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How to build a capsule wardrobe

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Knowing where to begin when building a capsule wardrobe can be quite daunting but it doesn’t need to be. Here are our top tricks and tips for adopting more green fashion and building the perfect capsule wardrobe to suit your lifestyle as well as our recommendations for some excellent investment clothing pieces.

What is a capsule wardrobe?

Simply put, a capsule wardrobe is a limited collection of interchangeable clothing that all complement each other and can be worn in multiple different combinations. These pieces are often made up of classic, timeless designs that don’t go out of style. A capsule wardrobe is commonly made up of neutral colours although if you’re partial to a brighter colour palette it’s not impossible to create a capsule wardrobe in these hues. Building a minimalist wardrobe of well-fitting, timeless pieces allows you to create a variety of different outfits that make you feel as good as you look - without the stress.

Is a capsule wardrobe worth it?

There are many reasons why you might want to start a capsule wardrobe. Depending on your struggles with your current wardrobe, there are many reasons why building a capsule wardrobe could be worth it for you.

Less stress

A capsule wardrobe means less stress in your life in general. You do not have to stress over the clothing pieces not fitting you. There is also less maintenance and repairing as you have fewer clothes. You’re more likely to choose clothing that is easy to take care of, and it’s easier to pack when you go travelling and move houses.

More time

Having a wardrobe that is carefully curated can save you a lot of time. No more standing in front of the wardrobe pulling your hair out over what to wear. You’ll have a set style and will know what works with everything else, saving you time getting dressed and also saving you time shopping. When you have an established style, you won’t have to waste time digging through piles of clothes in the shops, nor spend hours trying on clothes that just don’t look quite right.

Save money

Although the pieces you’re likely investing in have a higher price point overall, the amount you’ll be saving (and subsequently not wasting) on buying cheaper clothes that stop fitting after a couple of washes will be huge. Additionally, when you have a capsule wardrobe, all your items complement each other so you’ll find you won’t have to go shopping as often.

More sustainable

If, like us, you’re concerned about making your clothing choices more sustainable and environmentally friendly, a capsule wardrobe can help you do just that. Rather than filling your closet with fast fashion items that contribute to global warming and microplastics in the ocean, your capsule wardrobe will contain more ethical fashion - mostly timeless pieces designed to last for years without going out of style.

How do I build a capsule wardrobe?

Before you head out to buy your new wardrobe essentials, there are a few things you need to do first.

Wardrobe audit

An audit might sound scary but all we mean is that you’ll need to take stock of everything in your wardrobe and make thoughtful decisions about what to keep. Another tip is to think about what your daily activities and lifestyle are. Are you a stay-at-home mom? Do you have a 9-5 job? Are you working out regularly? Depending on what you do with your time, your needs will be unique to you. For each clothing piece, ask yourself: “When was the last time I wore this?” If you haven’t worn it for a few months (and let’s be honest, some of us have things we haven’t worn in years), it won’t be a great piece to add to your capsule wardrobe. Once you’ve thought about these points, look at all of your favourite pieces and analyse why you love them. This will help you understand what your style is, what colours you love, what cut suits you, and what materials are your favourites. From there you can begin to plan out your new capsule wardrobe in more detail.

Plan your capsule wardrobe

Now that you understand what you love the most and what styles you rock, you can begin planning your capsule wardrobe in more detail Decide on a number of items you’d like to experiment with for each type of clothing. For example, 9 t-shirts, 5 trousers, and 5 pairs of shoes. The numbers of each item may change depending on the climate where you live, your lifestyle, and how often you do laundry. Think about what suits your body shape as well as whether there are any trends and similarities between your favourite most-worn pieces. Think about what kind of neckline you prefer. Are you more into skinny trouser styles or prefer a wide leg? High-waisted or low-rise jeans? Do you feel good in cropped sweaters or prefer oversized styles? A good thing to decide is whether you prefer trousers such as our Gaby leather joggers or skirts like the Lucy button from calf hair skirt. Think about every style of clothes possible and pick the most flattering for you. Thinking about the kinds of fibres you like is another consideration to take into account. Some people prefer to stick to recycled manmade materials while others prefer more natural fibres such as cotton and linen. The best part about building your capsule wardrobe is that you don’t have to follow any fixed set of rules. That being said though, starting with a neutral colour scheme as a base, such as white, black, grey, navy, or cream means you are starting with a colour palette that will work well with any other. Having most of your clothes in neutral tones will make them all interchangeable and easy to mix and match. Once you have your base, you can then add a few accent colours that you love and that suit your skin tone. You’ll be able to wear them with all the other neutral-coloured clothes!

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Build that wardrobe!

Now you’ve planned out your wardrobe and have a good vision of what you need, it’s time to put the changes into action. Let go of all the clothes you no longer want and declutter everything you don’t absolutely love or fit properly. Where possible, resell the items in good condition or donate them to charity to save it from going into landfill. Look over what you have left and make a list of items you need to fill the gaps. When buying your new capsule wardrobe, keep in mind your colour scheme and favourite styles and choose staple wardrobe pieces that are versatile and work well together. Avoid trendy items as they will quickly go out of style. Some good basic pieces you’ll probably want in your capsule wardrobe include neutral-coloured t-shirts, a pair of black trousers, one or two pairs of jeans, a cardigan for layering, and a black one piece such as a dress or our Lauren black suede jumpsuit that can be easily dressed up or dressed down. Try to invest in high-quality pieces such as Edith stripe leather pant, Laura sleeveless pussybow blouse, and Francoise bell bottoms, that you can be sure will last you many years to come and won’t go out of style. Once you have all the clothes you need, It’s time to focus on your coats, shoes, and accessories!

Try to pick up a couple of coats that work with any outfit such as our Angie leather biker jacket and Charlotte leather trench coat. For shoes, the Salome calf hair leather boots are a lovely point of interest while the Gemma black and white bag makes for a classic accessory. No capsule wardrobe is complete without a belt and the Anouck patent belt makes for the perfect finishing touch to any outfit. Perhaps you’re looking for something a bit unique and find it in our Clint leather bandana? These items are all timeless wardrobe staples and are perfect for your new capsule wardrobe. If you live in a four-season climate, you may want to have items that you rotate out depending on the time of year. At the change of seasons, carefully store away items you won’t wear and switch out more appropriate garments when you need them. Doing this, you should have 4 different capsule wardrobes a year which gives you plenty of variety while still relying on some staples you can rely on year-round. For a closer look at our favourite, long-lasting wardrobe staples, check out our The Classiques section for some excellent recommendations for your new capsule wardrobe. We are champions of eco-friendly fashion so make sure you read our stance on sustainability as well to get a better grasp on our ethos.