Maintaining an Ethical Capsule Wardrobe

The History of Capsule Wardrobes

Capsule wardrobes have slowly been creeping into the mainstream fashion world and I will 100% advocate for their rise.

The term ‘capsule wardrobe’ was first coined in the 1970’s by a London Boutique owner, Susie Faux. A capsule wardrobe consists of only a few staple or essential pieces that you can mix and match to create outfits for different occasions.

In Susie’s book, Wardrobe: Develop Your Style & Confidence she states why she came up the the idea the first place, “the basic idea is simple: by building a capsule wardrobe you will buy fewer clothes of a higher quality that you will wear more often. You will look and feel confident and successful because the quality will show and because you know that the overall look works.”

Today many different people are taking the idea of the capsule wardrobe and using it for their own ethical reasons. As an environmentalist, I see the capsule wardrobe as a fantastic way to reduce the amount of waste produced by buying new garments. Less plastic bags, less paper tags, less wasted product. Beyond that, less over consumption takes place when you are no longer seeking out to buy more clothes.

Another positive to capsule wardrobes is the clash it has against fast fashion. Building a capsule wardrobe forces you to be more conscious of the items you are purchasing. If you want your capsule wardrobe to get you to the point where you no longer have to buy clothes every year, you’ll be purchasing higher quality items. And if you’re searching for higher quality items, you may as well take a look at what kind of fair trade clothing stores you have around your area. An online blogger made her own list of brands she found to be the most ethical online. Do your research and remember that the process of finding the perfect capsule wardrobe for you will take time.

Typical Items in a Capsule Wardrobe

A general outline for capsule wardrobe beginners


It’s important to keep in mind during your quest of starting a capsule wardrobe that you have to find the key items that work best in your lifestyle. If you’re a teacher a few white blouses may be in order as opposed to an artist who probably only needs one blouse. Plain white-t’s, classic jeans, a skirt, a dress all of these items could be considered essentials. 

How To Keep up With a Capsule Wardrobe 

Usually every season change is call for a new capsule wardrobe. But this doesn’t mean throwing away your fall wardrobe to make room for winter, it simply means exchanging the items that are exclusive to a season.
In your fall winter you may have a pair of boots that works well in dryer times that you’ll need to replace with winter boots.
A winter jacket will replace your lighter fall jacket etc. and the rest you can store and use again next season. 

When you choose the number of items you’re comfortable working with you can start looking at which items will work best for you. Don’t feel the need to be a stickler with yourself because that always ends in falling off the wagon.
Make yourself a checklist and be sure not to rush your process.

Capsule wardrobes are a fabulous alternative to fast fashion and an easy way to be more sustainable starting in your closet.

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