Creating a Capsule Wardrobe Was the Best Thing I Did To Support My Mental Wellness This Fall—Here’s Why 

If you’re anything like me, getting dressed is… a process. Standing in front of my closet filled with clothes typically results in my declaring that I have "nothing" to wear, and I reach for the same jeans-sweater-boots or sweatshirt-sweatpants-sneakers combo I wear on repeat.

After one too many staring contests with my closet, I decided: If I’m going to dress myself in the same stuff all the time anyway, why not simplify? I'd read that having too many options can actually make it harder to select an outfit because it leads to decision fatigue (which felt very relatable to me)—and Nike Well Collective trainer and mind-body wellness advocate Clarissa Karunaratne confirmed my suspicion.

"Having a handful of staples you can mix and match with all your favorite pieces seriously takes the thought out of what to wear and gives you some mental peace," Karunaratne says. "Having a capsule wardrobe means getting dressed without the stress!"

You mean getting dressed in the morning doesn't have to be a whole process? Sign me up. According to Karunaratne, you only need 10 to 15 staple pieces to create a fall capsule wardrobe that will carry you through the entire season, and will make picking out your daily 'fit the least stressful part of your day. Here's what I picked for mine, based on Karunaratne's suggestions.


One of my favorite hacks for feeling put together with minimal effort is opting for a monochrome look and/or throwing on a matching set. This fleece set checked both of those boxes, and the fabric is truly the softest, coziest thing I've ever put on my body. I got tons of compliments the first time I wore it, and with the combination of compliments and comfort I will happily wear this outfit on repeat.


One thing about me is that if I’ve already gotten myself ready, there’s almost no chance I will workout later on that day. The idea of having to go through the whole shower, dry off, moisturize, get dressed process again on top of motivating myself to work out just makes the whole thing feel too daunting. But, I also don’t like staying in my pajamas all day when I don’t have time to work out until the afternoons.

Enter: This Nike ensemble, that was comfortable enough to wear all day (the leggings are that Goldilocks combination of being gently compressive while still feeling like you’re basically wearing nothing) without looking like I was wearing gym clothes to all my Zoom meetings.

Once I finally made it to the gym, the shirt was super breathable so I didn’t feel like I was overheating under the oversized fit, and I didn’t have to pull up the leggings once, despite doing squats, jump lunges, high knees, and more. I immediately texted my best friend "I think I found my new favorite workout leggings," and the fact that they’re comfortable enough to wear all day is just icing on the cake.


You can't have a fall capsule wardrobe without a good pair of jeans, so of course my favorite straight-leg, medium-wash pair made the cut. I paired them with the cropped version of my oversized tee from Tuesday (if I get both silhouettes in every color does that still count as a capsule wardrobe...?) and threw a white button-down shirt on top for extra dimension and warmth.

Tip from Karunaratne: Add a pair of solid white and black jeans to your collection as well to elevate any outfit and help with variety of possible outfit combinations.


These woven cargo pants were a bit outside my usual repertoire, but Karunaratne assured me that they were a super versatile staple that would add some edge to my fall capsule wardrobe. She recommended dressing them up with strappy heels, a bodysuit, and a blazer, or dressing them down with sneakers and a hoodie. I split the difference and opted for sneakers, a hat, and a bodysuit for my Thursday vibe, and I was converted.


Once Friday rolls around, my creativity for dreaming up outfits is usually lacking (just in time for the weekend!) and that's when I became extra grateful for my new fall capsule wardrobe. Rather than tearing apart my closet in search of an ensemble that was weekend-ready and casual-Friday comfy, the outfit practically put itself together. I was able to easily grab my new favorite leggings and a comfy bra and pair them with the white button down, black boots, and a cozy fleece as an outer layer before I headed out to my dinner plans. No "I have nothing to wear" meltdowns in sight.

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