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What Is a Capsule Wardrobe?

March 03, 2022

Modulating your wardrobe every single day to fit the occasion can be difficult. In theory, we should be able to wear most of our everyday, classic pieces with the same frequency. In practice, this is rarely the case. Several factors contribute to this unevenness.

The first guideline is how much we like a particular garment. It’s inevitable that some pieces are going to see immediate use following laundry day because we adore them above others. A second issue is how well a garment fits into your wardrobe in terms of your personal style.

In a given closet, there always seems to be a few pieces that are situational or unnecessary. Maybe you have multiples of similar denim jackets or a little black dress that is only appropriate at a few locations.

A capsule wardrobe seeks to rectify these issues and others by purchasing a selection of carefully chosen high-quality items. These are made to easily match each other so that you can pair nearly every garment together in an outfit. 

The notion of the capsule wardrobe today may immediately call to mind tech giants with a hyper-minimalist lifestyle. The truth is that you don’t have to toss half your wardrobe in order to create a capsule design.

The main purpose of a capsule wardrobe is to simplify, not to completely reduce. A good capsule wardrobe should provide you with a few quality, core garments that provide countless distinctive outfits.

This easily interlocking style has a surprisingly complex history behind it. We’ll be explaining the capsule wardrobe concept and go on to illustrate how you can make your own capsule wardrobe.

Early Origins: American Look

The notion of a capsule wardrobe might seem recent, but the concept is actually over half a century old. Prior to the mid-20th century, Western fashion was primarily defined by the designers of French fashion houses.

The events of World War II caused many European designers to temporarily shutter their studios. For those who still operated, cross-continent trade and communication for non-essential purposes were difficult. 

Americans also had more leisure time than ever, even with the wartime crunch. The need for clothing to suit leisure activities and for the physically demanding work at home contributed to fashion evolution. This fall of French fashion and the need for new garments set the stage for a new, American sense of dress. 

The result was the first major sportswear line, designed by Claire McCardell. These garments included blouses, shirts, skirts, and shorts that could be worn interchangeably. The fabrics utilized were chosen for their comfort and longevity, key in any sportswear piece. The idea of clothing separates had never been used widely before her and is instrumental in capsule collections. 

This creation of functional apparel is now known as the American Look, arguably one of the country’s defining fashion movements. The American Look includes both sportswear garments as well as daily casual or semi-formal apparel designed for comfort. 

What Should Be Part of Your Capsule Wardrobe?

Choosing the right number of pieces for your capsule wardrobe doesn’t have to be challenging. Designer Donna Karan brought it to the mainstream with her collection of “Seven Easy Pieces.” Though this collection was aimed at women, the foundational elements behind them are viable and universal across all categories.

The capsule wardrobe ignores the trends and impulse purchases of fast fashion to focus on intentional choices.

A capsule wardrobe should include a selection of tops, bottoms, and layering pieces. We are going to highlight our own seven easy pieces to create a capsule wardrobe to fit any sportswear specifications.

Summit Tee

Every streetwear wardrobe needs an eye-catching, high-quality graphic tee. The distressed graphic and luxurious material design makes the Summit Tee an optimal base for any wardrobe.

The graphic highlights the rugged mountain terrain of California made soft by sunset, with the Daniel Patrick name outlined above. The graphic itself is distressed to give the tee a vintage feel and timeless appearance.

Los Angeles isn’t just represented in the visual design of the tee. The Summit Tee is made from heavyweight jersey material, providing the ideal mixture of thickness, comfort, and warmth.

This material is milled and dyed in Los Angeles, and the local production values are seen in every item below. Keeping everything local allows us to have complete control over the process and support our community through our work.

The Summit Tee has a slightly oversized fit, making it perfect as a standalone garment or as a layering piece. For a more regular fit, go down a size from what you normally wear.

You can also subtly enhance your ensemble by layering it atop your favorite sweatshirt or hoodie. Richly saturated cool and neutral colors define this tee. Mountain blue and hunter green appear effortlessly alongside vintage black, natural, and camel colorways.

Standard Tee

The basic t-shirt is a wardrobe staple that’s more-than-basic when it comes to the Standard Tee. This relaxed fit t-shirt is highlighted by a center seam running along the front and back of the shirt. The same heavyweight jersey material gives it a luxe feel that other t-shirts lack.  

Our Standard Tee can be worn on its own, or to add a dash of your favorite color under a base layer. The neutrality of the garment goes a long way in making it a versatile closet essential in any context. 11 colors make it easy to integrate into existing wardrobes or serve as a keystone in new ones.

Varsity Tee

A solid logo tee sends a message that’s understated but undeniably powerful. It closely identifies you with the brand or group itself, its history, and its values. For Daniel Patrick’s Varsity Tee, this means aligning yourself with luxury, quality sportswear, and a devotion to fashion and function. 

A contrast-colored logo graphic highlights the neutral primary colors of each garment. Locally milled jersey material provides the same degree of comfort afforded our previously mentioned tees. 

Roaming Cloak

A well-formed jacket can dress up any outfit for a look that’s both casual and collected. The Roaming Cloak blends these two by combining form-fitting features with an overall relaxed fit. 

Rib knit cuffs combine with drop shoulders and an overall relaxed fit to create this balance. An unfinished hem and patch pockets consciously create a soft appearance. 

These features are tied together by the shawl collar, which defines the shape of the Roaming Cloak. The cloak also features our signature center seam running along the back of the garment.

Heavyweight garment dyed fleece provides a degree of warmth and moisture protection that’s to be expected of midlayer apparel. This makes it an easy piece for layering wherever you go outside. Colors running from the restful washed olive and camel to high-energy, highly saturated red create a cloak for any aesthetic or color palette.

Loop Terry Standard Hoodie

The Loop Terry Standard Hoodie is our own improvement on this sportswear staple. The standard kangaroo pouch is met with drop shoulders and tonal embroidery on the chest for upgraded specifications. Lightweight, cozy loop terry provides a sweatshirt that’s as effective at the gym, on the town, or lounging at home.

The 12 different colorways allow for massive versatility. Rib knitting at both the waist and cuffs keep the sweatshirt fitted for a tailored silhouette. Try pairing this with a white tee for a simple and classic look. 

Loop Terry Roaming Sweatpants

These relaxed fit sweatpants emphasize the luxurious comfort and pure versatility the garment is known for. The Loop Terry Roaming Sweatpants feature the same luxe material as well as tonal embroidery on the left thigh.

The Loop Terry Roaming Sweatpants are fitted where it matters thanks to elastic on the waist and cuffs. Consider adjusting the leg of the pants just above the ankle to show off contrast with your socks and boots or sneakers. 

With its weight and warmth, this garment is perfect for spending time at home, or in moderate temperatures outdoors. 

Loop Terry Standard Sweatshort

Our Loop Terry Standard Sweatshort features material and design to go hand-in-hand with our other loop terry designs. The soft fabric makes the perfect companion for these traveling shorts.

Pair them with the Loop Terry Standard Hoodie for a comfortable, casual look. Many colorways reflect back on the hoodie, with unique offerings like royal fuschia and mint thrown into the mix. 

Tonal embroidery on the left thigh subtly improves the garment, while the drawcord overtly adds flair to it. This cotton, flat drawcord with black aglets dangles just below the knee for a distinctive figure. The ideal sweatshort blends convenience and comfort. The Loop Terry Standard Sweatshort coordinates these with ease.

Finishing Your Capsule Wardrobe

The above includes three tops, two bottoms, and two pieces of top outerwear to be worn paired with other pieces. Taking into consideration layering possibilities, this series of garments can lead to 20 different combinations. This doesn’t even begin to consider the further possibilities that footwear, socks, hats, and other accessories can bring.

A capsule wardrobe is anything but limiting. The truth is that even a small number of articles have extensive possibilities. Consider focusing on quality, essential pieces that you love over the number of pieces that you have. 



Sources:

Steve Jobs Always Dressed Exactly the Same. Here's Who Else Does I Forbes

Sportswear: An American Invention I WWD

Donna Karan Names Her Favorite Seven Pieces of Her Career I Vogue


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