Google the definition of a capsule wardrobe and Wikipedia will kindly inform you that a capsule wardrobe is “a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don’t go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers, and coats, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces”. The original concept was created by London’s “Wardrobe” Boutique owner Susie Faux and later popularized by legendary American designer Donna Karan. The influential 1985’s Karan’s known-by “7 Easy Pieces”, was a carefully curated 7-piece interchangeable collection of workwear staples. The proposal was to have a strong, high-quality foundation of key pieces, and to add here and there seasonal pieces to pair with.
How's the modern
Lately, lots have been said about capsule wardrobes, and as it has been slowly but surely turning into the apple of the eyes of the feel-good trend-setters. While reading articles on the internet, its easy to come across titles like “How to build a capsule wardrobe with only 37 pieces”, or “Reduce your wardrobe to a capsule of 40 pieces”. I’ve even read an article defining a capsule wardrobe as “a mini wardrobe made up of really versatile pieces that you totally love to wear. Each season (spring, summer, fall, and winter), you clear your closet except for a set number of pieces to be in your capsule wardrobe”. So wait, what is the benefit here? Where do you stuff in all the other 148 (at least) pieces worn during the other seasons?
But, what is the problem?
So, how to do it right?
If you are really trying to simplify your life, forget about all that they are trying to sell to you every season (and now half-season too). Invest in timeless, non-fast-fashion essential staples, and keep your shopping basket from being filled with more than 3 new seasonal pieces, twice per year. Yes, we love Zara too, and it’s ok! However, if you REALLY want to reduce the time you spend every morning trying out all your clothes and piling them on the floor, or keeping (even more precious) space destined for stuff you never wear, then stick to the right way to do it.
What you should consider before making your essentials list:
Keep a color palette
Typically it consists of choosing two primary colors (gray, navy, brown, ecru, black and white) mostly for the bottoms, dresses, shoes, and jackets, and two accent colors; these accent colors should be brighter than the base colors and coordinate with them and with each other. You’ll use them mostly for tops, bags, and accessories. As a result, you will achieve an entirely interchangeable wardrobe, where each color complements each other.
Consider your body proportions
The whole idea of the capsule wardrobe is to have pieces that you will wear ALL THE TIME. So invest in the right pieces for your body, those that will flatter your shape. If you have wider hips, wearing cap sleeves or bright tops will accent your upper body, giving harmony to your proportions. On the other hand, those with larger upper bodies should create attention to the lower section of the body, taking advantage of oversized and statement bottoms.
Learn which colors better fit your complexion
As with body shapes, skin colors play a great role on what favors our looks. And having clothes on colors that always look great on us increases the probability that we’ll keep them longer.
Electing classic cuts and patterns
Goes without saying; as most pattern designs and cuts go in and out of fashion, the classic ones are never out-of-date. So if you intend to wear something for the years to come, bet on the classic, elegant cuts.
Invest in high quality
Again, a no-brainer. With the popularity of fast-fashion growing as we speak, it’s getting more and more tempting to pay less for something that looks just the same. Yes, it looks. Although sometimes we do pay for the brand’s label sticking out of our jacket, in most cases, important fashion houses do work with higher quality fabrics and crafting techniques. You pay more for them, but they will pay off looking new after years of wear.
With a dream team stocked in your wardrobe, you’ll need very few add-ups every season to dress like a boss. And practicing the capsule wardrobe concept doesn’t mean you won’t have as much comfort, looks, variety and quality as you aim. It just means you will have it all, however wasting much less time and energy when opening your closet every morning. Hurray minimalism! Long life capsule wardrobes!