The French minimalist philosophy of wardrobe creation is a bare bones, functional closet based on the fundamental ideology that each and every piece in your wardrobe should function in a strategic way. The true basis of this idea is to only buy the absolutely essential items, and then expand upon them. Most people often try to limit themselves to five purchases per season (spring/summer and fall/winter). While this limitation is quite harsh for most fashion-forward individuals, the goal is to limit your purchases and cut out the wasteful spending attributed to goalless shopping.
The essential staple pieces are items that all men should have in their wardrobe. Some tailoring should also be done to match the particular season.
– Outerwear: one cold weather coat, one mid-weather coat and one light jacket
– Tops: plain tees, one white or blue oxford shirt, one heather grey crew neck sweater and one wool sweater
– Bottoms: one pair of indigo or black denim, one pair of khaki chinos, one pair of wool dress slacks, one pair of navy or khaki shorts, one pair of athletic shorts and one swim suit
– Essentials: underwear, socks, wallet
Many of these pieces can be purchased at a number of different price levels, from high end to quite affordable. Though when you only have a few key pieces in your wardrobe it is not a bad idea to splurge a little and get the best quality piece.
End Goal of a Capsule Collection
- To meet your stylistic goals.
- To become a strategic shopper and reduce wasteful spending on items that do not meet these stylistic goals.
- To build a wardrobe of quality items, regardless of your price range.
- Fabric quality is of the utmost importance. Selection of wardrobe items should revolve around not only their aesthetical qualities; but, their fabric quality as well. Because of the limited number of pieces each should be built to last, with a high importance placed on stitch quality and fabric durability.
- Staple pieces (socks, underwear, plain tees) do not count towards this purchase limit.
Purchasing of Staple Pieces
- Purchasing begins with inspiration. Start browsing menswear blogs, like Dappered, or Pinterest boards and start collecting images of clothing that speaks to you. It could be a pair of sneakers or a jacket, or an entire outfit. Work from images and find what you really want to look like; by visualizing your aesthetic, you can see what pieces you really need and want.
- Create a list. Go through your visual inspiration and make a list of items you see that you do not have. Bring this list with you when shopping, then whenever you see an item that matches make a note of where you found it.
- Evaluate your list and make sure to wait a little bit before jumping in head first. Often times your look will change over time so make sure to give yourself that necessary grace period before splurging on an item that you may not want in a month.
- Shop around. As your list progresses, make note of all the available products and brands that stock what you want; then wait for deals to pop up or your favorite items to drop in price.
- If you find something that hits all the necessary points then go ahead and make the purchase. The best advice is to always wait for end of season sales and purchase then. But if not, make sure it really hits home for your desired aesthetic and that you will not regret it down the road.
Starting a capsule collection is a smart way to clean out your closet of pieces that you no longer wear; likewise, it is a good investment in the long run to only buy pieces that you know will never go out of style. Buying staple pieces, especially in high quality fabrics, is also environmentally friendly.