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September 30, 2021

Building a sustainable capsule wardrobe: The Basic How To’s

You have probably opened your wardrobe doors, looked at all your clothes, and thought you have nothing to wear. The next thought is usually that you need to buy new clothes.

However, if you were to take a step back, you would see that maybe a move in the opposite direction would be better. In comes the ‘capsule wardrobe.’

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

The capsule wardrobe is a term that came into being in the 1970s. It refers to a wardrobe that includes only the essential clothes and accessories for a particular season. As the name suggests, they should be able to fit into a capsule.

Most people are paralyzed by too much choice as it pertains to their wardrobe. By reducing your wardrobe to only the essentials, you can reduce the stress of choosing from dozens of clothes every day. You can have a luxurious yet minimal wardrobe (with Alexander McQueen).

Creating a capsule wardrobe is also about being more conscious about our fashion choices and their impact on our lives and other people’s lives. The following is a guide on how to create a sustainable capsule wardrobe:

Empty Your Closet

The first step is to take all your clothes out of your closet, and I mean everything, including your shoes and accessories. Spread out all of them on the floor to get a good overview of everything you own.

You will often be surprised by the sheer number of clothes, shoes, and accessories you own. You will also be shocked by the number of clothes that you rarely wear.

The point is to take stock of your choices which leads to the next point.

Narrow Down Your Choices

Narrowing down your choice sis usually a painful process, especially when choosing among luxury labels but it is necessary. You need to reduce the number of clothes you own to the bare essentials for a capsule wardrobe.

A criterion that will make the elimination process more manageable is to ask yourself three questions. Do you like a piece of clothing? Have you worn it in the past year? Do you envision yourself wearing it in the next year or so?

If you can answer those three questions, you should be able to narrow down your choices quickly. You will need to let go of clothes that may have sentimental value if the answer to the three questions above is no. It will be challenging, but it will be worth it eventually.

Choosing the Clothes

After narrowing down your choices and maybe donating the clothes you did not want comes the most challenging part: choosing the clothes that will make up your capsule wardrobe. Generally speaking, a capsule wardrobe should only have about fifty items, including shoes and accessories.

However, you can adjust the number based on the size of your closet and your environment. If you live in a cold climate and have a large closet, you can go higher. Vice versa is also true.

Making the final selection of clothes to include in your capsule wardrobe will not be easy. It would help to start with the major clothing categories, including t-shirts, shirts, jeans, skirts, jackets, sweaters, and dresses. You can also include a costume or two in there.

Think of color combinations and patterns that would be good together. Choose materials that you can wear in just about any season, such as cotton and denim.

Accessories should be less than ten, including watches if you are to keep the number of items under 50.

Writing a list of all the individual clothes you would like in your closet would help keep the number down. It is always a good idea to think in terms of outfits because if you have outfits for two whole weeks, it should be enough.

In conclusion, you should enjoy the process of building a capsule wardrobe even though it might be challenging and involve great sacrifices. It can be a fun project to complete within a week or a month. Nothing beats having a small closet of clothes you like wearing that also helps save the environment.

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