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How to Create a French Capsule Wardrobe for Fall & Winter + 10 Outfit Ideas

Oct 8, 2020

How to Create a French Capsule Wardrobe for Fall & Winter

Anyone else on an Emily in Paris kick!?!?  It’s 100% cheesy and addicting, but it was just the escape I needed. Since we can’t get to Paris right now (one day!), I think it’s the next best thing! 

The style in the show (though honestly, nothing like my own style) definitely re-ignited my fall fashion bug, so just like I did in this French capsule summer wardrobe post, I wanted to roundup my favorite french-inspired style staples for fall and winter– arguably the best seasons for fashion! 

I love french fashion pieces (or, so I think of them–I’m sure they’re a lot more like the “American” version of French style, if we’re being honest, but that’s okay. ????) These staples are great because they’re so classic and can be worn a million different ways–simple, but far from boring. They always feel classic and elegant and help you achieve that je ne sais qua —  the effortless little something that makes it distinctive, or special in some way, but it’s hard to put into words why. 

Without further ado, let’s lean into our inner “French girl style” this fall and winter, whether we’re venturing around our own cities, cozing up with an at-home date night, or a Zoom cocktail hour! 

How to Create a French Capsule Wardrobe for Fall & Winter

French Capsule Wardrobe Essentials: 

White Button Down: 

Nothing is more chic than a crisp white button down. Pair it under a blazer, layer under a sweater, or rock it on its own with a necktie.

Neutral Sweater: 

A soft, high quality sweater in a neutral color palette is definitely a french wardrobe staple for fall and winter. Think black, grey, creams and tans.

Sezane Gaspard Sweater: 

Okay I know this is very specific ???? but it’s my FAVORITE sweater and it’s so versatile. You can wear it with the buttons in the front or in the back. You can button them all the way up for a more professional occasion or button them and pull it off the shoulder for a date night. It comes in many beautiful colors–I have the “Nude” color which is a very soft pink, but I’m going to invest in another color this year as well! (I got a size small, it’s slouchy!)

Black Turtleneck: 

I reach for black turtlenecks all season long! They are so comfortable yet look so chic and can elevate any bundled look. I stand by the J.Crew tissue turtlenecks as one of the best fall/winter wardrobe staples you can buy. (I also love their striped versions!)

Striped Tee:

I love stripes year-round, but they’re especially fun to pair with fall and winter textures and patterns.

Ponte pants: 

I wanted to include a pair of ponte pants in here because I know many of you are returning to the office (or some kind of hybrid version!) and I’ve been getting requests for more comfortable work-appropriate outfits! Perfect for the office and beyond, ponte pants are a step above leggings and pair great with sweaters and blazers.

Leather leggings: 

I love the texture that leather leggings add to a look! Pair with loafers or OTK boots, and under sweaters or with an oversized blazer, they are insanely comfortable, yet look sophisticated.

 

Skinny Jean: 

Perfect for any fall/winter footwear, a dark wash skinny jean is a french-inspired staple.

Textured Mini Skirt: 

Alright, I know that we aren’t exactly wearing a lot of skirts like we do in normal times. BUT, I had to include this just for fun. I love the texture mini skirts can bring to fall layers — from this suede style, a corduroy option or faux leather, they look great with OTK boots or tights and loafers.

Blazer: 

An oversized blazer is a great way to inject a little masculinity into a feminine look. Pair over a dress, add to your work uniform or throw over faux leather leggings. I love that this one is a blazer coat, perfect for fall weather! Want a “work from home” alternative? Check out J.Crew’s Sophie blazer! It’s essentially the look of a blazer, with the comfort of a sweater.

 

Trench Coat: 

Every french capsule needs a trench! It’s the ultimate classic wardrobe staple. I try to reach for my trench in the fall before temperatures dip too low.

Wool Coat:

The warmest “nice” coat I own, this cocoon coat has held up so well season after season and works for any look. Check out my full review here.

Neutral Bootie:

A comfortable, good quality bootie is the perfect way to add a little height and elegance to any look. I have this leather pair that is waterproof and also on sale! Perfect for rainy fall and winter weather! (But you can wear them when it’s sunny too, because they’re leather, like regular booties!) I also love these beautiful waterproof suede booties from ABLE!

Tall suede boots: 

It’s no secret that I love my Blondo boots! They’re waterproof, which makes them a midwest winter must-have to weather slush, rain, snow, and more! I also love their classic vibe that goes with everything. They change the style slightly every year, but this style is the closest to the one I have. Nordstrom currently has a heeled version available too, and you can find more options here.

Classic Loafer:

Another great way to incorporate a little masculinity to your look is through a classic loafer. I have the Gucci Convertible loafer, and I can confidently say that they are worth every penny. They are a beautiful, classic staple that I will have till the end of time (thanks to how well they are made!) I wear size 37.5, and I’m usually a US 8 for reference.

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, Sam Edelman’s Lorraine or Lior loafers are amazing dupes – (the only difference is that the Lior has a twisty horsebit and Lorraine has the more traditional horsebit). I have them in leopard (which are currently on sale!) and they are TTS!

Silk Scarves: 

The ultimate French fashion accessory: the silk scarf. (So many cute versions available here!) I reach for these year-round, because they are so versatile. Wear around your neck, in your hair or tie to your bag to add an effortless touch to your look. Check out my post on “Two ways to tie a French-style scarf!”

Berets: 

Okay, so. I’ve been told French girls don’t actually wear berets. But whatever. ???? I LOVE THEM. They are the perfect hat to wear when don’t have time to wash your hair because it’s part of your outfit and you don’t take it off when you get inside! I can’t think of a cuter way to top an outfit. My favorites are from Halogen. Check out my post on how to wear a beret 4 ways!

Crossbody:

I love a simple, small crossbody. Just big enough to hold the essentials and never gets in your way! I especially love this convertible version from ABLE! (A new to me brand that has an amazing mission, they graciously sent this to me and I will report back with my review!) I love that it converts into a belt bag, perfect for walks since we do a lot of those these days! The texture adds interest to your outfit, and I love the beautiful bone color great year-round.

Leather Tote:

A fan of the leather tote for years and years, it works perfectly with a french inspired look. It’s polished, yet effortless and can be dressed up or down, and great for travel (whenever that happens again?) Check out a post I did a couple years back about my leather totes here!

10 French Outfit Ideas for Fall & Winter 

Here are some old outfits I’ve worn over the years that I still adore! It’s fun to remember what “normal” outfits look like, am I right?! 

How to Create a French Capsule Wardrobe for Fall & Winter

[Original post here]

Turtleneck: (old, similar), Cigarette Jeans: Old, (similar here!), Booties: Everlane, Beret: Halogen

An amazing go-to outfit formula for fall and winter! Keep it simple with comfy black basics and add a pop of color in your lip and beret! This look is great for the holidays without being over the top festive!

classic cashmere sweater

[Original post here]

Cashmere Sweater: Old (similar here), Skirt: Old (similar and comes in two colors), Scarf: Lord + Taylor, OTK Boots: Blondo (They run TTS!)

I love fall fashion textures together!

A suede, corduroy or leather skirt pairs nicely with a cashmere sweater and suede OTK boots! Keep your colors neutral for an elevated look. 

How to Create a French Capsule Wardrobe for Fall & Winter

[Original post here]

Blazer: Everlane, Button Down: J.Crew (this one is a J.Crew Men’s small so it’s oversized!), Leggings: Spanx, Loafers: Gucci (Sam Edelman makes my fave budget-friendly dupe!), Beret: Halogen

This look would be so cute for desk to drinks (or Zoom meetings in 2020- professional on the top and comfy on the bottom!)

How to Create a French Capsule Wardrobe for Fall & Winter

[Original post here]

Turtleneck: Dudley Stephens, Faux Leather Leggings: SpanxOTK Boots: Stuart Weitzman, Beret: Halogen

When the temps get unbearably cold, but you still want to look cute! Grab neutral go-tos for a chic, bundled look and add a beret to keep your head warm, while still looking put together!

How to Create a French Capsule Wardrobe for Fall & Winter

[Original post here]

Blazer: (old, but have and love these sweater blazers too!), Sweater: Everlane, Ponte Pants: (Old, similar here), Scarf: Old, (love this selection), Pumps: Sam Edelman

I love pairing sweaters under blazers for an unexpected professional look- no to mention it’s insanely warm and comfortable in the fall and winter months! Add a silk neck tie for that extra je ne sais quoi.

How to Create a French Capsule Wardrobe for Fall & Winter

[Original post here]

Suede Skirt: Old (this similar look comes in two colors), OTK Boots: Blondo (They run TTS!), Camel Sweater: Old, (similar here and this one comes in a bunch of beautiful colors), Leopard Clutch: Old, (love this similar version and this one!)

Another sweater + mini + OTK boot combination that doesn’t disappoint!

This look would be so fun and festive for any fall activities you have planned. 

How to Create a French Capsule Wardrobe for Fall & Winter

[Original post here]

Coat: J.Crew, Jeans: Old, (love this similar pair), Booties: Everlane, Turtleneck: J.Crew, Beret: Halogen

I reach for this outfit combination often in the winter months! It’s so comfortable yet polished! 

How to Create a French Capsule Wardrobe for Fall & Winter

[Original post here]

Sweater: Old, (similar here and here), Leggings: Spanx, OTK Boots: Blondo (They run TTS!), Scarf: Lord + Taylor, Beret: Halogen

Another comfortable yet elevated outfit thanks to some strategic accessories- this look will take you all the way through winter. 

How to Create a French Capsule Wardrobe for Fall & Winter

[Original post here]

Trench: Old (similar), Blouse: Everlane (also love this J.Crew option!), Scarf: Old, (love this selection), Jeans: J.Brand, Booties: (Old, love this similar pair here)

You can’t go wrong with this outfit formula! It’s perfect for work, play, travel, etc. 

How to Create a French Capsule Wardrobe for Fall & Winter

[Original post here]

Sweater: Old, (similar here), Leather skirt: Old (similar here), Beret: Halogen, Loafers: Old, (similar here), Tights: Scarf: Old, (similar here), Purse: Old, (similar here)

I love this romantic look for a day date or drinks! The comfy knits balance the leather skirt out nicely and the beret and loafers add the perfect feminine touch. 

 

You might also like: 

How to accessorize a sweater for fall — 15 ways!

12 piece fall weekend capsule wardrobe

How to wear over the knee boots — 12 outfits to copy right now!

 

I hope this inspires you to add some French vibes to your wardrobe this season! 

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