World

We Tried It: The Capsule Wardrobe

Words by Rita Ovis

Photography by Rita Ovis

Lately, the motto of “less is more” has been everywhere. With the rise of books like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees, the concept of determining what your true essentials are and getting rid of the rest has gained popularity in a flash—and what better place to start than your own wardrobe?

The whole concept of a capsule wardrobe initially enticed me as it promises less time, money, and energy spent on getting dressed in the morning. It’s sustainable as well—it encourages spending on investment pieces to keep and wear often, instead of purchasing from fast-fashion retailers on a more frequent basis. I also heard that it’ll eliminate the sensation of looking at a closet full of clothing and simply not knowing what to wear. It sounds almost too good to be true.

We’re all for sticking to the essentials at vitruvi, so I decided to experiment with a capsule wardrobe in true minimalist fashion (literally). Most people create a new capsule for each season, but I decided to dip my toes in on a smaller scale and follow through for a whole week to see if it worked for me.

Since I was just experimenting, I decided to create a capsule wardrobe to suit a five-day work week. I challenged myself to stick to eight pieces including shoes (not including other accessories).

I put most of my go-to pieces on my bed and used two methods for whittling down the overwhelming mass. Number one was the Marie Kondo method: asking myself if each item brings me joy or if I need it. Can I live without these jeans? No? They’re moving on the next round.

Next, I took advice from Classy Yet Trendy and went through a checklist with the rest of the items:

  1. Does it go with three other items in my capsule?
  2. How many outfits can I create with this item?
  3. Does it fit with my personal style?
  4. Does the fit and fabric work for me?
  5. Will this work with my lifestyle?

So, keeping in mind daily activities, colour preferences, and versatility, I compiled a minimal yet effective wardrobe: a black t-shirt, a white shirt, a green t-shirt, a striped turtleneck, overalls, blue jeans, black Converse, and a pair of simple black flats.

The most challenging aspect in planning this wardrobe was deciding which items were my favourite. I love a lot of my clothing, and I have a lot. I had to ask myself the real questions: what am I doing this week? What do I own that goes together? What makes the cut as both functional and fashionable? Once I made my choices, I was ready to take on the week.

Almost all of my clothing choices were neutral colours, save for the green t-shirt. I learned that neutrals are always more versatile to mix and match, but having at least one colour helps elevate your overall look. Accessories are also a great way to introduce colour instead of buying a shirt in five different shades. I painted my nails red for this week, had statement earrings with green fringe handy, and kept a bright lipstick in my bag.

Since I did all the planning beforehand, the week was a breeze. I re-wore a few of the items, but in new combinations. It was nice having a curated closet laid out for me where I knew exactly what my options were; I couldn’t really go wrong. All these items also fit easily into a small backpack—super convenient if I decide to go on a trip for a few days.

The verdict? I’m definitely trying this on a larger scale.