How often have you bought a new item of clothing only to find that it doesn’t really ‘go’ with anything else in your wardrobe? You’re not alone. Did you know, around have lost track of what’s in their wardrobe? Buying less can be better for the environment but how do we do this when it seems that we’re always being encouraged to buy more?

A simple solution is to create a capsule wardrobe – this is a selection of simple essentials that create a foundation for any outfit.  While your style may have taken a back seat during lockdown, you can use this time to organise what you have and identify what (if anything!) you still need for your post-lockdown wardrobe.

Benefits of a capsule wardrobe

In the world of fast fashion, styles come and go in the blink of an eye; with a capsule wardrobe*, you’re investing in pieces that will stand the test of time. You’ll be able to mix-and-match your clothes rather than having certain items that only work with one thing in your wardrobe. Plus, you’ll be more aware of what you own, meaning no more buying clothes that you have nothing to wear with.

So, what are the key items for your capsule wardrobe? Well, our friends at fabric perfume brand Comfort have pulled together a list of the 10 essential pieces to look for.

1) The trusty white t-shirt

A plain white t shirt is one of the most classic staples and this will remain the case for years to come! It’s perfect for casual wear, building layers in your outfits, and goes with practically everything. Think about your preferred fitting (baggy or tight) when looking for yours, and consider buying organic cotton for a t shirt that has had the lowest impact on the planet.

2) A cosy knit

A knit jumper works with everything – dress it down with jeans, smarten it up with a pair of chinos or a pleated skirt, and even pair it with sweats and a hot chocolate for when you want to cosy up indoors.

3) The perfect pair of jeans

While skinny or straight leg jeans offer the most versatility for styling, the key to finding the perfect pair of jeans is that they fit you well and suit your natural body type (jeans to match your genes!). Producing denim is quite an intensive process, one pair of jeans alone can take 10,000 litres of water to produce, so when you find a pair you love, hold on to them and wear them well. If you can, buy pure denim too as it will last longer.

4) Button-up shirt

The button-up shirt is a great piece of clothing and can be worn as part of a range of outfits. Whether you’re wearing it as part of a suit in the office, with jeans and a pair of smart shoes for the evening, or with jeans and chunky trainers for a more casual look, a button-up shirt is always a winner. The key with pieces like this is to find items made from good quality material so that it lasts longer.

5) The smart shoe

Finding a pair of smart shoes that a. is comfortable, and b. goes with anything, may feel impossible, but if you find that perfect pair, it will help cut down time when deciding what to wear. Try and find something that you like enough to wear to smart events but is also comfortable every day if you need to wear smart shoes to work. A Chelsea boot is an easy one to dress up or down.

6) Statement blazer

A well-fitting blazer is a must-have for any wardrobe. Not only is it the easiest way to smarten up any outfit, but it’s the perfect jacket for when it’s too hot to wear a coat but too cold not to wear anything.

7) The versatile bottom half

Whether you choose to wear chinos or a knee-length skirt, having a versatile option for your bottom half is essential in any wardrobe. Wear with a casual top and chunky trainers for drinks with friends, a smart top for evening events and pair as part of a suit for the office.

8) Black leggings

While leggings are most likely the only thing you’re wearing right now, having a pair of comfortable (and flattering) black leggings in your wardrobe is a must. Whether you’re going for a park run or doing the supermarket run, black leggings are a safe (and comfortable) option for all.

9) The Little Black Dress (or the perfectly tailored suit)

Do we need to say more? (We’ll say a tiny bit more.)  There is no new black! Find a well fitted, quality piece that makes you feel good, and it will come in use time and time again. 

10) Accessories

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but accessories are for all and nothing adds the finishing touches to an outfit like a selection of well-chosen accessories. Whether it’s a simple chain or a sleek watch, select timeless pieces that will go with any outfit.

Found your Trusty 10 items?

Now that you’ve got your capsule wardrobe, here are some top tips for making it last. 

Taking good care of your clothes means you don’t have to replace them as often, so that’s cash saved, and a lower impact on the environment too! There are lots of things you can do, from using quality products like non-harsh washing powder, to making sure they’re stored correctly. Check out some top care tips here.

While you’ve been organising your clothes, if you’ve come across some that you're ready to part with, here are some sustainable ways to fix them up and pass them on.

So, now you’ve got a fashion-focused and planet-friendly wardrobe, you can look -and feel- good knowing that you’re doing your bit for your bank account, and the environment.