What I Learned From The 10x10
Hey there, I don't know if we've formally met. I'm Christina. The new girl at Cladwell, who is just beginning to fully understand words like "capsule" and "minimalism." I've walked you through complete shoe confidence in Robin's 10x10, styling expertise in Erin's, and personal style epitomized in Alison's. And now, here my 10x10. All my fears, failures... and, yeah, some triumphs too!
When Erin first mentioned the 10x10, I came up with 347 excuses why I couldn't possibly participate in this challenge. I had just moved and hadn't unpacked all my clothing. I was indecisive and couldn't possibly decide on only ten items of clothing. It was Thursday and I never begin new wardrobe challenges on Thursdays (because I do wardrobe challenges so frequently...)! Anyways, you get the picture.
I immediately researched the Unfancy Fall Remix, where we first learned about the 10x10. The challenge is to pick 10 pieces from your closet and create 10 outfits from them over the next 10 days. Hence the name 10x10. And as I scrolled through Caroline's beautiful outfits in front of those bright white backgrounds, I was more convinced than ever that this challenge wasn't for me. In my mind, my clothing began to look dingier and my white walls not as shiny (you can tell this was really getting to me).
Alas, my fears were ruthlessly disregarded (ok, maybe I just caved), and I fearfully accepted the challenge. And here's what it looked like...
My 10 Items:
Black V Neck Top
Grey Tee Shirt
Floral Button Down
Light Wash Jeans
Green Ankle Boots
My 10 Outfits:
So, here I am on the other side of the 10x10 and, surprisingly, in one piece. And no, the 10x10 didn't change my life, inspire me to write a great American novel, or help me find the cure for cancer... but it did teach me a few things and prompt me to do a few things. Here they are:
My wardrobe just isn't interchangeable. It's not that I can't mix and match skirts and shirts and jackets, but the fact of the matter is that I did not purposefully buy these items to be able to do the stylistic acrobatics capsule wardrobe professionals like StyleBee can do! I mean have you seen her closet? It's dreamy.
Action Item: Next time I go to add an item of clothing to my closet, I want to consciously ask myself what I can wear it with. How many combinations can it work in? How can it be mixed, matched, and layered? That way, I can slowly build a more interchangeable closet.
I thought minimalism meant grungy - True fact, to have a minimal closet, I thought I had to wear the same White Tee and repeat it daily without washing it. Or, that in order to minimize my wardrobe, I had to adhere to a certain type of style. And that's just not true.
Action Item: As I search for interchangeable, lasting pieces, I need to make sure they are items I love, truly love — like the floral button down from this challenge that I could wear again and again and again. Minimalism isn't about a certain style; it's about a way of shaping and forming your style in order to streamline shopping, dressing, and living.
It's time to get creative with my closet - I am the queen of the style ruts. I buy shirts to go with certain skirts and always wear them just that way. But from now on out, "nobody puts baby in a corner!" I always and only pair my jean skirt with striped tees. So, for my 10x10, I just didn't include a striped tee and learned the 398,457 other ways this skirt could be worn. Who knew? Everybody but me, perhaps.
Action Item: This is as simple as waking up in the morning and daring to wear ankle boots with your romper or the floral button down with ripped jeans. Just do it. Worst case scenario: you just don't wear it again. Best case: you find a new favorite and your wardrobe options expand!
No surprises that my favorites both included that floral button down. It's just me. I think I'll request to be buried in it one day...
But on a lighter note, go find your favorites, go get creative with your style, go shop intentionally (and you can do all this and still wash your clothing regularly or stay away from hipster coffee shops...but heck, that's just a bonus!). You don't have to do a 10x10 challenge to find these things out. You can go do it right now. Turns out though, the 10x10 challenge was just what I needed. Thanks, Erin.