Picture this, you have plans to go out and start planning different outfit options. So you make your way to your wardrobe, scan every clothing item, and let out a sigh of frustration. The far too well-known ‘I have nothing to wear!’ saying escapes your lips while facing a never-ending pile of clothes. Sound a bit too familiar?
We are all guilty of buying trendy clothes that we never wear, or at least only wear a bunch of times before they are exiled to the ‘I forgot I still had this’ section of our wardrobes. We promise to change our ways and end our shopaholic tendencies. Yet, we fall into a vicious cycle of buying into trends that come and go because we believe more clothes equates to more options. So how do we break the ‘I don’t have anything to wear’ phenomenon? A sustainable solution is investing in a ‘Capsule Wardrobe’.
In the 1970s, Susie Faux coined the term Capsule Wardrobe, which initially aimed to help career-driven women dress just as well as their male work colleagues. The Capsule Wardrobe was intended to help women select outfits with ease and promote a habit of buying fewer garments that are higher quality and will last longer.
The concept and desire to create a Capsule Wardrobe have transcended across decades for different reasons. In the last 10 years, growing awareness about fast fashion’s detrimental effect on the environment has propelled people to become more environmentally cautious with their purchasing habits. Developing a Capsule Wardrobe is a small step toward reducing your eco-footprint, but it also helps make fashion choices easier.
There is a misconception that putting together a Capsule Wardrobe means your outfit choices will be boring and minimal. Yes, there is a roadmap you should follow, but honouring your style is equally essential in the process. It’s about having a versatile wardrobe that can meet the needs of your fluctuating lifestyle. The problem of feeling like you don’t have anything to wear stems from having multiple clothes for one occasion. Buying interchangeable items is the key to relieving that unsatisfied feeling when trying to select an outfit.
The first step towards building your own Capsule Wardrobe is to follow some de-cluttering guidelines from the queen of organisation, Marie Kondo.
1) Operation Damage Control
We tend to wear our favourite items frequently; empty out your wardrobe and drawers to gain a visual understanding of how many clothing items you have accumulated over the years. You may be surprised and find a few hidden gems you forgot about amongst the swarm of new clothes. Or perhaps, there are a few items that do not fit you, have been worn-out, or aren’t your style anymore.
2) The Golden Rule ‘Does it spark joy?’
Go through every clothing item and be a critical fashion judge. Get some friends to come round and turn this chore into the Sex and the City scene, when Carrie moves out of her apartment and Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte start rating her clothes. With each item, ask yourself, ‘does it spark joy?’, if not, let it go. Do you have 20 pairs of light washed denim jeans? Perhaps, you should say heartfelt farewell to a few.
3) Assess What You Are Left With
Hopefully, after a successful clutter, you will feel a bit lighter. The next step is to assess what items you have in your ‘new’ wardrobe. Maybe you have a lot of leisurewear but nothing that would be appropriate for going out for a fancy dinner. Of course, if you spend most of your time in leisurewear, that is not a problem. The items in your wardrobe need to reflect your lifestyle.
4) Fill Any Gaps
Many beauty bloggers and influencers will list some items to include in your Capsule Wardrobe, a leather jacket, a midi-skirt, an oversized blazer etc. However, the whole point is to buy things that you will wear and enjoy. So, for example, why purchase a midi-skirt if you never gravitate towards wearing them in the first place? Create categories for each clothing occasion. Try making multiple outfits with your existing clothes, try them on and see if you feel good and get a sense of what is missing. Before buying clothes to fill in any gaps, ask yourself if this goes with more than 3 items in your wardrobe? Can you make multiple outfits? If the answer is yes, that’s a green light to go ahead.
There is nothing wrong with loving clothes and wanting to experiment with your style; if anything, style gives a sneak peek into each person’s individual story; it is a form of expression. Undoubtedly, the clothes we wear impact how we feel about ourselves and how others perceive us. Yet, we overlook the fashion industry’s impact on its workers and the environment. Maybe the amount of time spent trying to coordinate an outfit, buying clothes or endlessly browsing online and in stores should be diverted to paying attention to sustainability and the role we play. Sustainability is fashionable and it isn’t a trend which will fade.