What is a 10x10 Challenge, and What's the Point?
The 10x10 Challenge is is a wardrobe exploration exercise. You pick 10 articles of clothing, and style them 10 different ways over 10 days. The concept was developed by Style Bee, as a tool for finding creative ways of wearing the clothes you already have in your closet. It is pretty much a condensed version of doing a capsule wardrobe (that is wearing only 30 pieces in 3 months.)
The idea of a 10x10 challenge has appealed to me for a while. I want to find joy in the clothes I wear, and personality in my style, while minimizing my environmental impact and the time I invest in my wardrobe choices. Fully utilizing what exists in my closet is as important to these goals, as deciding what new items to buy is.
Abby's Winter 10x10 Challenge
I am putting my own spin on the 10x10 challenge. I think the 10x10 challenge is too strict to begin with, but then makes too many exceptions. A classic 10x10 challenge doesn't "count" accessories, undergarments, and even outer-layers. I'm curious how few total things I can happily live with (in the dead of winter, in Michigan). So, instead of setting a specific limit on items, I'm tracking everything I wear every day or 10 days, and attempting to minimize the number of items by re-wearing (and washing, and re-styling) what I already have in rotation. I'm counting every single thing, so versatility of each piece is paramount. I know people eat healthier simply by tracking what they eat; I think I can hone in on the best version of my winter wardrobe not by eliminating or limiting, but by tracking.
I will count
- All my tops, skirts, bottoms, and dresses
- Outer Layers
- Accessories (gloves, hats, scarves, etc.)
I will not sacrifice
- Comfort (especially warmth)
- Activities that "require" special clothes
Getting dressed for work on the first day of my challenge was pretty easy. I've been working on developing a functional, versatile wardrobe that suits my style and meets my needs, so I have some great things to work with. I went with my favorite pieces I know I will be happy to wear again in the next 10 days. It was cold outside (the "feels like" was 9° F), so I wore warm clothes and bundled warm outer layers over them. Here's what I wore to work:
2. Teal underwear (Pact)
3. Dark Gray bamboo & merino fleece leggings (Yana Dee)
4. Gray Socks (Smartwool)
5. Wine Natalie Dress (Yana Dee)
6. Light Gray neck warmer (Yana Dee)
7. Winter Gloves
8. Slouchy Hat (Yana Dee)
9. Leather Earrings (Yana Dee)
10. Black down coat with hood (Thrift store find!)
11. Black lace-up boots (Clark)
The hardest part of this outfit was deciding which gloves to wear. I have many pairs of gloves for different temperatures and activities. I decided to wear the gloves I got for cross-country skiing, because they are the most versatile. They grip well (good for skiing, driving, and shoveling) and are insulated (so are warm). I'm hoping they are the only gloves I will need for the next 10 days.
I got home late so didn't need much for "wind down" clothes. I just kept my cozy leggings and socks on, and swapped my dress for the last item of the day:
12. Black & Gray stripe tank top (Discontinued, Yana Dee)
It's my day off! For a nice slow morning at home, I added my long sleeve fleece top to the rotation. With the same wool leggings, socks, and teal bra, this ideal winter base layer is perfect for a relaxing morning at home. It is stretchy enough to not limit any movements, is soft and warm, and can be layered over for shopping, socializing, or winter activities. To keep the clothes I have in rotation as clean as possible, I started my day by taking a shower and doing laundry.
Over the course of the day, I did quite a few out and about activities. I shoveled the driveway and went on a walk (in very cold weather), went out to lunch and grocery shopping, and attended a meeting for the nonprofit board I sit on. Then, I decided I can't just live in my Merino leggings for 10 days straight, so I picked out a few new things to relax at home in. I tried to add things that I could wear to work (Ramona Wrap) or for casual outings like Sauna Night or Yoga class (Purple Sauna Pants).
I can't believe how fast this stuff is adding up! I have another day off tomorrow, so I'm really going to try to not add anything new. Good thing I did laundry today, so I can wear my Day 1 teal underwear again tomorrow!
I did end up adding a few items today, but not much. I decided I needed to change my socks, and add my favorite sweater skirt to go out on a Friday night. I can wear it again tomorrow for work, and it goes with almost all of my tops.
19. Fluffy wool socks
20. My favorite sweater Skirt
All in all I'm happy with my limited wardrobe. I can definitely see the appeal of a simplified wardrobe. We'll see how I feel when I have to start getting dressed for work again! I know there haven't been too many pictures yet, but as I've had mostly days off during this challenge, I've stayed pretty casual. To close, here is the base layer I have been living in: