If you have been historically dismissive of the concept of capsule wardrobes – after all, how on Earth can you possibly find joy in just one blazer? – it might be time to rethink your approach to an edited wardrobe.
While it’s been on people’s radar for a few years now, a lot of people are now realising that it's not just about minimalism and monochromatic clothing. An edited wardrobe is simply about consuming fashion in a way that is more sustainable. If you’re not interested in buying into the trend-driven culture that tells us we need more to feel fulfilled, an edited wardrobe of good quality pieces you truly love might be a good place to start.
Be prepared to invest in your mini-wardrobe. That’s not to say that expensive = good quality (we’re not that naïve anymore), but rather that investing in good quality materials that are prepared to be worn (and loved) on a regular basis will ensure the longevity of your items. Be prepared to also follow the cleaning instructions. You know that little white tab on the inner-seam? Yeah, turns out it actually has a purpose. It also wouldn’t go amiss to learn how to mend clothes where reasonable – such as repairing a seam, lifting a hem when a midi length skirt begins to bore you and using a pilling shaver to make a sweater as good as new.
And above all, approach this with a grain of salt and be prepared to make your own wardrobe decisions. No capsule wardrobe is one-size-fits-all and what works for this maximalist may not work for you! To make the transition a little easier, we've put together 22 capsule wardrobe essentials that could be valuable additions to your collection.
This is a bit of a no brainier. A flattering, well-fitted black skirt will save the day on those mornings when you are like “WTF am I meant to wear to *insert event here*?” Whether fitted, flowing, mini or maxi, you really can’t go amiss. Just as cute when pared down with a pair of ankle boots as they are dressed up with heels, a black skirt is a super versatile addition to your capsule wardrobe.
We know that blazers are the trend du jour at the moment, but it’s for a good reason. While we love to style one over a t-shirt and jeans for an attitude-packed day look that transitions to night effortlessly, they are also an awesome piece to wear to your next boardroom meeting. Total power-move. While we know a capsule wardrobe is all about paring back, we wouldn’t blame you for investing in a few different prints and colours…
If you’re one to over think things, having a small-but-valued selection of sweaters might help. Easily styled with everything from ripped jeans to slip dresses, sweaters are the MVP of any hardworking wardrobe. Opt for one that looks a little more chic-laid-back-professional than ratty-remnant-from-years-as-a-teenager. It should look just as appropriate when paired with black cigarette pants and mules as it does with jeans and Adidas. Seriously, good sweaters will save your wardrobe. No need to sweat(er) the small stuff!
Don’t worry, we’re not about to tell you that you are only allowed one dress in your entire wardrobe – we’re not about the kind of life. But we do want to give you a few options so that when it comes to pulling together the dress-element of your capsule wardrobe, you have some hard hitters at your disposal. A simple slip, a structured shirt-dress and a midi-length dress are solid staples.
We’re going to break this down into two sections: staple trousers and statement trousers. Whether it’s a pair of wide-leg trousers or cigarette pants, your staple pair should be something you can see yourself wearing to most events. An under-the-radar, silent achiever. Your statement pair, however, is where your maximalism can really come out to play. Hardware, stripes, flares, colour – whatever your poison of choice!
Where possible, we’ve tried to add as much colour and vibrancy to this capsule wardrobe as we can, but there are some monochrome pieces that you just need to have. Namely, a white shirt. Opting for flattering fits, such as peasant blouses, is a good way to keep things exciting but make sure you invest in an oversized silhouette (minus waist darting) that won’t fall victim to the shirt shape of the season.