Fashion Fashion Editor Muse

HOW TO CREATE THE ULTIMATE CAPSULE WARDROBE

Kendra Williams complies her best tips on curating a capsule winter wardrobe to help you survive the winter months

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Fast fashion has helped us fill our wardrobes with tonnes of different clothes, and yet most of us still find ourselves with hundreds of different pieces but nothing to wear. One way to combat this is to create yourself a winter capsule wardrobe – full of your favourite pieces and lots of perfect outfits to avoid the daily morning woe of what to wear. The term capsule wardrobe was first coined by Susie Faux in the 1970s, and the idea reached peak popularity in the mid 1980s when the designer Donna Karan (who went on to found DKNY) introduced a collection of workwear called Seven Easy Pieces. In the 1970s and 80s,before the surge of fast fashion, the capsule wardrobe was great for people; clothing was expensive and many made their own clothes.However, fast track to the 21st century where we seem to have the opposite problem – hoarding masses of clothes only to hate them after the micro trend has passed.So, why create a capsule wardrobe this winter? Well, having a few select pieces that you love will reduce the time you spend sifting through heaps of mini skirts on a freezing winter morning. Not only will it help you get dressed quicker– buying you an invaluable extra 15 minutes in bed – it can also save you your pretty penny! Fostering a unique style will mean that you don’t feel the need to buy into the transient microtrends of social media (only for those clothes to end up in landfill next season) and can investin thoughtful, timeless purchases to last you through the seasons. In simple, less pretentious sounding terms, it’s a wardrobe of clothes that you’ll actually wear more than once. By now you’re probably thinking, that sounds great... but where do I start? To that, I say start at home. Take an hour or so and look through your own wardrobe; can you remember where every piece came from; when you last wore it; and most importantly, if you saw it in the shop tomorrow, would you still buy it? If the answer to the latter question is no, then you’ve probably been swept up by the influencer-led micro trends, buying into pieces that won’t see the end of the year. But don’t worry,with your new capsule winter wardrobe, this will be far behind you. Now you know what styles you do like, think about what your day to day life and what outfits revolve around these activities. These most likely include university, work, nights out and gym clothes, but there could be more. By segmenting your needs like this, you’ll put a definitive end to the burden of having lots of clothes but nothing to wear. A great way to make sure that all of your clothes go together is by choosing some signature colours that match your personal taste. While these colours will be completely individual to you. If you’re looking for some inspiration, oranges, browns, blacks and whites are always a great bet for the winter months. Doing this ensures that every new piece you buy will slot right in with your existing wardrobe, dodging the dilemma of having nothing to accompany your new purchase. But if you’re not ready to cease your relationship with bright colours and bold patterns, consider investing in a neutral pair of bottoms that you can interchange your statement tops with. Contemplate denim jeans, leather trousers or wide leg trousers – all of which can be dressed up or down. The ultimate capsule winter wardrobe is incomplete without a staple jumper. Whether you opt for a neutral nude, or a vivid chunky knit, a winter jumper is essential to the capsule wardrobe; throw it on with leggings for a 9am lecture or layer over dresses with tights and boots for those autumnal coffee shop dates. A high or roll neck jumper is sure to fit every occasion and shield you on a frosty January morning, or try layering a chunky knit over a classic shirt for your much anticipated annual Winter Wonderland date. The final capsule wardrobe essential is a classic coat to survive those bitter winter days. Whilst a cosy puffer jacket may seem tempting to combat the bleak Yorkshire winter, consider investing in a timeless trench coat or an oversized blazer, both of which will transition through the seasons and take you from day tonight. Versatility is the key to curating your capsule wardrobe so try neutral colours to suit every outfit and every occasion. A capsule wardrobe does not mean the end of buying clothes, you will of course need to buy pieces to fit other seasons and occasions but with the baseline of a strong, coordinating wardrobe this should make buying new pieces much easier as they will automatically slot right in with the rest of your clothes. If donating all the clothes you have curated over time scares you too much, why not trial a winter capsule wardrobe by mixing and matching ten pieces from your current wardrobe.

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