The Weekender Challenge: Putting the capsule collection to the test

Recently I took a mini mid-week staycation in Ireland and spent time in parts of the country I have never seen. It was a great opportunity to pack up and getaway, and it was also a chance for me to really challenge the possibilities of the capsule wardrobe I have designed.

The first sketches for Rue Franklin show a capsule collection of five pieces. I have designed these so that they can not only take you from day to night (we all know how to dress up or down a piece) but it also brings multifunctionality to these pieces. I saw this mini-break as the best challenge to pack what would be the items in my collection and see how they would fare.

I needed my wardrobe to flex with my day (and the Irish weather!) to include:

  • An outfit comfortable enough for a 3 hour car journey 
  • An outfit suitable for ease of changing for a spa day 
  • An outfit for tackling the elements as I climbed up the Slieve League Cliffs and stretchy enough to allow me climb over rocks on search of the secret beach waterfall in Donegal
  • An outfit suitable for a 5 star dinner and brunch
  • An outfit to workout at the hotel gym 

That’s a lot to ask, but it was the perfect challenge to see if my capsule collection was really as multi-functional as I wanted it to be - and to see what changes I may need to make to fulfil that vision.

The capsule includes: a reversible jumpsuit, a sports bra, leggings, a sweater and a puffer. The fabrics used are anti-wrinkle, anti-microbial and include anti-inflammatory qualities. I think they would flex perfectly with my mini-break of 2 nights that covered both rain and shine in the North of Ireland.

To test it out I packed the equivalent items of my capsule collection for my trip. In addition to those five items I added the following shoes and accessories so that they would include full outfits: A weekender bag to put it all in, a handbag, a cap, flats, heeled boots, a swimsuit, PJs, and a silk hairband. I did pack a summer dress too (which is slightly cheating, but with us being locked down for so long I wanted to give it a trial run out of the house!). 

Here’s how the experiment fared:

Day 1: Travel and spa day: Comfort is king here. Bra, leggings and sweater would do the trick nicely! On arrival at our spa destination it is an easy change into our swimwear and a smooth transition back as we make our way through the forest to our bed for the evening. With the sun making an unusual appearance that day, we could even leave the sweater behind us!

Items worn: Sports Bra and Leggings

Day 2: Climbing rocks, scaling cliffs and back to a 5 star fine dining experience: The base layers with the addition of the puffer allow for full movement and warmth as the rain set in. I added a cap to this outfit - I find caps are good for keeping the rain out of your eyes! A successful excursion in Donegal and we are back in the car to check into our hotel for dinner. The Jumpsuit provides a comfortable but dressy option for dinner.

Items worn: Sports Bra, Leggings, Sweater, Puffer, Jumpsuit (everything!)

Day 3: Gym and travel back to Dublin: Morning sees a quick workout and pilates flow session in the bra and leggings, a shower and into the flip side of the reversible jumpsuit for a lovely brunch before the 3 hour journey to Dublin begins. 

Items worn: Sports Bra, Leggings, Sweater, Jumpsuit

The result: the capsule collection certainly passed the test! With some shoes and accessories I had enough for my whole weekend away, including the rough and ready mountain hikes, the relaxation and comfort for travel time, and something that made me feel special for a fancy dinner. 

This experiment has given me so much validation for the collection, the vision for the brand as a fashion brand and the case study for the perfect weekend away outfit. Showing how we can do more with less!

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