Picture this: you wake up, get out of bed, and open your wardrobe.
It’s packed with clothes! Some you haven’t worn or thought about in over a year. Some pieces are crammed in haphazardly or strewn around your room.
If you feel personally attacked by this relatable story, then maybe it’s time to consider trimming down your closet. You’d be surprised how much time you save when you opt for a minimalist wardrobe made up entirely of strict wardrobe essentials.
Minimalist fashion has been around for a while. The less is more approach that became widely popular in the early nineties and is now making a comeback! Nowadays, we value sustainability and responsibility. We reduced our plastic and straw usage, we worship Marie Kondo, and we dream of living in comfy little homes, so it’s no surprise that sustainability is also hitting the fashion industry. Enter, the capsule wardrobes.
RELATED: How to Look After Your Wardrobe
The term capsule wardrobe was coined by Susie Faux and according to her, it must contain essential but timeless pieces such as shirts, pants, and coats that can be enhanced and paired with seasonal items. Capsule wardrobes are slowly becoming a big thing in Australia, with people taking baby steps by incorporating essential clothing into their wider wardrobe and then beginning to trim down from there. And while it’s a daunting task to cut down your entire closet to wardrobe essentials of less than 20 items, trust us, it’s 100% worth it!
The Little Black Dress
A True Staple For Any Wardrobe, Capsule Or Not!
There’s a reason why Audrey Hepburn wore that iconic little black dress during the brunch scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The little black dress is intended to be long-lasting, versatile, and accessible for everyone because of its neutral colour. You can dress it up or dress it down – the LBD goes from day to night faster than you can say ‘date night’.
The Fated Oh La La Mini Dress $AUD119.95
Plain White T-shirt
It's Not Basic, It's Essential
It’s cheap, comfortable, and extremely versatile. Plain white t-shirts are very easy to style, and it can go with almost anything. A shirt plus jeans combo for your sunny Sunday brunch, or layer it with a fantastic coat for a cooler windy night. Don’t like the colour white? Grey or any neutral colour will also work for this wardrobe staple.
Organic Crew South Beach Linen T-shirt Natural $AUD 89.00
A Pair of Classic Black Pants
For Go Nights And Party Nights
A pair of black pants might look simple, but don’t be fooled. They look amazing if you know how to blend them into any wardrobe scenario. Pair it up with a stylish blazer to get the perfect work outfit, or ditch the white shirt and pair with a glamorous top and heels for a party.
ZARA Flared Trousers $AUD69.95
A Pair Of Classic White Sneakers
These Things Go With Anything!
Good footwear values comfort over style but great footwear gives you both. And what better way to look great and feel great than by investing in a pair of classic white sneakers. A pair of these shoes can elevate any outfit compared to a regular pair of flats and there are so many varieties. Choose high tops to look more sporty, opt for canvas if you want more a more casual look, or go for classic leather to add a little sharpness to your outfit.
Superga+ 2750 Cotu Classic Sneakers $AUD 93.38
A Pair Of Black Pumps
For That Extra Boost Of Confidence
Let’s be honest – there’s no way you’re wearing flats for a formal event. So for an extra boost of confidence, break out these classic black pumps. It almost always goes with anything in your wardrobe. Outside of formal events, black pumps can dress up any outfit that needs that extra flare. Got a job interview? Pair your pumps with a shirt, blazer, and black pants. For a more casual look, omit the blazer for a fresh yet sophisticated vibe.
Tony Bianco Las Heel $AUD199.95
This Fashion Piece Is Perfect For Any Season
Looking for the perfect multi-seasonal outfit? Midi skirts are perfect because it has just the right length for any weather Australia might throw at you. It goes so well with any other article of clothing, too. You can wear it with a brightly coloured t-shirt if it’s a warm spring or summer day or a nice pair of leggings for a breezy fall or chilly winter. Don’t worry about the footwear because the skirt length pairs beautifully with sandals, shoes, or even heels.
Atmos&Here Rosie Midi Skirt $AUD59.95
The Cold Will Never Bother You Anymore
It’s like a warm hug that keeps you fashionable. Knitted sweaters are must-haves during the winter season. Like any other essential piece on this list, it can easily be paired with anything. Layer it over a t-shirt for a windy day, or wear a coat over it for one of your winter strolls. It’s warm, comfy, and fashionable.
Something similar would be the Billabong Gypsy Heart Crew Sweater $AUD89.99
Who Says Bras Are Supposed To Be Hidden?
When we talk underwear, we usually talk function. But bralettes are a whole different story because they combine function with fashion. While it doesn’t provide as much support as the conventional bra, it offers a lot more versatility making it a good addition to any outfit.
Wear it under your top while delicately revealing the lacey straps, or wear it over a t-shirt for a different spin on the slip dress over a shirt. And don’t worry about storage because bralettes are a lot easier to organise compared to your standard bra.
A bralette isn’t just a piece of underwear – it’s a statement.
Something similar would be Missguided Strappy Lace Bralette $AUD39.95
Essentials For Men
Fortunately, men’s fashion right now isn’t as broad as women’s. This means it can be even simpler than a woman’s essential wardrobe. However, because there’s usually not too much to hide behind, a critical thing that men should focus on is the fit. An ill-fitting t-shirt can ruin an outfit, while one that fits properly can make a world of difference.
Here’s a quick list of men’s essentials:
- White Sneakers: It works for both men and women. A pair of white sneakers can elevate your outfit – just don’t go for the chunky ones.
- Plain White T-shirt: Who doesn’t love a guy in a well-fitting shirt? Always go for v-necks to accentuate the chest and crew necks if you’re wearing something over it.
- Classic Jeans and Slacks: We put these two together even though they are both very different. Why? Because the main thought behind pants – whether it’s jeans, slacks, trousers – is the fit! Go for slim fit jeans to show off your legs.
- Dress Shoes: An essential for formal events. While suede is considered very versatile, it also requires a lot of maintenance. Go for calfskin dress shoes because they’re easier to maintain and look sharp too.
What About Kid’s Essentials?
The good thing about kid’s essentials is that it’s all about comfort. When making a capsule wardrobe for a child, just focus on what they really need instead of what they might want.
Something functional like a t-shirt plus pants combo would most likely get them through their day-to-day. For seasonal outfits: a nice knitted sweater for the winter should keep them toasty. For the summer, go for comfortable pants and mid-length skirts.
An important tip is to always go for the more affordable items because children will outgrow their outfits faster than you’d hope for. So when they do, remember to donate their hand-me-downs to Good Will.
Creating a wardrobe is a journey. The path may differ from person to person because what is ‘essential’ to one might not be to the other. Some people are able to trim down quickly while others need a little bit more time.
Just go at your own pace and remember that the essence of minimalism is the removal of the things that distract you from the things that matter. In the end, it’s all about just truly having the essentials.