Building a capsule wardrobe: The necessities


Ella Shen

A wardrobe filled with versatile, timeless pieces that will last multiple fashion cycles.

Fast fashion is defined by three characteristics: trendy, cheap and disposable. Thanks to the rise of influencer culture, there has been substantial growth in consumers’ appetite for “trendy” pieces as seen on their favorite media star. If that alone wasn’t enough to convince teens to indulge in fast fashion trends, it’s also easily accessible due to its unbeatable prices, motivating consumers to purchase more clothing pieces than they need. For example, Shein, the largest fast-fashion retailer in the U.S., offers clearance starting from less than a dollar. The consequences of our mindless purchasing patterns include but are not limited to: the depletion of non-renewable resources, increased textile waste, tons of carbon emissions and global wastewater. In light of recent overconsumption videos of fast fashion going viral on multiple social media platforms, here is a compiled list of timeless clothing pieces and accessories that will last you multiple fashion cycles. Look for these closet staples next time you go shopping! 

Note: In no way is this a definitive list; there are countless pieces that could be considered “timeless” depending on personal tastes. Take all recommendations with a grain of salt, and remember that you are the best judge of your own style. 


1. Denim

Denim is and will always be a closet staple. Whether it’s a pair of denim jeans, a jacket, or even a denim dress, it will always be a versatile piece to wear no matter the current trend. The most popular form of denim, however, has to be a classic pair of jeans. Sarisha Sabhlok, vice president of the DVHS Fashion Club, says, “Jeans have made it through every single trend that I’ve seen. All types of jeans, even skinny jeans, are never out of style.” 

How to style it: Sabhlok describes her outfit, a “white long-sleeve top layered under a medium-wash, denim tiered minidress,” something that has been worn through multiple fashion cycles. 

It’s important to have signature jewelry pieces that one: reflect your style and two: that you truly love.

— Samantha Asprec

2. Solid-colored tops

Plain tops are often overlooked, especially in current fashion trends where crazy prints and patterns are in style. But when layered under statement pieces, it’s a simple yet cohesive combination. 

How to style it: Sabhlok recommends layering solid-colored tops, such as plain t-shirts under trendy, argyle sweater vests for a more modern look. 


3. Little black dress

“I’ve always wanted to find a perfect little black dress; you can wear them for practically every occasion,” Samantha Asprec, secretary of DVHS Fashion Club, said. The little black dress, better known as “LBD,” is arguably one of the biggest wardrobe essentials. “Especially for this piece, it’s important to find a dress with good material, such as satin, and a silhouette that really fits you,” Asprec emphasizes. 

How to style it: Dress it up with some chunky statement jewelry and a pair of stiletto heels, or keep it casual and warm with some platform boots and an oversized jacket on top. 


4. Chunky platform boots

Platform boots first appeared in the early 1970s disco era, recently circling back after runway designer Alexander McQueen featured platform shoes in his collection, prompting celebrities to wear the same shoes in a street-style manner. 

How to style it: Juan Miguel Ebalo, president of DVHS Fashion Club, would wear “A white puffer jacket over a mocked turtleneck, paired with some baggy blue jeans and white platform boots to complete the look,” explaining that “Chunky boots are just my go-to.” 


5. Statement jewelry 

Accessories such as jewelry are often overlooked when picking out an outfit. Statement pieces of jewelry, in particular, can transform an entire outfit from bland and basic to sophisticated and elegant. 

How to style it: Layer multiple chunky necklaces of different lengths to create a funky, unique look, or wear a single statement necklace for that art deco-inspired look. Remember to choose one accessory as the main focal point and keep other things minimal for a more balanced effect. 

Asprec mentions, “I always have one pair of [dangle and drop] earrings that I wear almost every day, I think it’s important to have signature jewelry pieces that one: reflect your style and two: that you truly love.”