The phrase ‘Capsule Wardrobe’ is kind of everywhere these days, and in its essence it’s a useful idea… in certain circumstances.
Of course there’s folk on the style blogs who have gotten the complete wrong end of the wardrobe hanging rail and have run in a very different direction with the capsule concept – such as the notion that we should have a whole new seasonal capsule collection every 3 months?
No. That’s not what this is about.
Susie Faux was the owner of Wardrobe Boutique in London in the 1960s, and it was her who started the whole idea. Faux suggested a simple collection of essential items of clothing – classic basics – that wouldn’t go out of fashion, and so could be worn for years.
You could update your capsule with seasonal, or quality pieces on sale. Then you’d have something to wear for any occasion, without buying many new items. The ideal foundation or capsule wardrobe, Faux said, contains 2 pairs of trousers, a dress or a skirt, a jacket, a coat, a knit, two pairs of shoes and two bags.
Designer Donna Karan took the idea to working women in 1985, releasing her ‘7 Easy Pieces’ collection – a stylish and practical wardrobe created from just those 7 interchangeable pieces.
It’s not for everyone, and initially sorting it out involves much more planning than most people want to take on, and the often heart breaking process of letting go of those bits and pieces we all have hanging up in there, that really just don’t go with anything else that we own… but they’re lovely.
Some Reasons to Consider a Capsule Wardrobe
- You’re a student, on a tight budget or just trying to save some cash.
- You can’t actually get inside the spare room with all the extra clothes rails of unworn items that you have stuffed in there.
- You open your (full) wardrobe and can’t find anything suitable, or that you actually ever really want to wear.
- You find it overwhelming to get dressed in the mornings, and don’t ever know what to wear.
- You’re worried about the environmental and ethical problems caused by fast fashion.
- ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’, by Marie Kondo, is your favourite book.
How To Begin
The general points to consider are:
- You’ll need one or two base colours that go with everything – choose from black, white, brown, grey, or navy.
- Then decide on brighter accent colours that co-ordinate; again, stick to one or two.
- Consider your body shape, your complexion, and what sort of shapes, styles or patterns suit your form specifically.
- When buying, get some professional advice – go for the best quality you can afford, and view each piece as an investment.
If you’re still not sure, maybe try your work-wear in capsule form first, to take all the hassle out of getting dressed for the office?
Don’t forget – we’re all qualified stylists at Redlane, so to get access to that personalised professional advice just give us a call or pop in-store!