Why Sustainable Fashion Is Now Embracing The *Staple* Wardrobe (Bye, Capsule!)

June 29, 2020

Did you notice how I wrote staple wardrobe, not capsule? I’ve tried and tested the capsule wardrobe before, and it didn’t go very well. As much as I love minimizing the junk around my house, and generally try to horde less stuff whenever possible, my wardrobe is one place I don’t think I could ever put a definite cap on. But, it’s still possible to create a wardrobe filled with everything you need, without ruining the environment (or your bank account) in the process. Here are a few tips to help you out.

staple wardrobe

Try to avoid duplicates

Unless it’s an essential basic white t-shirt or vest tops, you don’t need three pieces of the exact same item. Having different kinds of similarly colored clothes are fine. For instance, don’t worry if you have pink jeans and pink cigarette trousers; just try to avoid having so many identical clothes. Make space for something new or different. It’s hard for me to talk about this since I literally only follow like a five-color palette, and I’m a sucker for all things flowy and pretty. Go through your wardrobe and see what clothes you have that are similar to others and decide on which one you can live without.

Don’t throw clothes away for the sake of throwing them away

It feels great to declutter and get rid of clothes in your wardrobe, especially of ones you no longer feel are a staple to your style. This includes dresses you “love” but have only worn once, or favorite jeans that no longer quite fit right. But don’t throw clothes away for the sake of getting rid of them. If you’re happy with what you have and your clothes are still in good condition, keep them. As a last alternative, take them to a thrift shop or turn old t-shirts and vests into cleaning rags.

Choose a color palette

This can be difficult for someone who loves colorful clothes but, try choosing maybe up to five staple colors in your wardrobe and going from there. There’s no point in having a chaotic wardrobe full of clothes that don’t match each other. It’ll just encourage you to buy more so that everything matches something in your wardrobe, and you’ll also end up reaching a point where you own so many clothes that you won’t even recognize half of them. Don’t get me started on the amount of laundry you’d have to do, too.

Stop before you shop

Every time you go to buy new clothes, take a moment to go to your wardrobe and see what you already have. The amount of times I’ve opened my wardrobe, looked inside, and then gone and deleted half the items in my shopping basket is insane. You might not realize how many nice clothes you already own, so make sure you double check what you have before buying something new. This will guarantee you save money, no old clothes get sent to a landfill unnecessarily, and you won’t fatten up your wardrobe for no reason.

Look for conscious ranges

I know ranges labelled as ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘conscious’ can cost a few pennies more but, try to explore other options for clothing before buying something new. Are their clothes made from cotton instead of wool? Are the garment workers making a fair wage from these clothes? Can these clothes be re-used or recycled after you’re done with them? These are all important questions to ask yourself, and the answers tend to be very easy to find. Just look online or check the labels.

Limit your shoe and bag collections

Shoes and bags should arguably be your smallest collections in a staple wardrobe. You can have five bags and ten pairs of shoes to last you across all four seasons. Remember that this is all about a staple wardrobe, not minimalist or capsule ones; so you don’t have to worry about only owning two pairs of shoes to your name. I’d recommend (depending on your style) that you have one or two pairs of good casual trainers; two or three pairs of boots suitable for either rain or snow, and for colder seasons; three pairs of different-colored sandals/warm-weather shoes, and some flip flops. If you want, you can also have a pair of occasion shoes, too.

Don’t do what I did when I was younger, and that was own about thirty pairs of shoes. Majority of the time you’ll grab the same shoes anyway, so another bonus tip would be to just get rid of the shoes you don’t really wear over time.

Buy from Depop or Facebook Marketplace

If you want to avoid contributing to the damage fast fashion brands create, give DePop or Facebook Marketplace a go. Both have become quite popular among Gen-Z, and with good reason. It’s surprising the nice things someone else might be selling. Plus, you might even find something no longer available from your favorite shop on both websites.

Also by Adrianna: These 5 Cottagecore Activities Will Infuse Your Life With Bliss

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Photo: Amanda Vick via Unsplash


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