Not so long ago, the fashion world was buzzing about the concept of a capsule wardrobe—the kind of compact closet that only held the minimum number of pieces that matched each other with great ease and that allowed for much time saved in the mornings. Perhaps because the economic downturn hit at the same time that a furious decade of fast fashion was taking a toll on our closets, the capsule wardrobe appeared to be the solution to everyone’s fashion woes. Social media was (and remains) also to blame.
As users took to Instagram wearing brand-new outfits for each post, many found it difficult to keep up with the endless fast-fashion hauls and OOTDs being presented to them. Overconsumption was rife, but then, things started to turn. As a community, fashion lovers banded together to call for more sustainable shopping habits and championed getting sufficient wear out of the clothes they owned rather than replacing them when a new trend or aesthetic came around.
Still, creating a capsule wardrobe is a very personal endeavour—one that takes time, perseverance, and a lot of analysis. What works for one person’s capsule wardrobe won’t for another, so there’s no hard and fast rule to assembling one. Realising this, I decided to ask some fashion experts who have gone on their own capsule-wardrobe journeys to share their experiences, as well as favourite staples. What I learnt from their insight was that times change, trends move on and so do tidy solutions. And it turns out we might have taken the capsule-wardrobe approach too literally.