My Online Back to School Capsule Wardrobe

Now is usually the time of year I start to feel the want for fall clothing. The back to college vibes always get me–yes, even as a professor–and I feel the need to make some teaching wardrobe upgrades. But this year is different for everyone, and I’ll be teaching online through the fall semester. So instead of upgrading my wardrobe, I’ve decided to downgrade it to 34 items. I hope this capsule wardrobe will reduce decisions and keep me comfortable for days of online class prep and a few visits to my office. Here is my early fall capsule wardrobe!

Here are a few factors I like to think about when picking a capsule wardrobe out:

Climate: It’s still hot here and it will be through the end of October (above 90, if not above 100! I know, why do we live here??). So the ad cycle pushing boots and sweaters really doesn’t work for me. Instead, I am trying to be honest with myself that my shorts and sundresses will need to stay in rotation.

Colors: It’s interesting to think about how virtual work has changed what I’m drawn to. As I said on Instagram last week, I am realizing I need some saturated colors, especially in tops, so that I look alive on Zoom. This “need” makes me feel like shopping so instead of doing that I tried to pick out the tops that make me feel best and wear them on repeat.

Lifestyle: Things I don’t need: structured blazers, work trousers, and most of my shoe collection. I miss my shoes but for now I’m letting them be and picked the three pairs I have been reaching for most–flat sandals, comfy leather flats, and sneakers for running errands–plus one pair of block heels for office runs.

Outfit combos: Here are some of the outfits I’m looking forward to making for early fall!

Remember when I said I was really feeling color and then immediately returned to my old ways and only styled black and white? Woops. Consider this my new favorite outfit though. Similar top/Similar pants/Sneakers

I did feel silly putting so many tank tops in this capsule, but they’re all I’ve worn all summer. Easy to keep a blazer at my desk and throw it on for meetings.

Left: Top (special tall sizes!)/Similar pants/Sandals

Right: Top/Pants/Sneakers/Bag

These Eileen Fisher silk pants are such a forgotten favorite, so I put them in the capsule to give them another shot. They are extremely breathable and once again prove that thrifted Eileen Fisher is always the best option in life.

Alright, more outfits coming once classes are in swing again! If you are teaching online I see you and I am here with you through the transition–I will definitely miss the joy of seeing students face to face.

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6 thoughts on “My Online Back to School Capsule Wardrobe”

  1. Right now it looks like my school board will be pushing hybrid teaching, so I’ll be with my students in person in the morning and then online in the afternoon. I love what you said about wearing bright colours on camera though – I will definitely try to put those fun clothing items in rotation once school starts for me!

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    1. Ah I hope it goes well! I will certainly miss seeing my students face to face 😦 Yeah, it’s kind of funny how quickly the neutrals in my closet have fallen out of rotation for video lectures haha.

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  2. I recently purchased the pants version of those tie-waist Athleta shorts you have and they are SO perfect! I can’t wait to wear them once the weather cools down a bit. Thank you for suggesting that brand–I had never looked into them before!

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