The Importance of a Capsule Wardrobe

The Importance of a Capsule Wardrobe

The term 'capsule wardrobe' was coined in the 1970s and brought to prominence in the 1980s by Donna Karan (owner of DKNY). The idea behind a capsule wardrobe is to own a few timeless items of clothing which are interchangeable, good quality and long lasting, which can then be augmented by one or two more seasonal items. This philosophy has numerous benefits. Over the long term it's much cheaper, it's far more ethical, and if you invest in the right pieces you know you'll always look fantastic.

A good quality capsule wardrobe will reward you financially. Once purchased, well-made clothing can last a lifetime with the correct care. Paired with a discerning eye for classic pieces, they will also never be out of style and should scarcely need replacing.

Secondly, it's a more sustainable approach to fashion. Fashion is the second most polluting industry globally. Billions of tonnes of clothing are made, shipped, bought and then binned every year. A capsule wardrobe helps break this cycle and increases demand for high-quality clothing made away from sweatshops and poor working conditions associated with fast fashion.

Lastly, a capsule wardrobe takes the stress away. No longer is there room to agonise over your outfit in the morning - the core items of the wardrobe are easily styled with one another. Everything you wear will complement everything else. 

A capsule wardrobe will vary from person to person, based upon their needs, tastes and touches of personal flair. However, a few key principles must be adhered to. Everything has to fit properly, even the best items of clothing in the world will look terrible if the fit isn't correct. Try and stick to a restricted colour palette making navy, grey, and neutrals your cornerstones. This ensures every item of clothing you purchase can be worn together. Finally, try to buy items of superior quality, it may cost more than you're used to spending, but a pair of Goodyear welted, leather shoes will last ten times as long as a cheaper pair (and look ten times better). Buying cheap is false economy.

    When constructing a capsule wardrobe, you don't need to splurge on expensive items all at once, nor do you need to immediately throw away your existing wardrobe. When items wear out, or go 'out of fashion' replace them with items from your capsule wardrobe, until, eventually, you have a timeless wardrobe, which is built to last.

    Below is an example capsule wardrobe, which will suit almost everyone for almost every eventuality can consist of as little as 25 pieces. See our Capsule Wardrobe page for more inspriration.

    • One Navy Blue or Charcoal Grey single breasted suit, classically cut and ideally bespoke
    • Three formal, white Cotton shirts. At least one with a button-down collar
    • Three other formal shirts, in classic hues/patterns, such as pale blue or pink
    • One navy blue blazer
    • One pair of grey flannel trousers
    • One pair of black Oxford shoes
    • One classic overcoat
    • One pair of chinos, either navy or beige.
    • One pair of dark, selvedge denim jeans, in a slim or straight cut.
    • One pair of black slim jeans.
    • One navy crew neck cashmere jumper.
    • Two plain white cotton t-shirts
    • One pair of sturdy boots
    • One pair of white trainers
    • One pair of casual shoes such a desert boots
    • One casual, waterproof coat
    • Two casual shirts. Plaid, flannel, or similar
    • One grey sweatshirt.


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