With the lockdowns this year due to COVID, I’ve had more time to think about how I can become more sustainable and help to improve the environment with my fashion choices. It got me thinking about the once popular ‘capsule wardrobe’ and how I could alter this concept to my wardrobe to be more sustainable.The idea of a capsule wardrobe is not a new one. It dates back to the 1970s, coined by Susie Faux, a boutique owner. It became hugely popular in 2014, during the last UK recession and some consumers became sick of the fast-fashion market that was dominating the fashion industry.
The purpose of a capsule wardrobe is to help reduce overconsumption, instead having more basic and essential pieces that can be worn for multiple different outfits. A capsule wardrobe generally consists of up to 50 pieces, a lot less than the majority of us have in our wardrobes. It is a much more simplistic and basic way of dressing but is one that can easily be tailored to your own specific lifestyle.
Before you begin to build a capsule wardrobe, I recommend looking at your current wardrobe and arranging a clear out of any unwanted items or clothing you no longer wear. You’d be surprised how much excess clothing is found at the back of your wardrobe or the bottom of a drawer that can be thrown out. You might also find a garment you haven’t worn in a while and maybe forgot about, but you still really like and will wear again (yes, this has happened to me!).
Here’s some tips on how to successfully build a capsule wardrobe-
1. Use Neutral Tones
I feel like I say this tip a lot (you’ll recognise it from my How To Look Expensive post), but in a capsule wardrobe its important to keep pieces as neutral as possible so they are easier to match with more garments, and create more outfits. Some of these neutral tones, you will probably have in your wardrobe already such as a white shirt or a black tee, which saves you from going out to buy completely new garments. It’s also important to keep it neutral in your accessories so that you are matching these to your outfits, for example, wearing nude heels or a black bag. These will go with everything and are also more classic colours that can be considered season-less.
If you need some inspiration, Allegra Shaw has a great video on YouTube that shows how you can use neutrals in a capsule wardrobe and how to restyle these different pieces each time.
2. As little as two pairs of jeans is enough
When I looked through my own wardrobe, I was embarrassed to see I had at least 10 pairs of jeans in my trouser drawer. Now this may not sound too bad, but at a maximum, I have only worn 3 of the 10 jeans in the last year. None of us need 10 pairs of jeans, and investing in one or two good pairs is a much better option. What I commonly see in capsule wardrobes, is less trousers and more of different tops, as this is generally what other people focus on. Very few people will notice if you are wearing the same jeans as the day before and odds are they are rewearing their own jeans too.
3. Choose your bags wisely
Due to capsule collections being so small, there is less room for accessories and many adopting this method have as little as two bags in their wardrobe. I recommend that one of these bags is a clutch, as this style of bag can easily transition from day to night and therefore, has great purpose in a capsule wardrobe. It’s also a good idea to invest in a statement bag that is of high quality as that will probably be the main bag in your collection.
4. Limit the amount of dresses you buy
As lovely as it is to buy a new dress, they have little use in a capsule wardrobe. They are much harder to restyle than switching out your top or jacket for the day. If you really want to have more dresses in your collection, I would suggest going for the mini style. With mini dresses you have a bit more options as you can put a t-shirt over or under the dress, put a sweatshirt over the top or add a jacket to make it look different.
5. When you buy one thing, get rid of another
Once you have your capsule collection complete, try to avoid buying more clothes as this can lead to ending up with many much clothes and again having excess clothes in your wardrobe. I’ve decided to start a new rule that if I buy something new, I have to be willing to get rid of another piece of clothing I already own. I think this is a rule we should all try to adopt in the future.
Will you try a capsule collection for your wardrobe? Let me know in the comments!
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*Disclaimer- Photos are not my own and are sourced from Pinterest and Instagram.