Twice in a week it was commented that I should post about ‘capsule wardrobes’, and it got me thinking. I don’t know when this term became so fashionable or the idea behind it so desirable, but it seems to be a large part of fashion mentality these days. I, for one, cannot endorse it. I did a bit of research on what is generally accepted to constitute a ‘capsule wardrobe’, and that in itself is something that’s just all wrong for me.
Common consensus seems to dictate that the ‘essentials’ are:
tailored trousers (no, I’m a 21-year-old student who interns at magazines. I do not need tailored trousers), jeans that can be worn with heels and flats (yeah, alright, I’ve got some jeans I like), a white shirt, preferably men’s (no, absolutely not. See my answer to ‘tailored trousers’, and see also my unimpressed face at the idea of me wearing a man’s shirt), good-quality cashmere (no, this is all sounding awfully grown-up. Firstly, I can’t be trusted with cashmere, and secondly, my high and relatively small waist means that jumpers don’t suit me), layering-suitable t-shirts (no, I don’t layer. I own two t-shirts, one black, one grey, that I wear under my Marc by Marc Jacobs striped jacket or with the occasional printed skirt), a classic trench (ok, got one of those, my lovely NW3 trench with the gingham lining), a black coat (nah, sounds a bit boring to me. Since I started uni, I’ve been wearing a gorgeous dove-grey wool cocoon coat with a detachable scarf made of the same material. I’ve taken it all around the world and I love it to death. Last winter I got a Henry Holland for Debenhams camel coat, which I will alternate with the cocoon this year. Coats are so beautiful and so exciting that I’m not going to piss on that bonfire by exclusively wearing black. And another thing, why oh why do we fetishise the black coat…?), a well-cut blazer (yes, this I can agree on. Since getting my divine ASOS shoulder-padded blazer, I’ve worn it a lot. I like having the black ASOS one to put over prints and the MBMJ one to put over neutrals/blacks/block colours), a ‘killer dress‘ (nah, sorry, don’t actually know what that means. How oddly un-specific. Why can’t someone define what this means? Is this dress for work? Or for going out? Is it important that it has sleeves? Oh, I don’t know), practical boots (no, sorry, I’m not Kate Middleton. I mean, yes, I love boots in the winter, but aren’t most boots without a heel ‘practical’ purely by virtue of being boots? England is not subject to the kind of perilously glacial weather that leaves pavements like ice rinks, so I think most boots are pretty alright) and extremely high heels (no, absolutely not. This is not a ‘wardrobe essential’. I know very few women who enjoy the action (as opposed to the effect) of wearing heels and even fewer who can last a night out in them. I refuse to participate in the bullshittery of wearing heels to ‘elongate my legs’ or to ‘remind men of porn stars’. If you want to wear them, fine, but I prefer to be mobile, able to dance and comfortable, and don’t feel too great an urge to compromise on these three important factors in the pursuit of attention).
So there you have it. That, ladies, is what you’re meant to have in your capsule wardrobe. It might just be my frivolous taste in fashion but doesn’t that sound a bit… boring? A little Spartan? Isn’t fashion meant to be fun? Sometimes I feel like the only girl int he world that doesn’t long for a capsule wardrobe, but I can’t be alone, can I? I love opening my wardrobe and seeing it bursting with colour, pattern, textures, sequins, satin, cotton, stripes, florals, brights, pastels, different lengths, different purposes. I simply cannot mix and match my wardrobe with ease, and yet it’s full of stuff I really, really love. My go-to evening outfit isn’t an embellished LBD with ‘killer heels’, it’s a black jersey jumpsuit with gladiator sandals. I’d rather have a tea dress than a pair of tailored trousers. What’s ‘useful’ to me is something that I enjoy wearing and that suits my look, not something that makes me look like every other middle-of-the-road young professional.
It seems, friends, that the capsule wardrobe is another thing invented by the fashion press (along with ‘statement pieces’ and ‘quality basics’) that doesn’t really correspond to the reality of what most women, especially young and frivolous ones, own or want.
But if you completely disagree with me, at least I’ve helpfully enumerated the necessary components of your impending capsule wardrobe!
What do you think? Do you have a capsule wardrobe or a random assortment of clothes? Do you want one? Does it sound feasible?