Fast fashion has been plaguing the Nepali society for a while now and one of the means to solve the problem is minimalism. Minimalism is gaining momentum among the millennials not just for ethical concerns but also for economical reasons, environmental consciousness, as well as personal interest. A type of minimalist style that you can adopt is a capsule wardrobe.

A term coined in the 1970s by a boutique owner from London Susie Faux, a capsule wardrobe refers to a small assemblage of classic and interchangeable clothing items that never go out of style. Recommending less than twelve items, the concept of capsule wardrobe was initially created with working women in mind. The aim was to have a budget friendly, time and space saving wardrobe with high quality clothes that could be worn frequently and in various ways. The concept was popularized in 1985 by American designer Donna Karan due to her collection, "Seven Easy Pieces".

Before you get started on your minimalist journey, you need to understand what minimalism is. Minimalist blogger Sagar Satyal, in his website The Mindful Nepali, writes, "Minimalism doesn't mean deprivation. It is not about possessing less than say, 100 items. It is also not about being stingy about the money you have. It just means making room for what truly matters in life."

The first step in building a capsule wardrobe is to clean out your closet. Sort out your clothes into two piles- the wardrobe pile, and the donation pile. A capsule wardrobe can be either seasonal, or for the entire year. Based on this, decide which clothes you want to pack up and store in suitcases, and which clothes you want to keep in your closet. The recommended palette is to have most clothes in a neutral color and some to be colorful statement pieces.

A general template for an all year capsule wardrobe suggests that you get:

  • 3 basic tees
  • 1 striped tee
  • 1 camisole
  • 1 button up
  • 1 denim shirt
  • 1 turtlenecks
  • 1 chunky knit
  • 1 cardigan
  • 1 blazer
  • 1 pair of shorts
  • 1 pair of blue jeans
  • 1 pair of black jeans
  • 1 pair of formal trousers
  • 1 pencil skirt
  • 1 denim jacket
  • 1 trench coat
  • 1 wool coat
  • 1 black dress
  • 1 pair of boots
  • 1 pair of flats
  • 2 pair of sneakers
  • 1 pair of heels

A capsule wardrobe is exclusive of undergarments, pajamas, gym clothes, and accessories. You can play around with what you need and don't need in this template. A working woman's wardrobe may consist of three button ups and 1 basic tee instead. Your wardrobe needs to be catered towards you. There is no need to feel overwhelmed. It is a trial and error process until you find what works for you.