liz Claiborne Plaid Blouse and Skirt
Our very favorite capsule pieces are those that reduce the process of getting ready down to two simple steps: Pull on this flattering set, pair it with a belt and your favorite heels, and you’re done. Even better, wear the pieces as separates to really stretch your wardrobe.
To buy: Blouse; jcpenney.com.
Plaid skirt; jcpenney.com.
DVF Astrid Cashmere Wrap Dress
Your little black dress will soon become your little navy dress when you invest in this wear-anywhere wardrobe staple. You’ll find yourself reaching for this dress for meetings, presentations, or any time you need to feel your best.
To buy: $448; dvf.com.
Ted Baker PENALO Twist Detail Dress
Sometimes you need those items of clothing that are complete confidence-boosters, and this dress with a (literal) twist is bound to be one of them. The cut is figure-flattering, while long sleeves and a slit play off each other.
To buy: $315; tedbaker.com.
The (New) White Shirt
Elevate your workwear with one of the season’s fresh new spins on a tried-and-true classic—the white blouse. Whether you opt for a new silhouette or an updated design detail like an angel sleeve, these options make a white top look anything but basic.
Soft Satin Smocked Blouse
Button cuffs and balloon sleeves add flair to this satin blouse, making it a workwear staple that easily transitions from day to night. This top fits in just as well in the office as it does on date night.
To buy: $80; bananarepublic.com.
Mango Satin Button Up Shirt
Tailored for an airy but flattering fit, this creamy beige, menswear-inspired classic is a chic update to the standard white button-down.
To buy: $60; mango.com.
Halogen Wrap Front Peplum Top
For a dressier twist on the white shirt, opt for this crepe blouse with a wrapped silhouette and flouncy peplum.
To buy: $79; nordstrom.com.
The Works-With-Everything Jacket
Whether you’re more of a bomber, biker, or denim jacket gal, keep it classic so you can mix and match for the seasons and years to come.
The Kooples Faux Leather Moto Jacket
Without a ton of bells and whistles, this sleek leather jacket has a timeless look that will forever be on trend. Vegan leather makes it animal-friendly (and more affordable), and it comes in both a regular and petite cut for optimal fit.
To buy: $215; saksfifthavenue.com.
Madewell The Petite Jean Jacket in Pinter Wash
A denim jacket is a no-brainer for any fall capsule collection, and the button details on this one turn a basic into a standout.
To buy: $118; madewell.com.
SHEIN Color Block Panel Bomber Jacket
A lightweight bomber jacket works as a casual layer you can easily reach for any day of the week. This one comes in six hues, but we’re particularly fond of the purple, khaki, and black since they’ll vibe with almost everything in your closet.
To buy: $26; shein.com.
The Elevated Tee
Comfortable enough for lazy weekends (but cute enough to keep you looking pulled together when dashing to the grocery store or out to lunch), these are “hero” pieces in more ways than one.
Draper James Sheer Yoke Top
Ruffled details and a sheer, polka-dotted inlay along the neckline make this top sweet enough to wear on a date, stylish enough to wear to cocktail hour, and classic enough to wear to work.
To buy: $115; draperjames.com.
J.Crew Structured, Striped Boatneck T-Shirt
A striped boatneck T-shirt transitions seamlessly from summer to fall, and this one comes in an assortment of color options.
To buy: $49.50; jcrew.com.
The Staple Sweater
Knitwear has come a long way since the days of matchy-matchy sweater sets. Pick a piece with minimal detailing so it feels like a fresh find in your closet for years to come.
Mango Chunky-Knit Sweater
Leave it to batwing sleeves to effortlessly turn a standard chunky knit pullover into a fashion-forward, effortlessly cool staple. This fun and trendy piece is sure to make an appearance at movie dates and wine nights throughout the season.
To buy: $80; mango.com.
Alice + Olivia Nettie Ruffle Sleeve Sweater
All the coziness of your favorite sweater, plus a whimsical ruffled sleeve. It has the potential to become your favorite fall staple.
To buy: $295; nordstrom.com.
Madeleine Turtleneck Poncho
Keep this sophisticated sweater by your desk at work and you’ll always have a stylish fix on hand when the conference room gets too chilly.
To buy: $120; anthropologie.com.
The Take-Anywhere Bag
A polished handbag that can go from desk to dinner and still hold all you need is an obvious winner. To maximize the bang for your buck, buy one in a neutral hue that’ll seamlessly go from outfit to outfit.
Ted Baker Small Colesa Faceted Bar Soft Grain Leather Tote
If we could turn our favorite little black dress into a grab-and-go bag, this would be it. The streamlined silhouette is elevated with gold fixtures and bold stitching. It also features multiple compartments so you can separate essentials.
To buy: $348; nordstrom.com.
The Every-Outfit Boots
You know you’ve found your new favorite footwear when it works with everything in your closet, from jeans to leggings to flowy dresses and skirts.
Toms Forged Iron Grey Suede Women's Loren Booties
These black (“Forged Iron”) ankle boots not only pair with everything, but they’re also remarkably comfy thanks to canvas lining and a cushioned insole. The convenient side zips make it easy to slip these casual boots off after an apple picking excursion or a walk around town.
To buy: $110; toms.com.
Vici Marant Faux Suede Heeled Scrunch Bootie
Pointed toe, slight heel, western style slouch ankle is the secret formula for the ultimate dressy bootie. This is a must-buy for your work wardrobe, but don’t be surprised if you end up pulling them out for holiday parties, too.
To buy: $48; vicicollection.com.
Seychelles Chocolate Suede Ankle Boots
Careful, you’ll want to wear these faux suede booties every single day. Luckily, they’ll match with virtually anything in your closet.
To buy: $159; anthropologie.com.
The Go-To Jeans
Whether your preferred fit is a trim and tailored skinny or an effortlessly stylish high-rise, a favorite flattering pair is the foundation for an endless array of casual ensembles.
Madewell High-Rise Skinny Jeans
Go ultra-dark with these skinny jeans by Madewell. The high waist and form-fitting stretch make for a chic, subtly sexy silhouette that pairs well with the billowy blouses and oversized sweaters we live in all autumn long.
To buy: $128; madewell.com.
Good American Good Curve High Waist Ankle Straight Leg Jeans
An ankle-grazing leg, classic denim wash, and stretchy denim make this pair of jeans an easy go-to for weekend errands, happy hour, or the office.
To buy: $169; nordstrom.com.
Levi’s Wedgie Icon Fit
When you want to exude an effortlessly cool vibe, these jeans are your secret weapon. Subtle distressed details and a frayed hem lend these pants that coveted stylish-yet-laidback look.
To buy: $98; revolve.com.
The Wear-Anywhere Skirt
An option that you can wear to work with a silky top—or on the weekend with a laid-back tee and sneakers—makes easy work of pulling together an outfit in the morning.
ASOS New Look Satin Pleated Midi Skirt
This beautiful skirt combines two popular fall trends in one: flirty accordion pleats and satin. Plus, the inky black will pair well with almost any color top.
To buy: $37; asos.com.
Baum und Pferdgarten Shani Corduroy Miniskirt
A timeless midi skirt feels fresh and autumn-apropros in soft, camel-hued corduroy. Wear it with your favorite white shirt at work, or pair it with an elevated T-shirt when you’re heading to brunch.
To buy: $159; nordstrom.com.
ModCloth Peeping Foxes A-Line Skirt
An A-line skirt is universally flattering, and this charcoal gray will work beautifully with many items in your closet.
To buy: $75; modcloth.com.
The Pairs-With-It-All Jewelry
While statement pieces certainly have their place, make an investment in smaller-scale, personal feeling pieces you can slip on (and never take off) to create a signature look.
Curved Stick Drop Earrings
From work, to a museum, to a dinner party, these gracefully curved earrings will look great wherever you go.
To buy: $30; whitehouseblackmarket.com.
Delphine Necklace Set
Make getting ready in the morning a little easier with this necklace set that combines three pretty chains in one. The piece nails the trendy layered necklace look, but it all loops on with a single clasp.
To buy: $52; realsimplestyle.com.
CZ Triple Roll Stackable Bangles
This trio of bangles takes the guesswork out of accessorizing. Simply throw on one for a minimalist look, or all three for maximum style.
To buy: $68; ahalife.com.