Three Tips For Starting Your Dream Capsule Wardrobe

by Catherine Nicholls

Capsule wardrobes seem to be the pinnacle of all things trendy right now. They’re eco-conscious, stylish and minimal, which means that we can be both fashionable and guilt-free at the same time. While all the rage, this new form of clothes-management can seem daunting at first. “What even is a capsule wardrobe?” I hear you ask. “Does this mean that I can never buy clothes again?” Worry not, dear reader – here are our tips to get the perfect capsule wardrobe with all of the fashion and none of the stress.

Tip One: Reflect on what you already have

You may not even know it, but you might already have a portion of your capsule wardrobe in your possession. A capsule wardrobe is all about having pieces that 1) you love and 2) you wear often. So those mom jeans that you wear without fail? That jumper you pull out the second the temperature drops? They’re in, and already part of the capsule wardrobe family. That neon dress you bought three years ago on sale but haven’t worn since? Maybe not so much.

The tricky part here is the stripping down of your wardrobe. Maybe keeps tabs of what you’ve worn in a month, and the things you haven’t, evaluate why not. If it’s no longer your style or size, maybe consider donating or selling it. Maybe it’s just a little off – try your hand at D.I.Y-ing it. If it’s still not perfect after, though, let it go. Try to avoid excuses whenever possible – just because something was cheap, it doesn’t mean it deserves a place in the capsule wardrobe if you’re not going to wear it. Equally, if you’re keeping something based off the hope that in the future, it’ll be your style, or you’ll grow into it, it’s just taking up space for an eventuality that might not even happen. It’s worth saving that space for something that you can love and wear now, rather than some abstract maybe in the future.

Don’t be afraid if things are looking a little sparse. If you’re keeping the things you love and wear often, you won’t be changing the fundamentals of your wardrobe, just ridding it of the clutter it used to be surrounded by.

Tip Two: Replenish (slowly, and if needed!)

So you’ve thrown out that threadbare cardigan from H&M you bought when you were fourteen. Congrats! The only problem now? What do you wear when you want to feel enveloped in cosiness the way only a cardigan can? You need another cardigan. Though it can be tempting to restock with cheaper, more accessible fabrics and brands, consider saving up for a purchase that will last you a long time. Fast fashion brands usually employ cheap labour and fabrics, meaning that your product, while not being the most ethical or sustainable, probably won’t last a long time either. If you invest in a product that has been manufactured properly, you’ll reap the benefits – both stylistically and morally. What could be better than that?

Some of our fave brands include Nobody’s Child, a sustainable fashion brand focused on limiting their environmental impact, Reformation, an oh-so-stylish boutique leading the way ethically with their slogan ‘Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We’re #2’, and People Tree, where, according to them,  ‘every product is made to the highest ethical and environmental standards from start to finish’. What’s best – they all have gorgeous stuff too. What’s not to like?!

Tip Three: Build your capsule wardrobe based on outfits, not items

Though an item can be all the rage one month, it can be outdated the next. Try to avoid buying ‘trend pieces’ that will date your wardrobe. Instead, stick to basics, classics, and items you won’t get tired of. Even if it’s something you love, make sure it’s versatile enough to wear for more than one occasion – if you’ll only wear it twice a year, is it really worth keeping?

Continuing this, make sure the majority of your clothing is at least somewhat colour co-ordinated. Neutrals go with everything, so there’s no worries regarding them. If you’re into bolder, brighter colours, stick to one or two so you can build your wardrobe around them. The key isn’t being stuck with boring clothes you’re unhappy with. Tailor your wardrobe choices around your likes and dislikes, and go from there!

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