The importance of a capsule wardrobe
The term ‘capsule wardrobe’ was first coined in the 1970s and brought to prominence in the 1980s by Donna Karan (owner of DKNY). The idea behind a capsule wardrobe is to own a few timeless items of clothing which are interchangeable, good quality and long lasting, which can then be augmented by one or two more seasonal items. As opposed This philosophy has numerous benefits, over the long term it’s much cheaper, it’s far more ethical, and if you invest in the right pieces, you know you’ll always look fantastic.
The primary benefit of a good capsule wardrobe is financial benefit, once you’ve bought the clothes, that’s it. They’re yours, you don’t need to buy anything else. and because of the quality, they’ll be yours for a long time to come. Secondly, because you’re buying far less clothing, it’s miles better for the environment. Fashion is the industry with the second highest pollution in the world. Billions of tonnes of clothing are made, shipped, bought and then binned every year. A capsule wardrobe slows down the demand for clothing, particularly clothing produced in less than ideal circumstances. Finally, with a capsule wardrobe, you don’t need to think about getting dressed in the morning. You know you’ll always look good, everything you wear goes with everything else and everything fits.
Obviously a capsule wardrobe will vary from person to person, based upon their needs, tastes and the numerous other variables associated with clothing. However a few key principles must be adhered to. Firstly, everything has to fit properly, even the best items of clothing in the world will look terrible if the fit isn’t correct. Secondly, try to keep any colours as neutral as possible, stick to navy, grey, and one or two other colours, to ensure every item of clothing you purchase can be worn together. Finally, try to buy items of superior quality, it may cost more than you’re used to spending, but a pair of Goodyear welted, leather shoes will last ten times as long as a cheaper pair (and look ten times better) Buying cheap is false economy.
Below is an example capsule wardrobe, which will suit almost everyone for almost every eventuality can consist of as little as 25 pieces.
- One Navy Blue or Charcoal Grey single breasted suit, classically cut and ideally bespoke.
- Three formal, white Cotton shirts, with at least one featuring a button-down collar.
- Three other formal shirts, in classic hues/patterns, such as pale blue or pink.
- One pair of black Oxford shoes.
- One navy blue blazer.
- One pair of grey flannel trousers.
- One pair of chinos, in either navy or beige.
- One classic overcoat.
- One pair of dark, selvedge denim jeans, in a slim or straight cut.
- One pair of black slim jeans.
- One navy crew neck cashmere jumper.
- Two plain white cotton t-shirts
- One pair of sturdy boots.
- One pair of white trainers.
- One pair of casual shoes.
- One casual, waterproof coat.
- Two casual shirts, plaid, flannel or similar.
- One grey sweatshirt.
When constructing a capsule wardrobe, you don’t need to splurge on expensive items all at once, nor do you need to immediately throw away your existing wardrobe. When items wear out, or go ‘out of fashion’ replace them with items from your capsule wardrobe, until, eventually, you have a timeless wardrobe, which is built to last.