It was so fun to join my second 10×10 challenge ever. The 10×10 challenge was created by Lee of Style Bee as an effort to be more creative with her closet and see how much can be done with so little. You choose 10 items and style them into 10 different outfits (looks) over 10 days. I had such a great time and learned so many valuable lessons during the Winter 10×10 that I couldn’t wait for the Spring 10×10.
Since I had a sliver of an idea of what this challenge would be like (I am now an expert having only ever done one), I decided to set some goals for myself that would push my creativity. For my first 10×10 challenge I just chose all of my favorite pieces because I wanted to be able to complete the challenge. So this time I wanted to give myself a little more of a “challenge”. Using my closet tracker from March to help identify some pieces I am super comfortable with (ones with the most wears) and ones I’m not as comfortable with (little to no wears) and I set some goals for myself.
1. Utilize items I struggle to wear frequently
I want to get comfortable with the items in my closet that I love, but don’t wear often because I just haven’t figured out how to style them or because I just feel intimidated by them. Items I am talking about are ones that have a unique shape and are different from my norm.
2. Break in some of my newer items
So often I feel like if I don’t wear a new item at least 3 times in the first 2 weeks of purchase it never really gets incorporated into my routine and ends up not getting as much wear as it should. Therefore, I want to avoid this and just wear the crap out of some newer items so they quickly become closet favorites and closet heroes.
3. Embrace the “spring” weather
Emphasis on the quotations around spring! While there might be some warmer days, most “spring” days in Seattle are rainy and ~50 degrees. So instead of making my fantasy spring 10×10 I want to create a functional spring 10×10 that will actually be weather appropriate. While my linen tank tops and shorts seem so fun and enticing, they just aren’t going to cut it. So I need to find looks that are equally as fun, but appropriate for the long winter.
4. Push myself out of my comfort zone
I so often see looks and outfits on others that I love, but never think I can pull them off or that they would look bad on me. Most of the time my excuse is that I am just so much taller than them so it would look super weird on my giantess frame. I want to try some of those looks I have been scared away from and see if I can actually make them work for me and my style.
1. Blue and Navy Striped Tee ー Very old from the Gap (Size Medium Tall)
I have had this shirt for probably 5 years and since I was deciding to take risks (or step outside my comfort zone) with other items I wanted a safety net. This shirt is that safety net. Also, you can’t beat a striped tee!
2. Gray Murphy Henley ー Sold out from Tradlands (Size Large)
I really love this classic style. I find that I only ever wear this shirt with the same pair of jeans. So I want to see if I can mix it up a little bit.
3. White Linen Short Sleeve Button Up ー Power of My People (Size Medium)
Purchased this when Power of My People released their new spring line. I’ve wanted this shirt for about a year, but it was sold out. I was so happy when I finally got it. But, then it became one of those items I didn’t properly incorporate into my wardrobe so it just needs to be integrated.
4. Natural Split Sweater ー Jamie and the Jones (Size Large)
I have always loved the T-sweater from Jamie and the Jones (as basically every blogger I love has one), but when I found out the length of it and the height of most of the people wearing it I knew it would be way too short on me. Still wanted to wrap myself in one of their sweaters I opted for the Split Sweater which is a bit longer. I love this statement piece, but have owned it since December and just haven’t worn it as much as I want to.
5. Olive Wool Cardiff Jacket ー Only Child (Size OS Tall)
I knew I wanted this to be my layering piece. I love that this can be dressed up or down and it was really a staple for me through the winter. I wanted to see how long I can stretch its wear out by styling it for spring.
6. Point Sur Straight Leg Light Wash Denim ー J. Crew (Size 31 Tall)
I have been looking for this exact pair of jeans for what feels like forever, but really was just like a year and a half. I have been working to only purchase new items from ethical, responsible makers. However, I have been wanting these jeans for so long and when I found them and they came in a tall I had to get them. Aaaaaaaand I love them! Already one of my most worn items.
7. Black Linen Florence Pants ー Elizabeth Suzann (Size L Tall)
I love these pants. On other people… I just haven’t gotten comfortable wearing them. They are such a different shape than what I have worn my entire life. I chose them because I want to force myself to try to style them in different ways and incorporate them into my everyday wardrobe.
8. Black Overalls ー Old from Asos (Size 12 Tall)
I bought these overalls about 3 years ago and have only ever worn them twice (both were for a 90s birthday party). I chose them mostly as a placeholder until my new black jumpsuit arrived. However, my jumpsuit just didn’t really incorporate into my 10×10 so this item was only used once.
9. Tan Booties ー Very old from Franco Sarto/Nordstrom (Size 10.5)
These are my most beloved shoes, I have owned them for about 5 years and had them half resoled in the winter. I knew I wanted a pair of boots and a pair of sneakers for this challenge and I almost picked my black Chelsea boots. I have pretty much only been wearing my black Chelsea boots though so I wanted to mix it up and lighten up my looks with these lighter colored booties.
10. Esplar Lock White Leather Sneakers ー Veja (Size 41)
I went back and forth on laces and velcro with these shoes for about 6 months before I finally bought them. I am so glad I went with velcro! I think it makes them a little more unique and little more playful. With any new tennis shoe I have to just break them in and get them dirty. If I keep them too clean I just never wear them because I don’t want to get them dirty and they don’t feel like mine. Excited to style these in different ways.
Day 1- J+J Sweater, Jeans, Booties
How I felt in it? I felt AMAZING in this simple first look of the challenge. This sweater is such a great shape that it takes a simple outfit up a notch. BAM!
What would I change? Nothing! I thought about putting a necklace on, but again I love that the sweater gets to be the statement.
Will I wear it again? Oh, fo sho.
Overall score: 10/10
Day 2- Striped Tee, Flos, Vejas
How I felt in it? Cool, yet casual. Love that the Florence pants make a t-shirt and sneakers look so chic.
What would I change? Nothing. I thought I wanted to take out the hem on these pants a little bit, but I think I like the length. I have only ever styled these pants for winter so it’ll be fun to do more with them this summer.
Will I wear it again? Hell yeah!
Overall score: 10/10
Day 3- Button Up, Cardiff Jacket, Jeans, Booties
How I felt in it? Good, dressed up (for Easter) and yet, still casual and easy.
What would I change? Not anything that I can think of right now.
Will I wear it again? Yes, on the right occasion. It feels a little to dressed up/businessy for my casual daily wear. But, maybe for work or if I need to get a little more fancy for a certain event.
Overall score: 8/10
Day 4- Henley, Jeans, Vejas
How I felt in it? Great! Super casual, super me! Perfect for a day driving to the ocean and then running around on the sand with my niece and nephew.
What would I change? Nothing! I really love this super comfortable and easy look. It is pretty much a staple in my day to day life. Tee, jeans, sneakers. I think the Henley gives it a little more detail and elevates it a little.
Will I wear it again? On the reg.
Overall score: 8.5/10 (just took off a point and a half for being so casual/simple)
Day 5- Striped Tee, Overalls, Cardiff Jacket, Booties
How I felt in it? I felt okay. I liked the look, but the overalls just weren’t that practical for the activities for the day. I actually ended up changing in order to play on the beach as this was day 2 at the ocean.
What would I change? I would love to try this outfit with my jeans or Florence pants instead of the overalls.
Will I wear it again? Not this exact outfit, but maybe one of the alternatives.
Overall score: 7/10
Day 6- J+J Sweater, Flos, Booties
How I felt in it? Holy cats! Did I feel fantastic in this or what?! When I first put it on I was questioning whether or not I could “pull it off” or if it was really me. By the end of the day I was in love! New outfit I will be repeating all of the days until it is too hot to wear this sweater.
What would I change? Nothing! Not even my messy pony!
Will I wear it again? Maybe too much…
Overall score: 11/10 (I cheated)
Day 7- Henley, Cardiff Jacket, Jeans, Vejas
How I felt in it? Hot. This was too hot for the day. Long sleeves and a wool jacket, not great for a muggy Seattle day. I liked the look okay though.
What would I change? I would like to try this outfit again, but with my tan booties instead of my Vejas.
Will I wear it again? Probably only with the tan booties. Or without the jacket to recreate day 4!
Overall score: 7.5/10
Day 8- Button Up, Flos, Booties
How I felt in it? Like a million bucks. Or some other cliché along those lines. Just like Day 6 this was one I didn’t know if I could pull off, but am so happy I gave it a shot because it is one of my favorites of the challenge!
What would I change? I wish I would have washed my hair this day…
Will I wear it again? Certainly! This will be a staple for those warmer spring days and mild summer ones.
Overall score: 10.5/10
Day 9- J+J Sweater, Cardiff Jacket, Jeans, Booties
How I felt in it? Like I had the biggest arms ever. I really liked how the sweater and jacket draped together, but the sleeves were just ridiculous. Not very functional or practical. Also, very warm.
What would I change? What I would change is that I would like to find an oversized thinner sweater or shirt that I could wear under the Cardiff Jacket to get the same effect.
Will I wear it again? Probably not.. Liked how it looked, but now how it felt on.
Overall score: 7/10
Day 10- Striped Tee, Jeans, Vejas
How I felt in it? Great! Very similar to how I felt in my day 4 outfit. Very comfortable, very casual, perfect for a busy day running around or hanging with friends.
What would I change? Nothing really. I like day 2 better as an ensemble, but this is a practical outfit that is very me.
Will I wear it again? Likely a lot!
Overall score: 8.5/10
My Favorite Outfits = 1, 2, 6, and 8
Guess I had a lot of favorites! I loved all of these items and I think it was because each of these were looks I haven’t normally worn, but loved once I did! All 4 of these looks also have at least one of the two items that stole the show this 10×10 challenge. Look 6 was probably the furthest out of my norm, but surprisingly my most favorite of the whole challenge. Each of these looks was comfortable physically, but also comfortable mentally. Meaning I wasn’t thinking too much about it or second guessing it. I think “mental comfort” is maybe the most important factor in determining if I will like an outfit or not. Do I feel like myself in it? Am I sending the message I want out to the world? Do I want to do a happy dance when I put it on? I love when I can answer “YES!” to all three of those questions. I could with all 4 of these outfits.
Winning Items = Jamie and the Jones Split Sweater and Elizabeth Suzann Florence Pants
I am so excited that these 2 items were the ones I loved the most this challenge! As you read in my goals, these were 2 items that I love, but just wasn’t wearing them as much because I just hadn’t incorporated them into my closet and gotten used to wearing them and how to wear them. Mission accomplished!
Some favs from the #10×10 Friends Feed
Here are some of my favorites from the challenge. Everyone that participated did a fantastic job and it was so much fun to play along with everyone. These ladies’ styles and attitudes stood out to me most.
5 Takeaways From The Spring 10×10 Challenge
1. The 10×10 Community is the Bee’s Knees
I think the 10×10 Friends community will be the reason I keep doing these challenges. I think it is an amazing example of how women should be treating women. It is not a competition, success and failure are celebrated by everyone. There is so much love and kindness, honesty and growth, support and helpfulness in this community it just makes my heart smile. I love that we can be a part of this microcosm that can hopefully spread out into the wider world and change how women “compare” themselves to others and women’s relationship with clothing.
2. A Small Curated Wardrobe is More Versatile than a Packed Thoughtless One
As my wardrobe shifts from a mindless menagerie of misery to a carefully curated closet of consciously chosen clothes (alliterations are fun!) I am finding it is so much more versatile and exciting and EASY to get dressed. While I haven’t done an official capsule, I have worked to change what and how I shop. I am constantly working on closet contentment and contentment in general, I am very pleased with my condensed closet. Way happier than I ever was with the infinite piles of clothes I used to have.
3. Comfort is Key
A few months (maybe almost a year) ago I worked through Lee’s Define Your Style in 5 Simple Steps and came up with a few words that guide my future clothing choices. Of course, I lost the paper I wrote my words on, but I know that comfort was a big one. Comfort in the clothes themselves; nothing too tight, not too revealing, soft fabrics. But, also comfortable with my appearance in the clothes. I don’t like the feeling that I don’t belong in my clothes, I am a very casual girl so putting on some really fancy clothes makes me uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong! Stepping out of your style comfort zone is essential or you may miss out on some new items or styling tricks that you love. It is about knowing where the line is. What is going to make you so self conscience that it changes your behavior in a negative way. I hate when I am wearing something I am so uncomfortable in that it changes my mood and how I interact with people. Lucky for me that didn’t happen with any of my outfits this challenge, but I was definitely more comfortable in some than others (see scores above).
4. Self Love is so Important
This takeaway is closely related to the last. It is not letting negative self talk prevent you from reaching your style potential. So often we compare ourselves to others and say “no, I can’t wear that I’m too ___________” or “I’m not _____________ enough to pull this off.” While maybe a look really isn’t your style, I feel so often women don’t wear something because of these negative thoughts that creep in. If we could just eliminate this negative self talk and dress for ourselves I think we would all find so much more joy in our clothes and our closets.
5. This is a Never Ending Process
From closet tracking to the 10×10 challenge I have learned so much about how much I actually need in my closet and how much I actually wear. It is truly very little. I have spent nearly the past 3 years purging my closet, discovering my style, and buying fewer quality pieces in order to build a curated wardrobe that I find joy in. However, in this endeavor there is no summit. There is no reaching nirvana. There is continual work and evaluation and growth. It reminds me of the quote: “if you think you know everything; you know nothing. If you think you know nothing; you know something.” I don’t think I know everything, but sometimes you do feel like you are so woke and all knowing. This challenge reminded me that there is infinite growth that can still happen. I think this is an important lesson for multiple facets of life.
Woah! That was a doozy! If you made it through all that then you must be a close-relative or one of my best friends. Either way thanks! It is fun to share my thoughts on the things that bring me so much joy and inspiration. Until next time!