My Big Aha Moment from the 10×10 Challenge

So I learned some things after wearing the same 10 pieces of clothes for 10 days.

-I really liked concentrating on just a few itens. Paying each piece some one-on-one attention, as it were, gave me a chance to figure out how I really feel about them.  I slowed down and considered, instead of just wearing, tossing aside, repeat.  Taking outfit pics and having to reflect on each ensemble helped with this – so thanks, y’all, for reading and for commenting!

-I’m really feeling the blouse/pencil skirt combo right now (shock):
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-I’m keeping this white sheath dress:
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It just feels good and is super versatile without being blah/shapeless.

-I’m not keeping this red linen/cotton blouse:
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Too baggy in the torso; someone else will love it as is; I have plenty of blouses.  Sorry, fans of the BR Soft Wash Shirt!  (PS it’s a size S; if one of you living in a humid clime wants it I’ll ship it to ya. #thriftsolidarity)

-I’m not as excited about this blazer as I thought I would be:

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It fits dreamily and is so comfy. But the print seemed to clash with my printed tops and the grey was just a little too cool and not a great match for my grey pants. I’ll see how it matches with all the other stuff in my spring wardrobe, but I have a feeling it’ll get donated, because of my last realization.

The Big Aha Moment

The biggest thing I learned was before I started, when I was trying to pick out clothes for the challenge.  I wouldn’t even call it a “thing” I learned, but rather a shift in perspective.  All thanks to a dress coat:

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Tahari by Arthur S. Levine

I was staring at my closet, ruminating on what jacket/cardigan/blazer/coat I would pick as my finishing layer for the next ten days. I figured if I chose just one I’d have more room in my 10-day mini-capsule for other things. My eyes lit on this dress coat (coat dress?) and I said to myself, “That’d go with everything.”

For some reason that little insight swung the door open to a much bigger one. If that dress coat really would work with everything else I planned to include (it would), why did I have so many other blazers/top layers in my closet?

I looked over at my dresses; I had similarly decided to include just one dress in my 10×10 wardrobe so as to have room for more tops and bottoms to mix and match. If one dress, styled two ways, was sufficient to get me through ten days of work outfits, why did I have two dresses I loved but didn’t really fit right anymore and another I never really loved but thought I needed for color variety? This was after I did my spring closet clean out, mind you.

Somehow the lens of a mini capsule wardrobe brought into focus what “enough” really is in my wardrobe. It suddenly felt easy to let go of those three dresses, two blazers I hadn’t fallen in love with yet, and a couple of tops that went with everything but were rarely worn because I had so many others I liked more. And instead of feeling like I needed to go get my thrifting fix after my thrifting fast, I felt myself relax.

I don’t need a dress in every color to “complete” my spring wardrobe.  It’s been a bit strange to look at my dresses and see a lot fewer colors; the rainbow they made brought a smile to my face. Anyone else get that feeling of chromatic satisfaction? But I’m really looking forward to wearing the ones I still have, so does it matter if all that’s in there for spring is white, blue, caramel, and orange?

I don’t need more than two weeks’ worth of dress tops. I do want SOME variety in my life; not repeating a top in two weeks, give or take a few days, is my happy place for now.

I don’t need every color corduroy pant known to humanity just because they look so enticing all lined up on the thrift rack. In fact, having just two seems to work quite well. (But maybe my green ones instead of grey because JOY.)

 

I feel a shift coming on: from buying (or keeping) something because it goes with everything else to keeping just a few pieces that meet my needs and are a joy to wear, not just look at. Maybe I’m headed back towards capsule territory – at least in spirit.

 

So that’s what I learned from the 10×10. Did y’all participate?  Learn anything? Wanna share?  :)

PS Here’s what I donated after this epiphany. Bye:
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6 thoughts on “My Big Aha Moment from the 10×10 Challenge

  1. Well done. It feels good doesn’t it! I did this a while ago and really enjoy
    the clothes that I have left.

    Regards

    Lizer Pearl

  2. I like your current look and how you honed it through the challenge. The donation pictures at the end of your post really confirms your instincts for a cohesive look. Thanks for sharing the process with us.

    1. You’re right, Ilona – it’s a pretty telling visual story, isn’t it? I hadn’t noticed it before, so thanks for pointing it out – I can use the 10×10 and the donations as visual reference points for what is “me” and what’s wishful thinking. :)

  3. Ah, why do I have so much in my closet, the perennial question. Given your experience I am thinking it might be time for me to take the 10×10 challenge. I really have honed down quite a bit, but certainly still have more than I need. Thank you for sharing your challenge and what it taught you about your own style.

    1. I was surprised how much this revealed – I thought it would be more of a fun challenge than anything groundbreaking. If you give it a try I’d love to hear how it goes!

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