Spring 2018 10x10 Challenge
Earlier this month I spent 10 days remixing the same 10 items of clothing in an effort to practice minimalism, try out a mini capsule closet, and to satiate my desire to shop for new clothes. Let me explain.
I've been falling out of love with my closet recently. It's full of items I never wear for one reason or another (fit, comfort, versatility, etc.). I've started reading The Curated Closet by Anuschka Rees and in it, there is an initial exercise to document what you wear for 2 weeks straight. After doing this exercise, I realized that I hated most of what I wore. The biggest revelation I had was that I prioritize comfort over anything. Joggers for life. So! I'm out to re-vamp my closet with pieces I love that are not only comfortable, but express more of my personal style (which is still TBD) and will last for years.
One of my best friends, Emily of City & Forest, convinced me via a flurry of text messages to participate in the Spring 10x10 Challenge. The 10x10 Challenge is a seasonal exercise hosted by Lee of Style Bee & Caroline of Unfancy. For more information about the challenge, check out Lee's detailed post. This all sounded scary at first and I wasn't sure how I felt about holding myself accountable with social media. But I thought, if I'm already unhappy with my closet, maybe this challenge could be a fun way to play with what I already have and see if I can fall back in love with some of my items.
01. BUTTON DOWN | Old Navy Relaxed Classic Shirt in Bees Knees
02. SLIDES | Ann Taylor Gretel Slides in Brown Toffee| Similar | Similar
03. BLACK SWEATER | Loft (old) | Similar | Similar
04. JEANS | Madewell Cruiser Straight Leg Selvedge Jeans
05. WHITE SWEATER | Express Elbow Sleeve Ribbed Pullover Sweater
WHAT I EXPECTED
Going into this challenge, I had a few outfits in mind already. I thought that I picked pretty versatile pieces and felt confident that I'd be able to complete the full 10 days. I was proud of selecting some pieces that I don't usually reach for and excited to get more wear out of them.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED
- The first couple of days were a breeze.
- Mid-challenge, I started doubting myself. I wasn't comfortable with the outfits I had planned out in my head because they were outside of my comfort zone. I realized that some of the pieces I picked out weren't actually that versatile. They were "hand in hand" pieces that I wouldn't be able to re-use smartly after one outfit (This is actually pretty representative of my closet as it is right now).
- I kept re-evaluating my 10 items throughout the challenge; I considered excluding shoes, contemplated including outerwear, etc.
- I ended up switching out a couple of pieces for practicality.
- I also ended up skipping a few days because of a work commute to a rainier city, helping family move, being sore the next day from helping family move, and lazy weekend/PJ days.
- I had one risk-taking outfit that I wasn't 100% on (Day 7). I was nearing the end of the challenge and running out of ideas so I just went for it.
WHAT I LEARNED
- Some of my items weren't as comfortable as I thought they'd be. No wonder I never wear them.
- From browsing the #10x10challenge hashtag, there are a ton of sustainable, ethical companies out there that make classic, versatile pieces in chic silhouettes and fabrics that I'd love to add to my collection.
- Wide-leg pants feel A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
- For the days I didn't actually wear a 10x10 outfit, I still put together planned outfits. In actuality, I don't know if I really would have worn those outfits for an entire day. I think I felt compelled to plan outfits for the sake of completion, so they were kind of just haphazardly thrown together.
- I take things too seriously sometimes (^ see above bulletpoint). Lee & Caroline say the rules are more like guidelines. I should have relaxed a little more.
- I like having "go-to" items - a bag, jewelry, shoes, what have you. I'm not super big on accessorizing. A colorful scarf was big for me. I think I'd rather invest in a few solid, classic pieces that go with everything.
- My house gets a very small amount of natural light at a very specific time of the day. I'd like to find another place in the house that gets better lightning, take photos outside, or actually purchase lighting equipment.
- To piggy-back off that, it might be easier to plan out my outfits at the beginning of the challenge, spend a day taking photos, and then commit to wearing those outfits during the challenge since the photos have already been taken.
Outerwear & Everyday Go-tos
I'm really glad I participated in my first 10x10 challenge. It was a bit of a struggle, but I did like that freeing feeling of not having to think about what to wear in the morning for at least the first couple of days. I'd like to get to that point with my entire closet.
I feel like I cheated a little by categorizing my Lulu's Lucky Break Oversized Jacket as outerwear and not counting it as one of my 10 items. I've been wanting to wear it since I purchased it in November but haven't been brave enough to break it out. I used this challenge as an opportunity to experiment. I'm glad I did, though. That, along with wearing that one risk-taking outfit has made me feel more optimistic about stepping outside of my comfort zone. I'm excited to try new silhouettes and mix up my daily rotation.
- I want more neutral-colored clothes.
- I want more wide-leg pants.
- Comfort is still key for me.
- I would be interested in doing something similar for my makeup or skincare routines.
If you'd like to check out embarassing/hilarious outtakes, I saved some stories as Highlights on my Instagram.