BLOT GRAPHIC BY KELLY MEEHAN
To combat the rampant rise of fast fashion, niche influencers are turning to capsule wardrobes to revive timeless clothing.
Capsule wardrobes are minimalist closets made of staple items curated to carry the wearer through many seasons as opposed to buying new, trending items every season. Although a person who has a capsule wardrobe may not have the newest fashion, they reinstate the idea that clothes are intended for comfort.
With a capsule wardrobe, trends are left in the past, last-minute outfit-picking stress is removed and a closet for the rest of the year is locked into place, eliminating the need to throw away or donate pieces no longer in use.
Dropping fast fashion is not only better for one’s conscience but for the planet as well. According to BBC News, 81 pounds of clothing per person end up in landfills every year — with capsule wardrobes, no items go to waste.
“There’s less guilt,” said freshman Molly McCarthy of Manasquan. “I used to throw out a lot of clothes not just because they didn’t fit but because they didn’t fit fashion anymore.”
Despite the many benefits to capsule wardrobes, the idea of outfit repetition is surrounded by skepticism. Sophomore Lydia Oliveri of Colts Neck voices that these sentiments are likely fuelled by consumerism and sexist ideals.
“The media often pressures women to place all of their self-worth in their appearance,” Oliveri said. “This leads to women believing that they always need to look their best in order to be taken seriously by others, or liked by others.”
The stigma surrounding outfit repetition is based not only on the pressure for women to fit into the status quo but also the desire to present higher on the social scale.
“If you don’t repeat your outfits, then it means you have enough money to buy as much clothing as you want,” said senior Sam Skolnick of Hazlet. “I feel like there’s such a stigma behind repeating outfits in other people’s eyes, they may believe that you don’t have the money to purchase newer clothing.”
While capsule wardrobes may insinuate that the wearer is of lower class, they are often not low-budget friendly.
Since clothes are only bought once a year, consumers often look toward sustainable clothing brands that are known for having long lasting pieces with extremely high prices. To create a capsule wardrobe on a budget, many look to second-hand shops, clearance racks and clothing swaps.
Having solely a capsule wardrobe is difficult to commit to, but some Communications students are working toward ditching trends and re-wearing clothes.
“I think I own some timeless pieces but I would be interested in expanding the timeless aspect of my wardrobe,” Olivieri said. “It’s a great way to prevent overconsumption.”