OK, so honesty time.
I’ve actually been in a real rut recently especially when it comes to clothes.
Getting dressed in the morning has me feeling so blah.
I’ve definitely not been getting much joy from wearing the things in my closet. And that’s pretty rubbish when you spend as much time as I do planning and making what’s in that closet.
So I really dived into a recent Instagram challenge thrown down by Caroline Joy – the Unfancy remix challenge – focusing on living with a tiny capsule wardrobe. I figured forcing myself to live in close quarters with a few key items might help me get a bit more out of what I have. You know, like a kind of Stockholm Syndrome. But for clothes.
Normally, I wouldn’t go through it all with you, but guys, I had some pretty awesome realisations and wanted to share some thoughts with you – maybe they resonate with you, or you have some ideas to throw in.
In any case get yourself comfortable.
We’re going to get all insightful.
Essentially the challenge was pretty simple. Pick out 10 items of clothing. Wear these for 10 days. No outfit repeats allowed.
You could post your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #unfancyremix (which I did – hence the recent outfit oversharing on my Instagram account).
And to be clear these 10 items have to include shoes and jackets. I know, that’s a pretty big challenge, right?
Here’s all the pieces (details here). That was it. For 10 days.
And of course, being me I added a little extra to the challenge by trying to include as many me-made made items in the mix as possible.
So, how did I get on?
In a nutshell: actually not bad.
I thought I’d get super bored but I really, really enjoyed what I had. I think it was to do with the challenge of constantly having to reinvent and mix things up.
There were some outfits I loved more than others (more on that in a minute) but I managed a different outfit everyday by layering and a few style tweaks.
I subbed in some canvas shoes on the last day and a raincoat once or twice during the week when popping out to get supplies or the bambino, but those were pretty practical choices. I love a good challenge but no challenge is worth getting wet and cold for.
But here’s the real kicker – I never got bored. Not once.
I had a few pieces that really worked with everything and for anything (work, hanging with bambino, coffee dates). The striped top and the black denim jeans were pretty much in heavy rotation.
I also liked pretty much all the looks that involved tops tucked into skinny jeans or pencil skirts. Funny because I hardly ever tucked anything in before. So that’s going in my back pocket of tricks.
I do love a quick win.
I’m also well into denim in all its forms. But I think we knew that already 🙂
These two outfits feel pretty boring and pretty unimaginative. I wish I’d made the look on the left more interesting – maybe by adding a necklace.
The outfit on the right is just plain weird. I’m trying to dress down the skirt but it just looks bulky. I think the cami would have worked better than the striped top. And maybe the black shirt instead of the chambray button down to add more interest.
What have I learned?
It’s OK not to be THAT into colour
So pretty much all of my 10 items were black, navy or grey. With maybe a bit of brown or tan. At first, this really bummed me out. How drab, right?
But as I stated to live with my 10 I realised that I really like monochromatic looks. They’re just really soothing to me.
Plus, monochromatic isn’t boring. Adding in brown, tan, and cream accents can keep the whole look from being too snooze-ville.
Take an extra 3 minutes
Usually I just reach for the same things time and time again – wearing the same shirt with the same jeans in the exact same way.
Every. Single. Time.
But… having to imagine how to wear things in different ways was refreshing. It actually brought joy to my daily routine of getting dressed. Breaking out of my dressing rut was part of why I wanted to take part in this challenge – so bit of a result there.
And the thing is it didn’t take a-g-e-s. I certainly wasn’t sat up all night planning out the next days outfit (who has the time when there’s so many great box sets to watch?). I took maybe 3 minutes more getting dressed in the morning. That’s it.
It’s definitely encouraged me to take a little more care in how I wear things – with the details, like how I pair things and little tweaks to things like cuff rolls or extras like belts and scarves. That extra 3 minutes of thought really makes a difference.
Clothes need TLC
I really loved wearing all of my items, but keeping them in solid rotation made me realise they aren’t all holding up particularly well.
I noticed bits of thread, missing buttons and a few other sloppy things. And none of the me-mades I wore had labels. A pretty abysmal oversight considering I’ve got some pretty stellar labels.
It’s such an easy fix, but I’ve got to be honest mending is no where near as exciting as firing out a new make. So I kinda just don’t do it. Still it’s such an easy win. I just need to get on and do it.
Was it worth it?
Definitely. I actually enjoy getting dressed in the morning and think it’s a fun part of the day. Plus, it’s made me realise it’s possible to love everything in my closet.
Well, funnily enough instead of jumping back into a full closet, I’m basically auditioning pieces to join the 10 from the challenge. I’m slowly adding in other items from my closet on a case by case basis. I want to make sure every piece is working hard for me.
So what about you, are you tempted to join in a similar challenge? Or are you already wise with the ways of the wardrobe 🙂