Closet Challenge

Summer 10×10 Closet Challenge: Favorite Looks + Closing Thoughts

August 5, 2016



Let’s put this 10×10 Closet Challenge to bed, shall we? But first, let’s rewind and play through the hits!

Favorite Outfits:

(L-R from top)
1 – For me, this is an example of simplicity at its finest. I believe it works well here because of the unique pieces. The fabric and cut of the top lend easy style to the garment, and I could say the same about the skirt. I am generally terrible at remembering the details, aka accessories, but I think this wave bar necklace provides the perfect finishing touch. See full outfit details here.

2 – The thing I love next after simplicity? Color or tonal harmony. I love the way the soft shades in this color palette play together. It’s oddly soothing to me. Light gray + cream + tan + powder blue. See full outfit details here.

3 – I love not taking myself seriously. And this outfit reflects that. It is playful, fun and practical. Without this closet challenge I never would have paired this t-shirt with this dress, but I’m so glad I did. See full outfit details here.

4 – More simplicity. This is my life. Wearing easy, but not boring, clothes while I keep up with my busy family. Oh, and must be comfortable 90% of the time! Cotton-meets-linen-meets-cork footbeds. Yes, please. See full outfit details here.

Biggest Takeaways:

I had two sort of ‘ah-ha!’ moments during this process.

I’ve been thinking about why I like simple outfits so much, and what separates a well-done simple outfit from an unintentional simple outfit, and I think there are a few things. One, that word I just touched on: intention. I think intention has everything to do with how well a simple outfit comes off. Did you intend to pull together a unique, simple look, or were you absently grabbing the cleanest t-shirt and jeans? Now, a t-shirt and jeans can be beautifully simple, but it comes back to that intention. Second, I believe the quality and uniqueness of the items are paramount for elevating simple looks. A t-shirt and jeans combo can easily be run-of-the-mill or it can make a statement (think: modern cut t-shirt paired with some vintage Levi’s). Third, I believe the last factor is attention to detail. How does your bag work with you entire outfit? What does your hair styling for the day say about your look?

Further curating my closet by way of ten pieces really made getting dressed easy. Easier than ever. No room for being wishy-washy. And man, that felt good. It made me think, what if I applied the curating process to my closet even more? I mean, I’ve pared down, and then I’ve pared down again. I don’t think it’s wise to get rid of things willy-nilly, but I do think it’s smart for me to take an even more critical eye of what’s hanging in my closet (especially if it’s not getting much wear). Am I keeping stuff because it’s ‘easy’ even though I don’t love it? Am I keeping stuff because I feel like I ‘should’? (I’ve already pulled a small handful of things out of my closet.)

What I’d Do Differently:

I think I already knew this, but I don’t LOVE the cobalt top I included. It made the cut because I felt like I ‘should’ include more color in my 10×10, but it’s those darn ‘shoulds’ that are always leading to trouble. I need to continue to listen to my instincts instead.

Styling Outfits for the Blog vs. Real Life:

So, this is kind of weird information to admit, but I think I learned more from my virtual outfit styling (for the blog) than I did from my day-to-day dressing in real life. In the mornings I seemed to be in a hurry and not have time to brainstorm. However when styling for the blog, I put in a lot more thought. Thankfully, this always carries over to ‘real life’ for me because once I plan a look for the blog, it seems like a much easier outfit to just grab and go with in the future.

I realize most of you are not style bloggers, so here’s what I think you should do if you plan on executing a 10×10 sometime soon. To learn from a 10×10, you don’t even have to wear ten things for ten days, the learning (for me) comes from using the ten as puzzle pieces to make ten unique creations. So grab some coffee on a slow morning and play away with your clothes. Configure and try on ten outfits, photographing each one with your phone. You might just find a new look you love!

Did you do a 10×10? What were your takeaways? I’d love to hear! :) For more 10×10 inspiration, check out Style This Life and Style Bee!



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  • Stacy August 5, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Always love this series and seeing everyone’s takeaways. I swear I’ll give it a go one of these days. I tried so hard one weekend and I just couldn’t make it happen. Maybe in the fall ;) Also, I’m seriously considering ditching the capsule at the end of the season and your blog has been so helpful with that! We’ll see, but I think it might be time.

    • Andrea August 6, 2016 at 12:22 am

      You should go through the exercise of outfit building, it’s so fun! You don’t necessarily have to wear them, but those tight constrains will draw out your creativity.

      Keep me posted on your post-capsule life! :)

  • Rebecca N August 5, 2016 at 11:38 am

    I have really been thinking hard about reducing my wardrobe even more after seeing these posts. Your 10×10 challenge makes a small wardrobe so appealing. As I invest in quality pieces that fit me well, I want to weed out the items that are rarely worn, ill fitting, or of low quality. This fall I am considering buying a top from either Jamie and the Jones or Cuyana. It may be my only new purchase for fall since it’s so pricey, but when I find a piece I love I tend to wear it over and over again, so I really think I could get by with less clothes!

    • Andrea August 6, 2016 at 12:24 am

      Yay! I’m so excited for what you decide to purchase! Which tops are you thinking from those two places? I’ve never bought anything from Cuyana (besides a tote) but I am sure everything they make is sooo nice.

      I agree! I think higher quality items that are loved make it easier to have less. :)

  • Jenna August 5, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I’ve never tried a 10×10 challenge, but you’re making me contemplate it more & more! If nothing else, I could definitely benefit from putting together some staple outfits that I can pull from day-to-day when I (inevitably) sleep in too late and am in a rush. And I am also thinking about ways to pare down my closet more, but it does seem like there comes a point when you get rid of things just for the sake of getting rid of them rather than experimenting more. Lots of provoking thoughts!

    • Andrea August 6, 2016 at 12:35 am

      You should try it! At least the exercise part of making the outfits. It really works! And then report back. :)

  • Erin August 5, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    These posts are my favorite parts of a style challenge — when you break down what works, what didn’t, and WHY. Thanks for sharing, Andrea! I think these outfits were your best yet :)

    • Andrea August 6, 2016 at 12:36 am

      Thanks so much Erin! These posts aren’t always the easiest to write, they make me think a lot more, which I suppose is good. But I feel like I learn so much from taking the time to reflect. Hope your summer has been going well!

  • T August 5, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    I completely agree about making outfits not when you’re getting dressed in the morning! Back in January, I started planning out outfits for the work week on Sunday evening and it saves so much time in the mornings over when I used to hem and haw over what to wear when getting dressed. I don’t advance pick out my weekend clothes since my activities vary more and the time of day (aka temperature) that I’m outside than during the week.

    • Andrea August 6, 2016 at 12:37 am

      Yes, smart! I think I actually need to do this a little more. I am just too tired to feel creative in the morning!

  • Andrea August 6, 2016 at 2:50 am

    I’m actually starting a 10×10 today – inspired by your posts and Style This Life. I enjoyed the last one I did, though I didn’t quite pull it off, forgetting some events I hadn’t planned into my outfits. Since it is summer and the most taxing thing over the next ten days is taking my son to tech camp and visiting a museum with my daughter, it seemed like the perfect time to try again. The weather even cooperating only stretching me to cover a 20 degree spread.

    I’ve thought about taking snapshots of full outfits, all accessorized and printing them out, glueing them onto notecards and putting them on a ring – sort of like a grownup set of baby’s keys – that way I can easily see a complete outfit while I’m standing in my closet. I’m very much a in hand versus on the device kind of person. I had this idea couple of years ago but still haven’t done it yet!

    I learned the one place I am lacking is necklaces/accessories – well anything that’s less than 8 years old. So I definitely could use some inspiration and new life in that area. I also need to learn layer for a look not just for warmth.

    • Andrea August 10, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      That’s a great idea! I love the the concept of analog verses digital, I totally get that! When I was much younger I used to keep a book of inspiring pieces and looks from magazines, (mostly J.Crew catalogs!!).

      Yes, that ‘third piece’ whether a light cardi or vest or necklace, really does make a look feel complete!

      Good luck on your 10×10!

  • Besma August 8, 2016 at 11:37 am

    You created some beautiful looks – I’m looking at weeding out weaker pieces in my own wardrobe and sticking to my essentials. It’s nice to see how conscious consumerism can still be modern and fun!

    Besma | Curiously Conscious

    • Andrea August 10, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      Hi Besma, yes, I agree it can be modern and fun, and for that I’m so thankful!

      Best of luck as you work through your closet! Don’t feel caught up in any haste, remember it’s ‘slow’ fashion for a reason. :)

  • Leigh Stalvey August 21, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Alrighty, I m going to join you in the challenge and wear my 10 items to work for the next 2 weeks! This will be fun!! ??