Top things you should know about a sustainable capsule wardrobe

What is a capsule?

A capsule wardrobe is a collection of classic pieces that work together with versatility, allowing you to create many looks with just a few items. It’s marriage of two things. First is a Base wardrobe – a collection of a few essential items of clothing that are classic in style and color that do not go out of style. The second is an Accent wardrobe – all the fun stuff that makes up your unique style – from red lace dresses, oversized plaid jackets, embroidered jeans, leopard tops, to Gothic Victorian blouses and pink joggers.

Capsule wardrobe = Base wardrobe + Accent wardrobe

The beauty of this equation is that your base wardrobe can stay constant all year around, while you change your Accent wardrobe 3-4 times a year, enjoying new patterns, colors, and styles. Ready to build one? Let’s go!

Capsule wardrobe
Capsule wardrobe: a Base wardrobe and many Accent wardrobes you can create. Photo credit: Sparkpick

Step 1. Build your base

A Base wardrobe is a set of 20-25 items of neutral colors like black, white, grey, beige or dark blue that fit perfectly, are simple and can be worn on different occasions. Fashion stylists often recommend building your Basic wardrobe with six tops, four bottoms, two dresses, four jackets, four pairs of shoes, and two bags. It will also include some small but also important items like plain jewelry, underwear, shapers, and hosiery. Checkout our post on top sustainable brands that offer capsule wardrobes and our list of eco-friendly base clothing in case you are looking for anything. 

Base wardrobe

Step 2. Add accents

While base gives you a solid foundation for any look, it is Accents that express your unique personality. Accents come in all styles, colors and flavors. They can be denim, romantic, floral, plaid, gothic, rock – you name it.

The first step in determining which accents you need (need is an important word here!), is to analyze your activity wheel.

Your conscious wardrobe should match your lifestyle activities in equal distributions. An “activity wheel” is a pie chart which represents all your activities with their corresponding percentages.

Activity wheel for a capsule wardrobe

If your wheel contains only home or sport activities, you can probably skip shopping for party sequin dresses that you simply won’t have an occasion to wear. Instead, you can create a couple decent capsules with accent sport items, unique lounge wear, and even some currently trendy and yet timeless accents like plaid. 

Shop accents

Floral accents

Plaid accents

Denim accents