If you’ve been anywhere on Netflix recently, you will have seen the phenomena that is Marie Kondo and her ‘tidying up’ series. It has been taking the country (and the world) by storm, as she organises and tidies homes, leaving only the things that you really need (and bring joy). While watching the series may not be for you, there are some great lessons that we can take from it. For starters, we are all living our lives in excess; so full of stuff that we don’t really need. And decluttering it all can bring us back to the basics and essentials that we need, which is better for us, our wallets, and for the environment. And one of the first things that Kondo suggests that you start decluttering is your wardrobe; it is said to be full of the most things that we have less of an emotional attachment too.
Have you found that your wardrobe is full of stuff but yet you mostly wear the same couple of outfits each week? In order to stay away from fast fashion, make our clothing more sustainable, and leave us with the clothes that we really need, have you considered creating a minimalist or capsule wardrobe before? The idea behind it is that you have just what you need, things match and go together, and you have things for every occasion. Fashion trends quickly change, but style, and having some classically styled pieces in your wardrobe will last a lifetime. Not sure where to start? Here is a guide to help you when it comes to creating your own capsule wardrobe.
Classic Trench Coat
Of all of the styles of raincoats that are out there, the trench coat is one of the most timeless. The clean lines of the coat give some effortless style, and it can be worn for casual wear with a pair of trousers or jeans, and then with a suit for work or smarter occasions. It is a good transitional coat too, as you can layer underneath it and add a scarf for warmth, but it isn’t too heavy to wear on warmer days. The long style of it is pretty flattering on most physiques as well, so it really is a winner.
Denim is one of the most classic things out there when it comes to fashion. And a denim jacket is a great way to go. But as it is a pretty classic material, many designers and stylists have tried to do other things to it that aren’t always the best look (acid wash jeans, anyone?) Stick to the classics when it comes to denim and even go for a little more of a tailored vibe with the jacket. It is something that can be worn quite casually, even with a hoodie for example. But it is something that will never go out of fashion.
Dark Slim-Fit Jeans
On a similar note, slim-fit jeans are a must for your capsule wardrobe. There are many trends with jeans and plenty of different styles to choose from as well. But a slim-fit, rather than a skinny fit, is a look that is classic and timeless. Worn with shirts or casual tops, sneakers or boots, a dark pair is a good look to go for as well. Slim-fit is a better choice than just a straight leg as well, simply because it makes jeans more versatile, as they wouldn’t look too out of place with a smart blazer.
It’s a good idea to have a pair of sweats that give you a casual and sporty vibe, without it being too much of a ‘gym’ look. Which is why a dark pair is usually a better option to go for, compared to a lighter pair. Wearing with high top sneakers is a funky look, or perhaps even with sandals when the weather heats up. Because of the sportswear renaissance, activewear is something that can now be worn to many events, but they do need to be the right pair to be able to dress them up in the right way.
A grey sweatshirt is another classic to add to your casualwear arsenal. They are another piece of clothing that is really timeless and classic, and they are really versatile for their use, as they can be worn with sweats, with a denim jacket, or just with jeans and sneakers.
Crew Neck Tops
One of your main go-to items in a capsule wardrobe are going to be crew neck tops. But as they are sold as a ‘basic’ in pretty much every store that you go to, there really are plenty of options. So choose a few in different colours so that you have a few for different occasions. If you’re not much of a fan of brighter colours, then choosing, white, navy, black or grey can be good starting points. V-neck tops can be a little in and out of style, so stick with a crew neck if you want a timeless and classic look. Layering under a sweater, wearing with jeans, or to have under a hoodie or jacket are all good ways to wear this classic but everyday style. Make sure that you get a good fit too; too baggy and it will not look good, but too tight and you may feel a little uncomfortable.
White Oxford Shirt
There is little that can go wrong with a white Oxford button down shirt. It has the collar, which makes it a naturally smart look, but it also has a less formal feel than a stiffer collared shirt. So this is the thing that can allow you to choose between casual, worn with jeans and a sweater, or formal, worn with a suit or smart trousers.
We’ve covered some loungewear such as sweats and a grey sweater, but having some clothes in your closet that can be worn for working out in is a must. You know the kind of working out that you do, whether you enjoy football or the gym, so you’ll know the kind of clothes that you will need; it could be a Liverpool football shirt or running shorts, you choose. It is a good idea to have a pair of trainers that are specifically for working out, and then you can have a separate pair of trainers for casualwear, like a pair of Converse or Vans, for example.
When it comes to creating a minimalist wardrobe, then a suit needs to be in there. Even if you don’t wear one for work, you need to have one in your arsenal ready to go for plenty of different occasions. A slim-fit single breasted suit in navy or dark grey are always good choices, both colours offer a lot of versatility (as they are going to look good with a variety of shirts, ties, and shoes). Just make sure that you get one which looks as tailored as possible, even if it isn’t tailored. An ill-fitting suit is not a good look.
Having a second pair of trousers is a good idea, as you are unlikely to want to wear jeans all of the time. Chinos have been a popular choice for a ‘second’ pair of trousers for a while now, but that is because there has been very few other options. Now there are more options for a smart-casual trouser. Black jeans that aren’t really jeans is a good choice, as well as trousers made from a smarter material than denim. Chinos are still out there if you are a fan. So the choice is yours for a different pair of trousers for when you aren’t going to wear jeans.
White Dress Shirt
Much like having a suit in your wardrobe, you need a classic dress shirt in your collection as well. Having a crisp white shirt is the ultimate blank canvas for your ties, and can be a great addition for smarter occasions. If you wanted to get another shirt, then a light light blue colour is a good option too.
Smart Black Shoes
Black shoes are often something that gets relegated to just wearing to work or to the office, but they do have a degree of versatility about them. They can be worn casually, when styled in the right way, as well as being kept for a smarter occasion; always a good idea.
Having a pair of classic white trainers, like Converse or Stan Smiths, is always going to be a good idea. They look great with indigo-blue jeans and can be made to look smart or casual. Keep them separate from the trainers you wear to the gym, so that they keep their colour and last longer. They are going to be perfect for weekends, and even for wearing with shorts when the summer comes around.