Nowadays, we’re starting to look for ressources to shop less. Doesn’t that sound a bit crazy? Tips and tricks to keep you from overspending, filling your wardrobe with useless shit and feeling sad right after. Ecolabo isn’t about being pessimistic, but this is how our world works today. We buy when we feel anxious, sad, lonely and stressed.
As we started to learn more about eco-fashion, some of these patterns needed to change in order to keep our waste and carbon footprint to a minimum. We decided to be more that what we wear. That’s when we discovered the capsule wardrobe. Here’s how it works.
A capsule wardrobe is a stripped down version of your wardrobe. It’s an effort to keep only 10-30 pieces of clothing. They must all match together, so you can swap them around easily. This trend was invented by Susie Faux in the 70’s, she called it a “compact wardrobe made up of staple pieces in coordinating colours–usually in the realm of 30 items or fewer, including shoes and sometimes even accessories.” The concept was then recycled by brands and it resurfaced in the last few years.
A capsule wardrobe takes quite an effort in curating, you need to spend time planning what clothes will go with everything, what kind of style you want to put out. It helped us understand the pieces of clothing that were really valuable to us, and to let go of the things we weren’t planning to wear anyway. It’s not really about throwing everything away, it’s about being conscious of what you have and caring for it. Of course you can keep that crazy pink ensemble you bought and wore once, but thank’s to this method, you won’t make that type of mistake again.
So for us, a capsule wardrobe can hold more than 30 pieces if you already own them. It’s more about planning the future and making sure you only get things that fit together so it’s more efficient. To plan it out, you can use tools like Pinterest. This way, you can have boards that show the type of styles you want to achieve each season, using your own clothes as dupes.
The goal here is not so much to buy new clothes to fit the wardrobe, it’s to make a selection of things that fit together. If you do want to treat yourself, you would need to make sure that it will fit into your capsule, so it’s not an impulse buy that you will wear once. The effort is also to try and see how you can survive without getting new clothes all the time and make the best with what you have. If you’re starting to shop sustainable brands, this can be your new objective. We vow to only spend on new clothes if the brand is sustainable or thrifted. We also check to see if it would fit in our capsule style.
The goal is to rely less on impulsive shopping, to be mindful and grateful of what we have. But there are other perks. Here are some of the benefits we have encountered from having a capsule wardrobe this summer.
Buying has become so emotional. We buy clothes to reward ourselves, for self care, for motivation. This is very detrimental to our mental health because it does not encourage us to look inside ourselves and address our issues or pains. We just get that dopamine up and keep it there.
The goal of this wardrobe design process is to become mindful of what we have and sufficient with less. It won’t curb your passion for fashion but the process is definitely therapeutic. We have to admit we did sometimes feel like some things were missing. We did buy add-ons to the capsule but it had to be needed, thrifted and totally mixable with the rest of the selection.
So much of our “style” is just a combination of outfits that we bought for a specific event and that we will never wear again. Not possible with a capsule wardrobe. We did plan a few black tops for the occasional night out but even then, our authentic personal style just had to come out. Your style is also a reflection of your lifestyle, so most of the items in our capsule wardrobe were very comfy and chilled, that’s just who we are.
Since we don’t like to be too strict with ourselves, we added a few crazier options along the way. It’s already pretty hard to keep your style when switching to sustainable fashion because brands who offer very stylish clothes are often very expensive too. To add spice, we played a lot with thrifted garments, swaps from friends and old things.
Have you ever pronounced the words “I have nothing to wear?” This is one of the main reasons we decided to go with a capsule wardrobe. We were just sick of having clothes that just don’t fit with one another. It’s a huge waste of time and decision making to sort out what clothes combine and when. Even if we have stopped impulsive shopping at Zara a while ago now, somehow we still managed to get things that were lovely until it was worn once.
Once you build a little list in your head of things that you thought you would wear but didn’t, it becomes obvious what type of clothes to avoid.When planning the wardrobe, we made sure everything was basic, cool and in line with our tastes and colours. So yeah, mornings are way more calm. Evenings a bit less because of what we mentioned before, so here’s our tip: plan things to wear on night out’s too !
The aim of the capsule wardrobe is to appreciate what we have. By wearing our clothes more than once, we definitely come to the realisation that all that previous shopping was quite a waste of our money. You will save plenty when you stop the monthly shopping sprees. For us it was hard at first, shopping is so deeply rooted in our lives today, especially as women. The desire to get new clothes that will make us feel better about ourselves is so strong !
Withdrawal was tough, but we made it. We started by ditching fast fashion all together. We continued buying a lot of sustainable fashion. Now we’re gradually reducing and only really splurging on second hand shopping. This takes a huge toll off of our monthly pay.
Space is very important too. For mental clarity, having too many old clothes lying around can be super unhealthy. Decluttering is an important part of the curation of the capsule wardrobe. We kind of got addicted to the “minimal high” – FYI we’re giving away a lot of clothes.