Spring 2019 10x10 Challenge
This past March, the moderators behind @selltradslowfashion & @buyfrombipoc hosted the Spring 10x10 Wardrobe Challenge. This one was a little different from past challenges hosted by Caroline of Un-Fancy and Lee from Style Bee, in that there was a focus on highlighting items made by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) makers. Riding the wave of inclusivity brought on by #10x10representationmatters during the Fall 10x10, this particular Spring Challenge was extra special for me, as a woman of color in the slow fashion space. Inclusivity is something I’ve been reading up on, exploring how it applies across different aspects of my life - work, friendships, and now, fashion.
The rules were the same - 10 items making 10 outfits in 10 days. Including items made by BIPOC makers was not a requirement, but was a theme throughout the challenge that resonates with me still today. I went into this challenge surprised that I don’t own very many items from BIPOC makers. In fact, the only items I had in my selections from BIPOC makers were a tee from Loyale Studio, and a jacket I made myself (does that count?).
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01. RAGLAN SWEATER | Brass Clothing Year Round Raglan in Camel
02. DENIM BUTTON-UP | Tradlands 105 Vintage Denim Shirt
03. BALLET TEE | Loyale Studio Style No.1 in White with Grey Stripes (gifted) *
04. CREWNECK TEE | Everlane Micro Rib Crew Tee in Grey
05. JEANS | Everlane Authentic Stretch Hi-Rise Cigarette Jean in Mid Blue
06. CHINOS | Everlane Easy Chino in Washed Black
07. HAORI JACKET | Wiksten Haori Sewing Pattern (me-made) * | Fabric: Ventana Twill in Deep Beige & Moonrise Cups in Copper
08. OVERALLS | Madewell Skinny Overalls in Adrian Wash (thrifted) | Similar | Similar | Similar
What I Learned
My biggest takeaway from this challenge was that I don’t own very many things made by BIPOC makers. I’m sad to say that I’m ashamed at this realization. Since this challenge, I’ve been keeping my eye out for BIPOC brands - the @buyfrombipoc IG feed is a great resource for discovering some of these makers!
Neutral color palettes are so easy! I mean, I knew they were, but actually limiting myself to one solidifed that fact. It was so easy to mix and match these pieces. I felt like I could have created at least 10 more outfits.
I want more basics.
I don’t need to be afraid of the Canadian tuxedo (denim on denim). I really liked that look!
Proportions - Because my me-made Wiksten Haori jacket was so oversized, I felt I could either lean into the oversized look with my Easy Chinos, or go for some contrast with some slimmer-fitting Cigarette jeans. I think skinnies would also look great with this silhouette.
It was so empowering and fulfilling to want to reach for a piece I made myself. I am fortunate enough to live near a place that holds sewing workshops - Sew Shop Sacramento. If you’re local - I highly recommend taking a class with Chelsea! She’s awesome.
I think I still like overalls. I’ve been trying to decide if I should get rid of these secondhand overalls for a while now, but I received so many compliments whenever I wore them! Now, do I love the overalls or do I love the compliments - that is a whole nother discussion.
My kitty Luna loves hanging out during my little photo shoots (see my IG feed for more kitty photobombs).
Having an indoor photo space is super convenient but, having a rolled up runner makes things icky. I have to figure out how to straighten that!
Shoes, Outerwear and Everyday Go-tos
I chose not to include shoes in my selections. I found myself reaching for mules, sneakers, and block heels for the challenge. They were all in a neutral color, which made them easy to pair with most all of my clothes. I picked up these gorgeous Whiskey + Wine Arc Earrings at Local Nomad during a recent trip to Arizona - I’m so in love. I don’t own anything like them; they are my first statement earrings, and I want more! Lastly, this belt was a gift from my boyfriend. I’ve been ogling his Tanner Goods belt for years and have watched it develop a personal patina that is just gorgeous. I can’t wait to see how mine turns out!
It’s really exciting to see some stirring discussion around representation and inclusivity in the slow fashion space - I don’t often partake; I’ve been more observing and trying to learn. However, these discussions have really trickled into other parts of my life. In a leadership class I recently completed at work, my final presentation was on Inclusive Leadership. It was a very bold and daunting topic, but the response was incredible. The discussion was lively and very respectful. If I can help spur that kind of thought and discussion, then I feel like I’m on the right track. I feel the same way about the pillars of this movement in the ethical, sustainable spaces on Instagram.
I’ve now completed four 10x10 wardrobe challenges. I told myself that would be it - that I will have completed four seasons, and I would be done. But I’m currently in the middle of a May 30x30 Wardrobe Challenge hosted by Sara of Petra Alexandra, sooooo, IDK what to tell you.