The Financial Times's Robert Armstrong wrote a piece ahead of King Charles's coronation about the King's majestic dress sense. While Robert's article is not a piece on how to curate a more sustainable wardrobe — it could be. It's full of advice and pictures on how to curate a long-lived wardrobe without ever advising one to look for a single adjective or certification.
Here are a few excerpts from the FT article on King Charles's style and how you can apply these lessons to curating a long-lived wardrobe.
Fit is everything.
"Charles’s clothes always fit very well. When he was young and lean, this would have been relatively easy to achieve, but it remains equally true today. Even his skiing and shooting kits are fitted, and, on tours of tropical nations, his safari shirts have shown attention to proportions."
- Proportion is the unsung linchpin of sustainable style and is non-existent in much of fashion today.
- If you follow me on social media, I have been talking a lot about proportion as it relates to sustainable design given the oversized blazer trend (one that burned me and my wallet out of college). Today's trends are tomorrow's waste.
- This article doesn't say it explicitly, but that's the message and chronicles the King's style through the years with photographic evidence. Photos from the 1970s and 1980s look relevant and not the least bit retro.
- He could wear anything in these photos from any point in time today and still look well dressed — in style and never dated.
- Proportion is alongside quality construction and fabrics when it comes to shopping sustainably.
- Timeless style is proportional style is sustainable style.
- Many of the quiet luxury styles promoted as timeless will look dated when fashion rallies around a new trend to signify stealth wealth.
Have a look at this series of photos from Charles and Diana's engagement. Diana's look is hopelessly 1980s — the fit of her skirt was in style at the time, but oversized and dowdy in retrospect; while the fit of Charles' suit could be from any point in history.
"If there is a lesson to be learnt from the King’s clothes, it is to choose wool, leather and silk, care for your things, and wear them forever."
- Senza Tempo uses only wool, cotton, and silk. We have one small 3-piece capsule in deadstock micromodal.
- You can find research on our site on how wool and silk are the most durable fabrics.
- We regularly post about care on social media and you can find a summary of our top tips on our CARE PAGE.
- Caring for your clothing is about embracing repair. Check out our upcycling book for ideas on how to prolong the life of each garment through repair and reinvention.
Mix It Up With Accessories
"He also likes wearing a flower in his lapel, a decorative tradition that needs reviving."
- Instead of buying new outfits and buying into every trend, create variety through your accessories.
- A colorful or printed shoe. Scarves and a variety of jewelry styles can help you overcome any sartorial boredom without investing in an entirely new wardrobe.
- I have chunky necklaces, pearls of all shapes, colors and strand lengths, dainty precious jewelry and everything in between. I collect styles that speak to me and they all come back in style or fit a certain mood.
- Accessories (other than shoes!) also tend to take up less closet space, so it's a great option for those with limited closet space.
Sustainability is About Use
"By far the best feature of the King’s clothes, though, is that he just keeps on wearing them."
Isn't that the most sustainable thing any of us can do?