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Outfit Repeating High-Quality Staples

How I began my outfit repeating journey and built a sustainable capsule wardrobe.
August 11, 2022
By Lauren Reitzel

How And Why I Moved Away From Fast Fashion

In this series, I’ll take the 1-Week Challenge and show how you can turn the clothes you already own and love into expressive styles and repeat outfits.

By the end, I hope to emphasize the importance and creative potential of outfit repeating and demonstrate the multifaceted nature of simple, durable pieces such as the Oliver Charles sweater.

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Born at the end of the 21st century, I’m what’s being called a “Zillenial,” a Millenial-GenZ cusper. For people in my shoes, you’ll know the problem with the ever-changing microtrends of these generations seeping into our closets. I’m constantly grasped by the pressure to keep up with fast-changing trends.

For most of my life, I haven’t felt fashion freedom. Instead, I’ve been trapped in a cycle of constantly buying fast fashion.

I didn’t realize how unethical and unsustainable companies such as Shein and Zara are. These companies change trend cycles seemingly overnight, and I always felt compelled to keep up with them.

I’m used to seeing all my friends perform "Shein hauls" each week. We’d come back to our rooms full of items we'd wear once rather than investing in timeless quality staples.

I’ve spent years collecting trends and maintaining a closet full of fast fashion. But I’m putting a stop to it. I’ve realized that these items mentally discarded as “out of fashion” can actually be the perfect tool for my outfit repeating journey. Let me show you why…

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Simple Wardrobe Made Of Quality Basics

Establishing my basics was my first step in moving away from fast fashion. I think of these basics as my “style building blocks.” 

When searching for style building blocks, I look for sustainable, timeless items that allow me to build outfits I love.

My new summer sweater is the perfect building block; not only is SeaCell one of the world’s most sustainable materials, but it’s also classic and easy to style in endless ways.

I put together this blog to show how I’ve been expressing myself while owning less and buying better

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Capsule Wardrobe Made Of What I Already Own

It’s easier said than done making the switch away from fast fashion. If you’re like me, you’ve spent most of your life buying clothes with a quantity-over-quality mindset.

In an ideal world, I’d start from scratch and build a capsule wardrobe with only high-quality clothes, which I’d wear all the time.

In reality, my closet is already packed with clothes, many of which I’ve only worn a few times.

It’s a little impractical to part with my current wardrobe and start from scratch. So, instead, I’m going to show you how I revived some of my favorite pieces from years past and combined them with higher-quality staples to create a capsule wardrobe without starting from scratch.

OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

3 Pillars For Building A Capsule Wardrobe

Using a framework helped me to shop and style sustainability and authentically. Here's my 3 pillar framework for building a capsule wardrobe! 

  • Know what you like: Consider your style and day-to-day preferences when investing in staples for your capsule wardrobe. Think about the clothes you already own and wear all the time.

    Will you want to wear this new piece with at least 3/4ths of your closet? You’ll want to make sure the piece doesn’t only enhance your existing wardrobe but also fits your lifestyle.

    If you can only think of a handful of times you’d wear the item, consider looking for something more versatile.

    With my Oliver Charles SeaCell summer sweater, I can create endless outfits that can fit any occasion I need, whether a night out in Chicago or a laid-back bonfire with my friends.
  • Find durable and timeless pieces: Once you know what you like, you can find a staple item that holds up for all of your life. Unlike clothes from fast fashion companies, high-quality staples cost more. So expect more from these items as they should be durable, versatile, and high utility.

    For instance, Oliver Charles's all-season yak wool sweaters last a lifetime and perform exceptionally well.
  • Research, research, research: Moving away from fast fashion requires diligence. Start your research with questions about durability, like how long will it last? Can I machine wash it? Will it retain shape and quality?

    Then research the utility of the item. Ask yourself, will the materials keep me warm? Is it breathable? Is it antimicrobial, AKA will we smell?

    Next, and far more personal, consider if you’ll feel good wearing it. Finally, finish your research with the brand. Only invest in items that align with your needs and values.
OLIVER CHARLES - Blog #Repeat - Style, Sustainability, Unique Innovative Materials, Sizing, Enclothed Cognition

Simplify Your Style With A Personal Uniform

Rather than continuing to shop for new items that are not ethically or sustainably made, I'm committed to a zero waste capsule wardrobe made of clothes I already own/love and quality staples.

Having a least one top and bottom that I can wear with anything all the time is helpful. My Oliver Charles sweater and denim shorts check that box.

With these two classic pieces, I still feel I’m keeping up with what's "in trend" while remaining committed to sustainability.

Lauren Reitzel has a passion for fashion. She oftentimes find herself with the internal struggle of wanting to keep up with the ever changing trend cycle, but at the same time, finding a way to make strides towards a sustainable closet. 

If you believe that every good wardrobe starts with owning less and owning better, consider buying yourself an OLIVER CHARLES sweater.
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