10 X 10 Challenge Recap
In early January, I handed my credit cards to Peter and swore off online shopping for a season. I still haven’t decided how long that season is going to be, but I’m still going strong and plan to be for quite some time (well other than ordering a pair of shoes, but they were free, thank you Nordstrom Notes!). I wanted a way to spice up my style and shop my closet without spending money. The 10 X 10 challenge was a way for me to shop my own closet without going out and purchasing new items.
Since I promised my faithful readers (so grateful for you!) a recap post on the challenge, today’s post includes my thoughts before the challenge, the items I picked, how I styled my outfit each day, and my thoughts after the challenge.
Thoughts before the challenge:
Every morning I pick my outfit out of the day after I get out of the shower. I might think about what I’m going to wear while I’m in the shower, but lately, there isn’t a lot of intense thinking about what I’m going to wear each day to work. It’s quite simple for me because what I have in my wardrobe I wear often and love. If you took a peek inside my closet you’d also notice my wardrobe is almost entirely neutrals, white, black, and grey, with a splash of red. The longer I live in Portland the more I love neutrals.
This challenge involved a lot more thinking and planning than I originally guessed it would. When I go on vacation I always overpack, in a carryon, yes it’s possible. This isn’t a challenge you can “overpack” on, you only get 10 items. Thankfully, accessories don’t count towards your ten items in this challenge. Since I don’t tend to plan my outfits in advance (other than for this challenge), I haven’t planned my accessories out ahead of time. I did plan each outfit out ahead of time and took a mirror selfie so I would remember all of my different options for the challenge.
10 X 10 Challenge Tip: If you try this challenge yourself, use this outfit planner and take mirror selfies before you begin. It made getting ready each morning so much easier!
The items I picked for this challenge were:
- Banana Republic Black Dress
- Calvin Klein Red Heels
- Nine West Polka Dot Heels
- Banana Republic Black Dress Pants
- Ann Taylor Grey Sweater
- Halogen Black and White Striped Turtleneck
- Ann Taylor White and Black Striped Top
- Ann Taylor Black and White Square Patterned Tie-Neck Top
- Tahari White and Black Striped Blazer
- Ann Taylor Black Floral Ruffled Top
As we ventured out to take the photo for day one, the rain was coming down. You can see it in the photo and I’m not sure if I’ve warmed up yet. For day one of the challenge, I decided to pair my black dress with a black printed blouse and polka dot high heels. I had really fun earrings on, but those aren’t visible in the photo. To pair a blouse with a dress gather the material and tie it and then flip the tie under. That trick makes it almost looks like you’ve got a high waisted skirt on!
The red heels make this outfit pop and the sleeves on this top are my favorite. I opted to tuck the top in so my belt would show. The gold on my belt coordinated with the gold in my earrings. The red heels coordinated with my red lips. At this rate, it’s going to be really hard to pick a favorite outfit for this challenge.
I paired my black dress pants with polka dot heels, a black and white striped turtleneck, and large gold circle earrings. When I planned my outfits for this challenge I originally was going to wear this outfit with red heels. I opted to do a bit of pattern mixing and rock the polka dots instead.
The beauty of this challenge is how many accessories you can pull in to make your outfits pop. For day four of the challenge, I opted to add my Stella & Dot scarf to this outfit. I paired a grey sweater over a black dress with polka dot heels. Before this challenge, I had never paired these items together. Now this outfit is going to be on a more frequent rotation for me, as this was my favorite outfit of the challenge.
I have a few blazers in my closet and don’t wear them often enough. I added the black and white striped blazer to this challenge to A.) wear it more often and B.) challenge myself to style it a few different ways. Styling the blazer differently for the challenge looked like adding a chunky black and white necklace that I’ve had since high school (I found it on eBay and have no idea what brand it is) and a pair of red heels. Typically when I wear this blazer I pair it with a black dress, but in the past, I haven’t added such fun accessories. Don’t be afraid to go outside the box and add fun accessories to your work style.
On day six of the challenge, I opted for an Ann Taylor ruffled top with black dress pants and red heels. The red heels coordinated with the floral in the top. To add a bit of sparkle to this outfit I added gold dangly earrings that paired nicely with the gold in my belt.
I paired my black and white striped turtleneck over my black dress with red heels. This is not an outfit that I’ve paired together before, and it’s definitely one I’ll try again in the future.
This was the day I almost called this challenge quits, I just wanted to wear bright colors at this point. This grey sweater works way better over dresses I found. I paired the grey sweater for day eight of the challenge with polka dot heels and a polka dot scarf and black dress pants.
This is another outfit combination that I haven’t worn before and I’ll definitely be pairing it together again. I paired an Ann Taylor floral blouse with a black dress with polka dot heels. To get a polished look on the shirt I tied the right side of the shirt. It almost looked like it was tucked into a pencil skirt instead of being worn over a dress.
I saved one of my favorite outfits for the last day of this challenge. I wear this outfit to work often. For the final day of the challenge I wore, black pants, an Ann Taylor top, red heels, a gold belt and gold earrings.
Thoughts after the challenge:
I’m glad I tried this challenge, but capsule wardrobes just aren’t for me. I want to be able to wear my entire closet, not just a portion of it. I did find that planning my outfits in advance was fun and in the long run made getting ready quite easy every morning.
This challenge didn’t ultimately keep me from shopping. I ended up getting two yellow tops on day eight of the challenge (that I may or may not keep pending how they look when they arrive) and two pairs of ballet flats on a weekend during the challenge.
Also, I rarely wore the heels with my outfits each day. I ended up switching into black flats that I got during the challenge almost every day instead of wearing the heels pictured with the outfits. So if I do this challenge again, next time I’ll be picking flats instead of heels. I do love wearing heels, but not for 10 straight work days.
All in all, I created new outfits using existing items in my closet and now have a few new ways to wear things. I’m glad I went outside of the box and tried this challenge.