How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

Words by Alexandra Fullerton, Fashion Stylist
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How to build a capsule wardrobe that will last a lifetime.

Hands up if you’ve ever experienced wardrobe rage? You know, that stressful situation that usually occurs when you’re already running ten minutes late, the entire contents of your wardrobe is on the floor and you still have nothing to wear… If you’re keen to avoid outfit-induced anger, read on. This is how to curate an edited closet that will help you always look put together and allows you to get dressed with zero stress and maximum style.

The first step? Decipher your personal style. Start by brewing some loose leaf tea or treating yourself to a cold brew coffee and remember the outfits that got you the most compliments, what you wore that felt like you and which items you wear most. Then make a check list of staple pieces you’ll love forever. Think: perfect fitting jeans; a blazer; crisp shirts… Use these as the basis of your trans-seasonal capsule wardrobe and add in new season updates, if you like.

By focusing on essential items that mix and match, you’ll spend less time stressing about what goes together each morning, guaranteed. You’ll also stop wasting money on clothes you’ll never wear, which is key if you want to shop sustainably. Bonus: you can spend your savings on self-care treats like a massage at Clarins Spa in John Lewis & Partners or a pedicure at Townhouse in H beauty, too!

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When you’re shopping for those building blocks, always check the label and you’ll get to know the most environmentally-friendly fabrics available, too. Organic cotton uses less pesticides and chemicals than conventionally farmed cotton, while linen is a natural fibre that doesn’t need extra water. Recycled fibres have less impact on the planet than virgin fibres. Also, look out for outside accreditation from industry bodies such as the Better Cotton Initiative or Fairtrade. As well as making sure that the fabrics are produced to the best methods possible, they also ensure the farmers and garment workers are fairly paid.

Once you’ve made your purchase, look after your treasures well. Hang your jackets on padded hangers to help keep their shape, wash everything at cool temperatures to stop colours fading, and be prepared to sew on a loose button or search out a seamster to repair general wear and tear.

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Everything in a curated closet should be more than a one-wear wonder, so aim to smash the #30wearschallenge with every garment you own or buy. If it’s something you will really never wear again, regift it, resell it, rent it out or donate it at one of the textile recycling points at centre:mk. Primark have a recycling point, in aid of Unicef, TK Maxx and M&S both take textile donations. Clearing space in your wardrobe lets you live more calmly. It’s proven that the less clutter you have, the clearer your mind will be. Then you can focus on the fun stuff in life because, apparently, there are things more important than clothes. Who knew?!

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