The Capsule Wardrobe: Dressing Has Never Been Easier
I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it! Sounds familiar?
Maybe not, but this is definitely what goes through many of our minds when we go shopping. Especially when we go shopping for clothes #I GOT IT IN ALL COLOURS!!!!
It’s all fun and games till you have to pick an outfit to wear for that emergency meeting and then you’re spending an hour rummaging through your wardrobe. In the end, you pick that same outfit you wore to the last AGM….. AGAIN!
Now, this is the interesting part, what if I told you there was a solution to that problem? Ever heard of a capsule wardrobe? What probably comes to mind is that it’s some contemporary notion that millennials tout as the newest fashion craze.
Nonetheless, would you believe that the term was coined in the 1970s by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called Wardrobe? According to Faux, a capsule wardrobe contains a few essential and timeless items, such as skirts and pants that can be supplemented with seasonal pieces. The concept peaked in 1985 when designer Donna Karan introduced a capsule collection of interchangeable workwear attire called “Seven Easy Pieces,” and has floated around ever since. Now, the capsule wardrobe seems to be having something of a comeback.
I bet you’re now wondering, “what does this have to do with me?”. Well, whether you have formally created a capsule wardrobe or not, you most likely dress like you have one — wearing the same basic, interchangeable items and then accessorizing and supplementing them for special occasions, or different seasons. All of the other clothes are at the back of the wardrobe and seldom worn — either because they don’t fit properly, they aren’t versatile enough, or they’re out of fashion. Consequently, you might want to start to embrace the idea and learn that capsule wardrobe are not only smart from a fashion perspective, but they also help solve organizational challenges.
What then is a capsule wardrobe?… there are various definitions. Some common words associated with all definitions are:-
- Minimalistic – Less than 50 pieces (Accessories and special occasion wear not included)
- Versatile – Mix and match for everyday lifestyle wear – casual, business, evening
- Style – A unique defining personal style
At Coworkstyle, we love the idea of creating an essential wardrobe that can be worn for years and removes the dreaded fuss over what to wear in the mornings.
You might be thinking, “How easy is it to create a capsule wardrobe?” Is it even feasible when cutting across seasons or in the context of a vibrant African culture?
We aim to answer your questions.
BUILDING A CAPSULE WARDROBE
All over the world, the pandemic has made us realise that all we need is a wardrobe filled with loungewear to survive. This may sound a little simplistic but when you think about your wardrobe and shopping habits before the pandemic, you may understand where I am coming from.
Before the pandemic, you needed a work wardrobe, a summer wardrobe and a winter wardrobe. Some people would go as far as having a separate wardrobe for each season along with work and special occasions (this is definitely something I was once guilty of living in the UK). However, now that we are coming up to a year since the start of the global health crisis. Things have certainly changed.
Rummaging through tons and tons of clothes is no longer an acceptable or real excuse (not like it’s an excuse we often share) for getting to events late. Yes, African time is just no longer fashionable. In fact it’s almost a guaranteed recipe for losing the deal at that most important zoom or actual/virtual meeting!
Recently more and more digital fashion sites such as “Harper’s Bazaar” have raved about capsule wardrobes. It makes getting dressed in the morning a breeze, it is all about quality over quantity and it has definitely grown in popularity in this recent pandemic.
Truthfully speaking, having a capsule wardrobe is easier than you think. It is even easier to achieve in countries ranging from 2 seasons to the extreme 4 seasons. The target should be 37 items, not 50. You can start by putting the outfits you wear the most (yes,that famous AGM dress).
The general rules are:
- Follow a colour scheme – focus on three or four colours that work well together but also suit you.
- Pick quality over quantity – this is to ensure that your clothes last for years whether you’re buying high-end clothes or not.
- Consider your lifestyle – do you work in an office or from home, how often do you have events to attend.
- Keep it minimalistic – aim to reduce your wardrobe to 50 pieces (forgo accessories and special occasion wear initially to keep you on track). Once you have got it down to 50 pieces, aim for 27 and then stick to this.
We suggest you start with the following pieces for your everyday wardrobe:
Can this work in an African society?
Can this work in an African society? Yes, with some colourful accessories applied and a separate special occasion capsule.
While the everyday wardrobe can easily be transformed into special occasions in more conservative cultures, this is not the case with our flamboyant and colourful collections, as we say in local parlance, “aso ebis”.
We are not asking you to get rid of the occasion wear you love, but reducing the number can definitely be beneficial.
- Replace your wardrobe of numerous coloured pairs of shoes, with two pairs of gold and two pairs of silver shoes and bag to match. There will of course be less wear and tear, as these don’t have to show on zoom, unless you are the celebrant.
- Keep two plain-coloured and two black evening dresses.
- Then with your traditional occasion wear try to reduce the number of colours to a maximum of four to six colours.
A capsule wardrobe is not for everyone but it is definitely worth a try. Focusing on two seasons or an everyday/special occasion wardrobe is a good place to start especially for those with African heritage cultures.
Once you have a capsule wardrobe, GETTING DRESSED BECOMES SO EASY. Oh my gosh, Ladies! (And Guys can take a cue too, from Mark Z and others). We cannot stress this enough.
Just watch how much time you save and how your productivity increases, as you step out looking great – your best and real authentic self all the time!