We did it! Ten outfits in ten days using ten pieces!
Lee of Style Bee and I had a BLAST hosting this challenge, and I think it’s time for all of us to pat ourselves on the back for a second. Even if you didn’t quite make it all the way to ten. Even if you lost steam mid-way through. No matter whether you feel it was a “success” or a “failure” — the fact remains: you tried something new and learned from it. That’s worth celebrating.
And I don’t know about you, but I, for one, am SUPER excited to see my whole closet tomorrow. I had a bunch of new outfit ideas while I didn’t have access to my full closet, so I have some new looks I want to try. It’ll feel like a treat to get to “shop” my closet tomorrow.
Now, let’s get down to this last outfit!
I 100% love this outfit and would wear it just about anywhere. With the flat chelsea booties, it’s a comfortable outfit for a day of errands and lots of walking. But swap the chelsea booties for heeled ankle booties, and it’s suddenly right for date night.
The outfit recipe itself is simple: jeans, sweater, boots. However, the shape and color of that sweater keeps this outfit out of the bland pile, and gives it some intrigue and interest.
Also, the color palette of this outfit is on point: cognac, denim blue, and dark brown. After wearing a few outfits with a straight brown and black palette these past few days, I love how the denim blue brings in a contrasting, cooling element to the palette.
Quick rabbit trail: What do you call this color? I always call it cognac, but I see lots of other people call it caramel or spice or rust. Any thoughts?
WEATHER + DAILY ACTIVITIES
Oops. Today may be too warm for this outfit. It’s going to be sunny, with temperatures in the 60s, possibly even the 70s.
However, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best. Since this sweater is so swingy, it circulates air really well — especially without a base layer. So I’m going to go base layer free and see how it goes.
If I do end up feeling too warm, I’m just going to swap my sweater for my plain white tee, essentially recreating this outfit — and proving once again that that tee has been a lifesaver during the warmer days of this challenge.
Let’s see … daily activities? Same as usual: working from home, errands if needed, and gym time. Maybe a low key date night with Aaron — hopefully including a patio and some wine since it’s such a lovely day.
Why this outfit will (hopefully) work for today:
- I have quite a few errands to run today, and these flat booties will keep my feet comfortable.
- Even though it’ll be mild, I’m hoping the cropped sleeves and swingy silhouette will keep me comfortable. Fingers crossed, and if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. No big deal.
- It’s sturdy enough for around the house, and cute enough to go out and about.
- I just like it. :)
PIECE #10: CHELSEA BOOTS
These are amazing boots.
But, truth be told, I found them on clearance at Nordstrom Rack in 2015 and I kind of just bought them because they were on sale — not because I loved them. Yep, I went against my own advice. When I saw that I could get a pair of coveted Frye boots for less than half their regular price, all logic went out the window. It happens sometimes.
At first, I didn’t wear them a ton, convincing myself they were too masculine or too western or too something.
But as time went on, I ended up finding them incredibly useful for specific situations, like:
- Fall + winter travel (they’re crazy comfortable for walking).
- Rainy weather (they keep my ankles warm and can get soaked without missing a beat).
- Visits out to the country — I live in a small Texas town, so this happens frequently (they are super high quality, yet they aren’t precious — meaning I can get them as dirty as I want and they’ll only look better for it).
So, it turns out they aren’t too anything, like I thought at first. Instead, they’re just right when I need them.
Like I mentioned, my chelsea boots are old, but here are some similar options:
1 | Wolverine has a reputation for being tough and rugged and this pair of chelsea booties from Wolverine effortlessly combines that with beauty. They feature a cushioned footbed and they are made in Portugal. ($160)
2 | I have a pair of heeled, shock absorbing Timberlands that are wonderfully comfortable. So I can only imagine these flat Timberland booties are equally amazing. Also cool: the interior lining is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, and the sole is made with recycled rubber. ($150)
3 | And if you’re down for an investment, here’s a pair of Frye chelsea booties with a chunky, two-inch heel. They are beautiful and made in the USA, but be warned — they are (gulp) $418.
BASIC OUTFIT, ONE STATEMENT PIECE | This outfit is straightforward: sweater, jeans, and boots. But the shape and color of this swing sweater makes a statement. It elevates this otherwise basic outfit.
NO ACCESSORIES | It’s the theme of all my outfits this time. I didn’t want to over accessorize, and you know what? I like how it’s turning out. So I’m going to keep embracing my minimal accessory side.
MATCHING BAG + SHOES | Well, here’s another theme of my outfits. Almost every outfit in this 10×10 challenge has featured matching bag and shoes. I don’t treat it like a rule, but when I’m working with minimal pieces, it helps pull a look together — it’s like bookends for an outfit.
ROLLED SLEEVES | Nothing groundbreaking, just a simple roll of the sleeves to give the look a finishing touch. (And perhaps to keep me a little cooler today? Hopefully.)
• • •
And there you have it! The last outfit! Make sure to hop on over to Lee’s blog to see her last outfit today, too.
So tell me, if you joined in the challenge, would you consider doing it again? Got any specific questions about my remix? And which piece in your closet are you most excited to see again? Share away in the comments!
Tomorrow, we’ll be recapping the whole process, so see you then! :)
• • •
Liked today’s outfit? You can shop it and support Unfancy at the same time by using these affiliate links:
01 | Swing sweater by Hackwith Design (made responsibly)
02 | High rise jeans by Madewell (old) | similar by Madewell | similar (made responsibly)
03 | Chelsea boots by Frye (old) | similar | similar
I’d say the sweater is more on spice or rust, but you have a couple leather pieces that I’d call cognac. Of late, colors in fashion have gotten less saturated: I’d only apply ‘cognac’ to the clear, un-muddy ones.
Also: I note that Frye calls their brown boots cognac. Nuh-uh. For color reference I’m talking about good liquor in a glass. :-)
The link for the sweater calls it “caramel”. I think that’s a good description.
Laura Blanton says
I’m so happy I joined in on this challenge last minute! It NEVER disappoints! And I was pretty happy to see the rest of my closet at the close of those 10 days too. Haha! Mainly because I was pumped to play “dress up” and see what other secret outfit combinations I have yet to unveil. ;) Still haven’t been able to “play” dress up yet, but hoping to get to it this week. :)
I love this look on you! And could definitely see those ankle boots being a workhorse in my own wardrobe as well. :)
Me too! I only joined the day before and have had fun, especially reading other blogger’s reflections and seeing their outfits, who I never would have other known about.
I just finished mine after days of not posting… Which was exactly what I was afraid of. I didn’t know if I could commit to the blogging and especially photography. But I’m glad I tried even if I didn’t do it perfectly. Plus, I wore literally the same outfit 4 of the days, so one post/photo was sufficient. https://lesslessyes.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/winter-10×10-outfit-4-7-8-and-10/
Honestly…I might make it a 10×12 and wear the 2 outfits I didn’t photograph again and make a post.
I ended up not finding it hard at all to do this challenge because 1) I like wearing the same outfits again and again – I feel comfortable and relaxed knowing they have been perfected and will be comfortable and look good; 2) I get obsessed with my favorite pieces and only want to wear them, so it was not hard to choose my favorite pieces and only wear them and 3) I have been only wearing black to work since the ejection. Nobody has noticed but I don’t own that much black, so it has been a fairly small unplanned capsule already
**since the election.
Becca Diamond says
I have a similar pair of Chelsea boots called Blundstones that I am OBSESSED with. They’re waterproof and sturdy, and the darker colored ones look great running errands and traveling and also for gardening and outdoor activities.
Hey Becca, thanks for sharing. That shoe looks darn cool and rugged. :)
Will WE get to see your whole closet tomorrow too, Caroline? If so, I’m super excited as well. :) I confess that I am happy to see the end of the remix. If I have 35 tops and at least 15 are appropriate for the season, why would I want to wear only 3 of them for 10 days? I absolutely would not. Re: this outfit, I like it a lot, but I’m not crazy about this color on you. I think you look more beautiful in berry shades, although you are beautiful in anything, of course. Looking forward to tomorrow….
Hey Carol, I won’t be sharing my entire closet, but I’ll be recapping the challenge. :)
I thought this sweater was gold.. or sort of a bronzed dark yellow… colors are up to interpretation.
I actually just found a gorgeous pair of Fryes for about a quarter of the usual price. I was drooling before I saw the price, then I almost fainted. I may never take them off. I might be buried with them :)
Thanks for sharing this challenge! I tried it, but quit after day 5. I just missed my other clothes too much! “How fascinating!” ?
Caralee! How exciting! What a score on those boots. And thanks for participating for a little while anyway, ain’t no shame! :)
Jan Tymorek says
Carolyn I do love your style and so does my daughter. We have a question for you – if you were looking for a wedding dress, where would you look? We are having no luck finding something simple, elegant yet fun and light for an island wedding. Any ideas? email@example.com thank you!
Have you had a look at the Australian label Spell Designs, Jan? The perfect wedding dress for an island location. Their regular dresses are beautifully made and the fabric is like butter – I can only imagine how fab their wedding dresses are in real life.
Hey Jan, so exciting! Have you looked at J. Crew? They don’t have a ton of options, but I think the dresses they have are so simple and elegant, like this one: http://bit.ly/2kbNQ6z
ModCloth has some sweet and simple options too: http://bit.ly/2jkBHOh
Then of course, Nordstrom has some sophisticated looks: http://bit.ly/2jkEJ55
And a quick Pinterest search led me to Island Tribe gowns: http://bit.ly/2jWtqky Very fitting :)
Don’t know if that helps at all, but good luck on the hunt! :)
Elsie Missen says
I used this challenge to try out some clothing that I was on the fence about. I have decided to get rid of three jeans (ill fitting, can’t wear two days in a row because they stretch out ). I love the buttoned up shirt I picked and feel it washes well and worth the effort to iron it. The sweater I chose is the perfect layering piece and seems to work with everything. I will keep doing this with other clothes I have questions about. Thanks
I did too! I didn’t have any inkling how my clothes look in photos… I had three pieces fail in the 10 x 10..for different reasons…so this week, I will restyle two of them to see if I can make them work, and if not-i will be rehoming them…
I call that color British tan!
That’s a great way to do it ladies! You gave the clothes a fair chance and learned what works and what doesn’t. I love it! :)
Melody smith says
I enjoyed the challenge! First time trying it & it made me use my tees more. I usually wear sweaters or tunics, but I forced myself to create tshirt outfits this challenge & I like them. I loved seeing your outfits & following people on instagram too!
Britt Wilson says
You did it! 10 outfits! Yay and good job. I love these boots and might get a similar-ish pair from Blunderstone, a brand meant for work books. Maybe one day… but for now I am still on shopping ban for the year and learning from it all. Congrats on the challenge well-executed.
YES!!! Seriously blundstones rule. That, Frye engineer or Clark’s desert boots are the only real practical options on earth in my opinion. Anyone I know who is serious about woodworking or sculpture has blundstones
Cleshawn Montague says
Hey, you totally inspired me to get off my behind and make a winter 10×10. So I created another video version on youTube http://bit.ly/youTube10x10WinterCapsule. Have you ever thought about creating videos? I feel like you’d be good at it!
xx, Cleshawn | http://www.hometohem.com
Thanks Cleshawn! Your videos are so cute. :)
Cleshawn Montague says
aww thanks! xx
I’d say it’s somewhere between baked pumpkin and burnt orange (which is a terrible sounding name, but a color that I like very much!). Or maybe *dark* cognac? Are any of these actually color names? At any rate, great outfit!
Haha Alice! I don’t know! It’s so funny how we all see something different. :)
I love your bag, and like that the company is an ethical one. Have you had any problems with it being leather, though? Does it hold up okay in rain? Would love to hear more about your bags and how they work for your everyday life. Thanks!
Hey Callan! Well, it doesn’t rain much here, so I haven’t had to worry about it too much, but so far I love, love, love this bag. It’s a good size, good color and good quality. Probably smart to treat it if you plan on taking it out much. :)
the sweater website says ‘caramel’ so i would go with that. ;)
Just a plug for Fryes — I have the Frye Sabrina 6G (they are the the Chelsea ones you like to in heel, etc., but they lace up) that I got for like $120 on EBay, and gosh, do I love them. Reading everything you said about your Frye Chelsea boots, I was like “YES! My Sabrinas are the same!” … they’re the only heeled boots I can wear to work (since I work with kids) are more waterproof than my Hunters (which sadly got a hole in them) and only look better and feel softer with wear. Worth the money!
Thank you!!! I’ve been searching for almost a year for a pair of boots that fit this criteria (small heel but comfortable, durable in various weather situations, go with lots of outfits) and have a unique little twist of some sort than just your average. booties. I love fryes and just ordered this pair! Can’t wait to get them! Thanks for the into to Sabrina :)
Intro* to Sabrina sorry, autocorrected! :P
Heidi C says
I loved doing the 10×10. I’m planning on doing it in each season, because I had such a great experience. I purposely included some pieces I didn’t wear as much to force myself to find creative ways to style them, and it worked! I found a few ways to use those pieces that I love. I tried boots with socks, I tried layering under my sweater, I tried things that worked and things that didn’t. And just like you’re saying, it makes you excited to “shop” the rest of your closet. So many benefits to the 10×10!
So cool Heidi! Thanks for sharing your experience! :)
Daniela Soriano says
That jumper is gorgeous!! <3
Tanya E says
I love the story of how you bought your boots. The brown, furry boots I wore today are 20yrs old, that I bought in a sale in a boutique in London for a similar reason (excellent price) as well as half a size too big. For some reason, I never threw them out and when my feet grew after pregnancy they were a perfect fit. They are also the perfect icy weather boots; warm, solid and good grip.
Never let go of special things! So many things, I keep for a long time… Just knowing one day their time will come
Kimi, Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair says
Thank you so much for hosting the challenge with Lee, Caroline! I had fun despite the fact that I am not a minimalist at heart (closet-wise, at least). ;) I’m already planning for a summer challenge in July which will hopefully be more of a success, though I foresee myself not wearing much more than a tee shirt and shorts since it tends to be too hot to do much layering. Guess we shall see! :)
Yay, let’s all congratulate ourselves! We made it.
Top 5 feelings about the challenge:
I’m happy I made it through the 10 days.
I was honest to myself: I really wore each outfit to work. Alll day.
I can’t wait to see my other clothes again.
I fell in love again with a few items I hadn’t worn in a while.
I enjoyed doing this with you, Lee and the whole 10×10 community.
One million thanks for the inspo! xoxo
Perfectly said, Tina :)
Love your blog! I too have been loving this color the past few months and wasn’t sure what the “official” name was. :) I did some poking around the internet, and found that ochre includes all shades of this warm brown/orange tone. Since discovering this I have gotten a coat, bag, and dress in this color. Definitely my preferred color this year!
Oooh, love it Becca! :)
Sarah Winton says
Love this outfit!!
Confession: I am obsessed with those chelsea boots and have scoured your blog a couple times in hopes of finding the name so I can try to track down a pair on eBay or something. Could you give me the name?
Hey Sarah, I think it is called the Erin! :)
Sarah Winton says
Thank you so much!!!
I’d call that colour caramel or mustard, even. Spice or rust, in my head, has more red in them. And cognac is a little more orange, like amber. This jumper seems a bit more yellow in tone. It’s all up to individual interpretation though, isn’t it!
I guess so, CIndy! Everyone sees something different, hah! :)
Liz B. says
I unfortunately didn’t participate in this 10×10 challenge, but I would definitely love to if there is one in the spring. It’s so inspiring seeing all of the creativity and especially the community around it. I’m planning to do my own personal challenge next week to try to get the swing of things – I can’t wait to see what I learn.
I’m curious, Caroline, do you write for another publication or can we find your work elsewhere (aside from Unfancy, which I adore)? I’ve been reading so many of your posts and your writing style resonates so much with me, and I’d love to read more. I read a comment on one of your beauty/well-being posts that said it made them feel incredibly relaxed – that sums up how I feel reading your blog. I leave with a little more peace and confidence each time I visit here. So thank you :)
Andrea Handojo says
I love the caramel swing sweater! I need more of this color in my wardrobe :)
Hey Caroline! I was wondering, do you know the name of the Frye boots you own? For example, the one you suggested that’s similar is the Sabrina. I’m in love with yours and hoping I can find them on eBay. Thanks!
Hi Vee! If I remember right, they are called the Erin :)