Anna Cascarina On Her New Book, The Forever Wardrobe

By Charlie Colville

4 weeks ago

Get to know the fashion expert and author

Ahead of the launch of her new book, The Forever Wardrobe, we caught up with fashion editor, author and stylist Anna Cascarina to talk capsule wardrobes, sustainable fashion and how to live a life in balance.

Author Spotlight: Anna Cascarina

Hi Anna, how’s life going right now?

Hello. Thank you for asking. I’m very busy but life is good. My book, The Forever Wardrobe, is launching on 23 May and has made life a bit hectic, but it’s been so exciting.

For those who don’t know you, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Yes, of course. I’m Anna and I am a fashion editor, stylist, content creator and author. I have worked in the fashion industry for over 25 years, both as a stylist for editorial magazines and creative director for brands. I ran my own magazine for five years and now create content for my own Instagram and run my Substack, The Fashion Journal, which is a newsletter all about fashion and style.

You’re about to release your new book, The Forever Wardrobe. What is it about – and what led you to write it?

The Forever Wardrobe is a book to help you create a wardrobe full of pieces that you love, whatever your style. The book takes you through a journey of finding your style, what you need to create a capsule wardrobe, sustainability, proportions, style rules to live by as well as ignore, preloved fashion and so much more.

I have had so many DM’s and comments over the years from women who are not only confused by the huge amount of information out there, but also tired of buying into trends and styles that then lay unworn in their wardrobes. This is not only a waste of money, but also terrible for the environment. I wanted to write a book that helps women cut through the noise so that they can build a cohesive wardrobe based on what suits them so that getting dressed is so much easier.

Why do you think we find it hard to make decisions when it comes to picking outfits from our wardrobe?

I truly believe it’s because we all have too much stuff. Social media makes it very tempting to buy into something because all the ‘influencers’ are wearing it. But often, these items don’t suit us and inevitably we don’t have the right things to style with them, so it’s like a never ending cycle of buying and not wearing. This results in a packed closet full of pieces that we don’t wear and even though we have a wardrobe full of clothes, we tend to grab the same thing over and over again.

Let’s talk capsule wardrobes – what are they exactly? And why do you think we should have one?

A capsule wardrobe is sometimes mistakenly thought of as a minimal wardrobe full of neutral pieces. But it doesn’t have to be like that. A capsule wardrobe is different for everyone and is a collection of items that you repeat wear, can be mixed and matched and work for your lifestyle. This can be full of print, colour or a minimal aesthetic, but it also includes your core basics that bring everything together.

What are the perks of a capsule wardrobe?

Having a capsule wardrobe is so beneficial. Imagine waking up each day knowing that you have multiple outfit options that you love and that suit your style personality. It saves you time and money and instead of opening your wardrobe to chaos, you can see everything clearly. Whether you’re a maximalist or a minimalist, a capsule wardrobe is for you. It’s just about fine tuning what you wear and how you wear it.

What about the sustainability benefits?

The sustainability benefits are endless. Fast fashion over the last ten years has grown frightening amounts and we all have a responsibility to curb our buying habits. Having a capsule wardrobe will help you hone down on your own personal style so that you know what to wear and what you need for your own lifestyle. You end up buying less, but buying better and investing in items that last, rather than cheap throw away items.

I find that the more we have, the less we wear, as things get stuffed to the back of the wardrobe and forgotten about or taken to the charity shop within a few months. Landfill sites around the world are bursting at the seams and with up to 150 billion garments made every year (with a lot of this never being sold), so something needs to change. By investing in forever pieces that we love and repeat wear again and again, we can reduce the impact we all individually have on our precious planet and on communities around the world.

Can you tell us what your top three tips for constructing a capsule wardrobe are?

  1. Know your style: If you’re unsure of what your style is, then knowing what to wear can be really confusing. In my book I show you how to create your very own ‘Fashion Manifesto’ which is a three step approach to help you build a paragraph that describes your style using six key words.
  2. Create three piles: Spend some time getting everything out of your wardrobe and putting it into three piles – keep, donate and sell. Do it one section at a time so you are left with items you genuinely wear.
  3. Condense your ‘repeat buys’: These are any items you buy again and again but only actually wear a few of. It might be 10 black blazers or 15 stripy tees. Reduce these down to two or three and keep them only if they have a point of difference, so perhaps a different shape or colourway.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given when it comes to organising your wardrobe?

Digitise your wardrobe. There are apps out there like Indyx and Whering that help you organise your wardrobe digitally. You just take photos of everything you own and add it to the app so that you have a log of everything you own. You can search, filter and style up outfits from the palm of your hand. It’s a game changer.

What would you like readers to take away from The Forever Wardrobe?

I’d love readers to know what their style is and feel more confident in getting dressed each day. I want women to feel empowered and less stressed when it comes to how their wardrobe looks. The Forever Wardrobe will bring an end to late night shopping sprees and panic buying; it will help you focus on a streamlined wardrobe full of items that look amazing on you.

How do you live a life in balance?

As a freelancer, I often find this difficult as work can easily creep into the evenings and weekends. I work from home, but I try to pack up by 7pm so that the evenings are free. Spending time with my family and friends is so important to me, and even a simple dog walk with friends can help to lift the cobwebs and give me a refresh. I like nothing better than a meal out with good company and laughter as well as sitting in my comfies on the sofa watching a good boxset. Balance to me is carving out a life that I love both within the work sphere and at home.

Is there anything else we can expect to see from you in 2024? (That you can tell us about!)

Currently, I’m working on my Substack to make it a really helpful newsletter all about fashion and style. Come over and join my amazing community of lovely subscribers.

Any parting words for our readers?

Remember, every style is different. What a boring place it would be if everyone looked the same. Don’t get sucked into what everyone is wearing on social media, stay true to your own style and dare to stand out from the masses. Having a forever wardrobe does not mean looking the same as everyone else. It can be completely different from one person to the next. Be bold, be brave and have the confidence to wear what brings you the most joy.

The Forever Wardrobe by Anna Cascarina

The Forever Wardrobe: Find your style. Transform your clothes. Save time and money. by Anna Cascarina will be published by Bloomsbury on 23 May 2024 (£12.99, hardback).