This was my first time participating in a style challenge and while it was definitely a challenge I also really enjoyed it! The premise of the 10x10 challenge is to choose 10 items to create 10 outfits over 10 days using only these 10 pieces. Jewellery and accessories are not included in the 10 items however shoes are, but for my first time I decided to opt out of including shoes...maybe next time! For the challenge I chose 2 x coats, 1 x leather jacket, 1 x denim shirt, 4 x tops and 2 x jeans.
I love the idea of making your wardrobe go further and discovering new ways to style what you already have, and this style challenge highlighted just how achievable this is. I feel a sense of accomplishment and have definitely proven to myself that I really can get by with less and there are so many ways to style what I already have if I just take the time to be more creative. I've also realized how much I wear my sneakers after they featured in 5 of the 10 outfits...nothing like being true to your style personality!
Here's a review of my 10 outfits plus some personal reflections and lessons learned:
Day 1 & 2
At this point I was wondering if choosing two striped tops was a bad decision until I realized that I love stripes so much I'd gladly wear them everyday. Day 1 called for snow boots as there was still slush hanging around after the weekends snow fall. I kept things pretty simple with my beanie being the key feature of the outfit, no need to be too creative on day 1!
- Lesson 1, be clear on what you love and go for it!
Day 2 I styled my outfit with a belt and tucked in the top which isn't something I do very often. I also zipped the hood off my jacket to mix it up a bit from the day before and went for a more formal ankle boot. I've grown to love this visibility of my socks between the rolled ankle of my jeans and boots, at first I hated it but now I see it as another layering effect.
- Lesson 2, sometimes imperfection is perfect.
Day 3 & 4
We ended up having unusually warm weather in New York on day 3 so I wore my denim shirt buttoned up and added a singlet underneath. I like having the white trim when wearing white sneakers...matching freak much! All I needed was my leather jacket, no coat required much to my surprise, and a scarf which brought the look together. I chose this printed scarf as it has hints of blue which created a nice link with all of the colours in my outfit.
- Lesson 3, accessories really can pull a look together.
Day 4 was mostly spent at home so I wore the base of this outfit, pink top and black jeans, then added all the extras for a dinner date with a friend later in the evening. An all black outfit makes the pink top a statement and adding a necklace helped transition it from a casual daytime look to a more formal night outfit.
- Lesson 4...let your statement piece speak for itself.
After the lovely warm weather of day 3 the snow was back on day 5 so I needed to layer up. For extra warmth I wore a seamfree cami under my black turtleneck and fleece lined leggings under my jeans and also layered my leather jacket under my puffer coat. Leaving the hood off my coat helped make this look a little dressier and for a final dressy touch I added a red lip. Once I left the house a few black accessories were added and I was all wrapped up with a scarf, beanie and gloves. You can imagine it's difficult to feel glamorous in all these layers, something I constantly struggle with during Winter here!
- Lesson 5, it's all about layers, especially in this weather.
- Lesson 6, don't underestimate the power of a bold lipstick to elevate your look.
A lazy Sunday called for a bit of double denim and a pop of colour on day 6. I love the versatility of a denim shirt and would you believe it this baby is from H&M and was purchased around 7 years ago now. To give this top a more casual feel I layered it with a white singlet, which also linked to my white sneakers...you know the drill! I then added my black coat, and a black watch tied the two pieces together, to bring a little edge to this otherwise relaxed look. This outfit has ended up being one of my favourite uses of layering out of all 10 outfits and I'll definitely be re-wearing this combo.
- Lesson 7, as long as you love something and look after it, fast fashion does not have to be fast!
Day 7 & 8
A classic look for a Monday of running errands was in order for day 7. A simple black turtle neck with a timeless black coat, dressed down with relaxed jeans and sneakers...you can't go wrong! This is one of my simplest looks and also one of my favourites. I added black accessories for warmth, a scarf, beanie and gloves and my ankles braved the cold! I'm a huge fan of wearing black so I think that's why the simplicity of this outfit appealed to me so much.
On day 8 I did a mix up of of day 6's denim on denim look using a stripe top instead of the pink top and added my khaki coat instead of the black coat. I didn't feel like I was being very creative with this look but hey it's a different combination and when you're working with 10 pieces the variables aren't endless!
- Lesson 8, some things don't need to be overthought.
Day 9 & 10
Bringing it home how I started, with the striped tops! I kept warm on day 9 with this lightweight red stripe top layered under my turtleneck. I've never layered these pieces together so it was nice to discover a new way of wearing them and made me feel extra creative for still coming up with something new! And there's those socks showing again, decided to keep my ankles warm and continue to embrace this look.
- Lesson 9, dig deep and you might surprise yourself with your creativity.
I was really scraping the bottom of the barrel for inspiration on day 10 and couldn't wait to wear the rest of my wardrobe again! I relied on accessories to make this look feel fresh and layered my leather jacket under my coat again...I love wearing a jacket under a coat as it allows for an extra layer when you arrive at your destination if needed, there's nothing worse than sitting in a big coat inside!
- Lesson 10...did I mention layering and accessories already?!
This challenge really got me thinking, about how positive the experience was and also about a variation to this challenge, one that may be even more challenging. In choosing my 10 pieces of course I went straight for my favourites, meaning that while I did come up with different ways of wearing these favourites I really just got more wear out of the same items. Not a bad thing, but one of my choices wasn't necessarily a go to, my khaki coat was included because the colour worked better with my selections than my usual go to heavy coat. And in being forced to wear this coat I've discovered a new found appreciation for it and will therefore wear it more often going forward.
So what if this challenge involved choosing 10 items you don't wear all the time and are maybe considering giving up? Incorporating at least one of your 10 "need to reconnect with" pieces into your outfits for 10 days would help determine wether the item deserves to stay in your wardrobe and would hopefully result in a renewed love affair with items you've lost touch with. I feel a new style challenge coming on...stay tuned!