How I'm Starting a Capsule Wardrobe

When I started my eco-friendly journey, I stumbled into the world of the capsule wardrobe. I’d heard of them before, but didn’t really know what they were or understand the concept.

However, it seems that eco-living and a capsule wardrobe come hand-in-hand. There’s no denying that sustainable fashion costs more, but there’s a reason for that. The clothes are usually better quality and the manufacturing and sourcing of materials is more environmental. What’s more, a good company should also be ethical, looking after their workers properly and paying them a decent salary.

As a student, the price of sustainable fashion seems way too high to afford, especially compared to the likes of Primark and other fast-fashion brands. How long do fast-fashion clothes actually last though? The low prices draw you in, but in reality the quality, sustainability and ethical principles are not great and you’ll be back to buy more of the same clothes soon.

The trick is to be minimalist when it comes to fashion and build a smaller, but high quality collection with longevity. That’s where a capsule wardrobe comes in.

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What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

A small collection of clothes that can be put together in different ways and includes everything you would normally need to wear – Cambridge Dictionary

The definition above gives a good summary. The idea is to develop a more curated closet, containing mainly basic items that can be paired together to create a variety of outfits i.e. lots of looks with fewer clothes. This means that you can invest in more expensive, good quality items as you’ll be buying less.

Of course, this doesn’t mean throw out all of your current wardrobe and bulk buy plain t-shirts. If anything, use your collection to inspire your capsule wardrobe. What colours do you wear the most? Do you like a particular style? What clothes do you mix and match? Think about how you could make your wardrobe last during different seasons. Maybe choose items which you can layer. All these things are starting points.

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How I’m Starting One

I’m sure everyone has different suggestions on how to start a capsule wardrobe, but here’s how I’m attempting it.

Don’t buy what you don’t need

I think this is one of the main principles of a capsule wardrobe anyway, but it’s a good place to start. I’ve been tempted to have a spending spree many times recently, but I was strict with myself.

Something I’ve noticed recently, as well as being at university and seeing people on nights out etc. is that people don’t want to wear the same outfit twice. Why spend money on clothes if you’re only going to wear them once? Instead, I’m looking at how I can create different looks using the clothes I already have.


This is the area I’m focusing on. A basic wardrobe does not mean you are confined to plain tops and nothing else. You can transform a look with a few accessories. I’ve been neglecting things like scarves and jewellery for too long, but now I’m loving styling a look using accessories and it’s satisfying knowing I’m using what I have.

Accessory ideas:

  • Jewellery – Statement earrings, necklaces, bracelets, you name it. Maybe try wearing a longer and shorter necklace to create a layered look. It completely transforms a plain t-shirt.
  • Scarves/neckerchiefs – Even in summer, you don’t have to say goodbye to scarves. My favourites are the lightweight, silky scarves. Neckerchiefs are stylish too and have a Parisian vibe.
  • Hair – Headbands, scrunchies, clips. Add a statement look to your hair.
  • Waist belts – Adding a waist belt to an outfit gives a whole new effect.

Are you thinking about starting a capsule wardrobe? Do you already have one and have any tips? Let me know as always.