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En(capsul)ating Fall: How to Reorganize Your Closet for the New Season

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

By Molly Monson

Amanda Vick /

If you’re like me, the first thing you do when you wake up is check the weather. And then check what it’s gonna be like at 4 p.m., because in Ohio, a few hours makes all the difference.

But it’s not like checking the weather really even helps– transitional season dress is mostly just a battle between your closet and the weather, and you’ll probably end up with pit stains in your 1:15 anyway. Next time you stand in front of your closet thinking “WTF do I wear?”, here’s a few tips for dressing in transitional weather.

Reorganize your closet

Take an inventory of what you currently have in your closet, and what you need to grab from your parents’ house over fall break. Organize your clothing by pattern & type– solid short sleeved shirts in one pile, patterned/colorful short sleeves in another, patterned pants, plain pants, etc. This can help you visualize your potential outfits more clearly, allowing you to get an idea of what works together and what doesn’t.


Layers? For fall? Groundbreaking.

But seriously, when you’re on your way out the door and can’t decide if you really need to bring your jean jacket, the answer is probably yes. Layering can be really fun if you experiment with volume and texture. As a kid, I used to hate when my mom made me wear long sleeve shirts underneath things, but now I love tying a patterned short-sleeve button down over a solid, fitted long sleeve with my trusty platform converse for class. Layering is also super trendy right now, as we’ve seen a resurgence of what has been dubbed a “Y2K Babysitter” aesthetic. Think Bella Swan’s double cami look under a sweater. Never underestimate the power of an unbuttoned button-down or flannel for fall.

Start shopping consciously

Shopping in your early twenties mostly consists of a multitude of micro-trend tiny tops meant to be worn with some nondescript jeans. But alas, our tiny top days are numbered and one day we will have to cover our midriffs. Next time you flip through the rack at TJ Maxx, ask yourself three questions:

1. Can this article of clothing create at least 3 outfits with what I already have?

2. Is this article of clothing extremely trendy right now/will I wear it more than three times?

3. Can I wear this article of clothing after college?

If the answer is no to at least 2 of them, leave it. Try to curate your closet so that all the colors/styles work together to maximize layering options.

Moving your wardrobe in the direction of a “capsule wardrobe”, or a small collection of garments that all work together in color and style that work through all seasons, can save you a lot of time in the mornings and money down the line. Because capsule wardrobes are harmonious by design, this makes transitional dress even easier– everything you have already goes together!

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