What is a Capsule Wardrobe?

September 03, 2018 0 Comments

What is a Capsule Wardrobe?


by: Becky VandenBout | Founder of Joon + Co.

We sell capsule wardrobes made from the most responsible brands around the globe. That’s our sales pitch. Our mission? To empower remarkable women like yourself to make positive changes in your wardrobe, and to accept nothing less than clothing that makes your heart sing without making your conscience suffer.

That’s a tall order to fill, and we are totally, 110% in this with you, lady. Rather than just selling responsibly made clothing, we’ve taken it a step further, and sell these amazing styles in the form of 10x30 capsule wardrobes. Using 10 pieces to create 30 different looks is not easy, which is why we put so much energy into curating and buying the perfect pieces each season.

If this is all new to you, here is a quick introduction to ethical fashion, along with a deeper dive into the importance of the Slow Fashion Movement.

The Destination Capsule - A 10x30 Travel Capsule Wardrobe | Joon + Co.

The term “capsule wardrobe” was coined by a London boutique owner named Susie Faux in the 1970’s. She described it as a group of staple clothing items, usually separates, that never go out of style. Supplementing with seasonal pieces was common, and with the help of Donna Karan, over a decade later, became a popularized term, meaning a small, mix and match collection of clothing. Stay tuned next month for a more in-depth look at the history of capsule wardrobes.

Why capsule wardrobes? It is quite an ironic thing, ethical fashion, so finding the delicate balance between intentional buying and the convenience of digital consumerism is tough. On one hand, you should always use what you have first, upcycle and reuse next, then buy with intent, fewer, better things, taking good care of them to preserve their quality. However, in order to make much of a difference and to keep bringing you the beautiful pieces we stock, we need to make money, aka:  selling things.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe? | The Joon + Co. Ethical Fashion Blog

Capsule wardrobes are an effective way to live a more sustainable (and efficient) lifestyle. Not only does having a mix and match wardrobe save you precious time in your getting ready routine, it provides a way to make more with less. By that I mean, rather than having a closet of 60 pieces that you wear about 10% of you have 10 pieces that you wear 100% of. I understand the thought of living in 10 pieces is a bit extreme, but you get the picture.

And the social proof? Oh man is it out there. From top sustainable fashion bloggers to the most influential capsule wardrobe connoisseurs like Lee Vosburgh of Style Bee, the original creator of the 10x10 challenge, Paige of Style This Life, and Erin of My Green Closet, capsule wardrobes are not only all the rage, but good for the planet and the people wearing them.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe | Image from Style Bee | Joon + Co. Blog

Some women choose to have 2 or 3 capsule wardrobes, for different activities, such as a work capsule, a casual, and a going out. Some say that defeats the point of doing the capsule to begin with. Some make 30 piece seasonal capsules, while others can make a year-round capsule out of the same. What do we think? You do you. If you can live in 10 pieces year-round, more power to you. If you need more, get more. I don’t believe in putting women in a box, style wise, lifestyle wise, getting dressed wise. We can’t tell you the right number of pieces for you, but we can tell you the trick lies in living it.

It’s basically impossible to figure out your sweet spot of how many pieces, what type of pieces, etc. without first experimenting with it. Give it a try. When you can’t possibly wear the same pieces after so long, switch it up. The only requirement we employ in our own capsule wardrobe planning is that you stay conscious of how you’re consuming. Learn how to style your pieces differently, turn them inside out, backwards, add a belt, layer, find a good tailor or learn how to sew a bit. Then, after you’ve explored the ways to re-imagine and re-purpose your clothing, look into getting something new.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe? | The Joon + Co. Ethical Fashion Blog

The possibilities are endless if you’re willing to put in a little effort and heart throughout the process. Remember, nobody gets it right the first time. There’s a reason why it’s called a capsule wardrobe challenge. It can be challenging, but with a bit of guidance and offering yourself much grace and patience, it’s quite simple, really. The book The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees is one of our go-to planning resources for capsule wardrobes, and with her workbook coming out on September 18th this year, we are pre-ordering stat.

What is a Capsule Wardrobe? | The Joon + Co. Ethical Fashion Blog

Want to know how to create your own capsule wardrobe? Subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to know of our next posts in the Ethical Fashion Education Series. Also, check out our second post in the series, How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe.


The Destination Capsule by Joon + Co. | An Ethical Fashion Travel Capsule WardrobeThe Destination Capsule by Joon + Co. | An Ethical Fashion Travel Capsule Wardrobe

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Sizing Chart


 Size # Size Bust (in) Waist (in) Hip (in)
XS 0-2 32-34 25-26.5 34-36
S 4-6 34.5-36 27-28.5 36.5-38.5
M 8-10 36.5-38 29-30.5 39-41
L 12-14 38.5-41 31-32.5 41.5-43.5

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