10×10 Challenge

I don’t keep a capsule closet, but I do enjoy reading about them. The OCD planner side of me loves the idea of assembling collections of clothes, puzzling over the different combinations, and making neat little lists 😛 So when Un-Fancy and Stylebee rolled out their spring 2018 challenge, I decided to cave in to the little planner voice in my head, and try out the challenge!

Unfortunately, reality is very different from what I had imagined. The challenge came at a particularly busy time at work, so when Friday (the first day of the challenge) hit, I had done zero planning, arghhh. I came up with a new scheme: I would pick out my favorite clothes naturally each day, trying to reuse as much as possible from the previous days. When I reached 10 items, I would stop picking new items, and instead remix those 10 items. This greedy approach would hopefully represent the “core” of my style.

The Items

So here are the items that came from my “un-planned” 10×10:

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 12.15.51 PM.png
10×10 closet challenge items.

Tops

  • Grey hoodie (Zella): This was a recent purchase and has been super useful and versatile so far. It’s one of those easy layering items. It’s slightly structured so it doesn’t look too frumpy.
  • White sweater (Madewell): Madewell is kinda hit or miss to me, especially their rayon tees. They tend to shrink or get distorted after washing, and I had to throw out two of my favorite tees because of this! But their sweaters have generally been pretty good.
  • Red + white sweater (Madewell): This sweater has side zips at the bottom hem, which were trendy a few seasons ago, so the silhouette can go from normal to swingy.
  • Blue + white sweater (Calvin Klein): I couldn’t find an exact stock pic, but you can see what it really looks like in the outfit photos below. This was from Costco. I don’t think the quality is as good as regular Calvin Klein, but I really like the marled stripes.
  • Graphic llama tee (Loft): I love llama items!

Bottoms

  • Leggings (Zella): Yeah, I know leggings aren’t pants, but I give up on the weekends 😛
  • Black ponte pants (WHBM): Ponte pants are my favorite for comfort. White House Black Market has the best ones in my opinion, that aren’t too skinny and therefore look more professional.
  • Blue straight jeans (Madewell): Boring but a wardrobe staple 🙂

Shoes

  • Burgundy flats (Everlane): I like the sleek look of these shoes, but they are a bit tight at the toe box because of the pointy toe. I recently had them stretched and that helped. However, I wouldn’t wear these to walk around all day.
  • Black flats (Tory Burch): Yet another wardrobe staple.
  • White sneakers (Sperry): Vans don’t really appeal to me, so I got these slip-on sneakers instead. Finding good low-cut socks that don’t fall down is such a challenge though! Anyone have any good suggestions? The best ones I’ve found so far are from Vans.

(This is actually 11 items instead of 10… whoops. Don’t tell!)

The Outfits

Here are the outfits I ended up wearing. Don’t be scared by the repeated outfits – I did swap out clean versions of the same items, like a fresh pair of leggings or another grey tee. Actually, on Day 3, I didn’t go out at all and just wore bum lounge clothes at home.

Screen Shot 2018-04-27 at 12.32.14 PM.png
10 days of outfits.

Thoughts on the 10×10 Challenge

Overall, I would say the experiment was somewhat successful. I guess I’m pretty boring, because I basically ended up repeating my favorite outfits on different days! I know what items go well together, and what items don’t, so I just tended to stick with that. There was definitely more remix potential (e.g., the white sweater could’ve gone with the blue jeans, or the blue striped sweater could’ve gone with the black leggings). I need to be more adventurous next time! I got some advice from Elaine, who suggested incorporating a new item into the 10×10. This helps “bootstrap” the item into your wardrobe, and also makes the challenge more fun because you’re experimenting with a new item. I think I’ll try this next time!

The challenge kinda reminded me of being on vacation and living out of a suitcase. I’m pretty OCD about packing for vacations, and have definitely done a better job of planning and remixing outfits for vacations than for this challenge. Maybe it’s because vacations have different weather and activities, so you really do have to plan ahead. And also packing for vacations is half the fun 🙂

One thing that I’m not sure how the typical 10×10 user handles is the divide between workwear and loungewear. 10 days is 2 weekends and 1 workweek, so you definitely need both types of clothing. When I’m home on the weekend, I want to wear the comfiest clothes possible (ie leggings/sweatpants and old free t-shirts from college, not pictured 😛 ). In my outfits, the only thing that crossed over from loungewear into workwear was the grey sporty jacket, and maybe the green jacket (which I didn’t count as part of the 10 items, since it’s outerwear). I don’t know how style bloggers deal with this – maybe most of them work from home?

Overall, the best thing I liked most about the 10×10 challenge was the outfit photos. I thought I had a handle on my style before, but taking photos really reinforced that. Apparently, loose light-colored sweaters and dark slim bottoms really really are my thing 🙂 I’ll probably try taking more outfit photos for personal use in the future. Style bloggers often suggest detailed questionnaires to help you “define your style” before making new purchases, but I never really knew how to answer them. But the photos make it way more obvious.

Also, based on the outfits, I don’t think I’m going to turn into a style blogger anytime soon 😉

Have you ever tried, or are thinking of trying, the 10×10 challenge? What do you think of capsule closets?

5 thoughts on “10×10 Challenge

  1. I was always puzzled by capsule wardrobes because my entire wardrobe for a very long time was its own capsule due to being very tiny. I didn’t have many clothes at all and only rotated a few tees and 2 sweaters for winter/summer transition. However, now that I’ve been expanding my wardrobe – a lot – I have a lot more to choose from for different seasons. Most of this is due to the fact that I’ve got a proper office job and need more office-friendly clothes. I think you’re right, most style bloggers (probably, but not all) have jobs where their casual blends right in with their “work” clothes.
    That being said, I still don’t like the idea of capsule wardrobes. I get how they can help people define their style and make choosing outfits easier when you have a limited amount to work with, but I cringe at the idea of being limited to just those items. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 10×10 or a 30 piece or whatever, I think a wardrobe should function as much as possible for any and every kind of occasion – so why limit that? I may be the voice of dissent on 10x10s though since they seem to be quite the rage right now. They are nice to look at though.

    Like

    • Capsule wardrobes were definitely over-hyped for a while! feel like the trend is dying down now, though. It’s great that you were able to keep a small wardrobe – was it just due to your natural style?

      I think I used to be more like that when I was younger (mainly from living at home and not having a source of income), went through a phase where I went spending-crazy from living a big city with a lot of shopping opportunities, and now have condensed back down. The capsule trend helped me refine my wardrobe, although I didn’t adhere strictly to an arbitrary number.I tend to agree with you that the numbers can be artificially limiting. Probably capsules look nice in a graphic and also feed into the idea of “readers, here are these essentials that you should buy” which actually goes against the whole capsule/minimalism ethos.

      Slightly unrelated story, but I used to follow a blogger who focused on reducing her over-spending, and I once spotted her in-person at a Nordstrom! Returning clothes, no less!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t normally comment on posts if I’m reading them weeks after they went live, so I apologize for this, but I wanted to let you know how I handled the 10×10 last year! I did it first in the winter when I was on break from school, so it was “easy” to go for 10 days straight since there was really no difference between week day/weekend during that time. I did it again in the summer, right after I started my job, and I decided to do two full work weeks and skip the weekend in between because, like you said, I wear comfier clothes on the weekend (and, you know, shorts/skirts/dresses since it was summer!). Caroline and Lee used to do 5 days on, weekend off, 5 days on but then recently started doing them 10 days all the way through. I think they can do that more easily because of their jobs (no idea what Caroline does but Lee blogs full time now).

    Like

    • Ohhh I didn’t realize there were gaps in the 10 days, that makes so much sense! Thanks for clarifying that! I’d read most of your, Caroline, and Lee’s 10×10 summaries but I guess not closely enough 🙂

      I think doing this in the summer or during a break would be more fun. I definitely feel pressure to wear more boring and normal clothes during the school year, but in the summer there are fewer students and plus the weather gets crazy hot, so dress code naturally gets more casual. I’m look forward to a summer 10×10!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s