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The Gap Year Blog

Why YOU Need a Capsule Wardrobe

22 Aug 2019 17:20 PM

Why YOU should invest in a Capsule Wardrobe.

‘Capsule wardrobe’ was a term coined by London boutique owner Susie Faux in the 1970s, meaning a collection of a few essential items of clothing that never go out of fashion. This could be anything from skirts to trousers, or classic jumpers to coats, which can then be updated with seasonal pieces. This idea was consequently popularised by American designer Donna Karan, who, in 1985, released an influential capsule collection of seven interchangeable work-wear pieces.

Capsule wardrobes are now becoming more popular than ever due to the environmental concerns of fast fashion. Having a small wardrobe consisting of only a few items can seem daunting to begin with. But once the environmental benefits, concerns and simplicity of a capsule wardrobe are considered- it seems like a very viable way forward.

First steps 

Pick clothing from high quality brands, this may be pricier to begin with BUT ideally your capsule wardrobe should last a few years.

- Have a variety of outfit staples that will go with everything! Classic templates generally involve 4 pairs of shoes, 3 jackets, 7 jeans / trousers and 10 different styled tops as part of the all year basics capsule. - Keep clothing classic, the best part of a capsule is having clothing which is perennially in fashion- before adding extras to an outfit to make it stand out.

- Have another collection of clothing in a seasonal capsule e.g shorts for summer, thicker clothing for winter. That way you’ll keep everything super practical to each season.

- Accessories are your new best friend – earrings, belts, necklaces, rings, hand bags and hair bands are all little markers of individuality that can differentiate outfits and lend essential variety.

Why should I take the plunge?

Many people begin a capsule wardrobe because they’re sick of feeling as if they have nothing to wear – it’s tireless. The endless cycle of fast fashion means that we constantly feel sartorially inadequate, despite the fact our wardrobes are packed with more clothes than ever before. In fact, in 2014 consumers bought 60% more clothes than consumers shopping in 2000 but kept clothing items for half as long. The total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles productions is at 1.2 billion tonnes annually, which is more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

Many fast fashion items are poorly made and designed to fall apart; they’re often made by people in third world countries who work in appalling conditions. Capsule wardrobes are one of the best ways to combat fast fashion and target how we consume clothing as customers – the more you buy, the more you throw out. Limiting the amount that you purchase in the first place allows you to give more thought into the way you’re purchasing.

By Siobhan McDonald - Frontier Tenerife Volunteer 

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservationcommunityteaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!