A capsule wardrobe seems to be a common goal right now. I’ve talked about it several times here on Club Forty, some Instagram accounts are entirely devoted to curating the perfect capsule wardrobe, and many articles have been published on this topic.
The capsule wardrobe has come to epitomise ‘perfection’ in terms of your closet of clothes. Possibly because fashion is so accessible and affordable these days, and as a result our wardrobes have become confused and chaotic.
So what is it?
Capsule Wardrobe is a term coined by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe” 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, which can then be augmented with seasonal pieces.
The number of items gathered to make up this seamless wardrobe is undefined. But on research, it appears to be around 30 items or fewer. The idea is to curate your core items and supplement them with a few on-trend purchases each season.
The colour palette should be neutral and therefore easy to mix-and-match, and of course appropriate to the season. So for Spring we are talking denim, greys, beige, khaki, stripes and of course leopard print (the new neutral).
Why have a capsule wardrobe?
Choosing what to wear each day should become easier, simply because there are fewer clothes to choose from. The impact on your budget will be positive as you are utilising good quality clothes that won’t date and should therefore last a couple of years. In the long run, you will shop less.
Less choice will also encourage you to be more creative as you will be forced to layer, partner and accessorise your pieces to make the most of your capsule wardrobe.
When you do buy the few on-trend items, you must ask yourself how will they integrate with your capsule wardrobe? How many outfits can you create with the new item? Aim for at least 3 combinations, otherwise the cost-per-wear is likely to be high!
If I were to create and rely on a capsule wardrobe, I reckon I would create about 70% more space in my dressing area. It would certainly provide a sense of control over my bulging rails and drawers!
So what does it look like?
I have suggested 24 core items below that make up a pretty good capsule wardrobe, in my opinion, for a school-run Mum like myself, who works part-time in a non-corporate environment. Many of the pieces can be dressed up or down and mixed and matched several times with one another. This selection doesn’t include party-wear, which should be covered with additional on-trend items.
• 1 blazer, 1 coat, 2 jackets
• 3 pairs of trousers (incl. jeans), 1 jumpsuit
• 3 dresses, 1 skirt
• 2 blouses/shirts
• 2 sweaters
• 4 tees
• 4 pairs of shoes (incl. trainers)
Like me, most of you will have similar items to these already. So a capsule wardrobe might not be as unattainable as you may think. What it does take is time and discipline to a) sort through your drawers, closets and trunks, and b) stick to the regime of relying on a set range of clothes for the entire season.
Personally, I’m not sure if I actually have the appetite or motivation to bother with it?
But on the other hand, I do like a challenge…
What do you think? As always I’d love to know your thoughts!