A Capsule Wardrobe is Your New Best Friend

5 September 2021

Blog post

By Bijou Johnson,

Are you looking for a way to spice up your wardrobe, not go over budget and purchase sustainably and ethically? Look no further. Capsule wardrobes are your new best friend. 

You always hear the saying ‘less is more’, right? A capsule wardrobe is the epitome of this motto. It is chic minimalism – timeless pieces with endless possibilities.

Choosing an outfit in the morning is a time-consuming activity that can set the tone for the rest of your day. Building a capsule wardrobe with items that go with anything makes this mission quicker and less stressful.

Let me tell you why it is life-changing and how to create it, which I promise you will want to do after reading this guide.

What is a capsule wardrobe? 

Basically, a capsule wardrobe is a few classic pieces that will never go out of style. So simple, yet so effective. With just a few options, there are numerous outfits placed at your fingertips. For example, staple pieces in a specific colour palette such as jeans, t-shirts, coats, and button-downs are a great foundation. 

Disclaimer: I am no saint. I wholeheartedly support ethical, sustainable fashion and strive only to wear clothes that fit these traits. However, I cannot guarantee that my wardrobe currently advocates the same. Until recently, when I gained the financial freedom to choose how I shop, I did my fair share in shopping fast fashion and still wear some of these pieces, which is okay to admit. We must start somewhere.

Once I was introduced to the capsule wardrobe concept, I began to change my habits. Now, instead of shopping with no intention, I know what I am after due to the aesthetic I aspire to curate through the usage of minimal attire.

Why should I have one?

Fast fashion is dependent on temporary trends. They come, and then they leave even quicker. 

Capsule wardrobes are a wise investment. They can last forever!

Some say basic, but I say they are the definition of dressing effortlessly chic. With a simple base, you can accessorise or dress up an outfit however you wish.

Capsule wardrobes are versatile because you can create so many different outfits with an armful of clothes. It helps decrease your wardrobe size, thus, decreasing your textile waste – one small step closer to helping the environment! 

The fashion industry is the second-largest polluter globally (“Sustain Your Style”, 2017), so creating a capsule wardrobe prevents your wastage of clothes. Timeless pieces mean that you will spend less money on outfits that will remain in style for many years to come.

You can take two different approaches

  1. Purchasing more expensive but quality clothes that will last you a lifetime or, 
  2. Buying cheaper, sustainably resourced clothes from your nearby thrift store. 

Personally, the first option is my absolute dream (emphasis on the word, dream), but it is not in the cards for myself and most people. So, let us discuss the more realistic option. Do not let the word ‘realistic’ fool you! It often has a pessimistic connotation, but fear not, our practical option will surpass your expectations.

How do I create one?

Step 1: Understand the staples

French women invented the capsule wardrobe, so it is only fitting to take inspiration from the best.

Alexa Chung, British model, television presenter, writer, and fashion designer, discusses how to live life the French way in her YouTube series’ Franglais – The French Way of Doing Things’. In her video, ‘Alexa Chung Learns How To Dress The French Way’, she gets style tips from fashion journalist, Camille Charrière, on how to dress like a French woman.

Alexa Chung emphasises the effectiveness of a capsule wardrobe, stating, “A cornerstone of French style is about investing in the classics.”

Camille Charrière then elaborated on how French women utilise this style by explaining, “Women in France figure out what suits them, what they like wearing… They work on creating a wardrobe around those.”

Figure out what you are dressing for and what makes you feel comfortable. Then assemble a wish list of classic pieces in timeless colours and get shopping!

Step 2: See what’s out there

The best thing about a capsule wardrobe is you can find one anywhere! 

Remember, we’re trying to do this as sustainably as possible. 

The method I propose for you all to try out is thrifting. Even better, online thrifting! Sustainable shopping from the comfort of your own home.

Let me introduce, &Again, an online thrift store based in Auckland, New Zealand. It is a double whammy! You can get rid of your old, unused clothes and purchase new ones. The process is simple. Order a free Tidy Kit, fill it up with clothes you do not want, attach the return label, drop it off at a New Zealand post office and boom. When an item is sold, you can choose to have your profit as store credit, donated to charity, or cash for your personal use.

Wait ’til you hear the best part. For all of you Aucklanders out there, if you are a member of the Auckland University Fashion Society (it is easy to join, check out our Instagram @uoafashion), you get a special discount at &Again!

As I scrolled through &Again’s website, I was met with numerous classic pieces that you can incorporate into your capsule wardrobe.

Here are a few of the classic pieces that &Again has on offer to get you started. You can visit their website here: https://www.andagain.co.nz

Can you envision the outfits already? 

We can all learn a thing or two from capsule wardrobes, financially, style-wise and regarding sustainable fashion. Trust in the process and the progressive effects this new way of shopping will bring.

RUN, not walk to a thrift store like &Again. Otherwise, I might beat you to it!