Your Mini Guide on Creating a Budget-Friendly Capsule Wardrobe

A neat and well-organized closet which holds only quality sustainable clothing items is something we’ve all fantasized about at least once. You’ve probably seen plenty of gorgeous sustainable wardrobe items […]

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Photo by piotr szulawski on Unsplash

A neat and well-organized closet which holds only quality sustainable clothing items is something we’ve all
fantasized about at least once. You’ve probably seen plenty of gorgeous sustainable wardrobe items made
from high-quality responsibly sourced materials, but more often than not, they come with big price tags.
However, there are a few clever ways in which you can create a budget-friendly capsule wardrobe that will
keep you comfy, chic and cool, all while caring about the planet.

  1. Declutter and Assess Your Clothes
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Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash

A messy closet can cause anxiety and stress. If you never find the clothes you’re looking for in the morning, it’s time for a change. The first thing you should do if you are trying to build a capsule wardrobe is to go through all the clothes and accessories you own and assess each piece individually. Whatever doesn’t fit perfectly or what you haven’t worn in the past year should be donated, sold or recycled, depending on the condition of the item. Decluttering can be a very therapeutic process and you might even get a few new Christmas outfit ideas from it. Plus, you will be pleasantly surprised to see that you already own a number of high-quality staple items, which you probably forgot about. And who knows, you may stumble upon the perfect pair of jeans, or a special pair of pearl hoop earrings that go with almost anything. 

  1. Create a Capsule Wardrobe Checklist

Everyone has their own needs when it comes to essential wardrobe items, but in general, a good capsule wardrobe should include around 20 basics. Write down your must-haves and try to keep your list between 20 and 30 items, including shoes, jackets and activewear. Go through the items you kept after your decluttering session and reassess considering if they have a place on your list or not. If you are serious about transitioning to a more sustainable wardrobe, everything that doesn’t make the list should be sold or donated. Besides being a great way to make a few extra bucks, giving a second, or third, life to your clothes is a great way in which you can actively contribute to reducing waste. 

Shop Smart

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Photo by Alyssa Strohmann on Unsplash

You still have to fill up those empty spots on your capsule wardrobe checklist, so buying new items is inevitable. If you want to create a high-quality capsule wardrobe that you can wear over and over again, you should consider buying sustainable pieces from brands which are eco-friendly and open about their production processes. Avoid shopping at large fast-fashion retailers and choose smaller, but sustainable, brands instead. You could also opt for shopping at thrift stores, as they are filled with vintage gems, at a fraction of the original cost. This is not only better for the planet, but for your wallet as well. 


  1. Apply the 30 Wear Test and Calculate the Cost-per-Wear

A cheap item isn’t really so cheap if you can only wear it once. So, investing in better quality and timeless pieces that will last you a long time will actually be more budget-friendly in the long run. If an item sounds expensive at first glance, calculate the cost-per-wear to find its real value. If you wear a 100$ item at least 50 times, this brings the cost-per-wear down to 2$. If you think about it, this will end up being more affordable than a 10$ cheap piece which breaks after a couple of wears. Always choose timeless over trends, stick to neutrals, avoid loud prints and don’t forget to apply the “30 Wear Test” before any new purchase. This test requires you to ask yourself if you will actually wear that item at least 30 times. If the answer is not 100% yes, then you shouldn’t make the purchase.

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