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6 Ideas For How To Build Your 2021 Capsule Wardrobe

Karen Hartman

Posted on January 29 2021

women capsule wardrobe expert Anna Dunbar sitting on a hardwood floor wearing monochromatic black outfit and white sneakers

 

Q&A with Seattle Wardrobe Stylist and

Capsule Wardrobe Specialist, Anna Dunbar

 

 

January, 29th 2021

 

 

The Capsule Wardrobe is Instagram famous and endlessly hyped for it’s environmental and mental health benefits. We have all admired these images of sparsely populated garment racks and wondered what it would be like to be able to effortlessly pull together one chic look after another from a highly curated collection.

It all sounds and looks so lovely…but how do you actually create a capsule wardrobe? 

Thankfully I was able to catch up with Seattle Wardrobe Stylist, Anna Dunbar who specializes in helping her clients build their own capsule wardrobes to learn more.

I have been a fan of her Instagram feed for years now and I love the way she serves up incredibly wearable, yet totally chic and minimalistic looks.  I'm so glad she had the time to do this Q&A and help us figure it out. 

I hope this conversation helps you understand how to build a capsule wardrobe and inspires you to start your building your own. 

 Capsule Wardrobe on clothing rack. Minimalist clothing in monochromatic colors.

FIRST THINGS FIRST, WHAT IS A CAPSULE WARDROBE? 

I like to define a capsule wardrobe as an edited down version of a traditional wardrobe.  Clothing that fits your current lifestyle.  Carefully curated pieces that you can mix and match. 

A capsule collection needs to be very functional and only include things you absolutely love to wear repeatedly.  You want a balance of tops, bottoms, layers and accessories.  Neutrals and color pallets also come into play, as you want everything you wear to compliment each other.

 

WHY DO YOU FEEL IT’S IMPORTANT IN 2021 TO BE TALKING ABOUT A CAPSULE WARDROBE? 

I am very aware of the state of the world. With coronavirus affecting our world so dramatically, it doesn’t seem appropriate to list all of the things that I think you should be buying.

With that being said, I realize there is still a need for fashion. Perhaps a more abbreviate need, but still a need. A capsule wardrobe slides right in beautifully to most people’s lives right now! There’s just a need for less. 

 

WHEN YOU ARE WORKING WITH CLIENTS OR BUILDING YOUR OWN CAPSULE WARDROBE LOOKS TO SHARE ON YOUR BLOG, WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK ABOUT WHEN ADDING A PIECE TO YOUR COLLECTION? 

Versatility all the way. I really put a lot of thoughtfulness into every piece I pull for a client or recommend on my blog. I’m looking for classic and well made pieces that fit the body, can go with ANYTHING, and make you feel like you! 

 

wardrobe capsule for women. Example of comfortable choices, sweatpants and one shoulder body suit

 

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGTHS ON BUILDING  A CAPSULE WARDROBE THAT REFLECTS OUR CURRENT REALITIES? A LOT OF US ARE WEARING SWEATPANTS THESE DAYS, CAN YOU DO THAT FASHIONABLY?

You can absolutely build a wardrobe around sweatpants!  I truly believe you can! It's all about finding those key wardrobe staples that fit well and make you feel good.

My advice on pulling off sweats with style is to mix and match dressy with casual. If you’re wearing sweats on the bottom, try wearing a chic, sophisticated top.  Don’t forget to finish off your casual yet functional look with jewelry, cute sneakers, and a great oversized jacket. 

 

HERE ARE ANNA'S 6 IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED ON BUILDING A CAPSULE WARDROBE:

Capsule Wardrobe basic, one shoulder body suit in black

#1 A Well Fitting, Structured Bodysuit or Tank

Here are two I  adore. This one shoulder bodysuit is so on trend! Or if you want to splurge, I highly recommend this sculpting tank from Aritzia. So flattering and can be worn literally under anything. It’s a great layering piece. If you are looking for a sustainable option, I love this bodysuit by People Tree made from fairtrade certified cotton.

 

Jewelry for a capsule wardrobe. Minimalist good luck charm necklace in gold. 

#2 A Special Piece Of Jewelry That You Can Wear Every Day

Sometimes when you’re stuck at home or working from home, it can seem pointless to put on jewelry. I highly recommend investing in at least one special piece. Something that is meaningful. That makes you feel special. That goes with everything. I adore this good luck charm necklace. It’s local and ethically made by Astor + Orion. 

 

How to style your capsule wardrobe basics including sweatpants, bodysuit and overcoat.

#3 Let’s be 2021 real. If we are building a capsule wardrobe it needs to include sweatpants or joggers.

I love cozy, oversized sweatpants that you can wear while zooming. Save here or splurge and get a pair from Amour Vert which are made in America.

 

wardrobe capsule basic denim. 

#4 Stretchy, COMFORTABLE Jeans.

Good American are the most comfy I’ve found out there! When wearing a pair you will truly feel like you’re wearing sweats! Shop their responsible denim options here. 

 Capsule Wardrobe shoes. Converse sneakers and leg in front of white wall

#5 Cute Sneaker

I’ve always been a huge fan of vans and converse. Perfect for any age or gender, and a great price point. Adding these to your capsule wardrobe will give your look a hip and modern accent. If you are looking for a more sustainable option, try Etiko sneakers which are Certified Fairtrade, Organic Cotton and 100% Vegan.

 

 Capsule Wardrobe Coat on Wardrobe stylist Anna Dunbar. Worn over black top and pants

#6 A Great Oversized Coat To Pull It All Together

Whether you’re wearing leggings, jeans or a dress, a coat always pulls your look together and makes it feel more finished. I get so many compliments on this one, no matter what I’m wearing it with! I also love this Organic Cotton Coatigan which is a delightful mash up of a coat and a cardigan.

 

THAT'S A GREAT LIST. TO GET PEOPLE STARTED. IF THEY WANT TO SEE MORE OF YOUR WORK OR EVEN REACH OUT FOR STYLING SERVICES, HOW CAN THEY FIND YOU?

My wardrobe styling services can be booked through Styled Seattle. You can also find me on Instagram or on my blog, Honestly West.

 

To shop the minimalist good luck charm necklace Anna is wearing, click here 

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