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Creating a Capsule Wardrobe with COS

At this point, you know to avoid heavily trendy pieces and fast fashion. They’ll last just a few seasons at most, start showing wear sooner, and have a shorter lifespan that relegates them to the back of your closet or, worse, a landfill. Developing a capsule wardrobe has become a logical solution. You cultivate the core portion of what you wear – something that holds up through multiple years and seasons while still looking fresh and never feeling dated. What you select should suit the work environment – these days, usually leaning more smart casual – and integrate seamlessly with strictly casual fare. From here, you can expand creatively or stick to the basics without ever asking yourself, “What should I wear?” because nothing you own looks quite right. COS has built its brand upon this principle – providing well-crafted basics designed to compose the core of your wardrobe. This concept works both stylistically and construction wise: Trousers, T-shirts, and other building blocks remain sharp season after season. The brand takes an increasingly circular approach to reduce its footprint and uses sustainable sources for over 90 percent of its materials. If you’re migrating away from prioritizing trends, get started with the following tips and recommendations:

Start with Neutral Hues 

What defines suiting applies to the rest of your wardrobe: When in doubt, reach for navy, charcoal, or grey, and pair it with something white or off-white. Those flashier shades – pink, orange, and red, as of recent – tend to have a limited lifespan based on the cycle of a trend and, as such, make a shakier foundation. That’s not to say they don’t belong in your wardrobe. Instead, ground them with something more adaptable. COS’s Regular-Fit Tapered Chinos fit this description. A tapered – rather than fully relaxed or slim – fit delivers the greatest degree of versatility you’ll find around. It’s a quintessential work garment, they still give a bit of a ‘90s vibe, and the construction in conjunction with a navy hue feels timeless. These add a modestly pleated front and a touch of spandex for more flexibility.

Understand the Power of a Simple White T-Shirt 

T-shirts transitioned from undergarment to edgy, somewhat youthful casual staple in the 1950s, and have remained in that spot for over 70 years. Today, T-shirts – preferably a regular fit in solid white – serve multiple roles in your wardrobe. Come spring and into summer, they’re a casual staple ready to be worn with lighter-weight trousers or shorts. By autumn, they’re a transitional foundation that can be worn under an overshirt, flannel, or fleece and add warmth below your button-front or sweater. For the office, they’re a less-obvious way to add a layer when you’re contending with air conditioning that never shuts off. If you’ve gotten away with undershirts until now, consider COS’s Regular-Fit T-Shirts – also available in a three pack – with a classic crewneck and 100-percent organic cotton grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. 

Focus on Regular and Classic Fits 

You see the Fashion Week presentations and what ends up in stores. Menswear, perhaps now more than ever, delivers an expansive range of fits. On one end, there’s flowing and oversized – intentionally designed to seem shapeless in a relaxing, effortless sense. Then, skinny and ultra-skinny remain for both shirts and denim. As you think long term, you’re advised to head for the middle. Not blandness in a middle-of-the-road sense but for fits that maximize versatility. For trousers, COS’s Regular-Fit Tapered Trousers in black hit that midpoint with just a bit more space yet still feature a defined shape, and are made with a mix of organic cotton and sustainable TENCEL™ lyocell.

Know What Feels Comfortable and Works with Your Shape 

Continuing on the topic of fits, understand what flatters your body to begin adding a degree of variety to your wardrobe. Generally, if you’re at least average height and on the slim side, you can wear pretty much anything. If you run shorter or have a boxier torso, look for garments that add lines and definition. Select prints and patterns then help add length. If you’re seeking out something with a narrower cut that doesn’t scream of the moment, COS’s Slim-Fit Mock-Neck T-Shirt stands out on its own or as a layer underneath a button-front. The Oversized Fit T-Shirt, meanwhile, creates a draped effect with a wider form, straight hem, and dropped shoulders. 

Prioritise Smart Casual 

Today, we increasingly veer away from business dress, and business casual conveys, whether intentionally or not, a corporate image of still dressing up while being allowed to wear khakis and a polo to the office. Smart casual has gradually been replacing its business casual predecessor. For your wardrobe, this translates to having dark denim on hand, slim to classic-fitting chinos, and a mix of button-downs and knits that don’t read overtly formal. COS’s Regular-Fit Turn-Up Trousers suit this definition without appearing too predictable, thanks to pleats in front, a wider fit with some definition, and a cuffed hem that sits above the ankle.

Have a Few Dedicated Casual Pieces You know it’s not all business, all the time. Yet, you’re not looking to live in chino or basketball shorts and T-shirts once the weekend rolls around. For transitional weather, consider the Oversized-Fit Sweat T-Shirt to fill this void. Details merge elements of both a classic crewneck tee with a sweatshirt, while more substantial material gives it a heftier feel and more shape.

Ivan Yaskey

Philadelphia’s streetwear scenes and working as a copywriter for a Boston-based menswear brand sparked Ivan's passion for fashion and style more than a decade ago.



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