Wednesday, June 15, 2016


By Guest Contributor

Your Basic Guide
To Building A Capsule Wardrobe

 Photos courtesy of Nordstrom, Givenchy,, and Dolce & Gabbana

Never heard of a capsule wardrobe? It is simply a wardrobe made up of key pieces that are easily interchangeable and matches with the other. Essentially, your capsule wardrobe is one that is versatile and timeless. Seasons may change but these apparel and accessories will always be in vogue. Clearly they are an investment everyone should make. Who better to advise us on this than Penny Yip, Head of Footwear & Creative Direction in ZALORA’s Private Label team.

Inspiration for Fashion Items

Typically fashion reflects society’s culture at that point in time. Inspiration is derived from art, architecture, film and music as well. Sex in the City gave a lot of us goosebumps with the fast-paced New Yorker lifestyle as well as the gorgeous outfits that made us swoon (we cannot pick just one favourite!). It is no wonder Penny and her team takes cues from this iconic film! Marie Antoinette by Sophia Cappola is another movie that inspires Penny too. It won the Academy Award for Costume Design.

The regal and elaborate pieces certainly have some elements that are reflected in today’s modern fashion. Even fashion can inspire collections. Just take a look at the high waist denim trend that is an updated version of bottoms worn in the 70s. One design rule that she abides by is ‘Less is More’. With that in mind, this is the one thing you should remember when you create a capsule wardrobe. This certainly does not imply that your wardrobe should be stocked with minimalist pieces! It is about having clothings that are diverse in style, practical for the weather, original and of course is attuned with your gut instincts.

Monochromatic wardrobe (Photo courtesy of

Never Sacrifice Comfort

That being said, you need to feel comfortable in whatever you wear. If you want to include some iconic trends to your capsule wardrobe, Penny encourages you to be adventurous! Guys, you might want to add a gladiator sandals. As Penny mentions, “They're comfy, very cool, stylish and great for our tropical climate.”

Faux Leather Buckled Sandals

Ladies, you would need skinny strap shoes. “These styles never go out of fashion and are versatile for any wardrobe. You can dress them up for dinner or dress them down for a casual coffee catch up with the girls”.

Project Social T White T-shirt

What You Wear Depends On...

Interestingly, Penny focuses a lot on footwear when it comes to adding it to the capsule wardrobe. When probed further she reveals that the weather influences her outfits decisions of the day! She is definitely one practical individual. “It depends on what piece I feel inspired or the mood of that day. It could be the outfit, the accessories or the shoes. For example, it rained like cats and dogs yesterday so it was definitely a boots day and I'll pair up my look according to that with a pair of ripped jeans, a casual t-shirt, a light jacket and a handful of rock and roll jewelry.”

The Building Blocks of a Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe should be stocked with apparel and items that work for you. It should reflect your personality as well. For Penny, it would say ‘Smart Casual, no fuss, eclectic’. If you intend on making your very own capsule wardrobe, Penny’s expert opinion is that one should “invest in a quality cashmere pashmina and good accessories are a great investment to easily spruce up your outfits, e.g. jewelry, bags, shoes”. 

3 Easy Steps to Build a Capsule Wardrobe (Photo courtesy of

Penny's Wisdom

A parting advice from Penny is to stay away from crazy loud prints. Not sure what they are? Leopard Prints is a major mistake that many of us make. “Leopard prints come and go. When it goes, it becomes forgotten in the wardrobe until the next cycle which could be years from now.”

How would your capsule wardrobe look like? What are some pieces you love? Share them in the comments below!

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