Although the minimalist concept of "capsule wardrobe" sounds like a new trendy term, British minimalist Susie Faux coined it back in the 1970s. Nevertheless, in today's mass consumer society, the term is more relevant than ever.
Raised in a family full of tailors and successful in marketing, British Susie Faux opened her own boutique called "Wardrobe" in the heart of London in 1973. Her main aim was to help women feel stylish and confident in their outfits. Slowly but surely, Faux made a name for herself as a minimalist and in 1980 she launched the term 'capsule wardrobe'. In her book 'Wardrobe: Develop Your Style & Confidence', she described the concept as a wardrobe consisting of fewer, but higher-quality items.
Create your own capsule wardrobe
With the career woman in mind, Faux developed several pieces of advice and guides over the years to market the capsule wardrobe concept. Using a concise checklist, you select a few garments based on how good you feel in them and their quality, then say goodbye to the rest. Thirty items, as she describes it, is enough and includes a jacket, a skirt, a pair of trousers, a dress, a blouse, a jumper, trouser stockings, shoes, a cardigan, a bag and a belt. No matter how basic those thirty items may seem to you, Faux emphasises time and again that the final size of one's capsule wardrobe depends on the individual. But the less stuff that gets in your way anyway, the easier it is to select an outfit that really suits you.
Minimalism in fashion
In the 1980s, several fashion designers recognized Faux's ideas. American designer Donna Karan, among others, launched a collection called 'The Seven Easy Pieces'. With a black bodysuit as the core item, the Karan collection allowed you to create many different outfits without the number of different garments getting out of hand. The term became even more popular after Courtney Carver, the woman behind Project 333, limited herself to 33 garments for three months.
In recent years, the capsule wardrobe has made a comeback. The rise of fast fashion and the increasing critical attitude of the consumer created a large support base for voices calling for de-stressing. Look at the hype surrounding tidying guru Marie Kondo, the rise of the term 'consumerism': we need people to tell us that it is okay not to buy new clothes this season, or not to put dozens of gifts under the Christmas tree. And because brands are focusing more on sustainability, consumers can once again choose quality over quantity.
Want to know more about minimalism? Read here how to create your own minimalist interior.