The concept of a capsule wardrobe has been around for half a century but has never gone out of style. Having a limited but carefully curated wardrobe of timeless essentials not only declutters your closet and makes dressing up more convenient, it will help you cut down on shopping by helping you focus on what you really need.
What is a ‘Capsule Wardrobe’?
The concept was invented by Susie Faux in the seventies. Faux was the owner of a London boutique, ‘Wardrobe’ and is a successful businesswoman and business therapist.
Faux states, “the idea of the capsule wardrobe is simple: by building a capsule wardrobe you will buy fewer clothes of a higher quality that you will wear more often.” It tends to comprise about 30 to 40 pieces of clothing — this is an entire wardrobe for the season.
Where to start?
Bemorewithless has a helpful guide on how to build your capsule wardrobe. Here are a few pointers:
- Lay out all of your clothes and accessories on something you need to access regularly, for example, your desk or bed. This will encourage you to sort through all of it efficiently.
- If you haven’t worn something in three months, donate it.
- Try to aim for 30 items or less.
- Make a list of the basics you need. These are the building blocks of an outfit, such as a pair of jeans, a simple shirt, a coat.
- Try to match your capsule wardrobe to your lifestyle. If you’re very active and work out a lot, you may want to integrate some athleisure pieces that can take you from work to the gym easily.
- Go for more timeless pieces that you can dress up or dress down to give you more mileage.
There are many benefits to having a capsule wardrobe. Firstly, you will find you have more time for yourself in the morning, as you’ll spend less effort thinking about what to wear. Having a wardrobe with lots of versatile basics means it is easier to throw items together to make different outfits.
You’ll also save money! A capsule wardrobe shifts your focus onto the functionality of clothing pieces, rather than their novelty, which makes you a more discerning shopper. This can reduce the amount of money you spend on items you really don’t, and which you might end up never wearing!
Lastly, there will be less stress and more gratitude in your life. You will find yourself worrying less about keeping up with the latest fashion trends and more focused on valuing the pieces you have and loving your wardrobe for the way it facilitates your lifestyle.
What about the planet?
One of the best parts of having a capsule wardrobe is the benefits it has for the environment. By building a functional wardrobe with high-quality, long-lasting pieces, you avoid the trends that are pushed on consumers by fast fashion brands at a rate that is having a devastating impact on the environment.
To put it into perspective, it requires about 700 gallons to produce one cotton shirt and 2,000 gallons of water to produce a pair of jeans. Jeans are a super versatile item of clothing and a great addition to a capsule wardrobe, but owning more than one isn’t necessary given the amount of resources that go into producing a pair. Invest in a good pair and you should be set for life!
Capsule wardrobe essentials
Building a capsule wardrobe is a step towards a more manageable and sustainable lifestyle. It frees up time and resources that can be channeled towards other activities that make life meaningful.
You will find yourself with more money to spend on a more carefully selected, ethically made, and better quality item of clothing that you can add to your capsule wardrobe. In the process, you’ll become more conscious of what you’re buying and how it impacts the environment.
To help you start your capsule wardrobe journey, we have found some staples you may want to consider for 2022:
- Tote bag
- Flat boots
- Crewneck sweater
- Smart blazer
- Minimalist jewelry
- Good quality jeans*
- Cotton shirt
- Midi skirt
- Smart trousers
- Wrap dress
Style by Savina has a great list of Winter 2022 Capsule Wardrobe must-haves, too. Good luck on your capsule journey!
*Vintage jeans are the better choice, as models made before the 2000s don’t have elastic in them, which break down into microplastics and pollute the water when you wash them.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com. — In the Featured Photo: Colourful sweaters on a rack. Featured Photo Credit: Liza Summer