Winter 10×10 2018 challenge + recap

Winter 10x10 Capsule wardrobe challenge | inspiration and lessons from a capsule wardrobe challenge

Those of you that have been reading for a while will know that I’m a big fan of the humble 10 X 10 Instagram challenge (10 looks from 10 pieces for 10 days) started by the capsule closet queens Lee and Caroline .

To be honest, I’ve had a mixed relationship with 10×10 challenges – held 4 times a year to coincide with the 4 different seasons. But no matter how successful I feel it’s gone, they’re always totally illuminating.

The winter 10 x 10 wrapped up just last weekend, and I thought it would be a chance to reflect and share more for those of you that have been curious to hear a bit more. So you can expect this post to cover

  • why 10×10 challenges are a great idea
  • my winter 10×10 choices and goals
  • how it went
  • top 3 takeaways

Why bother?

Well it’s a good question, and one I ask myself every time a challenge rolls around.

Do I really need to take part?

Yes, is the short answer 😉

In the end no matter how tired I am or how much I think it’s not a good time, or have nothing to wear, each challenge has brought me such interesting insights.

I think it’s down to the fact that these 10×10 challenges give me the space to think about what I wear, which doesn’t happen all that often in the cold hours of the morning when I’m throwing on things for the day.

Not only is this a good thing for upping the fun-ness of getting dressed – but it’s also so helpful for planning my maker capsule. Nothing helps you to zero in on gaps in your wardrobe like living with a micro wardrobe for 10 days!

Then there’s the whole inspirational community the 10×10 challenges have sparked. If you haven’t checked it out already the hashtags #10x10friends and #sewist10x10 have inspiration for d-a-y-s.

So, really what’s there to loose?


My winter 10×10 choices and my goals

Since re-evaluating my style using the maker capsule series as a prompt I’ve realised that I’m veering towards fitted silhouettes and clothes with more texture and interest.

So based on that recent analysis I picked the following for my winter 10×10.

My picks

1 skirt – my me-made Erin skirt in business denim (blogged here)

1 pair of jeans – black skinny organic cotton jeans from Monki via ASOS eco-edit

2 dresses – my me-made plaid helmi (blogged here) and my me-made ultimate shift dress in Fabric Store merino (unblogged, but similar here)

1 sweater – a secondhand Madewell bargain via eBay

1 cardigan – a super chunky vintage cardigan

2 tops – my me-made striped turtleneck (blogged here) and Kyoto sweater using (more) merino (recently blogged here)

1 pair of boots – black vegan leather boots from Vegetarian Shoes

1 pair sneakers – black Veja sneakers

My goals

To find new and interesting ways to wear these. I wanted to veer away from my usual looks – so I wanted lots of creative layering to push me away from my everyday approach.

How did it go

Annoyingly I had the mother of all colds halfway through so wasn’t able to do a full 10, but I managed 6 looks. Which isn’t too bad 😀

That said…. it was probably my most successful 10×10 ever!

At the very start I gave myself some time to try on different looks so I wouldn’t be left layering frantically and blurry eyed in the morning.

And guess what guys, Jackpot.

This made the whole challenge so simple. It helped me stretch myself as I already had a plan for what I might wear different days. Definitely a 10×10 game changer.

I tried a few things I never would have tried before – like dresses over jeans, bare ankles, backwards cardigans and tucked in sweaters.

OK, not all of them were successful, but I definitely experimented. 😀

Top 3 Takeaways

1. It’s OK to get it ‘wrong’

Right at the beginning of the challenge I gave myself permission to take risks and to experiment.

It may sound utterly ridiculous but I tend not to layer too much or mix things up because I don’t want to get things wrong. But from the start I wanted to approach this challenge with an open mind –

What if there is no wrong way to wear what’s in your closet?

Obviously that’s not revolutionary, but realising that experimenting can be fun – even when you don’t quite get it right 😁 – was a bit of a game changer for me.

2. It’s OK for favourite pieces to be subtle

Guys, I love a good separate. My black skinny jeans and Erin skirt were on h-e-a-v-y rotation. Definitely tied for favourite pieces but they’re pretty basic. Maybe even boring. Which then made me think –

Does that make me boring?

But really what is boring?

I’m going to steal from take away 1 here – if it’s OK to get it wrong than its OK to love subtle pieces. There’s no style rule book last I checked.

At the end of the day I only have to please myself, right?

3) It takes a community to support a capsule 😋

I definitely believe that all the inspiration in the 10×10 community is what makes these challenges so successful. Especially when you look at how creative people get with just 10 pieces.

Some of my favourites from this challenge were:

Top row (l to r): @kellymonson | @kati_bannister | @marybethrouth

Bottom row (l to r): @leevosburgh | @archandcrafted | @theotherbevachterof


So, have I managed to convince you to take part in a 10×10? Or did you take part in it this time (if so what would be your top take away)?

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  • I really enjoyed reading the looking through your post! I find the 10X10 challenge SO interesting to read about and I completely agree with you – we just fail to experiment enough with our clothes! I remember my mother used to get so exasperated with me as a teen (50 years ago!) when she would see me wearing the same thing over and over. With a closet full of clothes, couldn’t I be more imaginative? Because I used to (and still do!) get attached to certain clothes (I think we all do?) liking the way they looked and felt on my body. The problem was that I wore these favourite clothes like “outfits” and rarely interchanged them which is just what the 10X10 pushes the participant to do and the result is often so fashion forward! Thank you for posting this provocative article 🙂

  • VERY interesting! I’ve been doing a “moving worn clothes to one closet” experiment which, though not surprising, is quite educational!

  • I’m way too indecisive for a 10 x10, I guess. Although it might help with the daily morning struggle of picking an outfit…
    Love your sweater tucked in skirt outfit! I’d never think of tucking a thicker sweater in, but it looks fab!!