What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

Capsule wardrobes are very much in fashion right now. They started becoming popular a few years ago, and have picked up momentum since then. Susie Faux – owner of London Boutique ‘Wardrobe’ – first coined the term in the 1970’s. She used to term to refer to a collection of ‘essential clothing items’. These items were ‘classic’ rather than ‘fashionable’ and so these items could be worn for multiple seasons. These pieces could then be augmented with seasonable, fashionable items.

While Faux coined the term, it was Donna Karan who popularized the concept. She launched her “7 Easy Pieces” collection in 1985. These pieces were designed in such a way that a working woman could easily mix and match the pieces to create many different outfits.

Guidelines for a Capsule Wardrobe

  • Choose a color scheme. Start with the neutrals – black, white, navy, grey, tan. Choose one or two. Then choose one or two accent colors that work well together and with your neutrals. For example, neutrals of black and grey, accents of deep purple and turquoise.
  • Look at your lifestyle. Do you work in a corporate that require smart business outfits? Then you will probably need two smaller capsules, one for work and one for weekend. If you work in a more casual environment or from home, then you can stick to one capsule. When selected the items for your capsule, keep in mind how you spend your days. You may love those silk pants but if you spend most of your days running after a rambunctious and messy toddler, they won’t be suitable or practical. Likewise, you may be sure you need 5 different pairs of jeans, but if you work in a corporate office where jeans aren’t allowed, you will be better off selecting smart work pants and keeping just one or two pairs of jeans.

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