Why I’m Skipping the 10×10 Challenge This Summer

If you’ve been reading for awhile (hi! thank you!), you probably have become familiar with the 10×10 challenge – 10 pieces of clothing to make 10 outfits over 10 days. Started by Lee Vosburgh and Caroline Rector, it’s a way to practice contentment with your closet, to get creative with what you already have, and to get inspired by other people doing the same.

In the past I’ve had fun with the challenge and learned something (click that 10×10 link in the first sentence to read up on all that). But this time around, I’m skipping it.

It’s not because I don’t think I could pull it off; ironically, I’m pretty much living a 10×10 all the time thanks to an edited maternity wardrobe.


Variations on themes here, people.

As I wrote about here, I’m feeling mighty content with my closet at the moment – to the point of not thrifting in any regular manner (what??).

I’ve also realized that I tend to pick 10×10 pieces that stand on their own, or combine in very specific, well-trod ways (e.g. button down + sweater + pants +boots) that don’t allow for as much creative mixing and matching. As I ran through potential 10×10 outfits in my head this time around, I realized that all I want to wear is dresses and the only way to make “new” or stylistically interesting outfits would be to throw on a white denim jacket or swap out a shirt on the rare day I want to wear the two pairs of shorts that currently fit. Hardly groundbreaking.

Last but not least, the style of the folks who participate in the 10×10 tends to echo Lee & Caroline’s – minimalist patterns and silhouettes that, while aesthetically quite pleasing to my eye, bear no relationship to how I dress in real life (as opposed to in Instagram-influenced fantasy land).

So I’m good on my usual reasons to do a 10×10.

What about you? Where do you fall on the goals for a 10×10? Are you participating this time or sitting it out – or curious to try it? (If it sounds intriguing to you, though, hop on over to www.stylebee.ca to learn more, or search the #10×10 hashtag on Instagram for inspiration.)

Winter 10×10 Wrap Up

Here are my last three outfits of the Winter 10×10 (which I did wear in sequence, but did not post on in sequence. It’s been a week).

Day 8
Buttondown shirt by F by Façonnable
Cardigan by INC
Pants by Elie Tahari
Boots by Lucky Brand – everything thrifted but the boots

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So I like how classic (button down + khaki-ish pants) blends with funky here (waterfall-ish cardigan with zipper details + snakeskin ankle boots). And the slightly longer length and the curved hem of the button down avoid the “chopped in half” look. Not something I would’ve thought to try without this challenge; also not something I loved so much I’ll do it all the time. I give it 7/10 for unexpected success.

 

Day 9
Button down by F by Façonnable
Hi-lo cableknit sweater by Workshop by Andrea Jovine
Paige denim
Puma sneakers – all thrifted

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The only thing in this outfit that was in my original 10×10 was the button down. Oh well! I’m back in my comfort zone here with some great shirt tails peeking out, lovely summer-y colors on top, and some texture thrown in for interest. Wearing my snakeskin ankle boots would have added just that much more pattern to break up the long block of navy on my lower half; 9/10 for this slightly more casual, monochrome look.

 

Day 10
Left: Button down by Ralph Lauren
Blazer by H&M
Ryder pants by J. Crew
Boots by Lucky Brand

Right: Button down by Ralph Lauren
Sweater by Old Navy
“Mom” jeans by Gap
Puma sneakers – everything thrifted but the boots

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This was Sunday morning – church, aka work – and Sunday afternoon, respectively. Again, the only thing in either of these outfits that was in my original 10×10 picks is the button down shirt. At least it was in both!

First, Sunday AM (on the left): I LOVE these Ryder pants – they are sort of canvas-y in texture yet much more polished than chinos or more casual pants; they fit like a dream. The boots add some fun and work superbly with the length/taper of the pants; but the rest of the outfit is boring, with a harsh contrast between the white/navy and my face. It just washed me out. I did look quite professional for a post-church meeting, though. (And let’s take a moment to appreciate my beach-vibes hair, which happened on the blustery walk home.) 5/10 ’cause I like the bottom half but not the top.

Sunday PM (on the right): once again with sweater-over-button down – now that I’ve figured out the formula I apparently can’t stop wearing it. The mom jeans + looser sweater together reads a bit too baggy for my taste, but I have to admit it was a super comfortable outfit, which is just what Sunday afternoon calls for. The warm-ish gray and light blue of the pants also does my face a lot of favors – much less harsh than the outfit on the right. 8/10 and would up that to 10 if I could do the colors of those jeans in a slimmer cut.

 

Conclusions & Musings

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I’ve successfully figured out how to layer a sweater over a button down – the keys being a thick enough sweater to stay put and not show shirt folds; a slim-fitting button down; and shirt tails long enough to poke out from underneath the hem of the sweater. As mentioned above I am wearing on semi-repeat; enjoy :)

I happily threw the challenge out the window 2/3 of the way through when I felt like I had gotten all the “interesting” outfits I could out of what I had chosen, and instead spent 3 of the last 4 days wearing new-to-me things I was excited to style (and which I learned from – e.g. nope to the white shirt + navy blazer combo!). Note to self: maybe don’t thrift stuff right before the challenge and then not include it in your 10×10. :)  As Carol commented, “If you have something new to you, of course you want to wear it right away!!!”

What I enjoy from these 10x10s is that the constraints help me find interesting or unexpected ways to wear things I already have. I didn’t feel that way this time, at least in part because I picked some pretty similar pieces to start with.  In previous 10x10s (spring; summer; fall) I gave my choices more thought and ended up with more engaging possibilities.  So if I want that feeling back next time, I’m going to have to plan a little more than “what do I feel like wearing the next 10 days?”

What do you think of the outfits I came up with – both inside and outside the lines?

 

 

Winter 10×10: Part 2, aka Mission Aborted

Click here to read about the 10×10.

Let’s start with Day 5:
Lands’ End plaid shirt
INC waterfall(ish) cardigan
Loft corduroy pants (deep purple although it’s hard to see)
Rain boots, no label – all thrifted

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This is not a look I had planned but it solved the problem from my previous cardigan outfits – looking chopped in the middle. What fixes the issue here is the longer length of the plaid, the pattern that breaks up what would otherwise be blocks of color, and the way the purple (again, hard to see) of the pants and the dark berry of the plaid make my base layers look like one long column. Thanks to Danielle for getting me thinking in this direction!

I love the contrast of the plaid and white, and the long line of the base layers. The style is a little mixed – casual, homey plaid and more sporty, technical cardigan with those gold zippers – so I give it an 8/10. (On a non-rainy day I’d swap out the rain boots so their giant clunkiness doesn’t figure into my rating here.)

 

Day 6
Blue button down by F by Façonnable
Sweater by Loft
Corduroy pants by Loft
Snake print ankle boots by Lucky Brand

All thrifted but the boots (gift from The Sister)

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I have to say, this look is a 10/10 for me – great textures, neutrals with a pop of color – and a great finish with those snake skin boots.

 

Day 7

Apparently I didn’t plan my mix very well this time – a white button down + white cardi doesn’t work so well; neither does a sweater under a sweater. So I have now paired nearly every top with every finishing layer that makes sense. It feels boring to me to just swap out pants with looks that are the same on top. Plus I just thrifted some more Light Summer-ish tops and was itching to get them in rotation.

So here’s Day 7 – all things not included in my 10×10 line up!
Pink button down by Forever 21
Cable knit sweater by Workshop by Andrea Jovine
Mom jeans by Gap
Sneakers by Puma – everything thrifted

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I wish the shirt tails of the pink shirt poked out below to give that same burst of color in my other buttondown/sweater combos (which, full disclosure, really only happen if I’ve rucked up the sweater hem because that Loft sweater is so long!). I thought the shorter length of this sweater would take care of it but this button down is shorter in the torso than the others I’ve recently thrifted.

In this closeup, though, everything looks divine:

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Let’s talk Mom Jeans. Gap has labeled these “Best Girlfriend Jeans,” whatever that’s supposed to mean – I think they’re supposed to be a slightly more tapered version of Boyfriend Jeans? which are a looser, straighter fit, like you borrowed them from your male significant other (that’s making a lot of assumptions about you, your orientation, your relationship status, and how you like to wear your jeans – but then, that’s marketing). They are looser in real life than they appear in this shot and oh so comfy. They’re my laze-around-the-house jeans, almost pajama territory. That being said, I don’t particularly like how sloppy they look if I haven’t just hiked them up; I think with a belt I could reign in their slouch factor. I’ll post more thoroughly on them in the future.

5/10 for this outfit. It’s comfy and I love the colors together, but the torso feels too short without the shirt tails and I’m not sure the pink is quite right for my face.

Speaking of which, I have had a really hard time picking out Light Summer pinks – finding something that’s the right saturation and not too warm has proven tricky. This pink, for example, looks like it belongs with the other pinks in my swatchbook – but it doesn’t seem to be doing my complexion any favors. That could, of course, be down to this sweater being not quite the right white or my foundation still being a bit too orange…sigh. This whole find-your-seasonal-colors thing is more complicated than I had anticipated.

 

Day 8 may well see a return to my original lineup – e.g. the blue button down with the white cardi – but Days 9 and 10 may be a free for all, especially because I recently found some stellar J. Crew Ryder trousers that will be A+ for church. Tune in next week for a full recap!

Winter 10×10 Part 1

Click here to read about the 10×10 challenge and see my picks for this go-around.

We’re almost halfway through the Winter 10×10; today I’m recapping looks 1-4. Let’s get started!

Day 1

Ralph Lauren button down
Loft sweater
Paige jeans
Puma sneakers – all thrifted

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As mentioned previously, I have struggled with layering button down shirts under sweaters. One of my goals for this 10×10 was to give that combo another try, with better-fitting shirts and a thicker sweater to help everything lay flat. So I gave it a shot right out of the gate – and behold! I succeeded. I really enjoyed the crispness of the white collar against the soft, snuggly sweater; the simple color palette; and the way the sneakers just barely kept it from veering into preppy suburban mom territory.

I also love that the Polo logo on the Ralph Lauren shirt is on the cuff; I can keep the very obvious branding out of sight simply by cuffing the sleeves, which I often do anyway. And when I want to wear it sans sweater, there will be no logo marring its lovely lines:

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I also think this white shirt fits Light Summer’s “cloud white” nicely.

Rating: 10/10.

 

Day 2

Blue sweater by Loft
White cardigan by INC
Paige denim
Puma sneakers – all thrifted

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I was excited to find this waterfall-esque cardigan with gold zipper details at Restoration Project in Belmont, but it’s proved harder than I thought to style.  The (Light Summer) lightness of the upper half of my body doesn’t look like it belongs with the lower half, and the shawl collar ends at a spot that kind of cuts me off in the middle.

I do, however, love those gold zippers and am committed to giving this another try:

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Rating: 5/10

 

Day 3

Banana Republic turtleneck
Cardigan by INC
Pants by Elie Tahari – all thrifted
Socks by Target (retail)
Shoes by Clarks (retail)

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I wore this to church which is why my shoes are fancier and I made the effort to match my socks to my turtleneck. Also why the pants aren’t jeans – although they’re basically the stretchy chino version of jeans. Suuuuuper comfy (but no pockets – boo).

This turtleneck is super soft and has a great cut; but again, the cardigan cuts me off in the middle. This time it doesn’t seem quite as harsh – maybe because these are all neutrals?

Speaking of which, now that I’m trying out more color, the all-neutral look I used to wear a lot doesn’t seem nearly as interesting. These are all Light Summer colors (or my approximation of them as I’m learning my color palette), but it falls a little flat. I think the lesson here is that I need some color.

Rating: 6/10. It’s polished, but not exciting.

 

Day 4

Plaid shirt by Lands’ End
Sweater by Loft
Paige denim
Rain boots – all thrifted

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I’m disappointed that the collar doesn’t show more above the sweater, although I like the pops of color on the cuffs. I think this sweater works better with the white shirt – the intensity of the plaid colors seems too much for the calm of the neutral sweater. I thought about wearing the purple corduroys with this (and may yet do it) – but that may not solve the bright/muted problem.

PS You can’t tell, but there’s pink in the shirt that matches the pink in the boots.

Rating: 6/10. The colors clash and it’s just not as good as the white shirt.

 

Let me know what you think of the outfits – and come back Friday for looks #5-7!

Winter 10×10: My Picks

It’s time for the 2018 Winter 10×10!

For those unfamiliar, the 10×10 style remix is a wardrobe challenge that uses limitations to spark creativity. Originating with Lee Vosburgh of StyleBee and now cohosted by Caroline of Un-Fancy, a 10×10 remix takes 10 pieces of clothing and makes them into 10 outfits over 10 days. What you count as an item is up to you (I’m not counting shoes, workout gear, outerwear), and so is the outcome – maybe you want to be satisfied with what you have instead of fighting the urge to shop, maybe you want to find new ways of wearing what you already have, maybe you don’t want to have to stand in front of your closet agonizing over what to wear.

This time around, my goal is to incorporate some of my newly thrifted Light Summer pieces into some of my existing wardrobe. As I ease into this new color concept, I want to get a feel for how “right” it looks when I’m wearing my season. I hope this positive reinforcement will help me stay motivated to keep thrifting my season’s colors. (Check out this post and this one for more info on my new season.)

I’m also going to try out a layering combo that’s new-ish to me: button down shirt under a sweater. It’s often cold enough here to warrant two layers, and why not make them both visible and add interest to my outfit?  I’ve struggled in the past with layering a button down under a sweater, but I’m ready to give it a try again because I have found 1) slimmer fitting button downs and and 2) heavier sweaters.

Let’s take a look at the contenders.

First up, newly acquired Light Summer pieces (mostly neutral):

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F by Faconnable; Elie Tahari; Ralph Lauren; Loft; INC; Banana Republic

Mixed in with pieces already in my wardrobe (including one Light Summer sweater):

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Paige; Loft; Loft; Lands’ End

Should be fun! Let me know if you’re doing the 10×10 too. You can follow along with me here (I’ll post recaps every 3 outfits or so), or on Instagram (daily). You can see what everybody else is doing for the challenge by searching IG for the hashtags #Winter10x10 and #10x10friends.

 

Fall 10×10 Style Remix: Corduroy Confabulation, or, Part 2

Click here for part 1, an explanation of the 10×10, and what’s included in my 10×10 this round.

Day 6: Olive, Plaid, and Camel Riding Boots

Part of the reason I didn’t count shoes in this 10×10 is because I wanted to mix in fall shoes that either are new to me (hello olive ankle boots) or that haven’t really cemented their place in my wardrobe yet. For example, these Coach riding boots:

IMG_20171017_174410736This is why you read the blog – so you can see the trash can blooper shots that never make it to Instagram.

As you can read in this post, I was uncertain how their looser shaft was going to look, particularly over skinny pants. I’ve let a mental image of…floppiness? keep me from reaching for them. But how great do they look with these corduroy pants, which are also a touch on the looser side?

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I love how the bag and boots play off each other without being the exact same shade. And as someone on Instagram said, that scarf makes the whole look.

Let’s get a closeup on that tan-navy-sky blue plaid over the olive sweater:

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10/10 on this outfit. I love that while it’s mostly made up of neutrals, it’s still a very warm and visually interesting palette. Plus the scarf/boots/bag brings the polish that makes me feel really put together for work.

 

Day 7: Bling Sweater and Bronze Flats

This outfit feels very…ritzy PTA mom to me. It has polish, but in a way that feels less interesting, more expected. I think my olive ankle boots (or taupe/cream snakeskin boots!!) would have kicked this up a notch, but I needed something I could really walk in for the day’s activities, so flats it was.  5/10 on this outfit.

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So shiny!

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These socks are meant to be Donegal tweed-esque but in photographs just end up looking like they have lint stuck to them. If my cream/taupe chevron socks hadn’t been in the wash they would have been a much better choice:

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Day 8: Navy + Purple

From PTA mom we go all the way almost to athleisure, with that vest and those Puma sneaks. It’s actually the “shop my closet” version of these New Hampshirite outfits I admired a few weeks ago, and I love how the navy and deep purple turned out with the light sweater providing some visual relief from the dark colors:

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I love that hi-lo split hem peeking out! Just a little visual interest to keep it fun.

For those of you keeping score at home, this vest was not in my 10×10.  Yep, I “cheated,” and it totally made the outfit:

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10/10 on this one.

 

Day 9: Charcoal & Purple

My notes from last week’s outfit with this sweater were right on – the slimmer-fitting pant makes the silhouette. I feel like the 2017 version of the Chico’s women I aspired to be when I was 12:

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The colors here are stellar even though, let’s be honest, this pale skin was not made for how dark this all is – at least not without some kind of dramatic eye and lip makeup. 9/10 for that.

You know it’s right when the keynote speaker at the conference you’re attending compliments your boots:

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Day 10: Bling over Cream

Despite the expression on my face, I think this is actually a better incarnation of this sweater than Day 7. Somehow the cream cords instead of dark denim makes me feel less like Alison from Orphan Black:

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It also made me look more dressy for church, since this was worn on a Sunday. The expression you’re seeing is my “I just emoted for 6 hours straight without a nap” face.  xD

8/10 on this one – it’s amazing what a change of sock and color palette will do!

 

Wrap Up

Here are my 10 outfits:

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What I learned:

  • My faves are 1, 5, 6, and 8. (Honorable mention to 9 except it’s so darn dark!) I think the common thread there is the warmth of the palettes (except 8) and the fact that they all have some little extra attention to detail – a scarf or a vest that makes the outfit.
  • I’m excited to keep mixing and matching these sweaters & cords and to bring my green and grey cords and my other sweaters back into the mix (plus the two other pairs of tall boots I bought in preparation for New England and haven’t even worn yet!).
  • I think I’m honing in on that warm but muted palette I liked here (olive, taupe, caramel, cream, salmon), so it will be fun to try to focus on that amidst all the possibilities in my closet and in the thrift store!
  • I’m also going to try to continue playing with volume and drape on top, too – the dishwater, batwing, and semi-cropped loose sweaters were a lot of fun and reminded me that not everything has to fit slim for me to like it.

Which was your favorite of my 10? Did you do the 10×10? If so, what did you learn?

 

Fall 10×10 Style Remix: Sweaters Galore – Part 1

So the other week I said I wasn’t doing the 10×10 because we were still having 80 degree weather. A few days after that post published Mother Nature mocked me by dropping the temperature 20 degrees with winds that made me chilly even with a thick sweater on.  So I decided to jump on the 10×10 train a little late and have fun with it!

For those unfamiliar, a 10×10 style remix is a wardrobe challenge that uses limitations to spark creativity. Originating with Lee Vosburgh of StyleBee and now cohosted by Caroline of Un-Fancy, a 10×10 remix takes 10 pieces of clothing and makes them into 10 outfits over 10 days. What you count as an item is up to you (I’m not counting shoes, workout gear, outerwear), and so is the outcome – maybe you want to be satisfied with what you have instead of fighting the urge to shop, maybe you want to find new ways of wearing what you already have, maybe you don’t want to have to stand in front of your closet agonizing over what to wear.

This time around I’m using the 10×10 to test out new (to me) fall pieces as I ease into a climate with real autumn weather. Since I started the remix on a whim (and after I already had other posts scheduled), this post will be a recap of the first half of the challenge.  I’ll recap the rest of the remix in the next post.

 

My 10×10 Line Up

These 10 pieces centered around neutrals with some texture for interest; as you can tell I’m still firmly on #TeamCorduroy for cool weather. I also tried to incorporate a few new silhouettes – the loose crop and the trapeze/inverted hemline, aka the Chic Bat.

Here’s what I’m working with – 5 sweaters, 4 pants, and one jacket:

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Olive sweater by Cyn; cream cableknit sweater by Workshop by Andrea Jovine; taupe jeweled sweater by Ivanka Trump (hey, all my money went to Goodwill so I’m cool with it); dishwater sweater by Gap Body; charcoal sweater by 1804 Coin; olive field jacket by United Colors of Benetton; dark purple corduroy pants by Loft; cognac cords by Talbots; jeans by Paige; cream cords by Lauren by Ralph Lauren. All thrifted.

Outside of my 10, I added shoes and a few scarves for more color/interest. Here are the scarves; I’ll include close-ups of the shoes in the outfit shots.

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Scottish cashmere scarf, Etsy; merino wool scarf, thrifted

And now, on to the outfits.

Day 1 – Olive + Salmon Plaid

The sweater and ankle boots in this outfit are olive, despite appearing sort of taupe in the picture:

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Closeup on this cashmere scarf with incredible colors – salmon, blue, cream, and a color that splits the difference between taupe and olive and thus pairs perfectly with my sweater:

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I found this scarf on Etsy and have honestly no idea if it’s actually 100% Scottish cashmere/made in England as claimed, but it’s super soft and warm so I’m sticking with it.  More scarves in a variety of colors from the same vendor here.

These thrifted olive ankle boots by Leila Stone look 👌 with this sweater. The higher (for me) heel makes them slightly uncomfortable to walk in long distances, but it’s totally doable on my short commute:

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I give this outfit 10 out of 10. I feel chic, put together, and like I managed to add some fall color in a palette that doesn’t overwhelm me.

 

Day 2: Navy & Cream

This sweater is actually more of a dishwater color…I love the texture and the silhouette (split hems forever!), but I think I’m going to bleach it and dye it cream so that it’s not quite so… grey-ish.  Is there such a thing as cream-colored dye?

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I like the scarf on top of that big blank slate and the print mixing with the floral sneaks. Now that the weather is chillier, I can easily swap my navy Puma sneakers for footwear warmth. I’d give this outfit 8/10 for comfort and style; -2 points for the dishwater color.

 

Day 4: Stormtroopers

My daughter and I both wore charcoal and cream this day, which prompted her to declare that we were stormtroopers (don’t worry; she’s usually rooting for the Rebel Alliance):

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I surprised myself with how much I like this charcoal color; y’all know I stay away from true black and this is pretty close to it, but the charcoal somehow warms it up enough that I don’t feel washed out.  I dig the contrast with my blond hair.

The inverse hem with a bit of a trapeze swing happening is new to me; I like it! It gives some movement and interest to the outfit while the fitted sleeves keep it from feeling completely nonsensical in the oversize department.

I do, however, think that the volume on top might benefit from slightly more fitted pants (e.g. my Paige jeans), so 7/10.

Here’s a close up of the sweater texture and the DIY pendant necklace I made from Goodwill finds:

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And the boots – I love the print on these:

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Wish I could say I thrifted those puppies, but they were a Christmas present from a few years back. They’re Lucky Brand (thanks Seester!).

 

Day 4: Cognac and Cream

This day started lazily at home with coffee and oatmeal spiked with locally picked apples, then segued into a visit with Thoreau at Walden pond. I felt absolutely cozy throughout thanks to this super soft cable knit sweater:

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It features another new silhouette for me: a loose, semi-crop with fitted sleeves that once again kept things reasonable. Paired with flared cords (and the Pumas I ended up wearing to walk around Walden Pond – see below), it reads like I finally caught up with 2017 fashion, which long ago dispensed with skinny legs and fitted tops.

I LOVE the cognac color of these cords; it’s really rich and vibrant and would pair fabulously with my crossbody bag. I’ve previously gotten flares tailored, but I think I might leave these as is…they have a hint of a 70s vibe that encourages me to embrace some volume in my silhouettes.

I rate the Puma version of this outfit (which you can see on Instagram) 8/10 because although I felt a little out of my comfort zone, I also felt cool – and comfortable.

Mmmm, cozy:

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Here’s a closeup on those colors:

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And the shoes for taking a walk:

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Day 5: Field Jacket Chic

Let’s follow that 70s vibe straight into the 80s, where this field jacket picked up its corduroy collar and plaid lining:

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Love the colors on this scarf, and the mossy olive green on the jacket:

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I’m giving this one 10/10 for color palette, for sweater + jacket pairing so well together, and for the finishing touch of the scarf which really pulls it all together. This would have been pushed up all the way to 11 if I had worn my olive ankle boots, but I had a lot of walking to do which called for the comfort of sneakers.

 

All right, Thrifters – that’s a wrap on Part 1. Come back next week for Part 2 of my fall 10×10!  And share with us if you’re doing (or have already finished) the Fall 10×10.

Summer 10×10 Remix: Wrap Up + What I Learned

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As you may remember from my intro post, this was basically a travel wardrobe of tried-and-true favorites masquerading as a 10×10 challenge, which means my goal for it wasn’t necessarily to discover anything new about the items therein.  But I made room for the possibility that I’d learn something, and lo and behold, I did!

#1. I love this shirt.
You know those items you wear so easily that you don’t even know how much you love them because it’s so second-nature to just throw them on?  They don’t feel special, exactly, but then you do something like this and realize that they work with everything and you wear them all. the. time.

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Can you tell which one was taken after spending 10 days outside??  Ha.

Three things make this one a winner:

  • Stripes. These have equal amounts blue/white so the navy doesn’t overwhelm my skin tone. They’re a great width, too; stripes that are all too thin/narrow just look busy to me instead of bold.
  • 3/4 length sleeves.  Combined with the open neck and light material, the sleeves keep this right in the middle between hot & cool. Perfect for in-between seasons and temperature changes while traveling.
  • Silhouette/drape. This shirt has give and flow for a not-too-tight silhouette. The drape adds a certain chicness and insouciance (as well as making room for fried scallops and sweet corn).

Plus the drop shoulders give it some visual interest – those stripes going perpendicular to each other just jazz the whole thing up a little. (I guess that’s 4 things. Whoops.)

#2. Put it on repeat.
Especially on vacation, I am happy to rewear the same item or even outfit. No shame on these back-to-back outfits, where, just like above, I simply swapped shorts:

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If it works, it works, and I don’t need to reinvent the wheel for no reason. This is related to my next discovery…

#3. Life is a 10×10 remix (or a capsule wardrobe?).
Because the color palette was broader, when I did my first 10×10 remix this spring I wore each piece multiple times, yet felt like there were still SO many options left at the end of the 10 days.  It was exciting and invigorating.

At the end of this summer remix, however, I felt not energized but more… content. I hadn’t worn everything, and probably could have gotten by with even less, yet surprisingly I wasn’t bored with my clothes by the end of the trip. (You know that feeling where you just want to chuck the entire contents of your suitcase, dirty or not, into the laundry hamper because you’re sick of seeing the same clothes? Not this time.) It was like I relaxed into my wardrobe as the days went by.

And when I looked at my closet to get dressed for work the next day, I felt happy and “relaxed into” my clothing there, too. I knew what worked together and what I wanted to wear, and felt no need to go thrifting.

I think after 2 years of blogging (and 10 years of thrifting), I might finally be getting into the groove of this capsule wardrobe concept – not a rigid set of restrictions, but a mix of feeling invigorated by and “relaxed into” the clothes I have and happy with the way they fit together.

I still go thrifting for fun and for inspiration, and to change things up occasionally (example: the grey, blue striped, and olive casual summer dresses in this post were all new styles for me and all really hit the spot in different ways), but I’m not feeling the grabby impulse of yore to THRIFT ALL THE THINGS.

It’s a good place to be.

Last but not least…

#4. Never trust Vermont weather.
Whatever the forecast, even in JULY, just assume it will be colder/rainier than they say and pack accordingly. As I mentioned before, I did just fine with a windbreaker over a 3/4 sleeve shirt, but if I had it to do over I’d have swapped this:

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I kept thinking a sweatshirt would be bulky and take up way too much precious packing space in my tote; I had somehow forgotten about the fleecy, thin wonder that is my Mossimo sweatshirt. Oh well, there’s always next time!

Did you do the 10×10 remix?  What did you learn?  How are you feeling about the current state of your wardrobe? Scroll down to comment!

 

Summer 10×10 Remix: Day 10

As part of the Summer 10×10 remix (hosted by UnFancy and Style Bee), I’m attempting to post what I’ve been wearing each day as I live out of my suitcase on back-to-back family reunions. What’s a 10×10 remix? 10 pieces of clothing, 10 outfits, 10 days. What you count as an item is up to you (I’m not counting shoes, workout gear, outerwear) since the point isn’t following strict rules – it’s using limitations to spark creativity.

Day 10: Beach & Home

My in-laws live in coastal New Hampshire so you better believe that when it turned out to be sunny (unlike our weather last week at the lake!), we hit up that beach like nobody’s business. What a way to go out!

Beach uniform:

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Hat: unlabeled – thrifted
Halter top: Ralph Lauren – thrifted

Bottoms: Target, retail

I wore this dress as a coverup – how versatile!

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Jumping bracingly cold waves with Mini Me in her Wonder Woman suit (gifted from uncles who spoil her deliciously):

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Happy as a clam:

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We hit up a seafood joint with the sweetest, most succulent fried scallops, then nipped back to the in-laws’ to shower and pack and drive to Boston to catch our plane.

The travel uniform in a slightly different permutation from yesterday:

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Love that salty beach hair that won’t quite stay put…

Top: Gap – thrifted
Shorts: Bebe – thrifted

Crossbody bag: Marco Avané – thrifted
Sandals: Saltwaters by Hoy – retail

Here ends the 10×10 remix for this go-around. Come back tomorrow for a round-up and my thoughts on the whole shebang!

Summer 10×10 Remix: Day 9

As part of the Summer 10×10 remix (hosted by UnFancy and Style Bee), I’m attempting to post what I’ve been wearing each day as I live out of my suitcase on back-to-back family reunions. What’s a 10×10 remix? 10 pieces of clothing, 10 outfits, 10 days. What you count as an item is up to you (I’m not counting shoes, workout gear, outerwear) since the point isn’t following strict rules – it’s using limitations to spark creativity.

Day 9: Goodbye Lake Champlain, Hello New Hampshire

Here was my outfit for driving 4 hours from Vermont to The Granite State, where we stopped over for a night before flying home:

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My 5-year-old cousin made that twist braid – didn’t she do a great job?  I can never get those to stay.

Shirt: Gap – thrifted
Shorts: Bill Blass – thrifted
Hat: unlabeled – thrifted
Crossbody bag: Marco Avané – thrifted
Cuff bracelet: Monet – thrifted
Sandals: Saltwater by Hoy – retail

I think this can now be called my official travel shirt. I always wear it on airplanes (and apparently in cars) because it’s lightweight yet longish-sleeved, so it does well with shifts in temperature as AC goes on/off, working up a sweat as you run through terminals, etc.  Both top and shorts have some give to them which makes sitting for long periods more comfortable.

Details:

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Once we got to New Hampshire my spouse and I busted out the workout gear and went for a run in the rolling hills dotted with farms. It was absolutely gorgeous – flowers everywhere, blue sky, cows, lusciously painted old farm houses, fresh air… Since we often visit in the winter, I forget how beautiful New England is in the summer.

What’s your go-to travel wardrobe? Scroll down to share!