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the myth of the capsule wardrobe

the myth of the capsule wardrobe

a capsule wardrobe. a perfectly curated edit of clothes that can be put together to satisfy all of a woman’s sartorial needs. as a concept, one must admit, it sounds rather tempting. but in real life, do you know anyone who has one? I don’t. at least, not in my inner circle of friends.

I started buying less when I was in my late twenties. the shift of focus to quality over quantity came naturally to me. as my income was rising, I began to drift away from the allure - and danger - of fast fashion. I was also becoming more and more aware of what my personal style is. rather than ticking a list of items that were part of someone else’s idea of what a capsule wardrobe should be, I found myself on the hunt for pieces of clothing that would not only reflect my aesthetic but ultimately resist the test of time. and while my closet is no longer packed with fast fashion and I do the conscious effort to keep it quite minimal, I would not call it capsule.

when we think of a capsule wardrobe, we tend to think of a collection of no more than 15 to 20 items. a white t-shirt, a white button-down shirt, a pair of jeans, a black biker, a pair of smart trousers, a trench-coat... fashion outlets have been spreading versions of this list for the past decades. but what if these lists do not cater to our personal needs? sure, having some timeless, neutral staples in your wardrobe can help maximize the wearability of more statement pieces. but at the end of the day, what might suit one person, might not suit the other. the journey to create a capsule wardrobe is after all a personal one.

perhaps one of the reasons why I’m so reluctant with the idea of a capsule wardrobe is that it leaves almost no room for mistakes or any form of sentimentalism. although the process of auditing is one of great importance, I still have pieces hanging in my closet that hold a special place in my heart and that I will never re-sale or give away to charity. and let’s be honest, no matter how committed I am to buying less, I still make some style mistakes every now and then. yes, you can still be intentional with your purchases without limiting yourself to a point where no spontaneity is permitted.

someone who nailed a not so strict approach to the concept of capsule wardrobe is christine centenera, editor-in-chief of vogue australia and creative director of wardrobe NYC. each season, the brand led by centenera and designer josh goot produce curated wardrobes of four to eight items that can be styled together or separately and worn season after season. these wardrobes serve different occasions and come in different colors. but even wardrobe NYC had to adjust their strategy. when the brand first introduced itself to the market, these wardrobes were fixed, meaning you had to buy the entire pack even if only one or two pieces picked your interest.

creating a wardrobe, whether it’s a capsule wardrobe or not, takes time. take it as another part of your self-discovery journey. whatever you choose, whatever you do, make sure you don’t take yourself too seriously. fashion is supposed to be fun, remember?


cátia santos reis "the world is yours but greece is mine” could be her mantra as cátia santos reis is yet to find a greek island she hasn’t fallen in love with. in the meantime, she keeps traveling the world. for CINCO editorial, the 34 year-old, will share her favorite things to do, visit and eat in every destination.

 

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