Ethical, wearable, colourful: 11 items – over 40 outfits. Follow these 5 simple steps to build your own capsule wardrobe. Featuring 100% ethical, beautiful and shoppable examples from summer 2018 collections.
If you’re new here, I encourage you have a look at my piece 7 Clever Slow Fashion Habits to Spend Less Money, Have More Style – and More to Wear in which I share a few doable tips that can make all the difference between “got nothing to wear” and “I can’t believe I look so fantastic”. And now, in medias res…
How To Build A Summer Capsule:
5 Easy Steps – Using Ethical Brands Only
By Nath Fedorova
If you’re new to the concept of a capsule wardrobe (and most people are, so no worries), you might want to give it a try for a few weeks just to see how it feels, how it works – but without the tedious task of decluttering your textile possessions first. Good for you – summer holiday season right on cue!
Step #1: Try A Cruise Capsule
Step #2: Level Up The Basics
Let’s play fashion designer/ stylist during your summer break. Fashion designers create “cruise” collection that are not summer or winter but for the vacation time. Now what this little game does it yields three major benefits: it’s actually fun and easy, you’ll be saving a ton of luggage space and adopt your very first capsule for a limited amount of time – your summer vacation.
I found myself a formula that works perfectly well that I’m going to show you using cute and stylish items from the current Summer 2018 Lanius collection. The best about this formula is that it doesn’t necessarily require any new purchases as you can shop your wardrobe to try it, and that it really is super intuitive. No over-complicating! All you need are six items that look good together, no matter how you mix and match them: 3 tops, 2 bottoms, 1 piece of outerwear (in summer: large shawl, denim jacket, biker jacket, summer coat depending on your style preferences and the weather forecast).
So in this example, you see six items that can be easily styled into 12 different outfits; 13 even, if you style the pink blouse as a jacket over the citrus print top. And we’re not even counting in the different shoes, bags, jewels and accessories you could add! (Although for the sake of simplicity, I’d say pink kicks and a large nude colour tote will do). These six items are really a two week’s worth of outfits, so, for the sake of holiday you could stop here – and try the other steps upon your return. Or you could do the 11 items thing completely.
Now on to tip #2.
Notice that the pieces are stylish variations of very, very classic basics – there’s a classy basic blouse (but in a super hot colour!), a basic white tee (but with a cute statement print), there are summery stripes (but in a flattering peach). My point here: choose basics with a twist. If your best colour is blue, let your LBD be blue instead of black! If you love gold, buy golden kicks to boost your everyday look. There is no law that everyday attire must be boring! Choose colours, choose prints, and then add solid and “basic” colours to smooth it out.
I’m now drooling over this Lanius selection I made. Hmmmm…
But I digress, let’s take it from here and make it even more fun, shall we?
Step #3: Choose Multi-Use
What’s a summer holiday without a bathing suit? Wasted, that’s what.
My personal trick is to choose a sleek, decent swimsuit style that can easily double as a top. Tip: choose thick, opaque fabric!
Here I’m wearing a reversible (double strike!), blue and aqua two-tone Mymarini swimsuit as a top with a pair of white Wolford pants.
Also I’m casually carrying flowers in a tote, because why not?
But blue and aqua are my personal preference, that’s why let’s stay within the playful, peachy colour scheme from above, and pick a swimsuit from the summer 2018 Mymarini collection, in flashing tangerine and hot pink.
Imagine how chic it will look with the cropped pant or the flared skirt.
Obviously, this is just one example. But it’s also adding one more top – or in this case: two more tops! – to your capsule that now consists of 18 outfits.
Other obvious items with in-build versatility are shirt dresses that double as summer coats, denim shirts that double as jackets, 2-in-1 outdoor shorts/pants, reversible summer jackets, large scarves that can be worns as tops, stolas or turbans.
Minimalism makes creative, don’t you think?
Step #4: Dress It Up
Are you missing something in my selection of garments? Anything? Dresses, perhaps?
They are really outfits ready to grab and go, and such an easy way to get dressed. However, while I adore my dresses, you might think they aren’t really saving you any space in terms of versatility that we are looking for in a capsule wardrobe, unless they’re shirt dresses.
Still, if we add two dresses and two pieces of outerwear to our capsule, the amount of outfits will increase to 42. Which is over a month’s worth of outfits!
Because our example ethical capsule so far was based on delightful shades of red and orange, let’s go a little bolder and pick a red striped dress, a purple dress, and two different styles of jackets to spice things up.
I made a find at Armedangels (red stripes dress and geometric stripes knit jacket adequately called “Striped Chaos”) and Lana Organic (a stunning, sleek grape number and the loveliest powder pink jacket with satin details):
Finally, Step #5: (Accesso)rise To The Occasion!
Sun glasses, bags, shoes, scarves, belts, fashion and fine jewellery: once you figured out your capsule, it’s super easy to find the coolest accessories.
To stay within our colour theme, here are some of my ethical fashion favourites that will instantly take your outfit from “well” to “wow”: