Creating the vegan capsule wardrobe: the perfect 10

Note: the products in the pictures are not necessarily vegan. However, info on where to find the vegan version of each product is provided at the end of each paragraph.

As vegan fashionistas, we know dressing well is doubly important for us: after all, we're on a mission to prove that yes, you can dress cruelty-free without looking like you grabbed the first piece of polyester you could find on some shelf and draped it around yourself. For every compliment we receive for our shoes, every time someone notices that we look good, another message is sent: vegan fashion is fabber than fab. So going that extra mile to leave a lasting stylish impression is worth it! And so is creating the perfect compassionate capsule wardrobe, although that might take some work.

Here are the ten pieces that will get you well on your way:

The cozy (wool-free) cable knit

I am SUCH a fan of cable knits. Frankly, the only thing I dislike about summer is that I can't wear cable knits (okay, that and insects). A good cable knit sweater will look cozy-chic with jeans, over a floaty skirt or under a faux-leather jacket. It's really tricky to find them wool-free...but it can be done, and even on the high street! I'd even go so far as to say especially on the high street, as high-end designers tend to use wool.

They do it well: H&M, ASOS

If anyone knows any eco-friendly wool-free vegan knit brands, let me know!

The wear-them-forever jeans

I don't think I need to preach the virtues of jeans to you guys; you probably own more pairs than I do. And you may ask why I included them, as virtually all jeans are vegan (they're made out of cotton). Not all pairs are created equal: most of the jeans we buy and wear today are no friend of the environment. Click here to find out more about the environmental implications of denim. But all is not lost. We can still sport a denim-clad booty if we just choose wisely. The answer is, as always, research. Find out how your jeans were made and choose a pair that doesn't only make your butt look fantastic but is also kind to the planet.

They do it well: Nudie Jeans (click to find out why!)

The little black/white/green/blue/printed/whatever you want dress

Of course what I really mean is about ten dresses, but having just one that works from summer to winter is a brilliant idea. And who said it has to be black? I'm going to have to disagree with Coco Chanel on this one. I may have five LBDs, but I'm all for other shades. Go for white, a rich burgundy, a military green or a cobalt blue for year-round lasting power. If you're brave, choose a print! Many high-street chains and many online eco fashion retailers carry silk-free options that are, in many cases, also planet-friendly. Another hot tip is to check out markets - here in London we can choose from tons of pretty styles in places like Spitalfields and Camden.

They do it well: Modavanti, People Tree

The killer heels...without killing anyone

These right here are the heels featured in my blog header! However, they are Christian Louboutin and absolutely not vegan. Nevertheless, a good pair of heels is beyond necessary for any wardrobe...and us compassionistas are spoiled for choice as so many designers and fashion chains out there do vegan footwear these days - if you can afford to go a bit higher price-wise, many are also eco-friendly. Choose a heel that will give you a lift - but that you can still walk in. Wobbly is not a good look!

They do it well: OlsenHaus, Stella McCartney, Beyond Skin

The dreamy, floaty, perfect pleated skirt

I am typing this wearing my very own pleated midi (post coming up!) - I love it, but managing to find a silk-free one was not a piece of cake. Have a look around vintage shops and online - once you've found and fallen in love with yours, the pleated skirt will become a true staple in your closet.

They do it well: ASOS, Topshop, Mango, Miss Selfridge

The carry-it-everywhere bag

Oh, if only Balenciaga did a vegan bag! Just one. Not because I could ever afford it, but still.
A good handbag is everything - a trustworthy, quality bag will last you a lifetime, even if it's not leather. I have several leather-free bags that have stood the test of time. How to put it to the test? Try carrying your entire world around in there for a day and see how it fares. 

They do it well: Jill Milan, Urban Expressions, Stella McCartney, Matt and Nat, Freedom of Animals

The non-leather jacket

The coming AW season, I will have a very specific goal: to locate the perfect vegan biker jacket. And if you don't already have one, I suggest you join me in this quest (we can tweet about our progress, what do you say?). A biker jacket will look fantastic with a dress, skinny jeans and pretty much any pair of shoes. And most importantly, you'll use it from October to April (or, in some unfortunate climates, even May). Now, that's value for your money. Look out for quality faux, though - you don't want unsightly rips in your eco-biker come November.

They do it well: Miss Selfridge (I've been told), H&M, Free People

The chic trainers

Oh, the boho-casual wonderfulness of trainers with a summer dress. There's nothing that says, "I'm stylish and I don't even have to try" like a pair of beat-up old Converse with a flirty little dress. I'm not talking about pairing your runner shoes with your lace dress, but take that same dress and add the right trainers: voilá, wow-effect. The same pair can be worn with your skinny jeans, your maxi skirt and, for a cozy autumn look, your cable-knit sweater.

They do it well: Converse (duh), Superga

The Devil Wears Prada-worthy coat

Now, this is truly a tricky one. According to my own strictly non-scientific research, nine out of ten coats out there have wool in them. And those that don't are usually either bulky or in some outlandish colour. You need to truly trawl every shop, on and offline, to find The One. I'm sorry, there's no sugarcoating this one. But when you do find it, it will be truly worth it: the right coat keeps you warm and stylish all winter.

They do it well: Zara (although may be better to avoid for environmental reasons, however, I do have an old vegan Zara coat that is probably the best thing I ever bought) and Vaute Couture, who specialize in amazing vegan winterwear.

The must-have biker boots

I could never live without my biker boots. They're my number one staple and the day that they will abandon me, I'll rush out and buy a new pair immediately. Biker boots are a true style staple and contrary to popular belief, they look good on anyone. Okay, maybe not my mum, but anyone else. They bring your outfit that extra touch of edge, even if you're just wearing jeans and a white t-shirt. Especially then.

They do it well: New Look, MooShoes, Fashion-Conscience.com

What are your staples and where do you buy them?

Pictures from Pinterest and They All Hate Us

1 comment:

  1. I love jumpers too! In fact I find it easier to dress in the winter than the summer! I found wool-free coats in Primark, and I find most high-street shoes and bags are usually faux-leather xx


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