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Clothes for specific weather

The perfect capsule wardrobe for autumn

The perfect capsule wardrobe for autumn

Photographed: MVP pea coat (£100)Sunspel merino wool rollneck (£145)Sunspel long-sleeved merino polo shirt (£160)Joules purple crew neck jumper (£49.95)Polo Ralph Lauren plaid scarf (£65)Sunspel wool zip-neck jumper (£195)Boden long-sleeved striped t-shirt (£30)Oliver Spencer navy wool blend trousers (£159 for similar)Ben Sherman patterned green crew neck jumper (£70)Ben Sherman textured purple crew neck jumper (£70)Barbour check shirt (£59)Polo Ralph Lauren indigo button down shirt (£89)Boden slim leg chinos (£60)Wigwam Hudson Bay socks (£21)Red Wing work boots (£299)AllSaints waffle knit long sleeved t-shirt (£38)Champion hoodie (£95)RRL washed denim jacket (£215)


Autumn is the best season for getting dressed. You get to wear layers, the fabrics are full of texture and you can finally break out your boots. But autumn also means options, which means choice gets more difficult. “Getting dressed each morning should be easy,” says Thread stylist Brooke Philips. “With a capsule wardrobe, it is.”

The idea’s simple – a wardrobe of clothes that work in any combination ('almost' because you still can’t wear two pairs of trousers) so that you could pull things out at random and still look good. “Each piece in a capsule wardrobe should work in multiple outfits,” says Brooke, “which is why building it around more muted tones, with one or two brighter colours, really works.”

The result? Less time deciding and more time wearing the items you love the most. “It’s about versatility and clothes that you can get a lot wear from.” Stock up on these and you could get dressed in the dark. Which is handy as the days get shorter.

Peacoat (x1)

“Usually made from wool, this is the only autumn coat you really need,” says Brooke. “It’s got that smart-casual aesthetic, so works with jeans and a tee but also over a suit.”


Rollneck (x1)

“A lightweight option is more versatile. That way can layer it up without worrying it will be too bulky, or too hot if it turns out nicer than you expected.”


Wool polo shirt (x1)

“A knitted, long-sleeve polo is really useful for autumn, because it keeps you warm but is still breathable, particularly if you opt for merino wool. The sleeves also make it smarter, so it will look good under a blazer.” 


Crew neck jumper (x3)

“Crew neck jumpers are a good mid-layer. They’re easy to wear and go with a t-shirt, shirt, on their own or under a jacket. If you’re investing in a few then play around with subtles patterns, texture or a block colour. Muted shades like burgundy, forest green or rust are really nice for autumn.” 


Plaid scarf (x1)

“I prefer a soft wool or cashmere scarf for a cosy, relaxed feeling. A pattern, like a check, makes a statement but is still low-key.”


Zip-neck jumper (x1)

“This is a good one to have in your capsule wardrobe because it can be layered over a shirt, but make the whole outfit feel a bit more casual. It’s great for balance.”


Long-sleeved tee (x2)

“They’re a great thing to have in your wardrobe because you can layer up in the same way you can with a polo. Basics should be neutral colours, to make them more versatile.”


Wool trousers (x1)

“Wool trousers are a great chino alternative when the weather starts to get cooler. The texture you get with these puts them right in the smart-casual sweet spot, so you can dress them up or down."


Shirt (x2)

“Checked shirts are a simple pattern to wear, they add a bit of personality and give your look a bit of character. Because the colours are really simple, it’s a print that adds interest but doesn’t shout too loud.”


Chinos (x1)

“Chinos are always good in capsule wardrobe but for autumn try green. It’s as easy to wear as navy or stone, but creates a nice point of difference.”


Socks (x1)

“Autumn is boot weather, so go for some proper socks. A cosy wool or cashmere-blend pair are worth the investment to keep you warm and comfortable.” 


Work boots (x1)

“Boots are worth spending a bit of money on – you’ll wear them day after day for years, if you get the right pair. Look for decent leather and not too much detail – that way they’ll last and you can wear them with anything from jeans to tailored trousers.”


Hoodie (x1)

“Every capsule wardrobe needs a hoodie. It’s great for layering and helps you wear your summer staples in colder weather.”


Denim jacket (x1)

“A good denim jacket is something you should have in your wardrobe all year. It’s worth thinking about how you want to wear it – if it’s to go over a jumper, you might want to size up. The more classic you can go, the better. That way it will last for years and years without feeling dated.”


Words: Nadia Balame-Price
Photography: Chris Howlett
Styling: Brooke Philips