Due to the minimalist lifestyle, the concept around the capsule wardrobe is getting more attention again – and rightly so! A few years ago, the capsule wardrobe – loosely defined as minimalist closet – already was a hot topic, everyone was talking about making their closet more sustainable. But what exactly does this term actually mean and is a reduced number of clothing really helpful?
The answer to these questions, a step-by-step guide, and our 11 favorite sustainable clothing items to add to your capsule wardrobe for fall and winter can be found here. Enjoy!
Table of Contents
- What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?
- How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe
- Number of Clothes
- Example of a Wardrobe with 35 Pieces
- Is a Capsule Wardrobe Useful?
- You Have More Time in the Morning
- You Save Money
- You Get Creative
- You Do Something Good for the Environment
- Step-by-Step Guide: How to Achieve Your Minimalist Closet
- 11 Sustainable Clothing Items for Your Capsule Wardrobe for the Fall and Winter Season
- Pants and Shoes
- Jackets and Bags
1. What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?
Your closet is full of clothes, and yet you stand in front of it for hours and don’t know what to wear. Well, you are not alone with this problem. The minimalist closet is supposed to help, so that such desperate situations in the morning no longer belong to your everyday life.
A capsule wardrobe follows the minimalism idea, in which your clothing collection contains only a certain number of pieces, based on the season of the year. These clothes should be timeless and combinable with each other. The basic items can then be styled with jewelry and other accessories.
2. How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe
Top priorities of a capsule wardrobe are conscious shopping and quality instead of quantity. The number of clothes is limited, but they can be easily combined with each other. In this way, many different outfits can be created. The goal: a timeless, minimalist wardrobe.
2.1. Number of Clothes
A capsule wardrobe usually consists of 33 to 37 pieces based on the seasons. This period of three months can easily be divided according to the weather structure of a year. For example, you can have a capsule wardrobe for spring, summer, fall, and winter, where you swap out individual pieces of your wardrobe, as the seasons change.
Accessories, underwear, sleepwear and sportswear do not count, but here, too, it’s best to own only as many items as you need. It's about minimalism, right?
2.2. Example of a Wardrobe with 35 Pieces
- 3 t-shirts
- 2 tops
- 3 shirts
- 2 blouses
- 3 sweater
- 2 dresses
- 3 jeans
- 2 pants
- 2 skirts
- 1 jumpsuit
- 2 shorts
- 2 blazer
- 3 jackets
- 3 pairs of shoes
- 2 bags
33 to 37 pieces of clothing is only a guideline. If you get along better with a few less or a few more pieces, then that's perfectly fine.
Tip: Go for basics that can be easily combined with each other. But that doesn't mean that your whole wardrobe should consist only of black and white clothing and pieces without patterns. You should wear and include the pieces in your capsule wardrobe that you like and feel comfortable in. If you're not the type to wear blazers, then you don't need any of them in your closet.
For more information about capsule wardrobe and minimalist closet, check out @bymaren on YouTube. In the following video you will find an inspiration for a winter capsule wardrobe.
Reflect on what kind of clothes, what cuts and what colors you like and pick out your essentials for your individual capsule wardrobe. You can think about a color palette as a basic guideline, with tones that harmonize and which you enjoy. Maybe you like the color green, which makes your eyes pop and your skin glow. In that case, go for a green color palette with shades and natural tones that highlight these features.
We should not forget: Every person is unique and individual, also in their fashion taste. It would be pretty boring if we all wore the same clothes, wouldn't it?
3. Is a Capsule Wardrobe Useful?
We now know what a capsule wardrobe is, but is this concept actually useful?
We think: It can be an exciting challenge that brings you closer to your personal style! Here are a few reasons why we think you should create a minimalist wardrobe for fall and winter 2022.
3.1. You Have More Time in the Morning
By having a limited selection in your closet, you no longer have to stand in front of your overstuffed wardrobe for hours, worrying about what to wear. The pieces in a capsule wardrobe can all be combined with each other and the less you have in your closet, the easier it is to make a decision. This gives you more time to hit the snooze button for the third time, or to enjoy your coffee with oat milk in peace.
3.2. You Save Money
Conscious consumption throughout a capsule wardrobe avoids typically bad buys that would otherwise clog up your closet.
This makes it easier to save money in everyday life. You can put these extra pennies into your hobbies, integrate them into your financial planning or invest them in high-quality and fairly produced clothing for the next season.
3.3. You Get Creative
You think a capsule wardrobe is too boring and monotonous? Think of it as a creative challenge for yourself! You'll be amazed at how many different outfits you can put together with fewer clothes in your closet. And it's fun, too!
3.4. You Do Something Good for the Environment
With a capsule wardrobe, you also contribute to environmental protection. Refraining from thoughtless shopping is not only sustainable for you and your wallet, but also for the environment and your fellow human beings. The slow fashion brands are trying to counteract the fast fashion brands, and that should be supported by all of us.
Fair working conditions, local production for short delivery routes and lower CO2 emissions: These arguments look a thousand times more attractive to us than the tenth "trendy" print shirt that we secretly just bought because it was on sale at the fast fashion store.
4. Step-by-Step Guide: How to Achieve Your Minimalist Capsule Wardrobe1. Clean out your closet
Take a look in your closet and check out the pieces you already own. And be honest with yourself: Anything you haven't worn in the last three months of a certain season, you won't wear again in the future. You really won't.
If you're still unsure about some pieces, save them until next season and see if you wear them then. If not, then it's really time to say goodbye.
You can either give your out-sorted clothes to family and friends or resell them, for example via Vinted, Depop, or ebay. You can also donate your clothes to a local charity and donation centers.
Maybe you have an upcycling idea that you've been wanting to try for a while. Now would be a good time to do it. And who knows, perhaps you will create a new favorite piece. You can find a little inspiration from us here:
@nuuwaivegan New #TrySomethingNuu challenge! @hundertelfhandmade inspired us to upcycle old clothes. Do you like the result? #upcycling #diy #fairfashionootd #veganstartup #sustainability ♬ Not Over Yet (feat. Tom Grennan) - KSI
Check it out!
2. Analyze your personal style
During the clean out, you will already find out what your absolute favorite pieces are and what you like the most. To analyze and determine your personal style, question yourself and your clothes.
These are five questions you can ask yourself to decide if the piece stays or goes:
- What do you wear most often in everyday life? Are you usually seen in a blazer or much more often in a cozy sweater? In boots or sneakers? With a backpack or a shopper?
- Which pieces do you secretly feel most comfortable in and why?
- What fits do you generally prefer to wear? Do you like to emphasize your waist or do you prefer to wear baggy clothes?
- Which three colors do you like the most? Black and white count extra!
- Which activities determine your everyday life: Do you do a lot of sports, do you have an office job with a dress code, do you like to go out?
Now you can add items to your capsule wardrobe that match your analyzed style and everyday life. You also have the opportunity to choose high-quality and durable pieces from slow fashion labels. These are admittedly a bit more expensive, but you also know that the clothes were made from sustainable materials and under fair working conditions. You will definitely enjoy these pieces for several years.
If your budget doesn't allow it, you could also go for second-hand clothes in your next thrift shop and keep your eyes open at the next flea market. If you've found a piece that looks good on you, be sure to check the material of the dress, pants or shirt and whether the seams are well sewn. Conscious shopping and quality instead of quantity are the core ideas of your next capsule wardrobe.
5. 11 Sustainable Clothing Items for Your Capsule Wardrobe for the Fall and Winter Season
Cozy and warm sweaters are a must-have in autumn and winter! The slip over, the long sleeve and the knit sweater are all from the sustainable clothing brand Givn Berlin. The brand produces its clothes in Europe under fair working conditions and uses sustainable materials to protect the environment.
5.2. Pants and Shoes
Jeans always work, don't they? We especially love the fit of mom jeans. The wider and looser style is super comfortable and can be casually combined with all kinds of tops.
The sustainable clothing brand ArmedAngels from Cologne is known for their timeless and sustainable clothing. The jeans are made of 100% organic cotton.
A pair of white sneakers and basic boots may also not be missing in your capsule wardrobe for the fall and winter season. The sneakers from Veja and the boots from NAE Vegan Shoes are easy to combine and they are vegan! These are much-needed pieces for your sustainable wardrobe, we think.
5.3. Jackets and Bags
Fall and winter are the time for coats! Trench coats or wool coats will not only keep you warm, but also look stylish. The trench coat from The Slow Label and the coat from ArmedAngels are a perfect addition to your capsule wardrobe for the cold days.
To make an outfit complete, you can't miss a bag to carry all your essentials and vegan snacks with you. Our current favorites from the nuuwaï team are the baguette bag Maddïe made of a vegan leather alternative from "corn material" and the crossbody bag Ellï made of vegan "apple leather". Both bags are timeless and are combined by the team to different styles.
Want to start right away, but still need some fashion inspo to begin? Then take a look at our Pinterest account! There, you'll find lots of pins and ideas on the topic.
All images are copyright to their respective owners.
Author: Annika Torno