I did it! This self-described closet maximalist completed a 10x10 wardrobe challenge. I'm pretty proud of myself considering I generally dislike the idea of capsule wardrobes and enjoy having many options to choose from in my closet. Now I know I can do it, and I learned a lot along the way. (I also got a major urge to purge my closet strangely enough... I added a bunch of new things to my Poshmark.)
Out of the ten outfits, the four shown above are my most favorite (click on each photo to go to the original post). I loved these outfits best because they exemplify how I want to look and feel in the winter—cozy and comfortable yet put together. Outfits 1 and 3 (left) are both really simple, but the addition of the scarves complete the looks. I love the pattern mixing in the first look and the contrasting camel in the third look. Outfits 6 and 8 (right) also have the simple base, but I added the chunky knit cardigan for extra warmth and it really took each look up a notch. I'm especially in love with the color palette in the sixth look and the cuffs I did on the cardigan in the eighth look.
LEAST FAVORITE OUTFITS
I'm happy to say that while I loved four of the outfits, I only felt so-so about two of them. While they aren't bad outfits per se, I don't see myself repeating them in the future. Outfit 4 (left) was good but pretty boring, and I'm not crazy about the red-on-charcoal grey going on. It also doesn't feel as "finished" as some of my other outfits. That said, the outfit is a good representation of my uniform in the cooler months. I actually think I would like it more if the sweater had a bit more volume to balance out the slim bottom half.
Outfit 10 (right) features a silhouette I would have worn more in previous years but feels less like me now. There's something about a tied shirt that feels fussy to me; maybe I just need to learn how to tie them? I'm never satisfied with my shirt ties, haha. I also wish I had tried rolling the waistband up to make the skirt shorter and the whole look more casual. In hindsight I probably wouldn't have included the skirt just because I don't really reach for skirts or dresses much in the winter.
- My more minimal personal style lends itself well to minimalist wardrobe challenges even though I am more of a closet maximalist at heart.
- I like having a "finishing" element to each outfit to make it feel complete, whether it be an outer layer like the cardigan or some sort of bold accessory like the scarves.
- Balance is everything. I prefer wearing slim pants and make up for it with more voluminous tops, so choosing two slim sweaters for this challenge wasn't the best idea. Even without a finishing element, outfits with the right balance feel more complete.
- Don't include something just because you feel like you need to for variety's sake. I included the skirt even though I wear predominantly pants when it's cold, and while it was fun to come up with outfits, I wouldn't normally have picked it to wear during the days of the challenge due to the weather and lack of events that would have required something more formal. I also may have picked something other than the tee since it wasn't that warm (though it did layer well with the cardigan without adding too much additional warmth or bulk).
- In addition to the challenge, I also decided to go on a shopping freeze for the month, and actually haven't bought myself any new clothes since December 19th. I'm proud of myself for sticking to it, and I learned that I don't need to add new things every couple of weeks to make my wardrobe feel fresh. Finishing the challenge and coming home to the rest of my closet was enough! Now I just hope I don't binge next month...
WHAT I LIKED
- I'm such a fan of the color palette I put together. Yes, it's mostly neutrals...but I injected some color with the red sweater, blue plaid shirt, and striped tee.
- I didn't need to do laundry as often as I thought I would. I already don't need to wash my jeans often at all. I can usually get a couple of wears in my tops before washing, but I ended up layering thin Heattech tees from Uniqlo under everything and that helped to keep everything fresher for longer. I did laundry only once in the middle of my challenge (mostly for my socks, tights, and under garments).
- Doing the challenge while I was away from my closet was an excellent idea. I wasn't tempted by all of my other sweaters staring back at me and distracting me.
WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY
- Picked one slim and one more oversized sweater to have better balance in my outfits.
- Omitted the skirt and picked an additional pair of pants. Even though it would have made the outfits incredibly more boring, it's more in line with what I actually wear day-to-day in the winter.
- Not included shoes altogether. It was far too cold and wet during my challenge, so I ended up wearing snow boots most days anyway, and some of the outfits were a bit chilly on their own so I wore extra layers around the house or if I was going to be out for an extended period. I should have picked a couple more top layers and left out the shoes entirely.
- Played around with my camera settings more to find some that worked better for shooting outfit photos indoors. ;)
Phew! I wrote a lot more than I thought I would, haha. :) Did you do the 10x10 challenge? How did it go for you? I'm planning on doing another 10x10 challenge this July! I think it will be easier, but it may also be too hot to do much in the way of layering. We'll see! Until then, it's back to regular programming around these parts.