Are you looking for the ULTIMATE Fall travel capsule wardrobe? In this guide we tell you exactly what to pack for fall travel while being minimalist, not overpacking but still looking chic!
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But before we get onto the specific items we put in our favorite fall travel capsule wardrobe, we first thought it would be a good idea to tell what is a fall travel capsule wardrobe, why you should pack one and where it can be used.
What is a Fall Travel Capsule Wardrobe?
To know what a fall travel capsule wardrobe is, it is worth outlining what a travel capsule wardrobe is. Travel capsule wardrobes are a method of limiting what you pack for vacation by creating more minimalist packing lists.
A travel capsule wardrobe uses a few key pieces of clothing to make up several cute mix and match outfits. Basically meaning that every piece of your wardrobe, can be used in multiple outfits to create completely different outfits.
Depending on the length of our travels and the destination we also use other packing techniques to create our capsule wardrobes such as:
A Fall travel capsule wardrobe as you may have already guessed is a seasonal version of our travel capsule wardrobes that ensure you have everything you need for an autumn getaway.
This Fall packing list and capsule wardrobe is designed to be used in the traditional Fall months of September, October and November. In places with traditional Fall weather i.e. Europe in Fall, the North East USA and Canada in Fall for instance.
Note: if you are traveling to the Southern hemisphere Fall is obviously catagorized as March, April and May.
If you are traveling at another time of year of for a specific type of vacation be sure to check out our other capsule wardrobe packing lists for more specific guidance:
- Beach Vacation Capsule Wardrobe
- Cruise Capsule Wardrobe
- River Cruise Capsule Wardrobe
- Safari Capsule Wardrobe.
So now you know what a Fall travel capsule wardrobe is how do you begin to put one together?
How to put together a Fall Travel Capsule Wardrobe
Whenever I am putting together a capsule wardrobe the first thing I always start with the same principles for narrowing down my selection. The first being:
Select a color palette
Having a clear color palette is essential for creating any successful capsule wardrobe. Without a clear color palette your items will not mix and match correctly and therefore will not create multiple cohesive outfits.
However a color palette does not have to be boring or monochrome in order to create a successful capsule wardrobe. In fact I find monochrome to be the most boring way to create a capsule wardrobe.
For Fall capsule wardrobes however, I personally like to have a more muted color palette, especially for traveling to Europe. That is because it fits in with local styles more.
My favorite color palettes for an autumn capsule wardrobe tend to be camel and navy. But I also love touches of orange and also khaki.
However if you like black and white or bright colors then go for it. After all if you don’t feel comfortable in the color selection or choice then you won’t love your capsule wardrobe.
Plan out your outfits in advance
Whenever I am packing my travel capsule wardrobe, I always lay my clothes out and plan my outfit combinations in advance.
This way you know that everything you have goes in your outfits and can be used multiple times.
Check weather and itinerary before travel
Obviously this is a generic Fall capsule wardrobe designed for use during traditional Fall weather in September, October and November. However a word of caution is to always check the weather at your destination 7 days before travel and keep an eye on it up until departure.
That is because you can always get heat waves and cold snaps even in Fall. If this happens to you be sure to check our other seasonal capsule wardrobes such as our Summer Travel Capsule Wardrobe and our Winter Travel Capsule Wardrobe .
Also it is worth mentioning that we have seasonal travel lists for specific destinations. To check your destination and time of travel head to the search function on the top of this page and type your destination and month of travel (i.e. Amsterdam October or London October). This will give you packing tips for local dress codes and weather in more specific detail
Also, this Fall Travel Capsule wardrobe is designed for city breaks and traditional fall outings such as pumpkin picking and seeing the Fall colors. However for more extreme activities be sure to pack appropriately for the activity.
Fall Travel Capsule Wardrobe Essential Items
So now you know the principles of how to put together a fall travel capsule wardrobe we will look at some of our favorite pieces to include:
Best Pants for Fall Travel Capsule Wardrobes
Usually when I start putting together my capsule wardrobes I start with the pants / trousers first. I generally speaking own more tops than bottoms, therefore I like to pick our the pants first as I have more tops to play with.
Athleta Brooklyn Travel Pant
My absolute favorite travel pant of the moment has to be the Athleta Brooklyn Pant. These pants have a stylish but comfortable elastic waistband which for me make them my go to airplane outfit.
But not only that the fact that they do not wrinkle, along with the ability to machine wash and dry make them perfect for traveling.
I like to wear these as part of my airplane outfit which again saves room in your suitcase and means you can try and pack carry on only.
For my Fall travel capsule wardrobe I think a pair in navy blue or black is most versatile. However if you want to be more daring these pants come in a variety of colors.
Although we don’t normally have pairs of jeans as part of our summer capsule wardrobe they are absolutely an essential for any Fall packing list.
A pair of black jeans are a super versatile pieces and hide stains easier than a light wash jeans. Also you will find in Europe in particular that dark blue are a popular style.
If you are traveling in the US or Canada I would select the style of jeans you are most comfortable i.e. your favorite jeans from home. However for mainland Europe I would stick to smarter jeans and skinny jeans as opposed to boyfriend jeans or baggy jeans. That is because these are more akin to local styles.
Dress / Skirt
My final item I would add to your bottoms selection for Fall season is either a dress or a skirt. In many places in Europe in particular you will find the locals sticking to a smart casual dress code for dinner. And a dress for me is one of the best fall travel outfits to have with you.
A dress that can be used for sightseeing in the day but that can also be dressed up at night is a great addition to the capsule wardrobe. Especially if you can add splashes of color with accessories such as jewelry and pashminas.
For September and even maybe early October, depending on where you are traveling to, I like to wear a dress with a light jacket. However for Late October and November I like to pair a dress with thick tights and boots for the cooler weather at night.
Personally I like a midi skirt or dress for Fall but pick a silhouette most in keeping with your usual style.
Best Tops for Fall Travel Capsule Wardrobes
So now you know our favorite bottoms for your fall travel capsule wardrobe we will turn our attention to tops.
And our first pick has to be:
A basic t shirt is a great staple and an essential of any packing list at any time of year. Now depending on the color scheme you are going for will depend on what color you should have. But in my opinion you can never go wrong with a plain black tee.
If you are traveling in Early Fall then a short sleeve t shirt is a great choice however for November you may find a long sleeve t shirt a more versatile choice.
Click here to shop basic tees.
Note: I would avoid a graphic t-shirt or slogan tee for several reasons. Firstly they are less versatile so aren’t as easy to combine in your fall outfit combos. And secondly they aren’t in keeping with many local European styles.
For Autumn travel I always have a printed blouse with a 3/4 length sleeve with me. These are great for places with dress codes such as Churches in Italy, the Vatican and Sagrada Familia to name a few.
And as an added bonus can look casual with some jeans or be dressed or with accessories for a more smart casual look.
I like to have a patterned blouse as the pants I pack are plain, a patterned top is a great way of adding some texture, color and detail.
As well as a blouse, I also like to have a button down shirt with me. Now depending on when in Autumn I am traveling, the weather and activities I am doing will depend on the shirt I pack.
If it is going to be a more casual vacay then a traditional lumber jack or check shirt is a great choice.
However for the most versatile shirt to pack, you really can’t go wrong with an over sized white button-up shirt.
Best Layers for your Fall Capsule Wardrobe
Layers are important no matter the time of year you travel however these are especially important in Fall. I normally try and take 3 top layers and 3 base layers with me when I travel. For Fall my preferred layers are:
For me a camel cardigan is one of those timeless pieces that everyone should have in their wardrobe as they are great for year-round capsule wardrobes.
They pair well will denim and black pants and are an elegant top layer for dinners and evenings out.
A sweater is another great day to night transition piece. I particularly like sweaters made of merino wool as they are light and easy to pack, but also look very stylish.
Although a casual item, my capsule wardrobe is never complete without a hoodie and is often worn as part of airplane outfit.
I tend to wear this for more day time sightseeing as opposed to nightwear.
But I would also pack some top layers / Jackets. You won’t need all of these but it is best to pick in relation to the weather at your destination
Best Jackets for Fall Travel
I personally prefer a leather jacket over a denim jacket. That is just because I hate denim on denim and there are always jeans in my capsule wardrobe. However this is just my style.
Another good alternative is a trench coat especially if you are traveling somewhere where you are expecting to see some rainy days.
If you are traveling in the cooler months of late fall then a heavier jacket or puffer is a good idea for chillier temperatures. In some rare occasion you may need a full coat but this is destination specific.
Shoes for Autumn Capsule Wardrobes
I often find that shoes are the easiest item to overpack. However for my Autumn travel capsule wardrobe I recommend just two pairs of shoes. They are:
I never travel without a pair of sneakers. Some of my favorite travel sneaker brands are Hoka and All Birds. BUt ecco are a good brand if you want a sneaker with some waterproofing.
However overall the most versatile sneaker for Fall travel has to be plain white sneakers. My current favorite brand is the Addidas Cloud Foam as they are just so comfy for walking in and work well worn with dresses, skirts, jeans and more.
On top of sneakers I also recommend packing:
Ankle boots or chelsea boots are great for Fall travel. They look smarter for dinners than sneakers and can also cope with cold and even rainy weather if you pick the right pair.
Depending on the color palette of your wardrobe will depend whether a black or brown boot will be most appropriate. Personally I favor a brown boot but this is a personal choice.
And the last item on my list is something I never travel without
Pashminas are my number one travel essential for women as they are so versatile as a great layering piece and are always part of my perfect fall capsule wardrobe. They can be used as an extra layer in the cooler weather or even as a scarf, and can also make outfits more modest at religious sites. And of course they are a great day to style an outfit differently for a day to night transition.
Best Accessories for your Fall Capsule Wardrobe for Travel
The items that are included in this section are definitely nice to haves rather than Fall travel wardrobe essentials. However, packing at least one of the below items can really help transform your outfit and make it pop.
Some of our favorite Fall travel accessories include:
Traveling with jewelry can feel a bit like a minefield especially if you are worried about traveling with expensive or precious jewelry.
The type of jewelry you travel with is really a personal choice about what you feel comfortable with. However we think even traveling with some costume jewelry is a good idea to help you make your capsule wardrobe outfits look a bit different.
For more information on how to travel with jewelry check out this post.
A crossbody bag anti theft type is actually always on my packing lists especially for traveling in cities such as Rome and Barcelona.
It can add peace of mind for travellers by making you a harder target for pickpockets. When selecting a crossbody bag I would pick something in a neutral color such as brown, black or navy depending on the palette of your capsule wardrobe and think about one that can be sued throughout your seasonal capsule wardrobes.
Shop crossbody bags here.
Note: a tote bag is also handy for souvenir shopping too.
Again, a hat is by no means an essential but they can transform an outfit and can make for some great instagram worthy photo. Let’s face it who hasn’t posed at a famous landmark with a hand on their hat?.
We like the floppy wide brimmed velvet style hats in a color that complements rather than matches your capsule wardrobe colors.
What else to Pack for Fall Travel
Well depending on where you are traveling to and the activities you are doing you may also want to include:
We hope this has helped you put together your own Fall Capsule travel wardrobe! And we would love to hear about what you pack for Fall in the comments below.