What Is A Capsule Wardobe?
It probably won't come as a shock that we're big fans of thoughtful, edited wardrobes here at VETTA. But it recently occurred to us that our customers and readers may be wondering in the back of their minds, "What is a capsule wardrobe?"
In the 1970s, Susie Faux, owner of a London-based boutique called Wardrobe, coined the term "capsule wardrobe." She defined it as a limited number of essential or staple items that you can wear for multiple seasons. The idea was to have a streamlined wardrobe made up of high-quality clothing in coordinating colors that could be worn interchangeably, and that wouldn't have to be constantly replaced. Today, over 40 years later, the meaning of the term hasn't changed much at all.
We believe a capsule wardrobe is one made-up of key items and go-to pieces that can be worn on repeat to make your life easier - not so different from Susie Faux's original idea of the concept.
While our collections are made up of five pieces each, today it's common to have somewhere in the range of 33-37 items in one's capsule wardrobe. This has been popularized by capsule wardrobe blogs like Unfancy and Project333, which we love, but the number is not as important as the mindset. A capsule wardrobe is meant to make dressing everyday easier, save money and time, and enable us to create a more thoughtful wardrobe. By cutting out the gluttony in our wardrobes and removing the poor-quality, ill-fitting pieces we never reach for, we can make room for a well-curated closet. You should love every piece in your capsule wardrobe, whether its your long-time favorite denim jacket, or a well-needed new addition to your closet.
So now you know exactly what a capsule wardrobe is, but why adopt and maintain one? While at first, an edited closet may seem inhibiting, it's actually a pretty liberating thing to pursue. Here's why...
It saves money
This one's pretty obvious, but a capsule wardrobe will save you a ton of money in the long-run. While you may shell out a bit of cash on new investment pieces, high-quality items will last far longer than cheap pieces. Additionally, by knowing that each item in your closet needs to count, you'll be much more thoughtful about the handful of purchase decisions you do make.
It saves time and energy
Instead of staring at a daunting closet full of miscellaneous pieces each day, a well-curated closet helps your favorite pieces cut through the noise. If you have a closet that consists of "go-to's" only, you can roll out of bed every morning and know that any combination of items will create an outfit you love.
You'll get creative in a new way
While working with a lesser amount of pieces, you'll enviably start experimenting with the way that you style them. You might mix prints, layer in ways you previously wouldn't have or even wear the same piece multiple ways (ex. tied, backwards, off-the-shoulder.)
The way you accessorize and your beauty routine also go a long way in transforming a look. While your clothes may be neutral, you can go bold with your lip colors and cat-eyes and opt to incorporate statement jewelry pieces into your outfit. On casual days, you can tone down the same exact outfit with fresh-faced makeup and understated, dainty jewelry.
Thoughtful wardrobes support human rights and the environment
Fast-fashion describes designs that move quickly from the runway to the racks, pushing the most current trends to consumers as quickly as possible. As a result of this high turnover rate, the "trendy" clothes on our backs are of poor quality, pressure manufactures to utilize cheap labor and have environmental consequences including landfill overflow and pollution.
In refraining from buying absurdly cheap clothes from fast-fashion retailers for your curated closet, you're joining in the fight for fair treatment of factory workers and the need for eco-friendly manufacturing practices in the fashion industry. When you buy well-made clothing from brands that respect fair labor practices and the environment, you stop supporting the brands the don't.
You'll end up with a closet that truly defines your style
At the end of the day, a capsule wardrobe helps you to hone in on your personal style. After decluttering your closet and getting rid of all the pieces that you only wear on a one-off basis (in other words, pieces that don't really encompass your aesthetic,) you'll end up with the best of your closet. Essentially, you'll be left with the perfect wardrobe for you and only you!
Photo courtesy of Allison Karaba of The Thoughtful Closet.