We’re very excited to announce the launch of our Via Vino series. A series of interviews with expert women around the world on a variety of environmentally-friendly fashion, health, and lifestyle topics. We hope the information shared by these wonderful women will provide you with the tools and inspiration to help you to live a greener life. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay tuned as we share our conversations.
Kicking off our series is Silke, the founder of Silke Styles, and an internationally certified Image and Colour Consultant. Born in Germany and a seasoned ex-pat, Silke has lived all over the globe, acquiring a unique understanding of fashion across a colorful range of cultures. Silke now lives in Dubai where she helps her clients to discover their own personal styles. An avid supporter of sustainable fashion, Silke stays conscious of emerging new designers and has become a champion of the capsule wardrobe. We spoke to her about how to create a capsule wardrobe.
On average, people use only 20% of their wardrobe effectively
Most of us fail to use our wardrobe effectively, in fact, on average we wear only 20% of our wardrobe. Silke says there are plenty of reasons why we fall into this habit. One of them being that we naturally head out to buy a new item whenever we have an occasion. She likens it to going to the supermarket when you’re hungry. You end up buying whatever’s put in front of you.
“It’s an emotional situation where you just feel like you need to buy a new item”.
Most of us are guilty of harboring a few “orphans in the wardrobe” as Silke puts it. Those items that we buy impulsively or mistakenly. She talks about how sometimes we’ll see an outfit on a friend and assume it will suit us too, or sometimes we just want to buy new clothes to feel better about ourselves but quite often it ends in mistake purchases.
So, what is a capsule wardrobe?
Silke explains that a capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothes that can all be mixed and matched with each other. You start with a base of a few items, tops and bottoms (skirts, trousers) and from those, you can create a combination of looks.
“It’s a maths thing,” Silke says when describing just how many different outfits you can create from a few base items.
Once you have your base you can start to expand slightly, but always keeping in mind the essence of the capsule wardrobe and your own personal style.
Discover and edit
If you’re finding it a challenge to discover your personal style, Silke talks about how taking inspiration from those around us can help. It’s all about identifying what you like, the image you want to project, and working out what will suit you as an individual.
Once you’re clear on that, it’s time to edit the wardrobe you already have. Silke suggests starting out by taking your 30 favorite items and editing those. In some cases, 20% of the clothes that we wear are already representative of a capsule wardrobe.
Repeating your look
Some people may feel that repeating a look is a major sin but actually, Silke says it’s about asking yourself, “Do I want to be a conscious consumer?” She even points out that she not only wants to re-wear her outfits, but she wants people to notice…
“It’s more creative to wear a top and a piece in different ways than just picking something new every day”.
If you don’t want to show that you’re repeating items, then opt for more neutral items. Silke notes that this is why wardrobe survivors are often items like the black trousers, the white shirts, the leather jackets. And remember, accessories are a key tool in changing up your capsule wardrobe look.
So how about when you’re at the mall and you’re tempted by all the affordable sale items and variety of fast fashion pieces? How do you hold yourself back from filling up your basket and your wardrobe?
Silke suggests taking photos of your capsule wardrobe outfits. Doing this can help you to remember just how many looks you actually have to work with. If there is something missing that would go perfectly with one of your base pieces, Silke says get it! But first, ask yourself if you can think of at least three ways to wear it. If the answer is yes, most likely you may even find five ways to wear it once you get it home, making it a great addition to your capsule wardrobe. This can help to avoid acquiring more “wardrobe orphans”.
Dealing with those wardrobe orphans
When it comes to those clothing items that you don’t wear often, Silke’s advice is to take stock and get creative. If a garment fits you well and the color suits you, but there’s something preventing you from wearing it regularly, then why not recycle it? Have it adjusted or turn it into something else completely. Being a conscious consumer means avoiding waste.
She also suggests turning to the media for ideas. Avoid social media accounts that focus on showing off the latest “haul” but take ideas instead of creatives and how-to guides. There’s a wealth of information available out there to inspire and influence us in the right way.
And if you really can’t make use of your unworn items, then why not donate them.
To watch the full interview with Silke, click here
And if this has inspired you to start your own capsule wardrobe then why not share your looks with us. Just tag us on Instagram #viavino. We’d love to see!