Life in the Time of COVID
By: Maria Casey
When you’re trying to cultivate a capsule wardrobe, likely your desire for owning a few well-made staple items will be challenged by an internal little voice. The one that always seems to come up with a reason why you need to purchase more.
This time, the little voice will warn you about becoming an outfit repeater. The deadly sin. The atrocity. One must not, one must never.
Fortunately, you can have your capsule wardrobe, while simultaneously avoiding the dreaded offense. It all comes down to owning a few strategically chosen convertible and multipurpose pieces. These will allow you to effectively trick the world.
Convertible items are a mainstay for the pared-down dressers among us. They are the transformers of the fashion world, often the product of well-thought-out research and design teams. And before you even take material and production into account, and it’s worth noting that convertible items are already more sustainable than non-convertibles. This is because it requires fewer resources to make one item than two (math!) while occupying the resources and environmental footprint of one.
Added to the sustainability factor is these pieces flexibility. The slippage between work and home, business and leisure is a fact of-the-times. So in many ways, the multifunctional item speaks to the need for quick costume changes, several times a day.
So what are some of the hardest working multi-functional and convertible pieces out there? We’ve rounded up a few unique pieces and smart styling ideas here.
Sometimes in order for something to be multi-wear, it has to optically behave like two items. A reversible feature is one sneaky backdoor way into turning a single into a double. The Reversible Spinster Bodysuit by We are HAH is a super sexy example of this. Worn one way, it’s a scanty front lace corset but worn another way, suddenly you have way more coverage, and you can wear tucked into jeans with a sweet little cardi over the top.
Buying leather is a choice that some of us make, but it should always be done mindfully, and with an eye to minimizing animal product consumption. One obvious way to do this is to opt for long-lasting and multi-purpose leather items. Cue the Tribe Alive Convertible Backpack. It works as a daytime cross-body shopper or a carry-on travel backpack, with an understated design that can play nice with pretty much any outfit. Plus the brand works to employ female artisans (in Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, India, and the United States) at fair trade wages.
Here’s a little secret: any given maxi skirt, especially if it has a super relaxed elastic waist, can turn into a variety of other summer looks. The most obvious example is to transform it into a strapless mini-dress or tunic. We love this vintage micro floral midi from our curated Buho vintage selection.
Right now we’re really digging undergarments that can’t quite be categorized. Sweet little nothings that can work as high support bras. What’s more, a crop bra tank is the perfect staple for layering under barely there sheer tunics and blouses, or otherwise drop-back or deep V-neck numbers when you want a little bit more coverage. This Ivory Organic Cotton Crop Bra is a favorite right now. A bonus is it’s designed in LA with low-impact textiles.
Channel Stevie Nicks in the Stevie Kimono in Charcoal by MATE in this swingy kimono. It easily goes from loungewear to outerwear in a snap. MATE's ethos is guided by sustainability and ethical practices. Think of their garments as skincare for your closet. As consumers we all understand the importance of organic foods and clean beauty products but what about the clothing we wear every day? MATE has committed to using natural GOTS certified organic fabrics, like this kimono made of 100% linen. Things like pesticides, endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens are rampant in the industry and MATE offers the cleanest product possible.
This gauze wrap is made from the softest, dreamiest organic cotton double gauze. Its cloud-like weight and stretchable nature make it a daily favorite. Use it to wrap babies in soft cocoons, or as a lightweight towel, scarf, or nursing cover. Willaby, an Athens GA based design studio leads with a heart forward spirit and was formed in 2014 after the birth of founder Kim's son. They make modern, classic bedding and children’s goods from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton gauze. Willaby’s collection is ethically sewn in the U.S. by skilled craftspeople.
Jumpsuits are the easiest thing to throw on for an all in one outfit. This Lacausa Linen Santi Jumpsuit can be styled in a multitude of ways for any mood and occasion. This loose fit one-piece features a daring v-neck and pockets. It can be worn as is for a flowy casual look, belted to show off your waist, or layered with a tee, sweater or blouse! Lacausa supports its community through local production. Their offices are in the same factory where their patterns are made and samples are sewn. They partner with organizations and charities to create awareness, voice support, and donate in hopes of providing resources for causes their team cares about.
Stock up! With multi-purpose and convertible statement pieces and basics, your wardrobe will look deceivingly small while still managing to feel expansively varied – no outfit repeating necessary.
Keep up with us here for more product roundups!