Spring 2018 10x10 Closet Challenge

Last winter (2017), I created my first capsule wardrobe. I pinned and pinned and pinned. Then I created a collection on Polyvore, went shopping, and waited for the magic that is supposed to come with capsule wardrobes.

In the end, I only felt so-so. And after this winter, I pretty much wanted to throw my hands up and wear my hoodies every day (which I pretty much did). There were pieces that I loved. Pieces that I wished I loved but didn't. Items that didn't fit or flatter my body. And clothes that just weren't me.

But I am not giving up on creating a capsule wardrobe. 

Before I give it another try, this time for the spring and summer seasons, I need to get clear on what is working and what isn't. To begin the process I'm taking on the 10x10 closet challenge.

What’s the 10x10?

Lee Vosburgh of Style Bee started the 10x10 challenge in 2015. Her goal was to be more creative with her closet (and herself) while she was on a 30-day shopping fast.

“The concept is essentially a micro capsule closet of 10 items that you work with for 10 days.”
— Lee Vosburgh

Think of the challenge as a way to fall in love with you clothes again. To reinvent your style. Or to finally, once and for all, let go of some clothes that just don’t work for you.

10x10 Guidelines

  • Pick 10 days. You can do 10 days in a row, 10 Mondays, 10 week days. You decide.
  • Pick 10 items of clothing from your closet.
  • Mix and match the items to create 10 different looks
  • Have fun

As for the items you select, these should come from your core closet. Think tops, bottoms, and shoes (if you’d like). You don’t need to include undergarments, accessories, pajamas, or workout gear..

Vosburgh suggests the following combination for beginners:

  • 2 pairs of shoes
  • 4 tops
  • 1 dress
  • 2 Bottoms
  • 1 top layer

I’m ignoring that top layer, because I have one coat that I just throw on and don’t consider part of my “outfit”. I also don’t wear dresses until summer (if then). This is exactly why this challenge has guidelines and not rules.

How to plan

First step, pick your days. I’m participating on week days only, from April 2nd to April 13th. Since I tend toward workout wear on the weekends, it just felt easier to skip weekends.

Second, consider the weather. Here in Central Iowa, we’re expecting anything from mid-30s with rain to partly cloudy mid-50s. This means layers will be essential if I’m to survive.

The next step is to consider what I have on my calendar. For the most part, that’s work, an evening storytelling class, and outdoor soccer games.

My Goal

One reason I’m completing this challenge is because I’ve become pretty lazy when it comes to style. I work on a college campus, where most offices are casual. I’m not talking business casual. I’m talking casual. It’s not uncommon to see me in jeans, hoodie, and Chucks at work.

For this challenge, I’ve kept jeans in the mix, but I really want to dress them up. And limit the number of days I wear them.

Essentially, my goal is to upgrade from casual to business casual on weekdays.

So no hoodies, no tennis shoes, no t-shirts.

My Spring 10x10 Items

 1. Calvin Klein blazer 2. Athleta black cowl-neck wweater 3. BP Long-sleeved tunic tee 4. Old Navy long-sleeved stripped tunic tee 5. Old Navy black plaid button-up

1. Calvin Klein blazer 2. Athleta black cowl-neck wweater 3. BP Long-sleeved tunic tee 4. Old Navy long-sleeved stripped tunic tee 5. Old Navy black plaid button-up

 1. Apt. 9 straigh-leg light-wash jeans 2. Calvin Klein straight-leg black trouser 3. Apt. 9 straight-leg charcoal trouser 4. Teva flats 5. Abella Lindy flat in black

1. Apt. 9 straigh-leg light-wash jeans 2. Calvin Klein straight-leg black trouser 3. Apt. 9 straight-leg charcoal trouser 4. Teva flats 5. Abella Lindy flat in black

I'll mix and match these core items with accessories to keep things fresh for the 10 days. 

Follow along

To see how I style these 10 items, follow me on Instagram. I'll post my complete outfits each weekday. 

If you want to see what others are doing, follow Lee at @leevosburgh, as well as her co-hosts, Caroline from Unfancy at @caroline_joy and Elizabeth Suzann at @elizsuzann. You can also follow the hashtags #10x10friends, @spring10x10, and #es10x10.