What is a Capsule Wardrobe?
Minimalist style is consistent in its popularity– with the introduction of the capsule wardrobe, and an emphasis on sustainable fashion, recent trends have been pointing toward a ‘less-is-more’ mentality. But what exactly is a capsule wardrobe and what’s all the hype about?
Despite its recent popularity, the term capsule wardrobe has actually been around for quite some time, gaining mainstream popularity in the mid 1980s. It was then that prolific fashion designer Donna Karan released her breakout line, “7 Easy Pieces”. Karan’s intentions were to create pieces that “took a woman from day-to-night, from office-to-party.” The concept is simple, yet can revolutionize your closet– and free you from the paradox of choice many people encounter when they have a closet filled with clothes, yet nothing to wear.
A capsule wardrobe is a curated collection of versatile pieces that can function interchangeably, creating a vast assortment of outfit combinations suitable for every occasion. Typical capsule wardrobes range from 25-30 pieces (Yes, that’s all!) but can combine to create hundreds of outfit combinations. Choosing your pieces very intentionally, based off of a strict list of requirements (we’ll dive into those later on) creates a wardrobe that not only will make getting dressed in the morning much easier, but will stand the test of time.
Benefits of a Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe
While a capsule style wardrobe may not be for everyone, the benefits will certainly have you considering downsizing your closet. The first and most immediate benefit of the capsule wardrobe concept is the ease of getting dressed and packing for trips.
The initial jump into adopting a capsule wardrobe may require some difficult decisions editing down your selection of clothing items and accessories, but the first time you look into your closet while getting dressed in the morning, or packing for your next trip, you’ll be thanking yourself. It’s confirmed that too many choices often lead us to making no decision at all, or experiencing dissatisfaction with the decision we ultimately make. By streamlining your selection process to pieces that work interchangeably, you alleviate pressure on yourself, and help to eliminate any potential distractions.
A capsule wardrobe is also a cost-effective approach to building out your closet. While you may spend more money on individual items, quality over quantity is the strategy here. Spending more on a piece that’s comfortable, timeless, and high-quality will inevitably save you money down the road, as a result of it’s durability, versatility, and ability to stand the test of time. No fast-fashion selections here.
Lastly, and to some, most importantly– this strategy is more sustainable and better for the environment. The textile industry creates an exorbitant amount of waste every year, (92 million tons to be exact), and fast-fashion trends produced hastily and without environmental consideration are causing enormous amounts of our discarded items to end up in landfills worldwide. By committing to downsizing your wardrobe to a selection of well-made items you adore, you are also reducing your carbon footprint and contribution to waste from discarded clothing items. A win for you and an even bigger win for Mother Earth.
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe
Let’s lay out some must-have qualities to consider when building your capsule wardrobe for the first time.
While fashion trends are fun to follow, for a capsule wardrobe we recommend taking a step back and looking at styles that have stood the test of time. This often includes items that are simple in shape, texture, color, and patterns. Worried you’ll blend into the crowd? Accessories are your best friend here. Add personality to your outfits with statement jewelry and accessories to impart your personal flair, while keeping your wardrobe at a manageable level and timeless in style.
Wool, linen, cashmere, silk, cotton blends, raw denim– these staple materials often found in high-quality clothing garments are made to last, especially when taken care of appropriately. Finding high-quality clothing items can require some trial-and-error, or questioning your own personal style to ensure that the pieces you invest in you will love for years to come. This will be different for everyone, so have fun with this and really get to know what type of fashionista you are.
“Comfort” can take on many forms depending on the individual and what it is they want from their clothing. Ultimately, feeling comfortable and confident in your skin and the outfits you piece together is key. Owning clothing that is fabulous, yet doesn’t leave you feeling comfortable, confident, and proud to be you will oftentimes end up collecting dust at the back of your closet. We all rely on the pieces in our closet that we turn to frequently when we want to feel most like “ourselves”. These are the pieces that offer us comfort, and that belong in our capsule wardrobe repertoire. Comfort & confidence is king.
Versatility & Interchangeability
The key component to any well-rounded capsule wardrobe is versatility. It is critical that the pieces you have are multifunctional. Particularly in their ability to be dressed up, or dressed down.
If we think back to Donna Karan’s “7 Easy Pieces” collection that put capsule wardrobes on the map– she prioritized an outfit’s ability to transfer from work-to-play. Think: A blazer that can be worn at the office with a pencil skirt, then paired with jeans for happy-hour. A midi dress with a denim jacket over it for brunch with family, then worn with high heels for a dressier feel at your friend’s engagement party. This versatility in your staple pieces will stretch the functionality and lifespan of your clothing, exactly what is needed for a supreme capsule wardrobe.
A Summer Capsule Wardrobe Checklist
If you live in a seasonal environment, or are planning a warm-weather vacation, it may suit you to categorize your capsule wardrobe based on seasonal/temperature demands. Let’s lay out an example list of what a summer capsule wardrobe might look like.
- Lightweight Blazer
Quality & materials are key in finding the perfect lightweight blazer option. Cotton blends and linen work well here, especially in a neutral color or pattern like white or beige.
- Denim Jacket
Cropped denim jackets with quality stitching and denim can last you a lifetime, and will continue to build character as they grow with you.
- Button Up
Linen or cotton blends are preferred here, especially in white or a simple pattern. These can be layered in every season as a vital capsule wardrobe piece.
- Lightweight Sweater
Cashmere or cotton blends are perfect summer sweater options. Dressed up or dressed down, this piece will transfer perfectly from day-to-night.
An exceptional layering tool– finding the perfect patterned or minimal cardigan may take some time, but it will add dimension to your wardrobe options.
- Summer Dress
Feel free to incorporate multiple summer dresses, so long as they each have their own individualistic characteristics and style. Breathable materials, minimal or playful patterns, and varying cuts all make for perfect summer capsule wardrobe dress additions.
- Neutral T-Shirt
Keep it simple, but emphasize quality. Cotton blended materials in basic colors that have a go-with-anything feel to them work well here.
This is a great place to get playful and fun! Express your personality with a statement blouse that will pair well with some of the more toned down items on this list.
Satin or silk camisoles are gaining popularity as casual garments especially in the summertime for their lightweight materials and versatile wearability.
- Tank Tops
Great for layering underneath light jackets, cardigans, or on their own– cotton blend tank tops are low maintenance and breathable. Perfect for all-day wear during the warmer summer months.
- Swim Suit
Be sure to do your research into the materials used in your swim suits production, and invest in high quality suits with cuts that are flattering and confidence-inspiring. The goal is to avoid a swim-suit drawer that’s bursting at the seams, when we always wind up wearing the same one or two suits all summer long. Less is more!
- Midi Skirt
Perfect for more casual, or more formal environments. Finding a versatile midi skirt is essential to a summer capsule wardrobe. Material is key here, so be sure to find one that isn’t overly casual or overly dressy. A satin-blend or cotton-blend tend to fit perfectly in between.
Denim, linen, or cotton– high quality and versatile shorts are key here. Choose shorts carefully for their ability to be dressed up or down. Think of how they’ll look paired with the tank tops or blouses you’ve incorporated on this list to ensure that the colors and textures align. Quality shorts you love will be your wardrobe staple in the warmer weather.
We love linen or cotton blended trousers for warmer weather, especially in neutral colors like beige or white. Perfect for moments when a slightly dressier attire is required, but the temperatures require breathability and comfort.
Quality is king when it comes to making an investment into well-made denim. Spending extra on denim you can grow into, that will soften over the years, and develop more and more character while worn is what we’re in search of here.
Strappy heels or dressy slides are great sandal choices for those days when you go seamlessly from the office to dinner with the girls. Choosing something neutral in color with the ability to be utilized in formal and casual settings is a perfect choice here.
Classic minimal sneakers can go with everything– from work trousers to denim jeans, no item on this list is quite as versatile and ready for everyday wear as the perfect minimal sneaker option, an essential item on this summer capsule wardrobe list.
Mules are an extremely stylish and trendy option for versatile summertime footwear. For days when you’re not into wearing a sandal, but still want comfort on your feet– the mule is the perfect summer capsule wardrobe footwear option that is suitable for all of your summertime activities.
The perfect crossbody bag knows no bounds when it comes to styling all summer long. Chic from day-to-night, this style of purse is a perfect versatile choice for your summer capsule wardrobe.
- Mini Clutch with a Wristlet Strap
Sometimes a girl needs something simple and chic, just for carrying the essentials. That’s where the Clarity Clutch Mini steps in, especially when paired with a wristlet strap for added hand-free leisure. Phone, check. Wallet, check. Lipstick, check. For those summer days when you’re on the go and minimal, hands-free fun is all that’s on the itinerary.
Truffle Accessories for Accenting Your Capsule Wardrobe
Now that we’re capsule wardrobe experts– we’re sure your gears are turning, brainstorming items that would fulfill these requirements and be valuable assets within your interchangeable wardrobe.
Truffle bags, cases, and pouches are perfectly aligned with the vision in mind when it comes to accessorizing your capsule wardrobe.
Timeless style, durability, versatility, and sustainability are all key components of the design and construction of Truffle bags and accessories. All Truffles are made to last, and easy to clean– providing you with a chic and versatile collection of bags and accessories that are designed to stand the test of time.
Truffles are elegant, minimal, and modern in their design. Perfectly accenting any outfit, whether you’re commuting to work or hopping on a plane for a beach getaway. We understand that quality products last longer and are better for the environment in the long run. Less waste is produced, and less buying is necessary. Win, win.
Explore the entire Truffle collection of capsule wardrobe-approved bags, pouches, and accessories. Curious about Truffle’s commitment to sustainable sourcing and slow fashion? Read more into our pillars of sustainability, our efforts to help eliminate single-use plastics, and reduce excessive textile industry waste. Happy Truffling!