Everyone who’s Googled or searched on Pinterest for “capsule wardrobe”, raise their hands. Okay, I’m not the only one. It makes sense why we all love the idea of creating a capsule wardrobe: less clothes that do more for you, less outfit-related anxiety before hopping on your first Zoom call, and an overall cohesive aesthetic. Really, what’s not to love?
But if you’re like me, you’ve probably pinned your findings to your style board, *maybe* tried it for a day, then gave up. Maybe the rules seem too rigid, or you’re told that you have to invest in a blazer and a collared shirt when those aren’t your thing.
I believe that creating a capsule wardrobe doesn’t have to be a big, scary thing, and it’s not one size fits all. Here are five pieces of advice that have helped me on a gradual journey to create a capsule wardrobe.
1. Buy pieces that serve two (or three or four) uses
There’s nothing wrong with being drawn to a mesh blouse or a loudly printed button up, but when it comes to creating a capsule wardrobe, it’s all about versatility. Before you buy an item, ask yourself when you’d wear it. Maybe statement pieces do fit into your wardrobe, but nine times out of ten it’s the basics that work hardest for us.
Try looking for pants that can do double-duty as WFH and casual wear. Get a jacket you can throw on post-workout and meeting with clients. The more purposes your clothes have, the better.
Featured: From workdays at the office to weekend brunches, and all the moments in-between, the Blakely Short-sleeve Knit Jumpsuit can be dressed up or down for an effortless, earth-friendly look.
2. Get picky about your materials
High-quality, durable materials are the way to go. REPREVE®, for example, is incredibly durable and can withstand whatever you put it through—cycling to work, running errands, or your Zoom meeting. Plus, it comes from 100% post-consumer garments, meaning that instead of clogging up landfills, old clothes become new ones. Canvas is another MVP. It’s durable, sturdy and holds up to whatever life throws your way.
3. Pick a colour palette
Capsule wardrobe guides typically tell you the same thing: only buy neutral colours. Patterns are generally a “no-no.” Colour? Definitely not.
We only half agree. Yes, get some solid, durable basics in neutral colours that will last for years to come. But there’s no harm in including a striped shirt, or fun colour in your wardrobe. The key is to refine your colour scheme so that no matter what pattern or colour you wear with your basics, it all goes together.
To get started, try picking out three neutral colours to serve as your base. That could be camel, cream, black, grey, white, navy, or brown. Then add two colours that you love, and make sure that any patterns you include go with your colour scheme. Ta-da! You now have a coordinated, interchangeable capsule wardrobe.
A little tip: take a look at your current wardrobe to get a feel for what colours are your vibe. You don’t need to throw out your current closet to create a capsule wardrobe—it can serve as inspiration along the way.
4. Wash with care
When you own only a few pieces that are high quality, it’s important to treat them with care when you wash them so they can live their best life.
- Use a garment bag when you can: the bag reduces the amount of abrasion and wear your clothes go through.
- Turn dark items inside out to wash: this prevents your darks from fading.
- Wash your clothes less: unless it’s dirty or smelly, try wearing an item three times before throwing it in the washing machine.
- Use less detergent: using too much isn’t exactly earth-friendly, plus it makes your clothes dull and stiff. Try using half the amount of detergent and a half cup of baking soda, which acts as a detergent booster.
- Don’t overstuff the washing machine: we’re all guilty of stuffing two weeks (or maybe a month’s?) worth of clothes in one load. This not only means your clothes aren’t cleaned properly, but it also means that your clothes rub against each other and cause wear.
5. Invest in some good basics
Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit more cash on some hard-working basics — these are the foundation of your wardrobe, and will likely get the most wear (and tear). A well constructed jacket, or pants that fit just right will pay themselves off in the long run.
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