How to Make Sure You Always Have Something to Wear

“I don’t have anything to wear!” 

Sound familiar? Desperately trying to pull together an outfit can present its challenges at the best of times. Staring down an overflowing closet, convinced you have nothing to wear is never anything short of stressful. 

For those who can relate, you would understand the familiar cycle of scouring your closet, only to finish right back where you started – unsure of your outfit, and left with an extremely messy bedroom.  

This can see many of us racing down to the shops in desperate search of a new outfit – only to be worn once and thrown into the back of your wardrobe, never seeing the light of day again. 

Ironic, isn’t it? One might ask themselves how they ended up in such a situation; or rather, how to break this never ending cycle. Let’s be honest: as students, who has the funds to be doing this anyway? 

The term ‘capsule wardrobe’ poses as one solution to ensuring you never face this exhausting situation again. By dissecting your closet into “sets of unique, high quality and classic pieces to create ‘capsules’,” your clothing items can then be mix-matched “to create several different ideal looks,” said fashion magazine Vogue

I recently spoke to Shanelle, co-founder of Sydney-based clothing label By Neil Vernon on capsule wardrobes promoting sustainable garment practices, and her tips for implementing the trend into your own closet. 

Shanelle described a capsule wardrobe as “having pieces that represent you day in and day out. Pieces that serve you well enough that they can stick around, no matter the occasion”. 

“By sticking to your tried-and-true core wardrobe foundations and basics, it ensures you are always buying what you need, sometimes buying what you want, and never buying what you don’t need.”  

Combating over-consumption proves to be a driving issue for the Australian fashion industry. According to the Australian Fashion Council Data Report, the country was found to be among the highest per capita clothing purchasers globally, with the annual total consumption of new clothing being 14.8kg per person between 2018-19. 

“Ensure you are buying with the focus of multi-term use, rather than short-term gratification,” said Shanelle.  

“Making conscious efforts to build a capsule wardrobe actually shifts the way you look at garments when you are shopping… you begin to develop a subconscious habit of only buying new pieces that fit within your current staples.”

Shanelle said she believes “the key to a good seasonless wardrobe is one that is void of patterns (sorry not sorry!)”  

“Often ‘patterns’ and prints correlate to the current trends and colours of the season,” which can “expire when the fashion cycle deems it’s not trendy”.

Implementing the trend into your own wardrobe can prove to be an overwhelming task, so Shanelle recommended taking a “look at who you are as a person and what you feel comfortable, and more importantly, confident in”.

“When building my own capsule wardrobe, I consider what are the types of pieces that already make me feel good within my skin, and what are those new trending pieces that I might like to incorporate?” 

Shanelle suggested thrifting as one way to begin sustainably curating your capsule wardrobe, which is proving to be a popular approach to the current trend.

During Australian Fashion Week 2024, eBay partnered with Fashion Journal Magazine to research consumer patterns, finding one in four Australians say that ‘capsule wardrobes’ is the trend they’re most likely to buy second-hand.

“Opt for something that captures the essence of the trend without being exactly like it,” said Shanellle. This ensures items “last beyond the expiration date” of fluctuating micro-trends. 

“In times where the trend cycle is shortening… the idea of clothes being multifaceted and having numerous purposes is so important.”  

Purchasing with intention rather than impulse buying appears to be a key consideration when cultivating your personal capsule wardrobe, ensuring each item holds a deserving place within your collection of garments. 

Adopting this trend may just be your solution to ensuring you never have to face an outfit crisis again – keeping your bedroom tidy, and your mind clear of outfit anxiety. 

By Charlie Kondos

Header Image By Neil Vernon

Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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