November Wardrobe Challenge: Function


Today I want to introduce you to a new series on Into Mind: The monthly wardrobe challenge. The basic idea of this series is to use the annual cycle of events and seasons, from the beginning of fall to the summer, as an opportunity to examine our wardrobe from one particular angle each month.

I originally wanted to do this just for myself: choose a monthly theme to focus on when building my own wardrobe, but then I thought you guys might like to join in as well :)

Here's how it works:

Each monthly wardrobe challenge will consist of one theme, a set of questions to think about and a few small assignments that you can casually do throughout the month. The challenges won't require a structured, hands-on approach - instead, the idea is to really get you thinking in-depth about a certain overarching aspect of your personal style or your wardrobe and help you prepare for yearly events, like the holiday season or the beginning of summer. If you want to participate, I recommend you read through the questions and assignments at the beginning of each month, but don't try to answer them straight away. Print them out or carry them in a note on your phone and then gradually, throughout the month, add your own ideas and notes.

The theme for November is ... function. If you have read some of my other posts, you probably already know that I believe a good wardrobe needs to not only express your personal style 100%, but also be 'fully functional'. Form AND function. Both are non-negotiables. But what exactly does a functional wardrobe consist of? In essence, functionality means that something, whether it is piano or a pencil, fulfils a certain demand or a job. Your wardrobe's job is to protect you from wind and weather, keep you comfortable and provide you with an outfit for every occasion. Sounds basic, but in reality curating a fully functional wardrobe is easier said than done, especially if you raise the bar and stop accepting 'good enough's and 'ok for now's. November is a great month to focus on the fuctionality of your wardrobe, because the fickle/windy/wet/cold weather will help you spot any functional shortcomings just in time for the winter. I will occasionally be updating you guys on my thoughts and progress for this month's challenge on Facebook. Feel free to post your own progress as well!



one To what degree are you willing to sacrifice comfort for style? two Which outfit do you wear if you want to be 100% comfortable? How different is that outfit from your regular look? three What percentage of your items is at least a little uncomfortable to wear (immediately or after a few hours of wear-time)? four Do you pay attention to fabric composition when buying clothes? Which items in your wardrobe do you like/dislike because of their fabric? five Do you have a strategy to combat cold winter weather or do you just accept being cold as inevitable? six Does your bag collection support both your everyday (school, work, errands, gym) and special occasion activities (nightlife, work events, weekend trips, travel)? seven How often do you feel like you have nothing to wear? When you do, is it because you don't like the individual items in your closet or because they aren't right for your lifestyle? eight Do you ever run into laundry bottlenecks, i.e. you have no clean tops left, but still plenty of pants, skirts, etc? nine Your shoes: Do you accept a greater degree of wear and tear during the fall/winter season? Do you own a few pairs of weather-proof shoes that you can wear during the day, without sacrificing style points? ten Do you own a good stock of well-fitting bras, no-show panties, tights and socks to keep you warm and complete your outfits? eleven Imagine you are at home on a Sunday wearing your comfiest lounge wear and a friend texts you to say she'll be at your place in three minutes. Would you go change or are you comfortable wearing your lounge wear around other people?



one Think of ways to up the comfort level of your wardrobe. Replace anything that feels scratchy on your skin, is too tight, or rides up when you walk. Write down which fabric compositions you like and which ones you hate, to guide future purchases. two Develop a 'stay warm' winter strategy. Think heavy, insulating fabrics (wool and thick cotton) and LOTS of layering pieces. Sort out winter basics like coats, gloves, scarfs, hats and weather-proof footwear. three Examine how well your wardrobe is tailored to your lifestyle (read: all of your activities). Are certain areas of your lifestyle under- or overrepresented. Make a plan to deal with any major gaps this month.