Back to Basics: An Ethical Capsule Wardrobe (Updated)

fair trade capsule wardrobe -

When it comes to basic wardrobe builders, we're not all going to have exactly the same list. The dress-inclined may need dresses, cropped sweaters, and tights, while the jeans-lover may prefer classic tees and boyfriend cardigans.

That being said, I think most of us can agree that most women want a dozen or so key pieces in their wardrobe to mix and match with the signature items that makes one's style truly personal. I searched through the archives and realized I'd never really offered a concise list of basics, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to provide some options today.

Think of this as an ethical capsule wardrobe that can serve as the jumping-off point to developing your personal style within the ethical marketplace. 

You don't need to hurry to replace the conventional items in your closet that you can still get some wear out of, but when you're ready, I hope this list will be helpful.

List updated 11/9/17

ethical capsule wardrobe -

A note on organization: My top pick for sustainability, endurance, and price point is listed first. I was very careful to select items that are versatile, timeless, and come from reputable brands. I own versions of several of the items listed.

This list contains some affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission when you make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

1. The Tee

American Giant U-Neck Tee, $24.50

Other options:
American Giant V-Neck, $24.50
Everlane U-Neck, $20
Everlane V-Neck, $15-18

2. The Casual LBD

Soul Flower T-shirt Dress, $48

Other options:
Elegantees Cornelia Dress, $49 (on sale)
Everlane Japanese GoWeave High Neck Dress, $78

3. The Jacket

FashionABLE Denim Jacket, $138

Other Options: 4-in-1 Lightweight Jacket, $89
Synergy Anorak Jacket, $154.00

4. The Jeans

FashionABLE The Skinny, $128

Other Options:
Levi's Sliver High Rise Skinny (made with sustainable denim), $198
Everlane Denim

5. The Skirt

People Tree Keira Pencil Skirt, $51.06 (on sale)

Other Options:
Kestan Miro Skirt, $65.00
Encircled Reversible Pencil Skirt ($20 off with DoneGood extension)

6. The Blazer

People Tree Eileen Blazer, $143.56 (on sale)

Other Options:
People Tree Betty Jacket, $99

7. The Comfy Cardigan

Soul Flower Drapey Cardigan, $52

Other Options:
Amour Vert Michaela Softest Cardigan, $88
Fair Indigo Striped Cardigan, $69.90

8. The Sandals

Birkenstock Birko-Flor Sandal, $99.95
(Budget option: Essentials Arizona Slide, $34.95)

Other Options:
Nisolo Ecuador Huarache Sandal, $118

9. The Sneakers

All Birds Wool Runners, $95

Other Options:
VEJA Esplar Velcro Sneaker, $135
Etiko Organic High Tops, $73.09

10. The Versatile Flats

Nisolo Ava Ballerina Flats, $128

Other Options:
Root Collective Gaby, $98
Fortress of Inca Hana Bella, $214
Munro Whitney Mary Jane, $199.95

11. The Boots

Fortress of Inca Cara, $230 (20% off with DoneGood extension)

Other Options:
Eileen Fisher Perry Bootie, $245
Frye Engineer 8R, $267.95

12. The Underwear

PACT Apparel Lace Waist Thong, $22.99
PACT Apparel Lace Waist Brief, $22.99

Other Options:
Boody Hipster Bikini, $9.95
Hanky Panky Low Rise Thong, $20

13. The Leggings

Other Options:

14. The Party Dress

Elegantees Lina Dress, $68

Other Options:
Indigenous Ruched Tie Dress, $128
Bead & Reel Peony Halter Dress, $128

15. The Black Pants

Brass Clothing Ponte Pants, $98

Other Options:
Amour Vert Aziza Pants, $168
MM.LaFleur The Nakamura Pants, $195

16. The Socks

PACT Apparel Shorty Socks, $12.99
PACT Apparel No-See-Um Socks, $12.99

Other Options:
Maggie's Organics Footie Sock, $8.25
Thought Lillian Bamboo Socks. $6.18

17. The Hoodie

Fibre Athletics Everywhere Jacket, $180

Other Options:
American Giant Classic Full Zip, $89

18. The Button Down

Everlane Relaxed Cotton Shirt, $65

Other Options:
Siizu Silk Blouse, $95
United by Blue Rae Button Down, $78


Suggestions or questions? Let me know in the comments.

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