words Alexa Wang
We tend to buy our clothes in line with the four seasons, but what if we could have a timeless wardrobe packed with items we could just throw on any day of the year? That’s where a seasonless wardrobe comes to play.
A seasonless wardrobe is very similar to a capsule or a minimalist one in that it contains between 10 to 100 thoughtfully selected items that can be mixed and matched to suit any type of weather. The concept was first coined in the 1960s alongside the minimalist art form and has now become a lifestyle.
Think of a seasonless wardrobe as a sustainable, easily available collection of timeless items that “spark joy”, as the organising guru Marie Kondo would say. In this guide, you’ll learn how to find joy in your own seasonless wardrobe.
The benefits of a seasonless wardrobe
Why would you want to get rid of the clothes you already have only to own less? Because, as the iconic fashion designer Coco Chanel once said, “less is always more”. This sentiment applies not only to the versatility a seasonless wardrobe enables but also to the host of benefits of this fashion endeavour, including:
- Organised closet. Say goodbye to the endless search for that LBD you wore three years ago and hello to a tidier closet that has all your garments in one place.
- Seamless transition to each season. You no longer need to rearrange your wardrobe for each season and store your out-of-season clothes somewhere else.
- Increased happiness. Who has time to wear clothes that don’t make them happy? With a seasonless wardrobe, you will be brimming with joy and confidence every single day.
- Be prepared for any type of weather. Rain, sun, hail, storm, whatever the weather, your thoughtfully curated, seasonless wardrobe has got you covered.
- Save time and money. Shopping sprees become a thing of the past, which means you have valuable time and resources on your hands to spend on more important things.
- Positive environmental impact. The notion of seasonal shopping for clothes informs our consumer behaviours. But in the fast fashion realm, where high-street retailers produce luxury knock-offs in an instant, the cycle has increased up to 52 seasons, which means that a new collection is produced every week of the year. By choosing longevity over fast fashion, you’re reducing your carbon footprint.
- Travel light. When you only own a certain number of items, packing for both short and long trips feels like a walk in the park.
How to create a seasonless wardrobe
Now that you know what the benefits of a seasonless wardrobe are, how do you go about reinventing your closet to reflect your new eco-friendly, clutter-free, joy-inducing fashion approach? From the purge to finding your new statement pieces, here are our top tips to create a seasonless wardrobe.
Define your style
It’s easy to be lured by the seasonal trends, but these garments have a short life span and are likely to be out of style by the time the next collection comes in. As a result, you end up with short-lived pieces which are hard to pair with the rest of your clothes.
Instead, invest in timeless pieces that you absolutely love and are happy to wear again and again. Take a look at your wardrobe and notice which pieces grab your attention and make you feel good – these are the ones you need more of. Do they follow a particular style, such as boho, grunge, business casual, or streetwear?
In order to determine what is your signature look, consider the functionality of your clothes. Do you predominantly wear professional clothes for work, or does your lifestyle allow you to have more freedom in terms of your wardrobe? Is comfort your priority, or do you consider yourself a trend-setter?
These are all important questions to ask yourself when doing your wardrobe analysis, but whatever your definitive style is, you surely can fit it in about 30 garments!
The Purge: Get rid of what you don’t need
Of course, the easiest way to start a seasonless wardrobe would be to ditch all your current clothes and buy everything new. But, unfortunately, that’s not as sustainable, budget-friendly, or fun as going through the whole process.
The most important yet hardest step of this process is purging your old wardrobe. We tend to cling to items with sentimental value. But here is a good rule of thumb: if you haven’t worn something in more than a year – ditch it!
Start by dedicating a ‘keep’, ‘maybe’, and ‘get rid of’ piles and ask yourself the following questions when deciding which goes where:
- Is this my style?
- Does it fit well?
- Will I wear it again?
- Is it versatile?
- Do I have similar items in my wardrobe?
- Does it spark joy?
Aim to keep about 20 to 30 items as a start. Although this might sound difficult, remember that you need to leave space for some new items to enter your wardrobe.
Once you’re done with this task, lift your spirit by doing your bit for the environment or someone else. Your unwanted clothes don’t have to end up in the tip. Instead, find a creative way to dispose of them – donate them to a friend or a charity, or upcycle them into other items, such as totes, dresses, decorations, and tank tops.
Choose your colour scheme
Hot pink might be your go-to summer colour, but it wouldn’t work as well in the winter, for example. And if you have 10+ seasonal nuances in your wardrobe, it means that your collection of clothes is non-cohesive.
To combat this issue, choose a palette that features no more than 10 colours that can be worn any day, any season. Blacks, greys, whites, navy, royal blue, as well as nudes, are some staple colours that go with pretty much anything.
And if you really love vibrant or season-specific colours, treat yourself to two to three statement pieces in those colours. Remember, to create a seasonless wardrobe, you need to do things strategically while having fun!
It’s all about layering
You might be wondering how your wardrobe can be weatherproof if you only have a small number of clothes. The answer is layering.
Layering lets you put on several items of clothing on top of each other in a comfortable and fashionable way. This method ensures that you can easily add a pair of tights, chunky black boots, a sweater, and a jacket to your favourite floral dress for the autumn and just as quickly strip it down to a pair of sandals and cool sunglasses in the spring.
This means that you need to invest in basic items so that you can accommodate layerability. High-neck sweaters, white shirts, and basic tees are great for that.
Choose quality over quantity
When transitioning to a seasonless wardrobe, you also need to shift your mindset from impulse shopping to intentional shopping. It’s best to have an ongoing list of a few staple items that you need to add to your wardrobe. Decide on the exact tailoring, colour, and style of the garment so that you don’t give in to the temptation to buy something from the sale rack that you then wouldn’t be able to style.
Don’t rush into buying new clothes. Instead, give yourself a few weeks to find an item that best fits your needs and is also sustainable. When you have a seasonless wardrobe, it’s really important to have clothes that are made to last. These are usually made from durable materials by slow fashion brands. Local and independent brands offer garments that use recycled materials, operate on a fair trade agreement, and have a sustainable supply chain – these will make your shopping experience worth your time and money.
To close the life cycle of your seasonless wardrobe, you should declutter it regularly. That way, you won’t end up with too many pieces at once, and you’ll be able to make space for new, exciting garments to enter you closer.
As a rule of thumb, once you reach your desired number of items, every time you buy a new piece of clothing, get rid of an old one by donating it or upcycling it.
Having a seasonless wardrobe is becoming more and more popular as eco-awareness is on the rise. Fashion brands are also responding to the new lifestyle change by creating versatile items that can be worn not only through all the seasons but also from day to night. Try and see for yourself how free you’ll feel!