What is a capsule wardrobe?

It is true that a London boutique owner by the name of Susie Faux, developed the term ‘capsule wardrobe’ in the 1970s. According to Faux, the capsule wardrobe is a distilled collection of quality items that never go out of style or season. These essentials are to be mixed and matched to create new looks that can be dressed up or dressed down with the addition of a couple of tasteful accessories.

Faux was certainly ahead of our current ‘less is more,’ ‘Marie Kondo,’ ‘minimalistic’ approach. And with the current rise in eco-consciousness, there’s never been a better time to buy less and recycle more. Plus, minimizing your wardrobe will definitely save you time and energy when you get dressed in the morning or for a night out.

4 steps to prepare a capsule wardrobe

Step 1: Take inventory

Go through what you already own and pull everything out of your closet. Reach far into the trenches of your drawers. Retrieve the unfolded and forgotten clothes in the corner of your room. Look through the wreckage and start sorting like items together. Put pants in a pile with pants, stack sweaters with other sweaters, and so on and so forth.

Step 2: Start sifting

Sift through each pile and its decades of old t-shirts, pairless socks, worn out shoes, and limp cargo pants (the ones that unzip for every season). Retrieve the items that stand out. The sentimental ones, the flattering ones, the practical ones, and the ones you couldn’t live without. Narrow down each pile until you have about three to five solid pieces remaining in each.

Step 3: Donate or swap

Consider donating items that didn’t make the cut to charity, or conducting a clothing swap with your friends.

Step 4: Read the rules

You’ve officially taken the first step towards a pristine, dialed-in capsule wardrobe. And it feels great. You’re now ready to read the rules of obtaining a perfect capsule wardrobe.

The basic rules of a capsule wardrobe

Rule 1: Go for your style

There is no one-size-fits-all wardrobe. Everyone has their unique style and chooses to express themselves differently. Some of us are a little more experimental with colours and patterns, while others are a little more ‘normcore,’ but no matter who you are, the items in your wardrobe should be a reflection of you. Keep in mind, the beauty of a capsule wardrobe is in the accessorizing. Having your clothes act as a blank canvas will actually spark creativity in ways you never thought possible.

Rule 2: Go for timelessness

The key to a successful capsule wardrobe is limiting the amount you need to buy throughout the seasons by owning quality, somewhat neutral pieces that hold their own during the ever-changing cycles of fashion. Solid coloured shirts, a classic trench coat, and classy but comfortable shoes all stand the test of time. Resist an Instagram temptation to follow trends and opt for owning forever pieces you love.

Rule 3: Go for versatility

Choose items that you can mix and match. As mentioned, sticking to neutrals allows you to be ready for whatever style you’re going for. With versatile items, such as a black turtleneck, you can easily transform a workday outfit into a sleek evening ensemble with the addition of a necklace or a swift change of shoes.

Rule 4: Go for sentimentality

There is an emphasis on getting rid of almost everything, but there’s no harm in keeping the things that are special to you. In fact, items that have lasted generations are usually a sign of quality (they just don’t make clothes like they used to). Keep your mother’s leather jacket or your perfect sisterhood-of-the-travelling-pants pants—because you never know.

The items you need in your capsule wardrobe

Item 1: The perfect t-shirt

Frank And Oak – under $40 CAD

Remember, no two wardrobes are the same, but there are a few basics everyone could benefit from. If you’re missing that perfect white or black t-shirt, Frank And Oak have an amazing variety of great-fitting tops that’ll tickle your fancy.

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Item 2: The perfect jeans

Frank And Oak – under $100 CAD

Everyone has their own preference for how they like their jeans to fit, but no matter what, classic blue denim is a must in a capsule wardrobe. From skinny to stretchy to bootcut to tapered, Frank And Oak has an amazing selection of jeans to complement your genes.

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Item 3: The perfect shoe

Aldo – under $100 CAD

When it comes to shoes, you’ll need a few: one casual sneaker, one comfortable boot, and one smart shoe for special occasions. Real leather and real good quality, Aldo has it all. Be sure to stick to white, black or natural leather when you find the shoe that’s for you.

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Item 4: The perfect jacket

Frank And Oak – under $200 CAD

For rain, wind, snow and shine, the perfect coat can be found at Frank And Oak. Choose a neutral colour that matches with almost everything and choose a material that’s warm enough for winters but cool enough for cool summer nights. Remember, the perfect coat can dress up any outfit.

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Item 5: The perfect bag

Indigo.ca – under $200 CAD

The perfect bag is one with enough room for your laptop, gym clothes, and wallet, but is stylish enough to go from day to night in a pinch. Indigo.ca has a huge selection of bags that fit the bill. Shop in-store or find unique pieces you can only find online.

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Earn cash back when you shop for wardrobe essentials

Getting your capsule wardrobe in shape can be exciting, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Download Ampli and shop at select retailers like Frank And Oak, Indigo.ca and Aldo to earn cash back. Less truly is more, especially when you’re getting cash back to polish off your capsule closet.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. While we collaborate with all of the merchants presented in the article, they may not have in-market offers at the date of publication. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by RBC Ampli Inc. or its affiliates.

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