How to create an effortless capsule wardrobe
Words by Alice Florence Orr
Five Minute Read
Too many clothes, but nothing to wear? The solution could be as easy as a capsule wardrobe: a curated selection of key pieces that can be mix-and-matched to create countless outfits, effortlessly. Composed of essentials like well-made shirts, classic jeans, and crisp t-shirts, your capsule wardrobe should make dressing in the morning a simple affair.
One of the perks of a capsule wardrobe is fewer pieces cluttering your wardrobe — this means you can concentrate your resources and invest in clothes that will last you for years. It's clear that environmental impact of fast fashion is huge — the industry uses 1.5 trillion litres of water every year — and scaling down our consumption of clothing is a great way to reduce our carbon impact. True style is about more than passing trends, and a capsule wardrobe allows you to simplify your clothing, making it easier to find your own unique style. This is our guide to creating your personal capsule collection — sometimes, less really is more.
Where to Start?
First things first: declutter. If you have clothing pieces that you haven't worn in years, consider donating them or passing them on to a friend. If you have key pieces that you love, but need replacing, take note of them and find quality alternatives. You can also repair your favourite clothes and shoes. Take those chelsea boots to the cobbler and get your trousers tailored — it'll be worth it.
After clearing out your wardrobe and repairing your favourite items, you'll have a good idea of what's missing from your daily essentials.
The easiest place to begin is with a checklist of key items. Remember, the idea of a capsule wardrobe is to find essential pieces that will all work together, rather than buying countless "outfits" that you will only wear once. For a modern man's wardrobe, the most important pieces include:
Outerwear, such as a trench coat or black wool overcoat; a black suit; a casual jacket; button-up shirts in blue and white; basic t-shirts in neutral colours; overshirts; smart trousers; denim jeans in a dark and light wash; white sneakers; smart shoes; leather boots; and matching accessories, such as belts and bags.
This basic checklist will give you a total of approximately twenty-five pieces. Simple, right? You can then add other items, such as cashmere sweaters, leather jackets and patterned shirts, but select carefully. If you are a fan of brown, rather than black, pick brown leather accessories and footwear. Remember to stick to a colour palette, that way you can mix-and-match your pieces. This is a great tip when putting together your new work wardrobe.
A capsule wardrobe should be anywhere between 25-50 items, including shoes and accessories. You have plenty of time to work your personal style into the mix — try adding a statement hat or some bold sunglasses for a bit of personality. Just remember the golden rule: if you don't wear it for more than three months, it's time to break up with that clothing piece. You should be wearing everything in your capsule wardrobe — except swimwear and occasionwear. If you find the clutter building up again, you know what to do...
But what about trends?
Playing with trend pieces can be fun but it's important to remember the environmental impact of fast fashion. One of the best things about a capsule wardrobe is that it is less wasteful than a less organised style of dressing. But if you want to add some contemporary flare to your classic pieces, there are ways to do it without compromising on your wardrobe minimalism.
Try to buy 1-2 new pieces per season and avoid fads that will last less than six months. Choose carefully and shop for the best quality you can afford. If you buy a well-made piece and decide that the trend no longer suits you, pass on the item to someone else and give it a new life.
Getting dressed in the morning should be as easy as your first cup of coffee. By taking the time to curate your own capsule wardrobe, you will save time and money in the long-term — and it's better for the environment too. Discover our edits of the best investment pieces, made by quality craftsmanship in the best European factories, and feel confident about your clothes.
Our capsule wardrobe essentials