This was my first time participating in the 10×10 wardrobe challenge, started by Lee Vosburgh of Style Bee. The rules are simple: select ten items of clothing, including shoes, but not including accessories, to wear for ten days straight. The goal is to see how many different outfits you can create with just a few items, and ultimately, to learn to live with less. Here are the ten items I chose:
- Black v-neck t-shirt
- Purple printed blouse
- Black and white striped t-shirt
- Beige sweater
- Mustard cardigan
- Olive pants by Prana*
- Dark jeans
- Black floral kimono by Annie 50*
- Black flats
- Black boots
*Denotes ethically-made item
When it came to choosing my ten items, I realized that my wardrobe is somewhat lacking in basic, neutral pieces. I have a lot of clothing in bright colors and patterns because this is what I’m drawn to when I go shopping. What I really need, however, are more neutral items that are good for mixing, matching, layering, and wearing over and over again.
I am also working to build a more ethical wardrobe, through a combination of ethically-made and second-hand items, but this is not something that can be, or should be, done all at once. So, while I chose a couple of ethically-made pieces for this challenge, the bulk of them are fast fashion pieces, from stores like Target or Gap, that have been in my wardrobe for a long time. Although I have a lot of clothes, I tend to keep them for a long time and wear them often. I’ve never been someone who buys clothes that only stick around for a season or a year.
That said, let’s get into the outfits I wore. I split up the challenge into two weeks, so that only weekdays were “challenge days.” During the weekend in-between, I went to Texas for a wedding, so it didn’t make sense to continue the challenge somewhere with radically different weather and when I would have to wear an outfit suited to a special occasion. During week one, most of the outfits I wore were pretty standard for me. Here they are in order:
The second week of the challenge was when things got a little more interesting, and I wore a few outfits that I wouldn’t normally wear. For example, on Monday (first outfit on the left, below), I wore my floral dress open like a robe instead of buttoned-up like I normally would (above). I was a little hesitant about this outfit at first, but I ended up really liking it! On Wednesday, I wore an outfit that was pretty simple for me–no cardigan, no scarf, no statement necklace–just a t-shirt, pants, and flats. I like to wear lots of layers, but that’s hard to do when you’re only allowed ten pieces. I had to resist the urge not to throw a sweater over this outfit, and you know what? I really didn’t need one. Here are my outfits from week two, in order:
I think my favorite outfit from the challenge was the last one from week one: black shirt, yellow cardigan, jeans, and boots. This is actually a very me outfit, but for some reason, I don’t think I’ve ever worn this exact combination of items together before. My least favorite outfit was definitely the second-to-last one from week two. I was running out of options by this point, and I’m not really sure why, but I just didn’t feel comfortable in this outfit.
So, there you have it: ten items of clothing in ten days. I really like how this challenge forced me to step out of my comfort zone a little and try combinations that I wouldn’t normally wear. I also had fun seeing everyone else’s outfits on Instagram. I’m glad I decided to join in for this round, and I will definitely consider participating again in the future!