I recently joined on a wardrobe and style challenge hosted by lifestyle blogger Caroline of Un-Fancy, fashion blogger Lee of Style Bee, and clothing designer Elizabeth Suzann. The challenge hashtag features a community of slow-fashion and minimal wardrobe enthusiasts.
So, for ten days, I wore only 10 pre-selected tops, bottoms, dresses, and shoes. For my ten pieces, I chose:
- light denim skirt from Cato
- grey drape front cardigan
- J Crew vintage pink button up cardigan
- green and white polk-a-dot Liz Claiborne top (thrifted)
- blue and pink floral tunic
- blush polyester blouse (thrifted)
- vintage pleated cream skirt
- charcoal grey Eshakti wrap dress
- brown boots
- nude flats
Items not included in the count, but worn as “accessories” were layering tanks and tees for warmth and modesty, scarves, belts, hats, jewelry, tights, and bags.
Without further delay, here are my 10 thoughts on my first 10×10 challenge!
1. I am a full-time stay at home mom and wife. I don’t have the challenge of dressing professionally for an office, and I get to enjoy a little freedom from daily critics of my appearance. I even created a separate Instagram account so that my Instagram friends and family weren’t flooded with outfit posts unless they followed me there.
2. I don’t generally add many accessories except for my much-loved belts, and occasional scarf, and simi-opaque socks/tights. I am happy with my clothes without accessories, and sometimes only use a layered tank for a pop of color or complimentary hue. For the challenge, however, I did not make use of tanks in that way and kept them neutral.
3. I did not wear a 10×10 outfit Easter morning. I had my Easter dress long before I decided to do the challenge. I was so excited that I had lost enough weight to wear it, and I had sewn a white bolero especially for it (and to be included in my spring wardrobe). I didn’t feel it was necessary to my experience of the style challenge to give that up, so I wore it happily to church Sunday morning and changed into a very Easter-looking 10×10 outfit later that day.
4. I purposefully picked some nice clothes for my 10 pieces. I’ve been challenging myself to dress up at home, and I really enjoy looking more put together every day. For a long time, I wore things at home that were lower quality and “saved” my nice clothes for going out. Many of the clothes I wore daily fit terribly and I did not love them at all. The 10×10 challenge really helped me let go of that habit and embrace wearing nice clothes any day of the week. That said, I think nice casual clothes are one of my wardrobe weaknesses. Going forward, I am going to think more about the types of clothes I want to wear at home every day. I would love collection of comfortable and flattering dresses for my go-to.
5. I have never been so creative with outfit combinations and layers since my college days! loved experimenting with my style back then, but even then I didn’t try to wear my clothes in unconventional ways. My favorite during this challenge was when I wore my Eshakti wrap dress as a full length coat. It inspired me so much, I begin looking into designing and sewing another long coat for fall and winter! I loved how I felt wearing it–so warm, feminine, and styled. I’m excited to see what new ways I can style my clothes this spring, even after the challenge.
6. I’m more aware of the clothes in my closet that I don’t love. After wearing 10 of my favorite clothes for 10 days, I got used to feeling nice. I really loved my clothes! It helped me when I chose clothes for my spring capsule wardrobe (more than 10!), and now I believe I am finally happy with my closet. I even have some new ones I plan to sew and include.
7. I’m more aware of the quality of my clothes. I had a few items in my ten that I noticed were not as high quality. I’m not going to immediately get rid of them, but I have to realize that they may not last as long or fit as nicely and my higher quality items. I will also try to be more aware when I’m shopping (even at thrift stores) to buy only quality made products.
8. Creating a wardrobe of unique pieces that work together and reflect your style is a process that takes time. Even after trying to be more mindful of my clothing purchases, I’ve bought some things that may have not been the best choice for my wardrobe.
9. I’m not trying to win the “best dressed” award, thank goodness. I do want to look nice and womanly, but not “adorned with costly array” as the Bible instructs. For me, that means I don’t wear jewelry and lots of accessories. Obviously some clothing brands may not be against my conscience, but simply out of my budget.
10. I am inspired! I’ve seen how versatile or flattering certain styles can be by looking at the variety of 10×10 looks on Instagram. I’m already brainstorming how I can apply some of those styles to my own wardrobe. A soft linen t-shirt, a simple dress, and functional outer wear that create interesting silhouettes.
You don’t have to do an Instagram challenge to enjoy the experience. Anytime you are feeling stuck with your style or wardrobe, I encourage you to just spend a few minutes choosing 10 (or 12, or 20) items and commit to at least 10 days of exploration.