What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is a small amount of clothing items you curate for the season that can be worn multiple ways and multiple times. Basic clothing items are counted in a capsule wardrobe but, accessories, weather permitting jackets or coats, and jewellery are not.
The original term originated in the 1970’s by Susie Faux, the owner of a boutique in London, England called, “Wardrobe.” The capsule concept is quite simple; downsize your wardrobe to only the essentials that are interchangeable, colour coordinated and season-less. The key to curating a great capsule is is to find high quality basic items that won’t go out of style. For example, basic black and white t-shirts, a pair of jeans that fit your body shape, comfortable work pants, a basic blazer or cardigan, are great basics to start with!
Step One | What’s Your Personal Style?
First, you need to plan out your style or figure out what your personal style really is and classify it. For instance, I would describe my personal as neutral comfortable basics with minimal jewellery and accessories. My go-to looks include black jeans and a grey t-shirt with my Mejuri rings or black leggings, a white t-shirt and a beige cardigan.
Some great resources to help define your personal style are Encircled’s Journal post about defining your ideal style and Style Bee’s blog post about defining your style in 5 steps!
Step Two | Closet Clean Out
Go through your current wardrobe and pick out pieces that you wear all the time, that fit your lifestyle and define your personal style. The goal here is to eliminate any items that you haven’t worn in a year or more and that don’t fit your life anymore. Any clothes you decided are leaving your wardrobe try giving away to family and friends, selling, consigning or donating. Also, please never throw any clothing in the garbage unless it is unwearable. Finally, you want your closet to have fewer pieces so it’s easier to make your capsule for a season.
Step Three | Curate the Capsule (12-24 pieces or however many you need)
Pick out ‘x’ amount of clothing items and create different outfits from them. Here is basic formula to follow if you are finding it difficult:
- 4 tops
- 2 bottoms
- 3 pairs of shoes
- 1 dress
- 2 overtop layers
You can adjust the formula to fit your needs and the season. Most individuals who create and wear capsule wardrobes have about two or four depending on the seasons. You can have a Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter or have four separate capsules for each season. Next, start making outfits and mix and match different pieces and accessories so you have more options.
Step Four | Refresh Your Capsule
Buy new ethical items or thrift “new” items to fill the gaps or replace worn out/old items. Some basic items that I recommend to have or add to your capsule are:
- Encircled Black Nomadic T-Shirt – Save $20 with my link
- Free Label Black Evan Dress
- Nudy Patooty Black Undershirt
- Encircled Black Dressy Sweatpant – Save $20 with my link
- Encircled Chrysalis Cardi (Can wear it 8 different ways) – Save $20 with my link
- CassBurr Grey Shauna Top
- Nicole Bridger Black Work Pants
- Hutchinson Long Sleeve Top
- People’s Product Wrap Top
If you’re feeling stuck two great capsule wardrobe bloggers are Caroline from un-fancy.com and Lee from stylebee.ca. Also, a great Instagram account I just discovered Dearly Bethany and she has amazing minimal style and is featuring 365 days of outfits following the capsule wardrobe rules. Also, read my blog post all about why I started buying only ethical fashion.
If it is too much to go through your clothes and create one yourself or you have no time UnCo. can help you. UnCo. is a responsible and ethical fashion company that doesn’t exploit people or the planet. They simplify apparel and empower forward-thinking female leaders to quickly and easily build timeless, professional wardrobes with utility in mind. Through a closed loop system that inspires people to consume less and purchase smarter. Unco. aims to reduce textile waste in landfills and empowers people to do more with less (www.uncooffical.com).
We welcome you to share your thoughts about capsule wardrobes in the comments below. We would love to start a conversation with you!
Peace and Love,