The 10 x 10 challenge

Flat lay of shirts, jeans and a stripe t-shirt.

Just before Easter I decided I was going to try and undertake an experiment with my wardrobe.

I learnt about the 10 x 10 challenge initially through Lee and Caroline’s blogs.  Essentially it’s about taking 10 items from your wardrobe and wearing them, and only them, for 10 days.  Lee created the challenge in 2015 during a month long shopping fast, as a way to garner a new appreciation for what you already own.

I’ve followed numerous challenges (held quarterly) online and always been super impressed at what you can do with just 10 items of clothing, and finally plucked up the courage to give it a go myself…

I heeded the advice of both Lee and Caroline and sat down one afternoon and checked out the weather forecast and my diary, so I could gather items from my wardrobe that’d work for what was expected. Mornings were to be cool, but the days summer-like and I had a few family gatherings over the Easter break as well as my standard working week to consider.

These are the 10 items I ended up settling on:

  • Two pairs of shoes (nude loafers and white sneakers)
  • Two pairs of jeans (dark blue and black)
  • Three shirts (white, navy/burgundy check and dark chambray)
  • One t-shirt (black and white stripe)
  • One dress (navy)
  • One cardigan (light grey)

I set aside a section in my wardrobe and hung all my pieces there, to make it easy to grab an outfit every morning.

White shirt and dark blue jeans.

On the whole, my daily formula was pretty simple – jeans and a top. To be honest, that’s what I wear most days but only having a small selection to choose from forced me to try some pairings I’ve never before.

Some I ended up unexpectedly loving, like the dark chambray shirt and dark blue jeans.  I’d always thought I couldn’t pull off the ‘double denim’ vibe, but I love the monochromatic look and ended up wearing that exact outfit twice over the 10 days.

Adam and I made an impromptu decision to head to Canberra for the weekend at the end of challenge.  It made packing a breeze, but my least favourite outfit was #10 (white shirt, navy dress and white sneakers) as I was trying to use the items I’d worn the least. Whether it was the proportions of the dress with the knotted shirt, I’m not quite sure – it just didn’t feel right to me.

White knotted shirt, navy dress and white sneakers.

My cardigan also ended up being a bit of a workhorse, as I’d start most mornings wearing it, ditching it by lunchtime due to the rising temperatures. I also liked taking wardrobe staples, like black jeans and a white shirt and adding something a little extra, like an interesting scarf or a rolled cuff. When you start to think about it, there are so many little changes you can make to basic items to make them feel unique.

Black jeans, white shirt, nude loafers and tan silk scarf.

I’m really glad I took the plunge with the 10 x 10. Although most of the participants were northern hemisphere dwellers, trying to find their spring style, I enjoyed injecting an autumnal feel into what were really still fairly summery days. The challenge made me realise I’d like to find some trousers (other than jeans) to wear. I’ve gotten so used to wearing jeans pretty much every day and I’d like to get out of that rut a few times a week. I’m digging the elastic waisted linen/cotton trousers both Caroline and Lee selected for their challenges.  I’m also keen to invest in a few more pieces that I can layer more easily – maybe a sleeveless shell in a neutral colour and natural fibre that you wear by itself, over a tighter fighting  long sleeve t-shirt, or with a cardigan.

Would you take the 10 x 10 challenge?

Have a wonderful weekend. x


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