How to create an autumn workwear capsule wardrobe

Nikki ParkinsonFashion, How to 8 Comments

The fashion seasons have a changed and the weather is also catching up with the change in some parts of Australia.

If you’re a Monday-Friday office worker then you’re probably on the look out for pieces that can freshen up your existing work wardrobe.

This is a very good time for that. Most stores have not gone full winter on us, instead offering us wear now, layer-later options.

If you work in an air-conditioned office then it’s these options that make for work wardrobe pieces you can wear all year round.

Mornings can be stressy. Getting out the door on time is not a zen-like experience.

You can, however, make life a little easier for you by doing these three things:

1. Start with a de-cluttered wardrobe. I’m a cracked record on this but I can’t underline enough how important this is. You need to know what’s in your wardrobe before you can plan outfits or shop for new pieces.

2. Plan ahead what your wardrobe week looks like. Planning out what I wear each week is part of my weekly planning schedule. I don’t always stick to the plan but the plan gives me an anchor each morning – something I’ve thought about in advance. It helps to eliminate staring blankly at my wardrobe for extended periods of time.

3. Keep photo files of outfit combinations that you love wearing. A great by-product of sharing my daily outfit on Instagram and Facebook for #everydaystyle has been the ability to scroll back on outfits for what-to-wear prompts. You don’t have to do share your outfit combinations publicly (but you’re more than welcome to join in) – you could instead just do a quick mirror selfie each morning and file that image into a specific outfit folder on your phone.

To help visualise how you can freshen up your autumn workwear wardrobe – and keep things varied without breaking the budget – I’ve put together an autumn workwear capsule wardrobe for you.

Remember, these 15 pieces may be similar to pieces you already have in your wardrobe. One or two of them might be just the style of thing you’ve been looking for to freshen up your office look.

Everyone has a different budget to spend on workwear. What is budget-priced to one person, might be top-of-the range to another. Let’s drop the judgement on that and concentrate on our own budget and work within it. Use what I recommend as a style guide and buy pieces that fit YOUR budget.

I suggest spending most on the workwear basic pieces, shoes and a bag – things you might wear every day or repeatedly over the course of a month. Spend less on the more fashion-forward pieces that are more highlight show-pony pieces in a workwear capsule.

When creating a capsule wardrobe – for work, play or travel, starting with a base of neutrals helps you to extend the possible outfit combinations from fewer pieces.

There is no right or wrong – choose neutrals that you feel comfortable and confident in. Then, if desired, add accent colours that make you feel the same.

Autumn workwear capsule wardrobe | Styling You 2016

1. Surafina dress $79

2. Maiocchi dress $229 @ Birdsnest

3. UNIQLO top $39.90

4. UNIQLO shirt $49.90

5. Seed top $69.95

6. Bohemian Traders skirt $89

7. Alessi skirt $59.95 @ Birdsnest

8. Katies pants $59.95

9. Oroton bag $486.50

10. Uberkate necklace $225

11. Bird Keepers scarf $39.95 @ Birdsnest

12. FRANKiE4 Footwear boots $299.95

13. Country Road heels $179 

14. Katies trench coat $89.95

15. Trenery jacket $699

Just a few possible outfit combinations

1 + 14 + 12 + 10

1 + 8 (tucked in as top) + 11 + 13

2 + 14 + 12 + 9

2 + 13 + 9 + 15

8 + 3 + 13 + 9 + 10

8 + 4 + 12 + 15 + 9

8 + 5 + 12 + 10

7 + 3 + 14 + 12 + 10

7 + 4 + 13 + 9 + 11 + 15

7 + 5 + 12 + 10

6 + 4 + 13 + 9 + 15

6 + 5 + 12 + 14

When shopping for clothes or accessories, don’t forget my only rule:

Don’t buy it unless you LOVE it.

Do you work in an office? How are you looking to refresh your work wardrobe?

* This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something via one of these links I may receive a small commission. Full disclosure policy here.

Comments 8

  1. I love everything in this capsule. I am not working at the moment. Dreaming about that Tennery Jacket!

  2. a great capsule and great advice thanks nikki!
    my state of wardrobe is always a work in progress!
    more or less organised! … lucky I love chaos! … lol m:)X

  3. Great tips Nikki I am a wardrobe planner it’s much easier to know what youRe going to wear each day even though I’m not working otherwise I stand in front of my wardrobe flicking through everything and I love looking back on my Ig feed ans seeing when I wore something and I’ve often got rid of something after taking a pic of it,it shows how it really looks on you!
    Love the UNiQLO peices ans the Surafina dress,I bought a gorgeous pair of nude flats this week at Myer,just hanging out for the weather to cool down,great post Nikki Xx

    1. YES! I’ve often culled an item because it didn’t photograph how I thought it looked on me – I base this on my own opinion though, not on other people’s. If it was on other people’s I’d lose half my clothes HAH! Nude flats for the win Lisa. We’ve got another week of 30 degree days here. Crazy. x

  4. This is a very timely post Nikki. I have recommenced full-time work for the first time in 15 years this week in fact. I am also in a role where I don’t wear a uniform, something that I have never experienced before. I have tried to separate out a few items that will be “work only” clothes and i have added a few new pieces. I will certainly be checking out these items and I have found that Katies pants are excellent and more importantly affordable.

    1. Oh good luck Lisa! I definitely think separating out your work clothes from casual will be helpful. Also planning on a Sunday night what your outfits are for the week ahead will make it less stressful. As for shopping, always cover off on the basics first (good work with Katies pants!).

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