my fall starter kit


Fashion news / Posts 712 Views

Happy October! I’m currently sipping hot tea and listening to HAIM’s latest album while rain taps on the window next to me. Fall weather is moving in and I couldn’t be happier.

So let’s jump in! Today I’m excited to share my fall starter kit and three of my go-to outfit formulas.

My fall starter kit

Even though I don’t keep a strict capsule anymore, I do love pulling together a few clothes that represent my style. So here’s my fall starter kit! Think of it as kind of a mini capsule or a seasonal wardrobe foundation.

A starter kit is an excellent place to start if you’re interested in trying a capsule, but just don’t want to make the leap. It’s also great if you’ve done a capsule in the past but you don’t have the time or brain power to spend on an official capsule right now. (That’s where I am.)

The best way to put together a starter kit is ask a few questions and listen to your gut. Here are the questions I asked myself:

1 | What’s the weather like in the fall where I live? 

I live in Texas, and while the weather can be unpredictable in the fall, it usually leans a little towards the warmer side. Warm weather means I don’t need to stock up on thick sweaters, but instead I need to focus on transitional pieces that can be worn alone in warm weather or layered in cool weather. (Like short sleeves, open back shoes, etc.)

2 | What’s my lifestyle like right now? Where do I spend most of my time?

I live in a small town, and I spend most of my time working from home or a coffee shop, so my lifestyle is super casual. No need for fancy/formal clothes. 

3 | What colors am I into right now? What colors do I already have going in my wardrobe that might work for fall?

I’m always into cognac. Always, always, always. It’s already going strong in my wardrobe so I can definitely use it for fall. Complimentary colors? Cream, black, denim blue, and other shades of warm neutrals. Done and done.

4 | And my favorite question: How can channel coziness into this wardrobe, even if my weather is warmer than average?

I may not have a need for big sweaters, scarves, and beanies, but I can definitely channel fall through texture — soft suede, nubby fabrics, and cozy knits. Silhouettes like wide leg pants and mock neck tops could add vintage vibes and coziness. And my warm color palette will definitely channel fall.

And there you have it. While I’m usually a fan of planning by writing things down, this time I simply stood in front of my closet, pulling 10-15 pieces together as I mentally went through these questions. Easy, peasy. The whole thing took about 30 minutes.

Have a look:


If you find a piece you like, you can shop it and support Unfancy at the same time by using the affiliate links below. Clockwise, from top:

1 | BANDANA by Madewell 

2 | PRINTED DRESS (old by Christy Dawn, similar styles available, made responsibly) | Similar (on sale) 

3 | SUNNIES by Madewell 

4 | GREY TANK by Madewell

5 | WIDE LEG PANTS by Esby (made responsibly) | Similar (under $70, made responsibly)

6 | BROWN BAG by Live FashionABLE (made responsibly)

7 | WHITE SNEAKERS by Veja (made responsibly)

8 | BLACK DENIM by Mott + Bow (made responsibly)

9 | CARDIGAN by Cuyana (made responsibly) | Similar

10 | MULES (old by Madewell, still available in navy) | Similar 

11 | HIGH RISE FADED JEANS by Citizens of Humanity (made in USA) | Similar (under $60)


Three outfit formulas

Wide leg pants (similar, under $70) | Tank | Sneakers | Bag | Sunnies | Camera

I’m taking the plunge and trying wide leg pants! I haven’t worn a wide leg pant in a loooong time, so it’s taken me a little while to figure out how to wear them in a way that feels true to my style.

But here’s my secret when I’m styling a new piece that’s outside my style comfort zone:

I sandwich it between familiar pieces I feel mega comfortable in.

Like how I did here, sandwiching these wide leg pants between the most basic grey tank and my plain white sneakers.

And suddenly, it doesn’t feel like I’m trying too hard. It doesn’t feel weird. It just feels like … me.


Jeans | Sweater | Bandana | Mules (similar) | Sunnies

Hello transitional fall outfit!

I’m currently learning the value of transitional clothes — you know, things like short sleeve sweaters or mules. In the past, I thought they were kind of silly. Why get a short sleeve sweater when I can get a real sweater?

But it comes back to being realistic about the weather where I live — instead of getting caught up in fantasy fall. Fall in Texas is usually pretty mild — ideal for those transitional pieces.

So I’m slowly trying to adopt a few into my wardrobe. And so far, they are proving to be exceptionally useful.

(Also, this outfit pretty much sums up my color palette for fall: faded denim, cream, and cognac.)

Dress | Bag | Brown Purse | Sneakers

When I got this dress a while back, I thought it might be a little too “out there” for my style. But I reach for it all the time. Turns out, I feel a little “out there” a lot. :)

Anyway, I’m especially a fan of the contrast between the long sleeves + shorter length. Chalk up another transitional outfit for fall.

This particular dress isn’t available anymore, but there are plenty of other styles available. And, cool fact: Christy Dawn uses only deadstock fabric (AKA the left over fabrics of other fashion houses who overestimated their needs). These companies hold on to their excess fabrics for a few seasons and then send them to the landfills. Christy Dawn rescues those deadstock fabrics before they are thrown away and turns them into beautiful dresses.

If you happen to find a dress you like, you can get $30 off through this link or the links above.

• • •

And there you have it!

Before we wrap up, I’ve got a couple of things to share with you:

First up, some exciting news: My friend Lee of StyleBee and I are kicking off the fall 10×10 challenge on Friday, October 6th! We’ll share our 10 pieces on Friday, and then outfits start the following Monday!

Not sure what I’m taking about? Here’s how the 10×10 challenge works: Pick 10 items of clothing from your closet. Include tops, bottoms, and shoes for your everyday life. Don’t include accessories, bags, PJs, or gym clothes — they can flow in and out freely. Then, for 10 days, create a new outfit each day using your 10 items. (Here’s my 10×10 quick start guide if you want a more in-depth explanation).

This time around I’ll be posting everything to Instagram instead of my blog, so feel free to follow me (I’m @caroline_joy on Insta) if you want to catch my 10×10 challenge. I’m excited!

And finally, on a personal note, I just wanted to thank you for all of your kindness, love, and encouragement on my last post. You guys are so full of light — thank you for sharing it with me. I felt your support, your care, your warmth. And right now, that matters more than ever. Thank you.

I do want to let you know that my blog will be a little quieter than usual for a little while, as I work through some of my anxiety. I’ll still be posting, but just not on a regular schedule. If you want to keep up with me and any new posts, feel free to follow me on Instagram.

Whew! Lots of announcements today. :)

Now I want to hear from you: Are you doing a full capsule this fall or is a starter kit more your style? How’s your fall wardrobe shaping up so far? And will you be joining us for the 10×10 this time around? (I’m SO excited!)