The Fash­ion Quar­terly cap­sule wardrobe chal­lenge:

Fashion Quarterly - - Style -


Empty ev­ery­thing out of your closet and draw­ers so you can sur­vey the spoils and asses each item prop­erly – you’ll likely find things jammed away that you haven’t worn in years!

You will need: A good friend – to keep you hon­est, and a glass of wine – to keep you strong.


It’s easy to get swept into the fan­tasy of fash­ion but a cap­sule wardrobe must be prac­ti­cal. Ex­am­ple: How much time do you re­ally spend traips­ing across fields in whim­si­cal dresses as you’d day­dreamed in the chang­ing room of David Jones? En­sure your maxi dresses are ap­pro­pri­ate for your place of work as well.

Ask your­self: Would I buy this gar­ment if I saw it in a shop to­day? Does it still fit well? Will I wear it in the next three months or so? How of­ten would I wear it in one week? Is it ver­sa­tile enough to wear in a few dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios, from work to the week­end?


Based on your cri­tique, sort your clothes into three cat­e­gories: ‘Love’, ‘Maybe’ and ‘Do­nate’. Don’t panic: Loungewear, ac­tivewear and un­der­wear aren’t in­cluded in the cap­sule wardrobe – you can keep as much of those as you want.

The ‘Love’ pile will form the ba­sis of your cap­sule wardrobe, with some ‘Maybes’ thrown in to make up the rest. This doesn’t mean you have to gift your un­wanted clothes right away. Stor­ing them some­where safe, in case you change your mind, makes it much eas­ier to let go.


To en­sure you’ll be able to mix-and-match your new wardrobe, choose your favoured shades for the main colour groups: The neu­trals: Plain colours that will go with all your other op­tions. The core colours: The com­ple­men­tary tones that al­ways make you look and feel bet­ter. The ac­cent colours: Used to en­liven and brighten out­fits from time-to-time.


By now you should be start­ing to see some pat­terns – do you grav­i­tate to soft, lay­er­able fab­rics or have a pen­chant for vi­brant pat­terns? It’s good to note these nu­ances in case you have a miss­ing piece of your cap­sule wardrobe to fill. Be­cause guess what? You are still al­lowed to go shop­ping.

With im­prac­ti­cal, im­pulse pur­chases put aside, you may find you’re miss­ing a cru­cial item, like a smart blazer, to pull many of your out­fits to­gether. As you’ll be wear­ing the items in your cap­sule wardrobe more than you would those crammed in a full closet, in­vest­ing in high-qual­ity, in­ten­tional pieces is highly rec­om­mended.


Many cap­sule wardrobers swap gar­ments each sea­son to cater to the el­e­ments and in­ject some new­ness. As we live a transea­sonal life­style at Fash­ion Quar­terly (and of­ten ex­pe­ri­ence four sea­sons in one day in New Zealand) we’d sug­gest do­ing a re­fresh once a month, es­pe­cially when first em­bark­ing on the cap­sule chal­lenge, so you can keep things in­ter­est­ing with­out wor­ry­ing too much about the weather.


Last but by no means least, re­mem­ber that de­vel­op­ing a cap­sule wardrobe is a learn­ing process. Its pur­pose is to make things eas­ier and bring joy to women’s lives, so if you’re strug­gling to stay on the straight and nar­row with your pre­scribed out­fit op­tions, cut your­self some slack. There is no right way to cap­sule. Be­ing more con­sid­ered and con­scious of your shop­ping habits, and what’s al­ready hang­ing in your wardrobe, is the most im­por­tant part of the process.

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