It’s a new week, and we’re at the halfway point of this remix!
Not sure what I’m talking about? Lee of Style Bee and I are hosting a 10×10 wardrobe challenge. We’re using 10 pieces to create 10 outfits over 10 days. Curious? Interested? It’s not too late to join and you can get started in 15 minutes flat — details here.
About this time in the challenge, I usually find myself feeling a little stale. The initial energy has worn off, and I have to dig deeper to come up with creative outfits.
But I’ve been scrolling through your posts from the #winter10x10 Instagram tag, and it’s SO COOL to see how you guys approach dressing for your weather, your lifestyle, and your style — all while using just 10 pieces.
I know, I know. This shouldn’t be shocking to me, but I think you would agree that sometimes it’s just so helpful to see how other people do it. So keep your outfits coming — we’ll keep each other inspired.
Now, onto outfit five!
Wait a second. Isn’t that top a dress?
Why, yes it is!
I can’t resist! If you were around for the fall remix, you could probably predict that I’d try to wear a dress as a top at some point during this challenge. I mean come one, it’s the ultimate in versatility — a dress that can also perform as a shirt? It’s like those coffee tables that pop up into a full size dining room table — there’s something so resourceful about it.
Anyway, I love this outfit. It’s timeless. I feel like a chicer, more classic version of myself in it. It’s comfortable, easy, wearable, and cozy. Plus that color palette is one of my favs — denim blue, charcoal, and cognac.
WEATHER + DAILY ACTIVITIES
Today is going to start out in the 30’s and then end up in the 50’s, so I’ve got on my soft base layer for a little bit of extra warmth, but this cashmere top/dress is super warm as it is, so it should get me through the day just fine.
I’ll be at home working in the morning (when it’ll be in the 30’s), but if I did need to get out then I’d add a coat, some wool socks, and a beanie to this outfit and be all set.
It’s another regular day for me: yoga, working from home, and maybe some errands. I might end up grabbing lunch with my husband in the afternoon, too. But overall, pretty low key. This outfit works because those jeans + sweater are super comfortable for hanging out around the house, but they are put together enough that I can run out at the drop of a hat.
PIECE #5: HIGH RISE SKINNIES
Good jeans are gold to me. My whole wardrobe is built on them and I wear them almost every day, so they need to pull their weight.
I’ve had this pair since 2014, and I’m glad to say they are holding up great. The wash is starting to fade a bit now, but I actually always look forward to the moment when my jeans start to fade and lighten up a little bit.
Similar pairs? Here you go:
From Mott and Bow | Oh, Mott and Bow, how I love your responsibly-made jeans and your at-home try-on program. Here’s how it works: you purchase one pair and choose a second size for free. They send both so you can decide which pair fits the best. Then you keep the size you like and send the other one back for free. So no matter what, you end up with the right size. Cool huh? I tried them on and found that they run true to size. Their washes have less distressing than the jeans I’m wearing now, but I’m starting to gravitate towards that look anyway.
From Madewell | The jeans I’m wearing are from Madewell, but they’ve changed up their denim since I bought this pair, and now their jeans feel more like leggings, with thinner, stretchier fabric. Whether that’s a negative or a positive, I’ll leave up to you. We all have different preferences when it comes to jeans. Personally, I like a skinny jean that feels more like a legging. I’ve tried on this particular pair — it runs true to size and I loved how stretchy and comfortable it felt.
STYLING A DRESS AS A SHIRT | To pull this off, start with a short dress that doesn’t have super thick fabric. If it’s too long or too thick, it may not look right or feel comfortable. Then simply tuck the hem of the dress into your jeans — you might have to go a little deep here, but just keep tucking and adjusting until it looks right to you. It’s hard to explain without a visual, so I’ll make sure to cover it in today’s Instagram Stories.
BEANIE | If I get chilly, I can pop on this cognac beanie. And hey, it matches my shoes and bag! You know me and my appreciation for matching these days.
NO JEWELRY | I almost grabbed a long necklace for this outfit. Then I changed my mind and almost grabbed a cuff bracelet. Then I changed my mind again and decided to go accessory-free. I’m just feelin’ the minimal aesthetic right now. Something about it seems … confident? I don’t know, maybe I just made that up, but I feel more like myself sans jewelry these days. I don’t think a single outfit from this 10×10 challenge has featured jewelry. Wait, except for this one. But it’s so subtle, it barely counts. :)
PUSHED UP SLEEVES | Nothing groundbreaking, but just a little adjustment that gives the look a more casual vibe.
• • •
And there you have it!
Make sure to hop on over to Lee’s blog to see her outfit today!
See you tomorrow for outfit six! :)
• • •
01 | Cashmere dress (old) | similar (in cashmere, $286) | similar (chunkier in a cotton blend, $89)
02 | High rise jeans by Madewell | similar (made responsibly)
03 | Cognac booties (old by Sam Edelman) | similar by TOMS | similar by Eileen Fisher | similar (made responsibly)
04 | Bag gifted by ONA | similar with zip top (made responsibly) | similar with open top (made responsibly)
Karen Needler says
Hi Carolyn! I’ve been eyeing your ONA bag for months. I’ve read all about it on ONA’s site as well as people’s reviews. Can you talk about yours? How do you use it? Do you use it a lot? Thanks for all of your inspirational posts!!!
Hey Karen! Originally, I thought the tote was a little heavy for daily use and I mostly loved it for travel, because it’s such a sturdy bag! But as you can see, I’ve been sporting it a lot lately. I love it! And since I don’t carry a lot of items in my purse, the weight doesn’t bother me all that much. :) Solid A+ Hope that helps!
Karen Needler says
Thanks; that helps a lot! Have you rearranged the moveable partitions? I wondered about the weight factor. I tend to carry a smaller wristlet and can imagine popping it out to run into a store. So glad I’ve found you – your style resonates with me, and as a former Texan, can appreciate your setting! Now freezing in Vermont!! :-)
Another wonderful outfit! I love it also that the denims have that perfect fit!
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
Tanya E says
Lovely outfit, I think you’ve got the layering thing just fine… you have really inspired me to replace my jumper dress, so I have ordered a charcoal (but short sleeved, I can change the base layer to ring the changes) merino one with some Christmas money I have. I wear less jewellery in the winter too, I think with gloves, scarves, coats, it kind of gets lost or in the way.
When I saw the first picture, I thought to myself, “Did Caroline just turned a dress into a top?” Then when I read the post, I thought, “Yes. Yes, she did, and it looks fabulous!”
While your go-to saying is “how fascinating,” whenever I read your blog, all I can say is “how genius!”
I know most minimalists seem to LOVE because they are so classic and can be worn in a multitude of situations and their “durability”. However, for me, they have always been the LEAST durable because they always rip at the crotch. Is there some secret that I don’t know about that makes them last more than 8 months?
I also find that they are soooooo finicky in terms of fit. My weight fluctuates and perfect jeans can go so quickly from fitted to restrictive or boyfriend fit to paperbagged (where the belt pulls in the waistband so it looks like a scrunched paper bag) in a month or less.
I anticipate just continuing to wear leggings, which feels more flexible to me. https://lesslessyes.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/winter-10×10-outfit-2/
I’m looking forward to catching up on this 10×10! I haven’t blogged all weekend but I’ve been enjoying Michele in Japan’s posts – have you checked her blog out? I love how this challenge has introduced me to new bloggers I wouldn’t have otherwise known about.
Hey Louise, you do what works for you! And I’ll be sure to check out Michele in Japan’s blog! :)
Andreea U. says
I dont know how you did it. To tuck in so much material and manage to look that flat in the front side of the jeans.
I cant believe its the same dress from the other days, it s looks so good!
Andreea, I hope you check out my tutorial on Instagram stories before it gets deleted! :)
I have yet to see one of your instagram stories because I never get there in time. I know they’re supposed to be evanescent, but is there some way you could make a repository with some of the more useful stories?
It’s like you read my mind, Katharine! I’m saving all of them and making a little video for the recap post next week. :)
Holly J says
Great idea! It looks effortless and chic! A+ You are master of the half tuck girl! I tried it with my cranberry tunic today, and wasn’t impressed with my work. :)
I struggled to pull together a new-ish look…I’m on day 7 in my 10 X 10 (which has become a 9 X 10 of late)…but adding a few accessories altered the flavor a bit–including a vintage beaded clutch of my grandmother’s, a Made in the US flannel blanket scarf, and my favorite thrifted tweed wool swing coat…I’m hoping I pulled it off.
Jillian VS says
I really want to comment on the fact that you wear no-to-minimal jewelry. Every day, I wear a very simple necklace my husband of twenty years gave me when I was sixteen, a small pair of diamond stud earrings and my diamond wedding and anniversary band. I do not take these off or change them. When I have a special event I struggle with feeling made up and not myself when I try to add other fancier jewelry. It’s fun to see others are the same way! Thanks for the inspiration to be always be true to ourselves!
I’d never have thought to wear a dress as a top, you look fab!
Kimi, Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair says
I read your post and wished that I had a similar dress so I could try turning it into a top…and then it dawned on me that I may have a dress that I could do this with! Definitely going to play around with it more :) thanks for the inspo!
Oooh, I hope it works, Kimi! :)
I’d love to know which fashion or lifestyle blogs are your favorite to read. Your blog and your style are so inspiring…I’d love to know which blogs out there inspire you!
Thanks Madison! My favorite style bloggers are Lee Vosburgh of Style Bee and Man Repeller. :)
Sheila Joy says
Wearing dresses as top is such a great way to expand your wardrobe, especially during a challenge like this! The key is to get the tuck just right–which I struggle with sometimes, haha!