What is a capsule wardrobe?
If you are interested in sustainable fashion, you may well have heard the term 'capsule wardrobe' being thrown around. But what does it actually mean? Well, the term 'capsule wardrobe' was coined by wardrobe consultant and author, Susie Faux, in the 1970s. According to Faux, 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.
However, having a capsule wardrobe does not mean that you are not interested in fashion or in owning beautiful clothes. Like us, Faux understood that clothes shopping, for many, is a form of entertainment, and the clothes we put on our bodies are a form of expression. And none of this needs to change when shopping ethically and curating a capsule wardrobe!
What should be in my capsule wardrobe?
The beauty of a capsule wardrobe is that they are 100% customisable to you, your needs and what you enjoy wearing! You do not have to stick to a one-size-fits-all formula. However, as a rough guide, we advise sticking to the bare essentials. For women, stick to a couple of dresses, a few jackets/coats, a few skirts, a few sweaters, a couple of pairs of trousers/jeans, a couple of shirts and a handful of t-shirts. Whilst this list will differ from person to person, it's a good starting point for thinking about how much you actually need.
How can having a capsule wardrobe change my life?
1. They make you limit your consumption of clothing (which saves time, money and the world's resources)
Our consumerist culture and fast fashion have tricked us into believing that we must own everything. However, this is frankly is not true. Unlike what fast fashion might tell you, you do not need new 'on-trend' clothes every season. This will only lead to a stuffed wardrobe full of clothes that you may never even wear.
Instead, capsule wardrobes help to limit your consumption of clothing by thinking more about what clothing you actually wear and need. And often the answer is not a lot. Not only will building a capsule wardrobe save you a lot of money and time spent shopping, but it also has fantastic effects for the environment because it helps to reduce fabric waste!
2. They make you more mindful of your wardrobe
Many people assume that a 'capsule wardrobe' is synonymous with having a 'monochrome wardrobe'. But capsule wardrobes don't need to only consist of whites, greys and blacks! Whilst these colours are, of course, easier to mix and match, and are perhaps more practical and versatile, you can still own colourful and beautiful pieces. You just have to be more mindful of your wardrobe. Ask yourself: Will I wear this piece day in and day out? If the answer is no, do not buy it.
3. They encourage you to buy pieces with longevity and to also look after your clothes and make them last
Not only is it important to ask yourself whether you will wear a piece day in and day out, but also whether you will wear a piece for years to come. If you don't really see yourself wearing a piece five years into the future then it's probably not worth it. Not for you, for the environment or for your bank account.
However, the longevity of clothing not only comes down to whether a piece is timeless in style. Longevity is also informed by the physical quality of a piece. Building a capsule wardrobe will not only help limit your consumption but it will also help you to buy pieces that are made to last. Also, since you'll own less clothing, it will make you take care of your wardrobe far better, especially when it comes to laundry. Similarly, rather than chucking a damaged piece of clothing straight into landfill, you may opt to repair it instead!
4. They save you time and energy in the mornings
I think we've all been there. Rummaging through our wardrobe late for work trying to put together an outfit that works. Having a capsule wardrobe takes away all of the fuss and effort that many of us associate with getting ready in the morning. Owning items that you know you can wear interchangeably makes getting ready in the morning an absolute breeze. Now that's a good way to start the day, isn't it?