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How to Sustainably Capsulize Your Wardrobe This Fall

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at VCU chapter.

As fall weather emerges, so does our excitement for fashion. We are sifting through our closets, planning our specific aesthetics and best outfits. Fall fashion is a moment. And if you’re like me, it’s the time of year when you step into your power. 

You may have heard of the recently popularized phenomenon that is capsulizing your wardrobe. In my opinion, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of classic and essential pieces within your closet. The essence of this minimalist wardrobe is that you will own just enough pieces to style in several ways, avoiding clutter and excess. 

This fall, a capsulized wardrobe is an easy alternative to excess buying and waste. Here are the top six tips to achieving a minimalist closet. 

Build On What You Already Have 

It is tempting to rebrand every time it’s a new season, but that doesn’t have to apply to our fashion. Rebuilding our closets every time we feel a new era is coming is wasteful, excessive and unsustainable. This season, consider the pieces you already own. Often, some of the clothes you have will be timeless. You can take items you wear for different seasons and see how you can style them for colder weather. Get creative! This is also helpful in developing and maintaining your own style. 

Avoid the Trends 

We all know it’s easy to follow trends when everyone is doing it. Although many trends are attractive and stylish, few survive the shelf life of a season. Last year, it was the dreaded cargo pants, which hopefully won’t be seeing the light of day this time around. The point is, most trends burn out quickly and die fast, leaving us with unnecessary items in the backs of our closets. Excess eventually leads to overcrowding in secondhand stores or their ultimate end in landfills.

Revamp Your Pieces

If you see potential in old pieces, consider giving them a makeover. You can learn to give small repairs to clothing in need of some TLC. You can also experiment with different colors, patterns and textures to bring new life to aged pieces. Lastly, if you must follow a trend, see if you are able to incorporate what you already have into the new fad. For example, this fall, I am really loving shrug sweaters. They’re super cute, cozy and are sensible for those days when it’s freezing in the morning and burning by the afternoon. I plan on looking for old sweaters in my closet to cut them into the style. You can also buy cheaper, used sweaters at thrift stores to achieve the look. Maybe you could even save the extra fabric to make a matching skirt.

Sift Through Your Closet

If you are looking to cultivate a more minimalistic, timeless wardrobe, decide what’s worth keeping. Consider donating pieces you haven’t worn in over a year to clothing closets or thrift stores. If you are still on the fence about some items, keep them for the fall season and donate the ones you do not wear by the end of it. This will help you focus on styling the pieces you truly want to wear. Remember, clutter is chaos.

Overconsumption is Out, Babe

It’s overdue that we all stop buying in excess. Overconsumption is destroying our environment. Fast fashion is simply irresponsible and promotes unsafe working conditions in many countries. If you are thinking of buying new pieces this season, take some time to consider their value. Emma Chamberlain provided a great tip: when you are tempted to buy a piece, think of five ways you can style it. If you can’t, reconsider the urge. 

Another tip is to sit on a potential purchase for a few days. When shopping online, it’s especially easy to add something to your cart and immediately purchase it. How many of you have bought an item on impulse and worn it maybe once? (My hand is up, too). Consider avoiding impulse buys this season. It will save you clutter and money down the road. 

What’s Your Aesthetic? 

New York City stylist and fashion expert Allison Bornstein has plentiful closet tips, many of which have inspired this article. On her TikTok, @allisonbornstein6, she had a wonderful suggestion regarding honing your personal style. She discussed making a mood board to envision what you want your fall fashion to resemble. By referring to a visual aesthetic, you can stay close to your own style this season when cultivating your wardrobe. It helps to keep the same board every fall so that you can edit it each year and avoid rebranding. For more tips like the ones included in the article, you can find them at https://allisonbornstein.com.

There are many benefits to sustainably capsulizing your wardrobe. It aids in cultivating your own personal style as well as maintaining less clutter. Most importantly, these steps will help the environment in many ways. This autumn let’s beat the cycle of trend following and overconsumption to achieve a capsulized wardrobe.

Abigale Darnell (she/her) is a student in Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University with a minor in Creative Writing. She has an interest in holistic wellness, female empowerment, fashion and pop culture.