I’ve had a few days to ponder the 10×10 Style Challenge I participated in over the past two weeks and think about what I am able to take away from my most recent capsule experiment.
Here’s a look at the 10 items I selected:
Shirt dress (c/o Brass Clothing) / Taupe ankle booties (Old Navy from Poshmark, similar) / Gray skinny jeans (AG Jeans from Thred Up, similar, similar) / White shirt with dots (Old Navy, similar) / Striped tee (Gap, similar) / Gray pullover sweater (Old Navy) / Black lace up flats (Old Navy, similar) / Black wide leg crops (similar) / Boyfriend jeans (Levi’s) / Black pencil skirt (Old Navy)
So, here’s what I think…
The first thing I noticed is that I didn’t take any wardrobe risks during the challenge. I was actually wearing the outfits to work, so I was more concerned with spacing out the pieces rather than getting creative with new looks. Because of the small number of items, I didn’t do a lot of layering because I didn’t want to use all of the pieces too quickly or have to repeat the same top 3 days in a work week. I think if I were to challenge myself to continue wearing only these pieces a little longer and I didn’t worry about repeating items too closely together I would be forced to find some new and unexpected combinations. I would love to try the polka dot button down under the shirt dress. I also think the gray denim and striped tee would be a crisp, fresh look…possible with the sweater or shirt tied around my waist for some interest?
As with my 20 item mini capsule challenge I did a few months ago, I started to miss having footwear options. There was a really warm day that I wanted to wear sandals and then two other days where I felt a different pair of shoes would have completed the look better than the two options I had.
This was another great reminder of how little I really need. I still felt pulled together and styled with only 10 items. I also didn’t feel like I was repeating different versions of the same outfit. I managed to include enough variety in the style of my pieces to keep from getting bored.
Though I didn’t take any fashion risks, I did discover a few new looks I don’t think I would have come up with had I not been forced to. I typically wouldn’t pair a button down shirt with my boyfriend jeans, then I added in the lace up flats which I really loved. Another favorite was the gray monochromatic look the challenge led me to put together.
I didn’t mind wearing a lot of black, gray, and white. I’m really learning to embrace my love of neutrals and to pay attention to detail and texture to create more interesting, polished looks.
Getting dressed truly could not have been any easier. Having a capsule in general really simplifies my morning routine (at least the getting dressed part of it), but this took that to a whole new level. Eliminating the number of options I had eliminated the stress of choosing what to wear. I knew every single piece fit me well, paired easily with the other items, and was something I wanted to wear.
I had a fairly easy time selecting these items and I’m happy with all of the looks I created. Dare I say I’m closer than ever to discovering in my personal style and have figured out what I like?! That’s such an exciting step to make!!
I will definitely continue challenging myself and my wardrobe to push myself out of my comfort zone and develop my personal style. I like being forced to create new looks from what I already have rather than relying on a trip to the store for a new outfit. I also love the continuous reminder that for me less really is more and I’m so content with my smaller wardrobe. It makes me excited to expand that thinking into other areas of my life.
A cohesive, mini capsule like this is ideal for travel or a transitional time or season, but I think for me a few more options would have gone a long way in making the sustainable for longer in “real life”.
My biggest challenge was feeling like it was going to be obvious that I was repeatedly wearing items. Though, the more I consider that, why is that a bad thing? I do feel a bit “on stage” at work since I stand up in front of the same groups of kids each day. And some of my students have found my IG account, so I know they’re checking out what I’m wearing! 🙂
Instead of feeling like I need different pieces to create different outfits, I need to shift my thinking to take pride in my ability to mix-and-match. I do think Instagram and blog outfit posting contributes to that because I want to try to show how many looks a capsule an create, but I think it’s also time to embrace the repeat. Repeating items and heck, repeating entire outfits. That is a line of thought I’d like to explore more as I continue my capsule wardrobes. I wonder if I’ve been including too much for fear of having to repeat? And since when is there something wrong with being a repeater?!
If you’re interested in trying a similar challenge, may I suggest Style Bee, Seasons and Salt, and The Lovely Laura Life for some wonderful inspiration and a huge variety of styles?!