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Capsule Closet – the 7 Easy Pieces

7 Easy Pieces

Clothing is a necessity in everyday life (assuming you don’t live in a nudist colony 🙂 ). However, some of us get carried away by justifying unnecessary purchases stating we need to build out our professional wardrobe, as well as to create choice in our life, when in fact we tend to favor the same few items in our closet anyway.


So why not get rid of the clothing items you don’t particularly like resolve to building a capsule closet with or around those few remaining items?

Historical origin of the term Capsule closet

So what is a Capsule Closet everyone seems to be speaking about in the media recently?

Despite populating the media right now, the term was actually coined in the 1970s by Susie Faux. During the time she owned a boutique in London called Wardrobe, so the term originally was Capsule Wardrobe, as she was in fact British.

According to Faux a Capsule Wardrobe is a collection of a few clothing items that can be mixed and matched together to make an outfit. The key was to pick clothing that does not go out of fashion and style around them with seasonal pieces.

The term arrived in US in 1985; American designer Donna Karan released her 7 pieces collection.

The models on runway all wore bodysuits with simply added details like hats, gloves, shirt, coats and skirts making the outfits look completely different from one another. The aim of this collection was to create a practical closet for a working woman, while interpreting the ideas of Faux.

7 Easy pieces

One of the reasons the term Capsule Closet survived for so long is sheer practicality the idea of the term offers. Not only it offers to help you create a fully functioning closet, it also offers to do so on a budget as the item count is limited.

Typically, Faux suggests that a woman’s capsule wardrobe contain at least 2 pairs of trousers, a dress or a skirt, a jacket, a coat, a knit, two pairs of shoes and two bags. Making it a total of 7 staple pieces, not including the duplicates. Maybe that is why the collection of Donna Karan collections was called7 Pieces as well?

They are called easy pieces as I believe they are easy to acquire and it is easy to choose what to wear in the morning. It is easy to look good and professional effortlessly.

Am I allowed to own more than 7?

While the idea of only 7 items scares me death, in reality a broader approach to building your own Capsule Closet exist. Besides the original 7 pieces, lists up to 15 – 20 suggested items exist. Even the wiki page example lists have 18 items for women and 16 items for men.

7 Easy Pieces

Broader lists tend to include more shoes, more tops and more accessories making it even easier to mix and mach and taking into consideration that fashion items are more accessible now than ever and that the majority of people trying to build their own Capsule Closet are young women who want to try living on a budget but still want to explore fashion.

Being a young woman less strict definition of the term allows me to hang more than 7 items in my closet and still call it a Capsule Closet while being quite frugal but still allowing me to try new trends out on a budget. Which brings me to my next point!

Budget Capsule Closet

While one of the general rules is to pick quality items that last for a lifetime they do tend to be slightly more expensive than the average piece of clothing. And while the more expensive key piece most likely will get worn quite a lot and the additional cost will be worth it in the end, I must admit I am quite a scaredy cat when it comes to commitment.

Let’s be honest I am still young I do not want to wear a single piece of shirt or a skirt for the next 5 years or so. I do like to play around with fashion, however as I am currently not aware what shape, length, color or clothing matches suit me in particular, I do consider it quite challenging to only play around with a limited amount of items.

To make it easier for myself I will only include items I have or items up to particular price point for now as I am aware that any item that I will fall in love with can be found in better quality later on if it is a classic shape or I can find a similar item from a different seller if needed as well.

Therefore, with the following articles I will attempt to guide You in organizing your closet and picking suitable staple pieces for a business casual work environment, while doing it myself and exploring my options on a budget.

Austeja Amy

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