Mindful. That’s not a word that often pops into people’s minds when it comes to their clothing, but it should be, and Encircled is working to make that a reality.
Born in Canada, Encircled is the brainchild of Kristi Soomer who dreamt up the brand in her kitchen after jetsetting over 100,000 miles per year. She needed a travel friendly wardrobe that could transition between day and night while still fitting in a carry-on. Encircled was founded with the goal of achieving a chic capsule wardrobe that women not only feel good wearing but that supports the people creating the clothes as well as maintaining a carbon neutral footprint. All of their clothing is made in Toronto, meaning there are strict labor laws in place to protect their staff. They also try to source the bulk of their production materials from small, family owned Canadian businesses (i.e. buttons, zippers, etc.).
Encircled uses three types of material in their fabrics: bamboo, modal, and tencel. These fabrics are chosen not only for their comfortable wear, but their reduced environmental impact to grow. Modal for instance needs much less water to grow than cotton, but has a much higher yield. They also are wrinkle resistant materials (back to being travel friendly!) and are breathable.
Beyond caring for the people who make the clothing and the local community that the textiles are sourced from, they also believe in minimizing their environmental impact. Fabric scraps are used in smaller items like headbands and hair ties rather than ending up in a landfill. They use wind power and 100% green energy to power their office, as well as using non-toxic products in said office. When you purchase from Encircled, you are supporting an entire chain of people as well as minimizing wasteful and harmful practices. Sustainability is always en vogue.
A classic staple in any woman’s wardrobe is a soft black top. With the Evolve Top, you get eight tops in one! It’s literally the softest shirt I’ve ever owned: it’s made from modal and ultra luxe modal with 5% spandex added for just a touch of stretchiness. There are two reversible necklines, a boat neck which is high and nearly straight across, and a cowl neck which drapes into a semi ‘v’ shape. It also has snaps by the necks opening and on the inside of the sleeves to change the shoulder shapes. It can be a dolman top, cap sleeve, or tank style. You can also mix and match sleeves creating a one shoulder appearance by letting out the dolman on one side and making a tank sleeve on the other. This shirt is easy to dress up or down with cardigans and blazers making it perfect for a wide variety of occasions. Also the fabric is so soft and forgiving; it doesn’t really wrinkle, making it perfect for travel.
Shown below with cap sleeves + cowl neck and boatneck. The draping on the cowl is perfect for showing off a statement necklace. Wearing the sleeves like this also works best for under jackets and sweaters as they lay the flattest.
Below I have it in the sleeveless form, which I absolutely love! Simply wrap the extra fabric inward and snap once it’s rolled around itself. Just like the cap sleeve, you can wear this with either neckline. I love wearing it with a boatneck because it shows off your back more – perfect for shorter hair or wearing your hair up to show off the draping!
This shirt is perfect under a blazer. While this would be the beautiful for office attire, I opted for a more rock inspired look by pairing it with some smudgy eye makeup and a natural stone necklace.
The Chrysalis Cardi is such a unique piece. Like the Evolve top, it can also be worn 8 different ways: a cocoon cardigan, a one shouldered dress, a grecian dress, a wrap dress, a cape, a cross back shirt, a scarf, and a wrap. The garment itself is essentially a square tube with two snaps on one opening and four on the other. To create all of the different styles, you simply snap different pieces together. The Cardi comes with a small booklet detailing how to create the various styles. Some of the styles are easier to achieve than others – for instance, the scarf is one of the easiest as you simply drape it around your neck. The X back halter is perhaps the most difficult as it involves crossing the fabric behind your back and re-looping it over your head and around your midsection. With a little practice, all of the styles are simple and quick to achieve. This might be the ultimate capsule wardrobe garment since it can be an accessory, a variety of dresses, and multiple tops. No matter how it’s worn, the fabric drapes beautifully. It also comes with a small sash which pairs with the dress styles to add more shape around the waist.
Pictured below as both a short and long scarf: this would be a great way to wear it while traveling to save space in a suit case, also allowing for access to wear it on the plane as a cape in case it’s chilly.
Another quick way to wear it is as a cardigan! This is perfect for cool days without being overly warm. Simply connect one snap from the top end of one side and the bottom of the other. Super easy.
The next style is the most complicated to achieve in my eyes (but oh so cute!): the x-back halter. I love how conservative it looks from the front, and then you turn and BAM, a tasteful peekaboo of skin! Obviously this could be worn with something underneath it as well, but I love the overall effect. This would be super cute with a high-back lacy bralette, too!
Cozy and simple to achieve: the cape. Snap the side with two snaps together, slip your head through one of the holes, and snap the four bottom snaps creating a hole around your waist and one for each arm to go through. Also, as an added bonus for all my breastfeeding mommas reading – this Chrysalis Cardi is your new best friend! The snaps make accessibility a breeze, as well as minimizing exposure. The cape is a great option for this, as well as some of the dresses.
Even easier than the cape, is the wrap! Literally no snaps are done for this, simply drape forward over your shoulders creating slack in the front, and wrap the excess fabric over one shoulder.
Ah, the Grecian Tunic, how I love thee! This is the easiest of the dress styles to achieve; you just snap two sets of snaps together, drape over your shoulder and belt. I am a huge fan of this style and wear it often. Don’t know what to put on but still want to feel cute? Grecian tunic. Have a casual dinner out with friends? Grecian tunic. Date night? Grecian tunic…with pumps. You get the idea. This is the dress that’s always a good idea.
The wrap dress: this style challenged me a little more, simply because I’m a little busty, so I had to adjust the fabric accordingly. However the actual styling is simple. On the side with four snaps, you snap the two that are across from each other and drape over one shoulder. Taking the excess fabric behind your back, you pull it up across the opposite shoulder and snap. (The little pictorial book is immensely helpful for understanding!) The cross lays on your back and then you adjust the fabric in the front to create the wrap.
The final style is the one shoulder dress. This is a simple style to create: snap together two of the snaps on the side with 4 snaps and drape over your shoulder and let the excess drape down behind your back, then snap the remaining two snaps behind your back and adjust fabric/belt as needed. This is a gorgeous style for a cocktail party or even a wedding!
If you’re looking for pieces to build a capsule wardrobe, I highly recommend Encircled! They are so eco-friendly and treat their employees ethically. This is a company you can feel really good about supporting from a human and environmental standpoint.