My Retro-Inspired Capsule Wardrobe
A retro-inspired capsule wardrobe consisting of just 25 pieces? Yup: that’s all you really need to create a mix-and-match wardrobe in that classic, pin-up girl style – and I’ve listed everything you’ll need below.
This particular capsule wardrobe, however, is a little different from some of the others I’ve put together, because this one was my actual wardrobe for a while, and it’s filled wit the exact items I owned and wore during my ‘pin-up inspired’ phases, which lasted for a good few years. That means it’s also a slightly more realistic capsule wardrobe, in some ways: there’s a fair bit of repetition here, for example, but if you’re wondering whether I really need five cardigans in different colours, the answer to that one is that, yes, I really did. Apparently.
That doesn’t, of course, mean that YOU’LL need five near-identical cardigans, and three stripe tops, however, if you want to create a retro-inspired capsule wardrobe of your own: if you do, though, here are the ones I recommend…
I actually hesitated to call this a “capsule wardrobe” – partly because there’s been a bit of a backlash against capsule wardrobes lately, and I know some of you absolutely hate them (I’m hoping the title of the post will give those people a heads-up that this one’s not for them!), but also because it’s not really a capsule wardrobe: or not in the way people tend to think of that term, anyway.
Despite the backlash, though, I’m still fascinated by the idea of capsule wardrobes, and, as I said in this post, I recently decided to create one myself. Now, I’m WAY too much of a shopaholic to ever want to restrict myself to wearing the same five items over and over again, so the my aim definitely wasn’t to pare down my closet to the bare minimum and then never buy anything else again. I mean, AS IF. No, my capsule, you see, is what I think of as a capsule within my wardrobe: it’s my attempt to solve the perennial “I have a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear!” problem, by making sure that I have all the items I need to get dressed every morning without having to give it too much thought. It was also a way to attempt to really define my personal style by creating a capsule of basics, all of which can be combined to create the retro-inspired look I like, with minimum fuss.
These aren’t the only clothes I wear every week, of course, and they’re definitely not the only clothes I own. Instead, they’re basically just the building blocks on which the rest of my wardrobe is built: that’s why there’s very little colour, and a lot of the same kinds of style – so that everything works with everything else, and nothing requires too much thought. With these basics – and they are very basic! – in stock, I can go ahead and add in as much colour, print and other ‘fun’ pieces as I want, knowing that at least I’ll always have something to fall back on for those “nothing-to-wear” days.
If this was a real capsule wardrobe, of course, I’d probably have included a bit more variety: I mean, I probably don’t need four striped tops, for instance. This is my actual wardrobe, though (or the “basics” section of it, anyway!) and, as I say, the point of it isn’t to force myself to try and get by on a limited amount of clothing, so I’ve given myself a few different choices, while sticking to the same basic theme, which, in case you haven’t guessed, is a classic/retro palette of black and white, with a splash or red and a LOT of stripes. Oh, and my beloved Hell Bunny cardigans, obviously. Those won’t actually work with every other item in the capsule, but they will work with most of them, and I included them anyway because, well, I actually don’t know how I got dressed before I owned them. No, seriously: what did I wear before I bought those cardigans?
As I said, creating a capsule wardrobe definitely isn’t for everyone, but I’ve found it really useful in helping define my style and starting to work on the old “I have a closet full of prom dresses, but nothing to wear to a casual lunch” problem. As you can see, I haven’t included outerwear, shoes or accessories, all of which can be used to make things a little more interesting, so hopefully these 24 items (excluding the sunglasses!) will keep me going for a while!
(I did my best to try to find images of the actual items for this graphic, but some of them are older and out of stock, so I had to use other images to represent them instead!)
IN THE CAPSULE WARDROBE:
3rd row: Unique Vintage sunglasses; Collectif ‘Greta’ blouse; Collectif ‘Cordelia’ top; H&M short-sleeve Bardot tops x 2
5th Row: Collectif ‘Bonnie’ trousers; Dorothy Perkins ‘Lyla’ trousers; Collectif ‘Fiona’ skirt x 2; F&F gingham skirt
In conclusion, you COULD call this a “capsule wardrobe”… but you could also call it “the contents of the Collectif website”: either one will work. Also: I like stripes. Can you tell that I like stripes?
Anyone else got a capsule wardrobe? What kind of items you have in it?