Do you have a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear? You may be suffering from seasonal style disorder. January’s sartorial equivalent of a bad New Year’s Eve hangover: a hot mess. The warning signs are all there: in this time of need you just want a big hug in the form of the cosiest jumper in reach (your appetite for sparkles has waned, around about the time you re-homed the Christmas decorations to the attic). And navigating getting ready at 7am on a cold, dark morning, hassle-free – sourcing an outfit that exudes at least a modicum of put-togetherness in the office - is a daily battle.
Here’s the good news: this year there’s been a notable shift towards leaning into a more minimalist aesthetic, to help us streamline our closets. Want to remove the dreaded decision paralysis from your morning routine (and save extra time for the important stuff, like catching up on The Happiness Lab podcast)? Enter, the capsule wardrobe (or basics, modern classics, essentials – whatever you want to call it). The term ‘capsule wardrobe’ was coined in the 1970s, by shop owner Susie Faux, to describe a few essential items, such as versatile shirts, trousers and coats that will last a lifetime and never go out of season.
“We’ve noticed that many new designers are looking to create clean capsules of wardrobes stables designed to be timeless and effortlessly worn for many years,” agrees Heather Gramston, buying manager at Browns Fashion. “People are becoming more interested in investing in a ‘lifetime’ piece. We have always loved this approach from brands like Jil Sander and Toteme, and some new favourites to keep on your radar include Korean brand LVIR and London based Usisi.” The less-is-more mood has also carried over into resort-wear (“some personal favourites include Missing You Already, Bondi Born and Matteau”).
Embracing this new age of classicism will speak to die-hard #Phoebephiles and The Row fangirls who abhor fashion trends, in favour of investment pieces that can be adapted and worn in multiple ways. Or perhaps you’re simply seeking items to spark more joy in your life, rather than inducing “ohhh but that top doesn’t go with those trousers,” panic.
For jumper aficionados who obsess over Old Hollywood actresses' off-duty style, look to cult New York label Khaite (the brand that made the ‘bra-digan’ happen and made us all fall back in love with sumptuously soft cashmere), NAVYGREY (timeless offerings made from fully traceable sustainable merino wool) and BITE Studios (the Scandi-British label uses the finest quality natural organic fibres and recycled fabrics to create forever wardrobe staples). And if you have a penchant for precision tailoring, masculine proportions and clean lines? Check out Paris-based brand Lemaire, stat. Warning: You will want to buy everything.
Up-and-coming brand to know WARDROBE.NYC (now available at Matches Fashion), also seeks to challenge the cyclical nature of production and over-consumption in fashion by creating 4-8 luxury essentials that can be styled cohesively and worn season after season. Think: sleek tuxedos, oversized outerwear and classic shirting. Want to start creating your perfect capsule wardrobe now? See below for even more new forever pieces inspiration.