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What it’s really like to wear a capsule wardrobe every single day

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I’ve worn Aday’s wrap dress every day this week, but you wouldn’t know it. The highly anticipated dress—which sold out in two weeks—was carefully designed to be reconfigured in at least three ways, creating slightly different looks. One day, I wore it as an A-line swing dress, and the next, as a pinafore over a T-shirt. Then, with the addition of an adjustable belt to emphasize the waist, it became a more tailored, body-hugging dress.

“We wanted to create something that our customer would feel was fresh even if she wore it every single day,” says Nina Faulhaber, Aday’s cofounder. “This would be perfect for packing light on a trip—but many of our customers just want to own fewer clothes, and versatile clothing helps them accomplish this.”

There’s growing awareness amongst consumers that fast fashion is swiftly destroying the planet, sending greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, toxic chemicals into the waterways, and non-biodegradable synthetic fibers into landfills. Much of this waste is a result of the overproduction, and overconsumption, of clothing. In 2015, for instance, the industry churned out 100 billion pieces of clothing, even though there are only 7 billion people on the planet. Consumers have been conditioned to treat clothes as disposable, with most of us wearing garments between seven and 10 times before throwing them out.

Yet there’s still hope that things are changing, as brands respond to a growing number of consumers looking for a better way to deal with their closets. This involves creating clothes with classic, timeless silhouettes that can be worn in many contexts. But it also means creating some pieces that can morph with a few tweaks to create outfits that look different.

I tested outfits from Aday, Misha Nonoo, and Amour Vert to better understand what goes into designing garments that can be worn in different ways to different effects. I discovered that creating transformable clothes is a complex process, one that involves understanding the customer’s lifestyle and carefully picking fabrics. Here’s a look inside the design process.

Designer Misha Nonoo, for instance, has focused on going against the grain of the luxury fashion industry by encouraging her customers—who are typically well-educated professional women who otherwise shop at high-end brands—to pare down their wardrobes. With her eponymous brand, she wants to unravel the narrative that a luxurious lifestyle involves consuming more and more products, instead making the case that owning a few well-made pieces is both liberating and better for the planet. Unlike many other designers—particularly those in the luxury category—Nonoo does not create seasonal collections, but creates timeless pieces that stay in a permanent collection. She has found that a........

© Fast Company