Would we, and the environment, better off if we all chose to have a ‘capsule wardrobe’ of clothes?
Should we be like Joan Didion, whose iconic Packing List from 1979 still resonates for modern working women in 2020?
Personally I feel like I already have a sort of capsule wardrobe; everything is black, so everything matches. I have winter and summer versions; but basically they’re the same just with coats added.
The idea of minimising our wardrobes fits into not only the idea of being more environmentally conscious about buying clothes, but it also fits into the whole minimalist conversation that focuses on just having less stuff.
Having a uniform of sorts also makes life easier. If you only have a few items of clothing to choose from, you don’t waste time deciding on an outfit.
But … it’s also rather boring. Sometimes you want to dress up like a fashion editor, other times you want to be more sporty, or more formal, right?
Without choice life becomes a bit boring and who wants to be bored? The trick is to still think consciously about what is in your wardrobe.
Shop ethically, wear vintage, repurpose your own clothes, shop your wardrobe by wearing old stuff in a new way. Don’t buy anything new without removing something from your wardrobe.
As for that famous Packing List? Well, here’s what you need according to Joan Didion:
TO PACK AND WEAR:
2 jerseys or leotards
1 pullover sweater
2 pair shoes
nightgown, robe, slippers
bag with: shampoo
toothbrush and paste
Basis soap, razor
2 legal pads and pens
Now, you will probably want to swap out the typewriter for your laptop and chargers, and possibly delete the cigarettes and add a pair of jeans or trousers, but other than these things, the list is pretty much on point.
This article was first published in the iFab newsletter.