The “Fast Fashion” trend has swept the world, with technology allowing quick manufacture of inexpensive clothing. Trends are evolving more and more rapidly, meaning what walked down the runway last month is no longer in style. Clothing has become less sustainable and more disposable at the cost of the planet and your wallet! This cultural trend has manifested itself in compulsive buying; therefore, clothing retailers and manufacturers have to keep costs affordable for the consumer by using lower quality materials and less expensive labor. This one-time-use, disposable “fast fashion” concept has resulted in more and more clutter and waste.
Enter the capsule wardrobe!
This secret weapon incorporates reusable, interchangeable, and high-quality staple pieces that can be combined in different manners for any and every occasion. The idea behind the boutique known as Wardrobe was to create an all-in-one shop of essentials, where professional women could shop with confidence. American designer Donna Karan, in the mid-1980s, released an influential collection of seven interchangeable work-wear pieces, and the capsule craze took off.
The Benefits of Capsule Wardrobes
It Reduces Decision Fatigue: “Decision fatigue” is the inevitable deterioration of quality decisions made by individuals who have been participating in long sessions of decision making. By reducing the overall amount of daily decision making, mental clarity is gradually enhanced.
It Requires Less Time: All in all, women spend 287 days out of their entire life thinking about what to drape over their bodies.
It Reduces Stress: Being frequently stressed reduces overall self-esteem as your decision-making ability is being challenged.
It Wastes Less Energy: Many people block off an entire day to “switch seasons” with their clothing. Having fewer pieces overall means less time spent sorting through your laundry bins as you prepare them for a wash and less time afterward as you fold and press them for storage.
It Inspires Confidence: When you force yourself to create a more focused wardrobe, you’re forcing yourself to take a good, long look at your style and the kind of pieces that not only make you look good but feel good too.
It Saves Money: By creating a small collection of timeless essentials, you’ll save upwards of 75 percent of your current shopping budget, leaving you with significantly more financial freedom.
Do you frequently have difficulty finding something to wear? Would having more time in the morning benefit you? Do you want to save some money? Are you tired of putting on old clothes that don’t compliment your personality, body type, and style? Do you worry about the footprint your fast fashion choices is creating?
You are encouraged to research brands and designers to make sure their ethics and sustainability efforts align with your own. Learn ways to further decrease the global footprint of the clothes you will add to your capsule and the clothes that will be removed from your cluttered collection.
Step 1 Outline the Concept: Finding Your Own Style
First, you’re going to want to look ahead to the coming season and ask yourself what you want your style to look like. Think of a time when you felt really good about your outfit. Next, think of some looks that you really like. You’ll also want to make note of things that make you feel good. Knowing what you love is extremely important, At the same time, acknowledge what you don’t love. might be beneficial to create a mood board to use to play around with different themes and ideas until you feel confident in your decision.
Do a quick search for “lookbook app,” and you’ll find many examples. At the end of this exercise, you’ll want to discover three key things to help you build your capsule: your preference in color, your favorite fabrics, and the looks you tend to choose naturally.
Step 2 Create the Uniform: Bringing Your Style to Life
Once you have determined an overall concept, it’s time to create one functional uniform, or outfit formula, that you can see yourself wearing. again.Think of this as the first step towards sustainability, not the last step in enjoying your clothing! You may already have a uniform without consciously being aware of it. Look at the notes you have made, and evaluate what you have done. Do you tend to reach for the same pair of jeans, despite having several pairs? Do your friends or coworkers joke that you have an “addiction” to a staple item, like cardigans, vintage dresses, or sweater vests? Do you put on the same sweater whenever you’re feeling a little chilly? Does your mood board or lookbook focus on one specific color or shape? Do you currently own multiples of the same item (think of Steve Jobs and his black turtleneck)? Answering “yes” to any of these questions helps you discover what your current uniform may lean towards.
IS THIS WHAT I ENJOY WEARING? From your mood board, lookbook, and notes, you’ll start to notice some options becoming more appealing than others. Feel free to remove or cross off those items that don’t fit into the uniform you are creating. bear in mind the practicality of the elements you choose. another part of being honest with yourself and balancing needs and wants. Another thing to consider at this point is accessories. What type of shoes will look good with these tops and bottoms? What are your favorite jewelry pieces? Do you typically wear things like scarves?
Step 3 Build the Framework: Choosing the Individual Pieces
You’ll use your uniform, as well as the elements you identified on your mood board or lookbook, as looks you’d like to incorporate into your wardrobe. When building the framework, you should estimate how many of each item you will require, aiming between twenty and thirty pieces in total. These can always be adjusted, so just make your best-educated guess.
Key Things to Keep in Mind When Creating a Uniform
You will want to have several versions of each item in your uniform. A good starting point is to allocate 50 percent of your overall items to the categories your uniform falls under. So, if your uniform is a T-shirt, jeans, and sneakers, and your capsule wardrobe goal is thirty pieces, you want fifteen of those pieces to be T-shirts and jeans. Pick items that you will reach for often and purchase them over items you may only wear once or twice in a year. Items that require more frequent washing should be considered of higher importance than those that require infrequent washing. Regularly worn items like shoes and jackets will have a longer life and need to be replaced less often if they are rotated every couple of days; therefore, allocating at least three items to these categories will benefit you in the long run.
Structuring Your Uniform
This is the step in which you will actually chart out the pieces you think you will need and the number of pieces in total. In this example, the uniform is T-shirts and jeans, with additional concepts of long-sleeved shirts, leggings, jackets, and dresses. This example includes a total of ten tops and six bottoms. If those are all interchangeable, that’s sixty possible combinations right there. Add one of the three jackets, and you’ve more than doubled the combinations. Example: 5 pcs Shirts, 5 pcs Long sleeves, 4 pcs Jeans, 2 pcs Leggings, 2 pcs Sneakers, 2 pcs Boots, 3 pcs Jackets, 2 pcs Dresses. You can stack the quantities to favor the pieces you think you’ll wear more often, depending on your lifestyle and where you live. If you really enjoy wearing dresses, for example, let yourself have a few extra pieces in that category.
Step 4 Draft Your Final Capsule
Using your basic structure guide above and the concept you visualized for yourself, get more specific about your capsule and start narrowing down colors and textures. Now is the time to get down to the nitty-gritty and really define your likes, loves, wants, and needs. You may prefer to have five entirely different shirts, instead of multiple identical items. Drafting Tips:
1. Look at what you already own, pull pieces out, and separate the items that already fall within your capsule specifications. If your style was already well defined, you might be able to build most of your capsule with items you already own. Resist the urge to completely revamp your mood board or lookbook!
2. Examine the categories you’ve outlined in sets to help determine a good balance of neutrals/bright colors and basics/statement pieces for optimization.
3. Keep a list of your final draft available for future reference. This is where the mood board or lookbook app can be really handy. As time goes by, you’ll want to keep a careful note of items that need to be repaired, replaced, or added. This can ensure your capsule remains tidy and organized, so you don’t find yourself buying unnecessary pieces.
Base Tones: It’s important to spend ample time figuring out what colors you feel most comfortable wearing. The main tones most people base their capsule wardrobes on are neutrals: • black • beige • white • navy • tan
Highlights and Accents: These accent tones will serve to complement your base and can help you transition between the changing seasons.
Shopping the Right Way: If you’ve fallen victim to the appeal of the fast fashion world, you’re going to require a bit of rewiring to help you focus less on grabbing what looks appropriate and to concentrate more on building a sustainable, long-term wardrobe.
1. Reduce Your Fashion Footprint: While we can’t possibly know your personal motivation factors for supporting sustainable fashion, the goal of building a capsule wardrobe allows you to support sustainable fashion, in that you are buying fewer items and you are investing in items that are made to last. Because you are being more selective, you have the opportunity to research brands and designers you feel good about supporting. Shopping secondhand not only makes use of items that would otherwise go to waste and end up in a landfill, it also allows you to wear fabulous clothing at a fraction of the original price.
2. Fashion Delivery! Developing a uniform as part of your capsule wardrobe isn’t about being boring and repetitive, after all! It is very important to know your measurements.
3. Quality, Not Quantity As long as you are being mindful of the quality of the pieces you are selecting, you can still shop at whatever store you like. You can make a list of brands to support and brands to avoid, which will help you steer around larger shopping centers with confidence.
4. Bring a List If you’ve drafted your capsule correctly, you should have a clear idea of what you’re looking for when you go shopping. Don’t try to buy everything at once, either.
5. Be Sales Savvy Do: sign up for promotions from sites where you plan to shop frequently. Don’t: sign up for a variety of promotions and use that as an excuse to shop indiscriminately!
6. Focus on Fit As mentioned earlier, there is no such thing as a standard size. Men, women, and children around the globe typically have clothing in three to four different “sizes,” depending on each brand’s measurements. you need to focus less on what size something is, and focus more on fit. If you are hemming and hawing about whether or not a dress or a shirt looks good on you, don’t commit to it. Wait for the item that fits perfectly!
The basics of your capsule are going to exemplify the three key factors you should keep in mind when choosing its pieces: style, fit, and fabric. Focus on neutral tones you can easily pair with your other items. The style of the basic pieces should be something that incorporates well with many different looks. The fit of your pieces, should be comfortable. Be prepared for many different situations, weight fluctuations, and activities. This is where choosing high-quality fabrics will really pay off and save you some serious cash in the long run. Your basics will be what you wear the absolute most. Take your time when establishing them to avoid having to replace them frequently! When picking your starter pieces, ask yourself: 1. Do I love this so much I’ll wear it until it falls apart? 2. Does it pair well with my other pieces? 3. Can I live without it? 4. Is it made to last?
Care & Maintenance to Get the Most Out of Your Capsule
Wearing undershirts will assist with keeping your shirts clean and free of pesky sweat stains.
Wash Frugally - By washing them when it is necessary, you can extend their wearing life.
Hand Wash/Line Dry - One eco-friendly method for washing and drying clothing is to omit the high-powered washer and dryer entirely.
Choose the Right Products - Gentle, non-toxic products made with natural ingredients can preserve the look of your clothing.
Keep a Working Wardrobe List - Your working wardrobe list should be regularly referenced to see which items in your capsule are beginning to. show wear and tear and should be replaced or repaired.
Capsules for Every Body
Fashion is about making the body you already have feel great and look fantastic. Make clothing choices that build your confidence, The first step in creating a fabulous look for your body is to figure out what kind of body yours most closely resembles. The Five Main Female Body Types:
Pear-shaped bodies tend to have hips that are wider than their shoulders and a small waist. Straight Sometimes referred to as a column-body, straight-shaped bodies have shoulders that perfectly align with their hips. There tends to be little-to-no waist definition,
Apple shapes, like straight shapes, have little-to-no waist definition, but they tend to have more rounded and wider shoulders. If you think your shoulders are broad for your frame, you are likely an apple.
Hourglass-shaped people are also referred to as curvy, given their obvious waist definition, wide shoulders, and hips. If you’re on the fence as to whether you’re truly hourglass-shaped, try measuring your chest, waist, and hips.
Strawberry-shaped bodies, also known as “inverted triangles,” generally have wide shoulders, flat bottoms, narrow hips, and small waists. An easy way to find out if you fit this body type is if you generally buy larger sized clothing for your tops than you do your bottoms.
DRESSING TIPS: Don’t consider these as rigid rules, but more like ideas
Since your hips get attention, it’s time to draw the focus to the top half of your body. When selecting things for your top half, whether it’s a jacket or a blouse, try to make sure the hemline doesn’t fall at the widest part of your frame, as this will further accentuate the pear frame. Try on different lengths and styles. Choose bootcut or straight-legged pants and A-line dresses and skirts. If you like to wear stripes, focus on horizontal stripes for your top half and avoid them for your bottoms. When layering, wearing heavier textures and fabrics on your top half will add a sense of density to your upper body.
• Wear wide-hemmed pants, skirts, and dresses.
• Try lighter colors on the top half of your body and dark colors on the bottom for greater contrast.
• Consider cowl, boat, and square necklines to bring attention to your neck and shoulders and to add dimension to your upper body. Scarves, ties, and necklaces can also add focus to your upper body.
• Show off your shoulders with strapless dresses.
• Adding texture, such as ruffles on top, can help you balance
your overall silhouette.
• Don’t wear jackets that bring attention to your largest measurement.
• Have fun with patterns on top and bottom. Wild patterns and colors can be fun accents that draw the eye equally to all of your favorite areas.
Your slim hips make jeans look fabulous, so feel free to experiment with a variety of denim. A-line or narrow pleated skirts and dresses typically work best to add movement and dimension to the bottom half of the body. Avoid items that try hard to add curves. Fitted shirts and tailored cotton fabrics on top will sit nicely on your frame.
• Wearing long jackets may highlight your straight stature.
• Choose tops with ruffles and embellished collars to accentuate your chest.
• Add dimensions by utilizing layers, such as vests, sweaters, or jackets.
• Scoop necklines and sweetheart tops help create a wider visual perspective to the top half of your body.
• Clothing with side crunch or ruching looks great on you.
• Brightly colored bottoms will further add dimension to your shape.
• Enjoy tailored clothing to complement your natural shape.
Simple and straight lines will be an added benefit if you have an apple body type, but straight lines will be a difficult fit for curvier bodies.
• Monochromatic tones will look great.
• Elongate your torso with V-necklines.
• Accessorize with belts to accentuate your waistline.
• Seek out empire dress lines and tops.
• Strengthen your shape with bootcut or flared jeans.
• If you want to accentuate your legs, try shorter skirts.
Hourglass-shaped people may want to accentuate their curves. To do so, avoid both loose or heavy and bulky clothing as they have a tendency to emphasize the larger areas of the hourglass proportions.
• Focus on precisely tailored clothing to accentuate your curves.
• Experiment with wrap-style dresses.
• Accessorize with belts to enhance your shape.
• Wear high-waisted bottoms.
• Choose thin, light, or flowing fabrics, like jersey, rayon, or silk.
• Straight-legged pants or skinny jeans look great and can be super comfortable.
Try to purchase pants from a retailer who offers a variety of shapes and cuts, so you can find a favorite fit.
• Bright bottoms in bold patterns and flowy fabric can accentuate your legs.
• Wide-hemmed pants and skirts also add focus to the lower half of the body.
• Full skirts can balance out a body that feels top-heavy.
• Thin straps like spaghetti straps and boat necklines can emphasize wider shoulders, so choose a bottom that balances this look.
• Wear high-waisted pants, belts, and wrap styles to aid in creating a more defined waistline.
Travel Capsule Packing Tips
1. Only pack what you truly love 2. Pick a color scheme 3. Limit your shoes and handbags 4. Consider chameleon pieces - encouraging the consideration of pieces like long-sleeve T-shirts that can be rolled up in milder temperatures or put under sweaters for cooler nights.
Step 1: Basic Structure: Your basic travel capsule for a long weekend should consist of: 3 tops, 2 bottoms, 1 sweater or jacket, 1 pair of sneakers or walking shoes
Step 2: Additional Items : These items could include a blazer, a dress, formal footwear, an additional top or sweater, a skirt, or a pair of shorts. You can also include trip-specific wear, like a bathing suit and cover-up, or clothing for specific activities, like hiking shorts, sports bras, or fleece outerwear, but remember to evaluate how often you might need these items.
Step 3: Accessorize: This ensures you have the most options out of the least amount of clothing items.
Step 4: Review : Another point to consider is whether you’ll be able to do some laundry while you’re away.
Capsules for Him
- Basic tees: three in total, with at least two solid colors. - Dress shirts: three in total, with one patterned (stripes, gingham, etc.).
- Casual button down shirts: two total. These can be patterned or solid
- Jeans: two pair. Try choosing two different styles to add flexibility to your wardrobe.
- Dress pants/khakis: three pair total. While having three different pairs is advisable, make sure they coordinate with all of the shirts: tees,dress shirts, and button downs. This fully extends your wardrobe.
- Blazer: Just one, unless you wear jackets to work frequently. This blazer should be able to coordinate with dress clothing and jeans to carry your look to a variety of occasions.
- Casual jacket or sweater: Again, just one. This jacket can be a variety of styles, such as a military- or cargo-style jacket, or a cardigan-style knit or wool sweater.
Accessories can include one pair of neutral dress shoes, one pair of boots, one pair of sneakers, and a belt. If you wear ties frequently, you may have amassed a collection.
- The leather jacket or wool coat.
- Flannel or plaid print shirts.
- Sweater vests.
Suits are another area where the uninitiated can panic. Obama has the right idea: blue and black are classics that can work in nearly every situation. The most important feature of a suit is the fit.
Capsules for Work and Capsules for Play
You can have more than one capsule if need be. Some people have very distinct and small capsules. Rather than one thirty-piece capsule, they may have a fifteen-piece work-clothing capsule, a ten-piece casual capsule, and a six-piece capsule of workout attire.
workout capsule. This could include: - three pairs of leggings - two pairs of shorts - five tank tops or athletic tees (or combination) - five pairs of athletic socks - two sports bras - a hoodie or cool-down top - a well-fitting pair of workout shoes
The Dos of Capsule Wardrobes: 1. Planning is Key 2. Develop Your Personal Style 3. Focus on Quality Pieces 4. Organize Your Wardrobe 5. Purge Intelligently
The Don’ts of Capsule Wardrobes: 1. Obsess Over Numbers 2. Copy Someone Else’s Style or Follow Trends 3. Be Too Rigid 4. Play It Too Safe
Essential Shopping Tips Inevitably, you will have to replace your pieces after they wear out. When you do, follow these three tips: • Look for clothes that follow your current style. • Don’t buy something that’s the same as your other pieces. • Make sure you love every purchase before you commit.
The 21-Day Capsule Wardrobe Challenge
1. Go through your wardrobe and select twenty pieces you believe will sustain you for the duration of the challenge. Just select tops and bottoms.
2. Remember to try to choose pieces that are versatile and functional for your lifestyle. You will be living in them for the next 21 days after all.
3. Clean and organize your closet so that all your unused pieces are out of sight and out of mind.
4. For the next three weeks, alternate and mix and match your twenty pieces to create as many unique styles as you can. Document them, take photos, and make notes of pieces that you find more versatile than others. Consider the usefulness of layering pieces, particularly if you are transitioning into a new season.
5. Use these three weeks to experiment with how far you can stretch those twenty pieces into new outfits. Play with accessories and try to avoid buying anything new. You can use this time to save money to buy capsule pieces after the three weeks.
6. In the final week of your challenge, start thinking about how you can build your next capsule. This will teach you the importance of having a working wardrobe and to look ahead in the future for transitional periods and the needs of the next season.
7. Enjoy the challenge! While you may find that twenty pieces is more stressful than your current wardrobe setup, try to have fun with it and come up with as many styles as you can. You might surprise yourself. This is only three weeks out of your life, but it could save you time and money over your lifetime.
The Future of Fashion
The influx of fast fashion has made it challenging to find high-quality pieces that are as timeless as they are modern and have significantly increased stress and anxiety in consumers everywhere. while, capsule wardrobes have remained quietly in the background and adapted to global trends like shifting into more eco-conscious solutions to everyday wear. With the advancement of social media and the dependability of the internet, capsule wardrobes can now take center stage. Socially conscious fashion followers can build their own sustainable capsules in unique and creative ways while sharing with the world the amazing benefits and positive impacts capsules have had on their lives. The capsule wardrobe movement is on the rise, given the advantages to adopting a minimalist lifestyle in a constantly changing world.
My Green Closet :
Building a Sustainable Capsule Wardrobe and More