Sustainably Chic

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe and Sustainable Brands that Help

Conscious ListsNatalie Kay

pt. 1

Susie Faux, a London boutique owner, coined the term 'Capsule Wardrobe' in the 1970s. The simplified wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items {meant to last through trends} which can be paired with seasonal pieces. Today, you typically find capsule wardrobes containing less than 40 pieces. The number still seems big, but go hang out in your closet for a bit and you will find - it is a lot smaller than you think.

Some of y’all might be laughing at me for even talking about this because who am I to give tips on a capsule wardrobe… I have like way too many clothes for that. It’s true. I have more clothing than the average capsule size, but I’ve created mini capsules within my bigger collection of clothes. I really like having a big closet, and I hold on to clothes like they are my friends. I will say, I’m very cautious about what I add into it, and I try to keep my new items to a minimum. However, I know many of you really love the idea of a capsule wardrobe and it helps simplify your life. I’m just going to give you a few tricks I’ve learned over the years and a list of brands that make building the perfect capsule wardrobe easy and fair.

Simple Capsule Wardrobe Break Down

This will be a bit different for everyone, but for example, in a 40-piece wardrobe it could be:

  • 10 tops

  • 10 bottoms

  • 10 outerwear pieces

  • 5 dresses

  • 5 pairs of shoes

If you really want to size-down to include accessories within the 40, go with less bottoms and outwear pieces. When building my seasonal wardrobes, I never include the accessories, but I know some people do!

Try to work mostly with neutral colors so tops and bottoms can be easily matched. Find a few accent colors and a couple prints for a little bit of a pop. If you are having trouble narrowing your closet down, you can create capsule wardrobes by season.

Start With What You Have

Don’t immediately go out and buy something. You probably can already make a decent capsule wardrobe and then add from there. (oh & don’t get rid of things either just because they don’t fit into the new capsule… you may still have use for those pieces in the future)

Need to find something new to add in?

Shop Businesses that Make Versatile Pieces

Here are a few brands I love to direct people to when they ask about capsule wardrobes. Plus, these brands are all ethical and hold sustainability at their core.

Shop at the Beginning of Each Season

Only allowing yourself to go shopping 4 times a year will help curb some of those impulse purchases. It also helps you to really think about your next purchase so you are 100% sure it’s something that will benefit your closet. I sit on an idea of a new piece for months, and a lot of the time, I don’t ever end up purchasing it.

Look for Pieces You can Wear Multiple Ways

I love dresses you can change with a single tie, or garments with no ‘wrong side’ of the fabric. I have several blouses and dresses I can wear with buttons on the back or front which helps create all new looks. Encircled is probably the best brand for versatile pieces.

I hope you have found this somewhat helpful. I’ll be discussing this topic on Instagram and will make sure to add any of your tips to the post!!

I plan to create a Fall Capsule Wardrobe from my own closet in the next few weeks for part two of this series so stay tuned :)