The Wardrobe Capsule: A Guide

In one of our earlier blogs we’ve asked about your relationship with Fast Fashion. Do you have a toxic relationship with fast fashion? We have the solution! The so-called Capsule Wardrobe challenges you to downsize your wardrobe to 40 pieces, that can be mixed into countless matching combinations. Why is this more sustainable? You’ll fight the urge to purchase trendy and seasonal items, and invest in long lasting treasures.
by Martijn on Nov 5, 2019

What, Why, How?

We shop a lot. We really do. According to Greenpeace’s ‘After the Binge: The Hangover’ report, shopping and owning more clothes doesn’t make us happy. Why? Respondents of the survey answered that their purchases were driven by a feeling of excitement, causing them to make impulsive decisions. Hands up if you’ve ever had this feeling. But don’t worry, there is a solution and it’s called a ‘Capsule Wardrobe’.

But what is a ‘Capsule Wardrobe’? These types of wardrobes refer to paring down one’s entire seasonal wardrobe to a small number of pieces – as fixed number of clothes that can be matched and curated in order to create as many different outfits as possible. The perks? Getting dressed quickly, having an organized and neat closet, save some money, and in the end shrink your environmental footprint.

Step 1: Make a Plan

Create a structure for yourself: make a plan before you take everything in and out of your closet. Make a short list with items that you definitely need, depending on the season. For example, in autumn or winter it’s more reasonable to add a few jumpers and knitwear to your capsule. An example of a Capsule Plan:

@anne_dressingideal
@anne_dressingideal

Step 2: Choose your Colors

We did our research, and guess what? Black is the most popular base color. Quelle surprise! Navy is another popular base, but we think that cognac works great as well. A base color is a versatile, many-sided  that goes well with many other colors. Neutral tones are timeless, like white, beige, grey, or black. Yes, even though you can pick black as your base color as well (hello all-black err thing!). Don’t want to go too dark this fall? Light tones of brown work fine as well!

@stefanieboussemaere
@stefanieboussemaere

Step 3: Essentials

Essentials are pretty much classic (or minimal) assembles that won’t go out of style. In other words: timeless items that work regardless of the event. Some straight leg jeans, a winter coat, a knitted jumper – these are all examples of fall essentials that can be mixed and matched. Also, think of the good-old white T with long sleeves: perfect to layer up with a blazer, and will keep you warm under your knitted jumper. Tip: as you want to capture essentials for the long run, invest in fairly made good quality brands which offer pieces that you will cherish for years.

@selinasinspiration
@selinasinspiration

Step 4: Accents & Prints

We kind of followed this step as well for our SS19 campaign: we introduced a bright orange strap to our bags to change things up. You’re able to pick any color of your choice! Add some tops or bottoms of a bright color to brighten things up. Although your base colors of Step 1 are likely to match with any other color, you should be able to mix and match every single item. Some ideas for accent colors:

@velvetstore.be
@velvetstore.be

Step 5: Bags!

Even though we think a great Capsule Wardrobe starts with some great bags, this is the final step in our guide. And okay, not only bags, but also shoes, scarves, and other accessories are to be added. For shoes and bags: think about your base color. Just like a base, a navy, black or cognac bag is always a good start and matches everything. Think about different sizes: what are your days like? Do you have to bring your laptop, or do you work from home? A night-out bag (like clutch) is definitely a must, especially a classic, timeless piece. Especially bags with detachable straps, so that you can swap your straps and up your most effortless looks! Our Georgia is absolutely work appropriate, and then the Lola is perfect for off-duty hours and can be dressed up or down and personalised (additional straps and detachable strap).

Some General Tips

  •  Invest in all-year basics: classic items that are wearable in every season, and easy to style up and down.
  • Feel the need to add a new item to your capsule? Try to mix secondhand rare finds to match with quality key items.
  • Make small capsules within your seasonal capsule: For example, a ‘going out’ package included a small cross body bag, minimal black dress, and stilettos.
  • Not convinced yet? Another pro of the Capsule Wardrobe: Taking time to think of what items you value and makes choices of what you can donate. Hello downsizing!
  • Fun fact: Donna Karan released a capsule collection 1985, featuring 7 items to wear to the office.
  • Get your clothes to be tailored properly. Sometimes items are still hanging in the closet because you don’t feel comfortable wearing them. Take them to the tailor and it will feel like you have a total set of new clothes!
  • Exclude items that do not count as ‘capsule’: work-out clothes, underwear, socks.

@omybagamsterdam
@omybagamsterdam

Now it’s your turn!

Show us your capsule wardrobe by tagging us on Instagram. What’s your wardrobe plan for this season? We will be sharing our favorites in our stories.

Love,

Elise Hoven
O My Bag

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