I'm excited to share the fourth post in the Becoming Confident Series with you all today! One aspect of subjective perfection that has been the hardest for me to overcome is increasing my self-confidence. So I'm featuring a series of posts dedicated to methods and steps I've used to do just that! To read the other posts in this series, click here.
I have followed Caroline from UnFancy on Instagram for a while now. She champions the use of a capsule wardrobe, which is a concept that I've been interested in exploring for a long time. There is something about the freedom and confidence that I imagine comes when living with a capsule wardrobe that is rather appealing to me - with limited and intentionally chosen clothing options, you know that anything you pick out of your closet to wear will make you happy and feel great. However, living in Florida, the weather doesn't always lend itself to a true capsule for each season, so I haven't jumped in yet.
A couple of weeks ago Caroline posted something about a 10x10 Challenge that she was hosting along with Lee from Style Bee. After doing a bit of research, it looked like the perfect opportunity to dip my toes into living with a modified capsule wardrobe for two weeks!
Lee is the creator of the 10x10 Challenge and shares this about the origins of the challenge on her blog:
"The 10x10 Challenge is an exercise I adopted in 2015 to help encourage myself to get more creative with my clothes during a 30 Day Shopping Fast. The concept is essentially a micro capsule closet that you work with for 10 days, trying new looks and styling your clothes in ways you might not otherwise try."
The 10x10 Challenge Guidelines
Seeing as I am in the middle of a three month shopping fast as a part of the Contentment Challenge Kurt and I are participating in (you can read more here), I thought this would be a fun way to more fully enjoy the clothes in my closet!
There are four basic guidelines to the 10x10 Challenge:
- Pick any 10 items from your current closet.
- Style those items into 10 different looks.
- Use 10 days to do it.
- Have fun and don't take it too seriously!
When choosing my 10 items, I loosely followed the suggestions outlined by Lee:
- 2 pairs of shoes
- 4 tops
- 1 dress
- 2 bottoms
- 1 top layer
I skipped the top layer because we are just about in full summer weather here in Florida. That means that top layers aren't really necessary! Instead, I added a second dress to my 10 items.
She and Caroline also offer the following tips for choosing items:
- Check the forecast and pick practical items for the weather. (Like I said... with weather in the 80s, there is no need for top layers! What I did think about though is the difference in temperature of our apartment and the outside weather. Because I don't often leave the apartment during the heat of the day, I tried to choose items that could work moving from one temperature to another pretty easily for when I am out and about.)
- Don't give yourself too much time to choose. Try to make the call in under 30 minutes. But if you need more, that's cool too! (I set a timer for 30 minutes so I wouldn't start to think too much about my choices.)
- Go for an easy, lean color palette. Think neutrals, denim, white, black and grey with 1 or 2 colors. (This reminded me of how I packed for our trip to London and Paris at the beginning of this year - I chose a specific color palette so everything would mix and match!)
- Reach for your favorites first and then add one or two pieces you'd like to wear more or aren't sure about. (I've been employing a trick leftover from the Style + Styleability course I participated in earlier this year, so I have a great idea of what those favorite pieces and less worn pieces are.)
- Avoid dry clean only items or pieces that are a pain to launder so if need be you can refresh them during the 10 days. (I don't have a lot of pieces that are dry clean only anyway, so this wasn't difficult for me.)
As I followed these tips, I also thought about what was on my calendar for the next two weeks. While I don't have to leave my apartment to go to work everyday, there are some things in the evenings that Kurt and I do have planned for during this time period. During the challenge, I'm planning to try to get dressed once in the morning and not have to make too many adjustments as the day goes on. For those activities that require special clothing items (i.e. pajamas or workout clothes), I'm going to wear those items. They just exist outside of the 10 items for the challenge.
My 10 Items
I am starting the challenge today, and will continue it until Friday, April 21. I'm using the 10 business days of this two week period and skipping the weekends.
Here are the items I chose to include in the 10:
- Pink swing tank top (old) | similar
- Black hi-lo tank top (old) | similar
- White tassel tank top (old) | similar
- Striped peplum top
- Chambray tank dress (old) | similar
- Long sleeve swing dress
- Boyfriend jeans (old) | similar
- Black jeans (old) | similar
- Blush clog sandals
- Black tie sandals (old) | similar
You'll notice that accessories like hats, bags, scarves, and jewelry aren't listed. That's because they can be added in and removed freely.
Kurt is helping to take photos everyday of my outfits that I'm planning to share on Instagram, and I'll share all 10 in a recap post here at the end of the challenge. I am hopeful that this challenge helps me to not only have a lot of fun with mixing and matching some of my favorite clothing items, but also builds my confidence when doing so in order to create some different looks outside of my norm!
I'd love to know - how do you organize your closet and wardrobe? Do you utilize capsules for the seasons, or let everything exist together all at once? How do you get creative when getting dressed everyday? Share your thoughts, experiences and tricks in the comments!