After doing no style challenges in 2018, I started feeling the itch to tackle them again in 2019. I’m currently trying to not buy anything wardrobe-related and would like to keep it going for at least January and hopefully longer, so diving into a style challenge felt like the best way to get the most out of my closet and keep things feeling interesting! I went way back to one of my first style challenges, the style sudoku, which I did twice in 2016 (see the fall version and the spring version), and felt inspired to bring it back this year. I’m planning to do one in each season and really challenge myself while also helping me curb any unnecessary spending.
A style sudoku is exactly what it sounds like if you’re familiar with sudoku the puzzle. Basically, you choose four tops, four bottoms, four pairs of shoes, and four other items (accessories, jewelry, outerwear, etc.) and arrange them in a 4x4 grid so each row, column, and corner makes a complete outfit. (You can also make outfits out of the diagonals and the inner “squares” of the two middle rows if you’re so inclined!) In my past style sudoku challenges, I shared the diagonal outfits, too, even though diagonals aren’t technically included in a real sudoku.
Below is my style sudoku and what I’ll be wearing every day for the next couple of weeks as of this past Sunday! I ended up with a color palette of mostly black and navy, which kind of surprised me, but I went with it instead of forcing it to be only black or only navy. For contrast, I added ivory, grey, olive, and red items as well as a striped tee and plaid flannel shirt. I quite like how it came together.
I included a few items that haven’t gotten much wear recently: my grey chunky knit cardigan, blue flannel shirt dress, striped tee, and black Frye boots. My “accessories” are the cardigan, dress, beanie, and vest. The dress was something I really wanted to incorporate and play with so we’ll see how it goes! I’m planning to wear it three different ways.
I’ll be breaking down what I wear into three different blog posts and detail what I did on each day, how the outfit worked for those activities, and the weather. As you can probably tell, we have precipitation in the forecast…I’m really hoping I wear my Hunter boots on the correct days and won’t be stuck wearing one of my other pairs of boots on a wet day! I thought about maybe omitting shoes because winter weather can be so unpredictable, but after staring at the forecast for what felt like forever, I think I can manage with just these boots.
Below the sudoku, you can find the item details. I’ll be sharing a daily photo of my outfit over on Instagram stories (check out my “Style Sudoku” highlight) and then posting them here after a few days have passed. Let’s hope I’m not too sick of these items by the end!
Grana cropped cashmere sweater / no longer available; similar by Everlane
Everlane authentic stretch high-rise skinny jeans / exact
ModCloth waffle knit cardigan / no longer available; similar by Banana Republic
Grana flannel shirt dress / no longer available; similar denim dress by H&M
Marc Fisher ‘Yommi’ chelsea boots / exact from Nordstrom Rack
Madewell high-rise skinny jeans / no longer available; similar by Madewell
LOFT striped tee / no longer available; similar by LOFT
Madewell flannel ex-boyfriend shirt / no longer available; similar by Old Navy
J.Crew ribbed pom-pom beanie / exact style
Frye ‘Melissa Button’ tall boots / no longer available; similar from Nordstrom
Hunter original gloss chelsea boots / exact from Italist
Amour Vert ‘Kendra’ cable knit sweater / no longer available; similar from Bloomingdale’s