Last week I shared with you the looks I put together for the 10 x 10 challenge I participated in (extended by Lee from Stylebee). I wrapped up utilizing these 10 looks this past Friday and thought it would be appropriate if I too share some of my reflections from this challenge — perhaps to inspire you to partake in a similar challenge yourself! :) My goals for this blog post are to share with you: why I chose the pieces and/or combination of pieces I did for this mini capsule challenge, what worked for me and, of course, what didn’t.
2 | Chambray (old + thrifted) | J Crew, similar
3 | Cream blouse (old + thrifted) | AB Studio, similar
4 | Light grey pencil skirt (old + thrifted) | Banana Republic, similar
5 | Light wash denim | American Eagle (distressed by me)
6 | Dark wash denim | American Eagle
7 | Wrap trench coat (old) | Mango, similar
8 | Patterned flat ( fabric painting diy), similar
9 | Peep toe bootie | Steve Madden
10 | White sneaker | Converse
Similar in the way that I put together my spring capsule, when I set out to choose the 10 pieces for this mini capsule challenge I started by opening up my Stylebook app. I have, over the course of time, captured all of my wardrobe in this little app and I am continually amazed at how it allows me make better use of all the clothes I already have + help better identify future additions. I actually utilized the ‘packing list’ feature and used it to organize the individual pieces I would use as well as each of the looks I created using those pieces.
Note* I realize Stylebook is for iOS users only [blah] and that this explanation is specific to that, but I’ve heard decent things about Stylicious as well — although I’ve never used it myself. You could also check out these tools. Overall I would recommend using some sort of tool to organize and manage your wardrobe, the benefits have been significant for me!
The pieces I chose for this capsule were mostly the pieces that I reach for over and over again in my closet. I know those are the pieces that I love the most and feel most like me, so I decided to stick with that this challenge. I kept to a neutral color palette full of creams, tans, blues, light grey, and just a little black. I kept the mix varied with lots of different textures (denim, chambray, silk, cotton, leather, suede, canvas, etc.) and some pattern play (stripes, abstract dots and herringbone) for increased visual interest.
I broke my selection up into 3 tops, 3 bottoms, 3 pairs of shoes and 1 jacket. I did this simply because I ran the numbers and if I did this it gave me the highest possible scenario of highly unique looks — almost one for everyday of the challenge.
Overall I feel like I chose great pieces and that the challenge was a huge success for me. I was specifically glad that I included 3 completely different shoe options and consider it a key to not feeling burnt out by the end of the challenge.
I never implored any layering options (the chambray over the striped tee, knotted around the waist, under/over the cream silk blouse, etc.) which could have easily extended the timeframe that this mini capsule could have lasted me. Utilizing a defined color palette most definitely ensured that any once piece could be paired with another in some way — and then making use of accessories or layers to finish it all off.
AND WHAT DIDN’T
Although I wouldn’t say I felt burnt out of wearing the same pieces over and over at the end of this challenge, I was terribly burnt out of doing laundry! Unfortunately, 10 pieces is an extremely low number when you’re around a 2 1/2 year old and a 1 year old all day… To top it off our washer and dryer crapped out only a couple days into this mini capsule (eek!) so laundry became even more of an obstacle.
Similar to Paige’s experience, I ended up having to sub the cream collared blouse on the very first day — due to an early morning run in with my 1 year old — for another cream blouse in my closet that was not included in my 10 x 10 selections. And on day 6 my chambray shirt ripped a huge hole in the shoulder! Blah! I wore my gingham button down for the remainder of that day and then just made due with the other 9 pieces in my mini capsule for the rest of the challenge. ;)
Overall I think this challenged pushed me to create some different looks that I might not have otherwise chosen to wear — to work or to the playground. It forced me to experiment with those different looks and provided for new opportunities for me to assess and reflect on what works for my lifestyle + what doesn’t. Ideally I’d like to take part in a similar experiment every season and come away with new information and better assessments every time. :)
I would love to use this ‘packing list’ for an actual trip sometime in the future (maybe to Europe in the fall…?)! It’s highly likely I’ll do something similar when putting together a packing list for a family vacation we’ll be taking this summer. :)
And recs on pieces/number of pieces or other items to pack for a two week trip to the beach? I already have this handheld travel steamer on my Amazon wish list! ;)
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