Basic Has Never Looked Better
Written by Haven Hathaway
We all have that black dress in our closets, you know, the one you have had since your first professional event, and even though 39 years old, you can’t seem to let it go. That black dress will always be a staple in our wardrobes and a timeless memory in fashion.
Well, did you know you can have a closet full of those timeless pieces that will last you a lifetime? Even amongst the changing nature of fashion trends, with a capsule wardrobe, nothing ever goes out of style.
So what does it mean to build a capsule wardrobe?
Sustainably Chic highlighted that “a capsule wardrobe is a limited selection of interchangeable clothing pieces that complement each other. These are often classic pieces that do not go out of style and are primarily composed of neutral colors. A capsule wardrobe allows you to create a variety of different outfits with a small selection of clothes.”
This term dates back longer than we may think. The concept of building a capsule wardrobe began in the 1970s when Susie Faux opened the women’s fashion boutique, Wardrobe in London. The store featured designers such as Jill Sanders, who was inspired by simple minimalist fashion. Wardrobe showed women how even with a minimal and simplistic aesthetic, you could display valuable confidence and professionalism.
The term expanded with her book, Wardrobe: Develop Your Style & Confidence, which ultimately educated women on the concept of quality over quantity in fashion. The Capsule Wardrobe reached the US in the 80s and was popularized by designer Donna Karan when she launched her first line of the Seven Easy Pieces.
Karan built her first individual collection around a classic black bodysuit. The designer featured a tailored jacket, skirt, pants, cashmere sweater, leather jacket, and an evening dress along with the bodysuit. The designs showed fashion consumers and working women how they could build multiple outfits with this collection of only seven items. She vowed to redefine the look of a businesswoman with fashion staples that empowered the strength of femininity.
“It was very important this season to create a two-piece system. Instead of just the power of an individual dress, we took apart the system and made it into pieces,” Karan said during her collection launch in 1985. “All so simple, but all about the woman, her body, silhouette, and strength. The importance of two-piece dressing truly became the foundation and the importance
of what this collection was built upon.”
The term and appreciation for a capsule wardrobe have resurfaced in 2022 with the push for a more conscientious and healthy fashion environment. But, the capsule wardrobe isn’t only beneficial to the sustainable fashion consumer but also appeals to those wanting to dress easily and with little to no effort.
A capsule wardrobe guarantees a set of fewer clothes that you can curate yourself. It allows for less decision time when choosing an outfit, and with your selected pieces, you are sure to feel confident and stylish in your own skin. It ultimately saves money for the considerate consumer, and the stress of shopping is entirely out of your hands.
Now, if you are like me and still love to keep up with the latest fashion trends and find ways to experiment with new styles, colors, prints, and fabrics, rental is the perfect service to pair with your capsule wardrobe. With a rental subscription or peer-to-peer lending app, you can find those more trendy items without investing in clothing or accessories that aren’t guaranteed in your closet for a lifetime.
Luxury brands have also caught on to this movement of designing for the timeless shopper. Vogue Business said American brand Ralph Lauren “plans to build better products that last longer and pilot new ‘recirculation’ programs to keep them living on, from resale and repair to recycling and rental.”
For anything to claim the title as timeless, one must dedicate quality time and effort. Sustainably Chic and Harpers Bazaar offers an excellent guide on building a capsule wardrobe. This process isn’t easy but is an excellent step in the right direction to a more sustainable fashion future.
Basics are never going out of style, and as fashion lovers, we should celebrate and thank those pieces that have stuck with us a lifetime and never fail when we need a go-to outfit. With your capsule wardrobe, you are building a more wearable wardrobe that you can trust to stand the test of time and meet all your fashion needs life throws your way.
-As always, elevate your wardrobe with respected fashion and embrace the shift in style.
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