With London Fashion Week starting tomorrow, fashion lovers are watching eagerly for hot-off-the catwalk trends. But here at Stitched Up Towers we’re doing exactly the opposite – gearing up to take part in the Six Items Challenge. In aid of Labour Behind the Label, we’ll wearing just six items of clothing for six weeks!

We thought this the perfect time to explore one of the many compelling alternatives to trend-based fashion consumption – the capsule wardrobe.

A capsule wardrobe contains only items of clothing you really need, love and look great in. Nothing else. Items are carefully planned so that they can be combined to create multiple outfit options.

Fans of the concept say it makes getting dressed in the morning LOADS quicker and less stressful. And bad style choices become much rarer – because you’ve already done most of the hard work by editing your wardrobe.

The idea has a more stylish history than you may think – it was invented in the 70s by boutique owner Susie Faux and caught on in the 80s thanks to designer Donna Karan. It aims to demonstrate that you don’t need loads of items of clothing in order to look fabulous all the time.

Having a capsule wardrobe makes a sound environmental choice, as it shuns short-lived trends in favour of long-lasting style. Plus it’s great for our wellbeing – research has shown that decluttering our lives and relying less on material things makes us happier.

Cutting down can be daunting at first so here’s a guide on how to create your own capsule wardrobe that allows to look and feel amazing without hoarding stuff you don’t need.

Step 1 – Set the ‘Rules’ for your capsule wardrobe. The ideal capsule wardrobe will be different for everyone so it will work best if you set your own rules (and stick to them!). Ask yourself some basic questions for example: How many items will you have? (Most people go for between 20-50)  Will you include shoes? Accessories? Do you want one capsule wardrobe for the whole year or smaller ones for each season? It’s up to you. It’s important to be realistic, but remember the whole point of a capsule wardrobe is to cut down on excess – so be strict with yourself too.

Step 2- Choose what you like and wear the most. Go through your stuff and sort it into piles, stuff you love and definitely want to include, stuff you want to re-home and stuff you are going to store for future seasons. The secret of a capsule wardrobe is that you love every item in it so only keep the stuff that you are guaranteed to wear, and feel great when you do. Try Marie Kondo’s method of keeping only clothes which ‘spark joy’ when you pick them up.
It’s important at this stage to think carefully about the colours and shapes that suit you most too.

Step 3 – Think about interchangeability. A capsule wardrobe will be most successful if the items in it go well together and can be worn in lots of different combinations, so it’s a good idea to pick colours, textures and patterns that are versatile and go well together.  It’s common to go for black, white and grey block colours for much of the capsule wardrobe as these colours go with anything, but if you prefer brighter colours and patterns this is fine too, it just might take a bit more planning. A good idea is to try on items of clothing with everything in your wardrobe and keep the items that work well with the highest amount of other items, allowing for the maximum number of outfits.

Step 4 – Consider your lifestyle. This may seem like stating the obvious but it’s important to consider your lifestyle when deciding on a capsule wardrobe. For example if you cycle everywhere you may want to go for more leggings than floaty skirts. It’s great if you can pick items that can be dressed in different ways for different occasions, such as a skirt that’s suitable for the office but can be dressed up for a night out too. Consider the climate and area that you live in – a capsule wardrobe for someone in the the inner city will be different to that of someone in the countryside. Make sure that you have items that cover everything that you do on a regular basis, and don’t just think about how the clothes look, comfort and fit are important too.

Good luck! We’d love to hear about your experiences if you give the capsule wardrobe a try – let us know how you get on. Has it made you think twice about what you buy? Do you find you’re choosing outfits that suit you better? You can find us social media @stitchedupuk

Stitched Up x