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Runway shows. A time to expect the unexpected; toilet paper dresses, chain mail jumpsuits, and over the top pieces are de rigeur. In 1985, Donna Karan did the most shocking thing of all at her runway show: the exact opposite. Donna Karan launched her first fashion line, the “Seven Easy Pieces” using simple black body suits as a foundational item for her models. The women gradually added more pieces to create a full outfit, including a wrap skirt, short and long skirts, sweaters, scarves, a tailored jacket, and gold chunky jewelry. Her target audience: the contemporary career woman. Her aim: to create a wardrobe with fewer clothes of higher quality for a life of ease and confidence.
The capsule wardrobe was first conceptualized by Susie Faux in the 1970’s. She defined the core pieces as a jacket, skirt, trousers, tights, sweaters, shoes, a dress, a bag, and a belt, but allowed, “The ideal size of your capsule will differ from person to person.” With that in mind, let’s explore some options for the capsule wardrobe of the millennium.
Putting Together A Capsule Wardrobe
Of course, putting together a capsule wardrobe is personal, but Caroline Rector from Unfancy recommends choosing 37 items for each season. She suggests first taking every piece of your wardrobe out of your closet and lying it on the bed. If you have not worn it in the last six months, you may not want to include it in your capsule wardrobe. You should also opt for sticking with neutral colors, which are easier to match and look for seasonably appropriate pieces.
Example capsule wardrobe:
- 5 pairs of shoes
- 3 pairs of pants, 1 skirt
- 2 coats, 1 blazer, 1 rain jacket, 1 cardigan
- 3 dresses, 1 romper
- 5 blouses, 3 sweaters, 2 tees, 1 tank top, one button down
- Note: This does not include jewelry, accessories, and workout clothes and is recommended for moderate temperatures Winter and summer wardrobes may vary to include more weather appropriate pieces.
Save Time and Energy
In 2012, President Obama told Vanity Fair magazine, “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits. I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.” Sure, Obama was a man, but he has a point. Simplifying the “what do I wear” challenge can help you to turn your decision-making skills to more pressing problems.
Although at first, getting rid of your items may not seem like a financial windfall, it will help to save money in the future. Using the capsule wardrobe guideline will make you more aware of the clothes you’re buying and help you to ask appropriate questions about your wardrobe decisions. In addition, you may want to take that extra heap of clothes and look into doing some online selling.
According to Business Insider’s Dennis Green, “Studies have shown that wearing nice clothes in the office can affect the way people perceive you, how confident you’re feeling, and even how you’re able to think abstractly.”
One such study showed, “Those dressed poorly (in sweatpants and plastic sandals0 averaged a theoretical profit of $680,000 while the group dressed in suits amassed an average profit of 2.1 million. The group dressed neutrally averaged a 1.58 million profit.” Of course, your capsule wardrobe transition may not guarantee a raise, but it’s nice to be prepared.
What do you think about capsulizing your wardrobe? Let us know if you’re ready to make the switch!