Expat Living reader Carmen Low decided on a fresh approach to her wardrobe – and it’s had an impact that has gone far beyond getting a “new look”. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a capsule wardrobe is a minimalist approach to fashion that emphasises quality over quantity. It’s a collection of timeless, versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched to create numerous outfits. This eliminates the need for a cluttered closet and the stress of daily decision making. All while making sustainable fashion choices! Carmen tells us more.
So how did I get started on this journey?
It all began when I found myself drowning in a sea of fast fashion. I was constantly buying cheap, trendy pieces that would fall apart after a few wears and end up being forgotten at the back of my closet. Not only was this an unsustainable and environmentally harmful habit, but it was also taking a toll on my finances and my peace of mind.
It was then that I discovered the beauty of a capsule wardrobe. By investing in a few high-quality pieces that could be worn for all kinds of occasions, I was able to streamline my closet, simplify my life and transition to sustainable fashion. No longer was I consumed by the anxiety of figuring out what to wear each day or feeling guilty about my contributions to the fashion waste crisis. Instead, I found myself feeling empowered and confident. I could create a polished look with just a few essential items from my minimalist wardrobe.
But creating a capsule wardrobe is not just about the clothes themselves. It is a way of approaching life with intention and mindfulness. It’s about taking the time to reflect on what truly brings us joy and satisfaction, and surrounding ourselves with only those things that serve that purpose.
For me, this has meant a closer examination of my values and priorities. It has meant letting go of societal pressures to constantly keep up with the latest trends and instead focusing on what brings me authentic happiness. And, most importantly, it has meant freeing myself from the clutches of consumerism. Instead I am learning to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
By embracing the concept of a capsule wardrobe, I’ve been able to simplify my life and focus on the things that matter most. I no longer waste time worrying about what to wear, and I’ve developed a deeper appreciation for the sustainable fashion pieces I own.
How can someone get started on their own capsule wardrobe journey?
It’s simple: take inventory of the items in your current wardrobe and see what can be salvaged. Then, make a list of the essentials you need to build your capsule. These essentials should be versatile and timeless, such as a classic white shirt, a tailored blazer or a pair of well-fitting jeans.
Next, focus on quality over quantity. Invest in a few high quality pieces that you’ll wear for years to come. Don’t be afraid to splurge on a statement piece that you love. Finally, embrace simplicity and versatility. Choose pieces that can be dressed up or down, and mix and match them in different ways. This will allow you to create multiple outfits from just a few items, and help you to build a minimalist wardrobe that you love.
My capsule wardrobe journey has shown me the beauty of living a life that is both stylish and sustainable. I hope it might inspire others to take the same journey and experience the same liberation for themselves!
This article first appeared in the Summer 2023 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.