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The secrets of a perfect capsule wardrobe




Buying a new black crew neck sweater online should be pretty straightforward – find, click, buy, and have it delivered to your door in a matter of days. But a recent Google search yielded over 39 million hits: unbridled digital access to black knitwear. There are budget versions of the behemoths of fast fashion, handcrafted handcrafted options on Etsy, and luxe cashmere versions on Yoox, which alone features over 1,100 sweaters to choose from. It’s a rabbit hole with endless scrolling and product descriptions that start and end with the sweet word. How to filter the noise to find the best songs?

To alleviate the guesswork, some retailers and new nimble brands have introduced laser-targeted changes to sustainable wardrobe staples. With proven options like a poplin button, a black knee-length skirt, a crisp blazer and a chic trench coat, they offer a 21st century take on Donna Karans Seven Easy Pieces, a ready-to-wear wardrobe. job the designer started in 1985. (Some even sell an update on the Donna Karan signature body.) Several of the companies are also seriously looking at sustainability issues, starting with the idea of ​​filling a closet with less. better things, all in one -stop shop.

Not traveling so much forced you to really re-evaluate what you needed, says Natalie Kingham, the global fashion manager of luxury retailer Matchesfashion, who realized once she was stuck at home that she didn’t. didn’t have a good pair of leggings or a plain white tank top. . In response to what she saw as a need shared by her staff and clients, she helped launch a Wardrobe Foundations section on the main Matchesfashions site in January, featuring pieces from brands such as Bottega Veneta, Totme and The Row, as well as wardrobe-based brands. like Another Tomorrow, Co and Wardrobe.NYC. Pieces range from $ 9 socks to a $ 9,450 trench coat. Many brands are also looking at their wardrobe foundations and realizing that there is an opportunity there, she says.

According to Matchesfashion, there has been growth in what they call the essentials category for women’s clothing, with sales up more than 25% since last year for t-shirts and denim, in especially boyfriend cuts and straight legs. Not surprisingly, sweatpants, a new must-have for many, are up 50 percent.

No one wants that dreaded feeling in the morning of not knowing how to put things together, says stylist Christine Centenera, who is a design consultant for Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton and has worked with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West and Margot Robbie in her role of fashion director of Vogue Australia. In an effort to simplify the daily routine, Centenera launched Wardrobe.NYC, a brand offering pre-packaged clothing sets, based in part on key pieces she relies on for her styling work, like a blazer and leggings. The brand, which she co-founded in 2017 with Australian designer Josh Goot, offers a bespoke eight-piece set, including a double-breasted coat, turtleneck, t-shirt, wrap skirt and tuxedo separates. , for $ 3,500, while a four-piece sportswear set with a long-sleeved t-shirt, cropped top, bike shorts, and athletic leggings is $ 400. (Retailers such as Matchesfashion, Net-a-Porter and Browns carry individual branded items.) Models Gigi Hadid and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley have worn the brand’s black zip-up leggings on several occasions. In 2020, Goot and Centenera added pale blue and gray colors to the base styles mostly black and white.

No one wants that dreaded feeling in the morning of not knowing how to put things together.

Christine Centenera, co-founder of Wardrobe.NYC

After noticing that certain pieces such as their poplin tiered dress, A-line shirts, and knits performed well in their main line, the LA-based brand, Co, launched a seasonless staple line. in 2018, which she also called Essentials. It includes minimal effort pieces such as oversized cotton dresses, cashmere in a range of fits and elastic waist pants. The Essentials line is also 20-30% cheaper than its seasonal pieces. His [about] what we look for in our closets in the morning when we get dressed, says co-founder Stephanie Danan, a former film producer. She and her co-founder, Justin Kern, a former model, have also removed the pre-fall and resort collections from their annual calendars to put more energy into these evergreen offerings. We just cleaned it up, Danan said. It’s so much less waste in terms of development and sampling.

New York designer Misha Nonoo showcased The Easy 8 in 2017, which featured a dress, pants, turtleneck and jumpsuit, all in black and white, while also pivoting the brand to a production model at the request. One of the pieces of the Husband shirt, an oversized button, became a hit when Meghan Markle wore a white version on her first public outing alongside Prince Harry that same year. The collection has since evolved into The Perfect 10 which now includes items like a cotton tracksuit, although the Husband shirt remains a bestseller. According to the brand, making only the clothes ordered has reduced waste by 90%.

For someone who is short on time, who wants to be efficient, who thinks about the environment and sustainability, who wants to invest in their wardrobe and have it very streamlined, says Nonoo, this is really how ‘she sees the future of shopping. .

For ex-CFO Vanessa Barboni Hallik, it was supply chains, not fashion trends, that inspired her to launch the sustainability-focused clothing line Another Tomorrow, which launched her first collection in January 2020. Her line of wardrobe basics includes a pleated trench coat, trousers and a bow blouse, all tagged with a QR code that allows customers to review the entire production process for each. clothing. According to Barboni Hallik, who also graduated from Cornell University and is currently a Masters candidate at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, it was extremely important to me that in a world with so many commodities, the product is perfect. We really had to add value to [the customers] life. Another Tomorrows offering includes a blazer, which like other pieces in the Basic Sewing Collection can be exchanged within 12 months of purchase for a new size to accommodate size fluctuations. (The returned pieces are then resold at a lower price by the brand.) The brand’s upcoming third fall collection focuses on pieces such as Zoom-tailored knits and tops, offered alongside its offerings from based. The aim is to save time and reduce waste. I don’t think going down the rabbit hole for each individual purchase is a good use of anyone’s time, says Barboni Hallik.

sa Gransson and Fredrik Blank, alumni of Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm and Tiger of Sweden, were also troubled by the fashion world’s overproduction and deep sales cycles. In February of this year, they decided to establish a slower way of making clothes, with a new Scandinavian tailoring line, Blank Atelier. I don’t think the stock market is the rage, says Blank. You really have to stick with the value of what you are trying to give the customer. Each of their seam pieces are prepared for alterations, sewn with an additional seam allowance. The line, which currently includes two styles of pants, four blazers, a pencil skirt and a white shirt, will not be discounted to empty stock. Instead, the duo will keep a small amount of inventory in a warehouse, taking the risk that something doesn’t sell. And since the company only consists of two, they can put a personal touch on each order, which they themselves pack with a handwritten note.


A chic, plug-and-play capsule wardrobe comes to life with the following pieces.

Another Tomorrow blouse, $ 490,


Courtesy of Another Tomorrow

Brunello Cucinelli pants, $ 1,475,


Courtesy of Brunello Cucinelli

Celine by Hedi Slimane jacket, $ 2,550,


Courtesy of Céline

Co Essentials Trench Coat, $ 975,


Courtesy of Co Essentials

Deveaux New York Skirt, $ 590,


Courtesy of Deveaux New York

Gabriela Hearst sweater, $ 1690,


Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst

Jil Sander T-shirt by Lucie and Luke Meier, $ 260,


Courtesy of Jil Sander

Loro Piana dress, $ 1,911,


Courtesy of Loro Piana

Misha Nonoo Husband Shirt, “$ 185,


Courtesy of Misha Nonoo

Norma Kamali Bodysuit, $ 149,


Courtesy of Norma Kamali

The Row Dress, $ 1,190,


Courtesy of The Row

Totme jeans, $ 280,


Courtesy of Totme

NYC Legging Wardrobe, $ 450,


Courtesy of Wardrobe.NYC

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