My $500 Capsule Wardrobe
First, the concept is fun and the premise is simple. Second, I was a little surprised by how little $500 goes when you’re prioritizing ethically-made items: in each case, the contributor’s “wardrobe” consisted of 4-5 pieces.
I’m not critiquing that exactly – after all, one pair of sustainable shoes can cost upwards of $200 – but it’s a good reminder that ethical fashion, in many cases, is truly an investment and not something you can just buy compulsively. (I say that having purchased a pair of Nisolo boots recently that I could only justify by selling off quite a few items from my closet.)
So, in the spirit of playing along, here’s what I would put in my $500 ethical capsule.
Everlane Crew Neck, $18
A true staple in my wardrobe, these t-shirts are well-made and just the right weight – lightweight without being sheer.
These have become my everyday jeans since I discovered them last month.
While I can’t verify the ethics of production, AE is one of only two American companies whose emissions reduction commitments will put them in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.
I have this in black – and a similar thrifted version in cream – and it is one of those pieces that makes a statement while remaining incredibly minimal and versatile.
I just purchased these as the last piece of my winter shoe capsule – after committing to sell off several wardrobe items that simply don’t suit my lifestyle here in Connecticut – and I’m excited to wear them all fall and winter.
I love simple little rings, and they’re easy to find secondhand.
A good length and weight for all seasons, this piece would look equally great with a pair of boots as it does with sandals.
Vintage Skirt, $39
I live for vintage skirts in fun prints. They’re easy to wear, easy to find at a low price point, and brighten up the solid-color and neutral tops in my wardrobe.
Of course, capsule “wardrobe” is a bit of a misnomer unless you plan on wearing the same shirt every day, but you could easily round out this wardrobe for a couple hundred dollars – just add a few t-shirts, thrift a winter coat and some sweaters, and buy a few other odds and ends.
If you’re looking for other ethical Capsule Wardrobe picks…