Preparing your closet for fall- on a budget.

If you’re anything like me, a change of season gets you super exited beyond compare, to start re -vamping your wardrobe.

This might seem hard when you’re budgeting or attempting a no spend year.

Ok. It’s hard for me. It’s super hard for me, I love clothes but I decided to challenge myself, and now I have to show my character and not spend money on clothes, for one year. Ugh.

I have to be honest. I really, really really got the itch last week when the temperatures dropped.

But instead…

I inhaled and started to clean out my wardrobe.

Honestly.. I’m not happy that summer is almost over.. I say almost because it’s not, but here in Belgium we have had some rain and cloudiness and well, it feels like autumn. I also feel like I haven’t enjoyed summer to the fullest because of the pandemic. I didn’t take a real vacation or went abroad. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I feel like it’s even harder to accept that all these months just passed by & there is not a real way to catch up.

If anything I’d want to make a budget to go twice on vacation next year, but because of everything being so uncertain these days, I’m not sure even these vacations will even happen.

Hope this explains why although I’m excited for fall. I’m also a bit sad.

Anyway, enough with the mixed feelings. Back to our wardrobes…

First of all, If you’re still working from home or hardly leaving the house for anything else than running errands, you might not feel the need to prepare your wardrobe for fall.

I considered staying in the ‘meh’ state, but in the end I decided it would make me feel better to clear my wardrobe for the season to come, and continue to get dressed as if I had somewhere to go.

I felt like it might give me some hope for the future and that the state we are all in will pass some day.

And now for the tips

What I always preach to anyone willing to listen is to dress for the life you have, instead of the life you want. In this case, you can take this advice with a grain of salt. I believe we all need to dress for the life we have right now, and the life we want, and even up this a bit to spark some goddamn joy.

But it is still true, we should dress for the way we spend our time. If you’re a sports teacher, it makes no sense to have a closet full of pencil skirts. If you love pencil skirts, and you’d want a life where you’d wear them, then you’d have to alter how you spend your time. Maybe plan a few evenings out per week, so you get to wear your pencil skirts. Ah, the stories clothes tell, you have no idea.

Look at what you have in your wardrobe, and take out the things you wear all the time. Even if those are not the things you love the most, you’ll need them and you’ll need to try to build the rest of your wardrobe around these items, for now. These items are what you’ll keep wearing, realistically.

If you don’t like the items you’re wearing 90 pct of the time, there might be something else going on. Our clothes do translate our feelings to the outside world. But, that is another issue. For now, try to build around what you wear the most, even if you’d like to change that up in the long run.

Building a versatile wardrobe that you actually wear is a marathon, not a sprint.

Be real about all the stuff you don’t wear. Try to sell it on depot, or postmark, ThredUp or Vestiaire Collective. If you’re budgeting or trying to get out of debt.. You should also set a budget aside for clothes, because it’s just so that every season you’d like to shake up things in your closet just a bit. Don’t deprive yourself, just budget for it. I decided to go on a no spend for a year, just to detox but after this year I will be making room in my budget for clothing.

If you clear out your closet and sell what you don’t wear you’d be able to set up your budget for the next season with the money you’ve made today.

I love bold prints and bright colours and maxi dresses, but I never get enough wear out of them and honestly even if it is vintage.. You still need to pair that bright vintage dress with the right jacket, shoes and handbag in complementary or contrasting colours. If you want a style like that, It means that you’ll need a lot more clothes or accessories to match. Thus these kind of styles are more suitable for bigger budgets.

Don’t despair if you do like a more bohemian, bright coloured style,. You can still attain it with a smaller wardrobe and a smaller budget. But it will just take a lot more effort and trial to find the right pieces.

I mostly suggest to people with a small budget to go for classic, plain pieces that you can wear over and over and style in different ways. Try to nail down your colour palette by choosing 3 main colours that not only flatter your complexion but seemingly blend well together.

Textures: This is such a luxurious thing to do and it is so easy. You can play with the same colours in different textures. This is the summum of chique. I don’t understand why so little people apply this trick.

Repair and tailor : Maybe you can dye some items. Maybe some skirts need to be shortened a bit just to have that particular flair. Whatever it is. Don’t give up on the clothes you own so easily.. Try to make them fall proof by altering or try layering with items of a thicker fabric.

Maintenance: I didn’t spend any money on fall clothes, as I’m on a no spend.. But I did buy some things to help me keep my clothes in good shape. A trimmer for my knitwear, a steamer, shoeshine for leather handbags and shoes.

Handbag. One good structured handbag does make or break an outfit. So if you must invest, consider investing in this. It doesn’t have to be designer or expensive, it just has to lift up your outfit and bring it together as a whole.

I don’t like must haves, because they are just super personal, but I’ll write a short list below with items you can’t go wrong with.

  1. A striped long sleeve or wool sweater. You know these nautical, French like,  always in style kinda ones.
  2. A grey simple grey wool sweater, a little oversized always looks chique.
  3. Over the knee boots. Yaaaaaaaaaas! Because how nice is it to be able to wear them without having to wear a pantyhose. Freedom in a boot!
  4. High waist -makes you seem longer and tucks everything in well -straight legged jeans. Ankle flanker or not. It’s up to you. I find that ankle flankers are really cute with ankle boots.
  5. A silky mid length skirt. You know slip dress kinda material. You can combine this with everything. And I do feel like the sheer gloss on these makes them
  6. A dress you can take from day to evening. For instance, a slip dress. You can wear this dress in every season because it’s so easy to layer.
  7. That big chunky vest or a wool ( nice and warm ) blazer that you can layer over all the above and that you can use on cooler days when you are still searching for your perfect autumn/ winter coat.
  8. A perfect white T-shirt with a loose fit. For those moments or days you’d rather start all over again.
  9. A black T for the same reason.
  10. A turtleneck in the colours you’ve chosen for your ( capsule ) wardrobe.

Concerning shoes

If you’re anything like me, you’d like a good sneaker to go with your outfits, and an ankle boot in a neutral tone. That’s it really, all the rest is excess because you can style any outfit with either a classic shaped sneaker or the right kind of ankle boot. Yes, even a dress works fine with both.


Jewelry is the sugar coating of your wardrobe. I used to want to stand out by wearing special kinds of clothes, now I try to make my style unique by adding the right accessories. Quality jewellery is a nice investment in your wardrobe and can really set you apart.

What are your go to essentials for your fall wardrobe? And how do style your wardrobe, without breaking the bank?

Love, Maureen

Published by Catharina

Lover of all things natural

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