Below, in no particular order, are the links to four content creators who have put the concept of the capsule wardrobe into practice. Through video, text, and collage, they each offer their own take on the minimalist wardrobe. These sites are my go-to when I’m feeling stuck with my current wardrobe.
1. London beauty blogger Anna over at viviannadoesmakeup creates killer videos showing her 10 staple pieces for each season. The music and editing are on point. Previous capsule wardrobe vids: Autumn 2014 , Summer 2014
2. Texan dweller Caroline from un-fancy.com created her website specifically for documenting her capsule wardrobe. Scroll through her capsule wardrobe archive beginning Spring 2014 here. *Plus she’s created a free wardrobe planner for those new to capsule wardrobes.
3. Anuschka Rees from Berlin is all about spending time developing your personal style. Into-mind is full of well thought out content and clean design. Rees has created a series of posts about how to go about building a capsule wardrobe (though these activities apply to anyone looking to develop their personal style, regardless of whether you want a minimalist wardrobe). She also creates sample seasonal wardrobes. 4. Originally from The Netherlands, Coco of Lightbycoco creates niche capsule wardrobes for work, dates, Halloween, and travel. Here’s a playlist of her capsule wardrobe related videos.
In line with the capsule wardrobe topic, I wanted to discuss an experiment minimalist blogger Ivania Carpio challenged herself to in 2011: Wearing The Same Dress for 30 days. Carpio bought an oversize tank top at COS, and with gentle hand washing and styling, attempted to see how many times she could wear it. Her goal was to see if she could base her wardrobe on one garment and still have versatility, but the outcome was that she realized that quality was the actual issue: all garments can’t withstand 30 days of repeated wear.
These were her questions before she started the challenge: How versatile can a basic piece be?
Versatile enough to be worn everyday to every occasion that comes up?
And if it is, how meaningless will a large wardrobe look?
Will I miss my other clothes?
Will this dress be burned afterwards because I’m so sick of it or will I continue to wear it daily?
And this was her conclusion: I love clothes and honestly speaking I want to have a big collection of them. There is a but; quality wins it over quantity every time. I want to keep all my garments for life and am sad that the great design of this COS dress only lasted for two weeks. This experiment made me realize even more that I don’t actually need as much clothes as I initially thought. With this in mind I can be even more critical about what I am adding to my collection. Because that is what I’d like to built: a collection of great quality, beautifully designed items.
The idea of a fixed look, a uniform that doesn’t change every season but is a reflection of ones personality is very interesting, though a close to impossible thing to put together. Perhaps by the time I’m 50 I’ll be done dressing up and I’ll know myself good enough to be able to find an outfit that perfectly resembles my personality that I could wear every day for the rest of my life.
Though an extreme take on the capsule wardrobe, I think the lesson learned is important: quality matters. If we do want to live more minimalistic lives (in regards to all aspects of life), we need to ignore trends and social norms, and instead focus on quality. However, the challenge stirs up a potential problem: can the general population afford to not buy fast fashion from the high street?
Defining the capsule wardrobe:
An old concept, which was founded way back in 1970s, the capsule wardrobe, – okay, so maybe it really isn’t that old – is now coming back into fashion. So what is the capsule wardrobe? The concept is simple: narrow down your closet by developing a select, minimal collection of clothing items that you can repeatedly wear. The benefits are basic: spend less time choosing your outfits in the morning, stop saying you have nothing to wear, stop shopping so much, and have a more organized wardrobe: de-clutter your home, de-clutter your life.
Why is the capsule wardrobe coming back into style?
With social media and technology becoming the norm, everything is moving faster, fashion included. As such, styles are constantly changing, making it overwhelming, if not impossible to keep up with the latest trends. So when the choices seem to be spend lots of money to stay on trend, or just give up and decide to not follow the trend, there has to be a middle ground. And this version of a middle ground makes sense: spend time developing your personal style rather than spending your time and money shopping, and choose to focus on quality rather than quantity. Just think of the concept of slow fashion.
Origins of the capsule wardrobe:
Susie Faux, creator of “Wardrobe” a London boutique, is known to have created the term capsule wardrobe in the 70s, and has since published books about the concept. In 1985, the idea became popular when Donna Karan came out with her first collection and an ‘Essentials’ line of seven pieces meant for creating a mini capsule wardrobe. Karan’s idea was to use bodysuits as a base, which could then be paired with a skirt to make a dress, or paired with pants to make a top.