10 days, 10 pieces of clothing, 10 outfits! Done and done!
I had the BEST time co-hosting this remix with my friend Lee of Style Bee — and before we jump into the recap, I just have to give her a big ol’ THANK YOU! Did you know that the 10×10 challenge is Lee’s brainchild? It sure is, and it was such an honor to get to co-host this remix with the original creator. I so appreciate Lee’s grounded, conscious approach to style, and she never fails to get me thinking about my closet in a new way. Bookmark her blog quick — you’ll be glad you did.
Let’s get down to recapping this remix! We’ll chat through 9 FAQs and then take a look at my favorite outfits that you posted from the #winter10x10.
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My 10 pieces included everything you see in the photo below: 2 pairs of shoes, 3 bottoms, 1 dress, 3 tops, and 1 cardigan. You can find out more about why I picked these pieces right here. I didn’t include any accessories or outerwear. Instead, if I needed them, they flowed in and out freely.
You can scroll through the outfits I created here.
Let’s jump right in with the FAQ.
1 | Did your clothes work for the weather?
YES. And that’s probably the thing I’m most proud of this time around.
Because, over the course of the remix, I experienced everything from 30 degree days with sleet and snow flurries, all the way to 80 degree days with bountiful sunshine, and everything in between.
Because of our varied weather, I had an excellent opportunity to dial in and pay attention to what real winter looks like where I live — instead of getting caught up on fantasy winter. While I wanted to include more sweaters in my 10 pieces — after all, this was a winter remix — I had to be honest with myself and acknowledge that, where I live, I needed to include a short sleeve tee, along with the sweaters.
2 | Did you wear anything that wasn’t included in your 10 pieces?
I sure did, but I’m not sweating it. I’m a believer that there’s no such thing as cheating when it comes to capsules and fun wardrobe remixes — just creative solutions. :)
One day at home, I wore my Patagonia fleece instead of my black cardigan because, dog hair.
And a couple of other days, I wore my big coat when it was super cold.
And, just to be totally clear, life activities (gym, sleeping, etc) still called for work out wear and PJ/loungewear, so those were still going on in the background when needed.
3 | How did laundry work out?
Laundry worked like normal. If something was dirty, I washed it. If not, I didn’t.
I ended up needing to wash my white tee and spice colored blouse after I wore them each time.
Other than that, I wash my jeans as little as possible anyway (to preserve the dye), so I didn’t need to wash them. And my sweaters stayed fresh thanks to a sweater freshening spray and a base layer underneath (which got washed every day or two).
Want more on keeping sweaters fresh between washes? Here you go.
4 | Were there any pieces you included that felt like mistakes?
Surprisingly, no, not this time. I almost made the mistake of not including my white tee, because I wanted a more “winter” item. But thankfully, I ended up including it — and it was a lifesaver on warmer days.
5 | Which piece was your favorite?
Hands down, my thrifted cashmere dress. And to be honest, this was a big surprise. I’ve had this dress for a year, but I rarely wore it because I could only think of one way to style it. Not the case anymore — now I’ve got five new ways to style it, including as a top! Take a look:
6 | Which outfit was the most outside your comfort zone?
Outfit 3. It was totally new for me, but I loved it.
7 | What did you learn about your personal style?
This time, I clearly saw that minimal accessories is my jam. I rarely wore jewelry, hats, or scarves, and it felt right. Instead, I’d use shape, color, and texture to add interest to an outfit.
I also learned to be realistic about my winter wardrobe needs. My winter may look different from yours. And as much as I’d love a formula — a list of the pieces “every woman should own for winter” — someone else’s winter formula probably won’t work for me, and that’s okay. Instead, I simply need to pay attention to what’s in front of me — my daily activities, my lifestyle, my weather — and base my wardrobe on that.
8 | What would you do differently next time?
I’m glad this one worked out so well, but I want to experiment even more in the next one. I’d like to include one piece that I’ve fallen out of love with and try to rekindle the flame.
9 | Why did you do the challenge in the first place?
To me it comes down to this: if you want progress, try new things.
I never know exactly what I’m going to get out of these challenges. In fact, I purposefully try to approach it with no expectations.
But one thing I know: our clothes are intertwined with our habits and attitudes, and I’m curious about the relationship between them. So getting out of my norm and doing a short-term challenge like this helps me see things from a different perspective.
Every time I scrolled through the #winter10x10 tag, I felt inspired and incredibly connected to you and the light in each and every one of you.
And there is so much light. This is the kind of community I want to be a part of: A community of people who are conscious and caring, yet who won’t hesitate to challenge you to try something out of your comfort zone, and then cheer for you along the way.
The amount of comments I saw on all of your Instagram posts, like, “You do you, girl!” and “Maybe it didn’t work out this time, but how fascinating!” and “Good for you!” and “I never thought of it like that!” — they just made my day every day.
So thank you. Thank you for using your time and energy to encourage + engage with the people around you.
Just look at all this goodness!
ROW 1: @thethoughtfulcloset | @laurabcaleffi | @baytobaltic
ROW 2: @lovelylauralife | @sarahcpeters | @rootandwing
ROW 3: @baytobaltic | @thegarmentlife | @thriftsofine
ROW 4: @starleewhite | @ninooou | @monpetitmiroir
ROW 5: @kellyamonson | @simply_nuts | @klschluets
• • •
So that’s a wrap on the winter remix! WOOHOO!
- I’m taking a little blogging break until next Monday, but then it’s packing week! We’ll be tackling winter packing with all it’s challenges — coats, shoes, and carry-ons. So let me know if you have any packing-specific Q’s in the comments.
- And I’m so excited to tell you that Lee and I are teaming up again for a remix in the spring! Stay tuned for dates.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you! Care to share what worked + what didn’t work in your remix challenge? Any style breakthroughs? Any life lessons learned? Would you try it again in the future? Sound off in the comments!
Lee Vosburgh says
Ah Caroline, you’re the best! I’m so sad it’s over but so glad we got to join forces :) Loved all your looks and insights the whole way through. Can’t wait for Spring! Enjoy the post challenge break #necessary xoxo
Renee | archivesstyle.com says
Love all of your outfits! So bummed that I didn’t participate this time round!
I actually wrote two blog posts about packing myself, but my question to you is: how do you keep your clothes looking fresh (and not a crinkled mess) when you’re away?
Hi Renee! I’m a huge fan of travel steamers for keeping clothes not only wrinkle free, but freshened up too! This is a good one: bit.ly/2iaYrML
Laura Blanton says
I just (FINALLY) got mine last week! GAME CHANGER. Haha! Even for normal every day life!
Also, super pumped to be included in your Instagram round up. Thank you so much Caroline :) Excited to check out some of the peeps I’m not already following. :)
P.S. Super excited for spring’s challenge already! Would love to formally jump in! :)
Anna W says
Game changer for real! I also took Caroline’s steamer recommendation for traveling, and now I almost NEVER iron anything – then when I’m home! Just a spritz of steam usually does the trick for my clothes.
I LOVE this challenge, Caroline! I recently watched Minimalism, and that documentary and your blog really inspired me to clear the clutter (for good this time). It’s so refreshing to live with less! I will definitely be trying the challenge in the next week or so :)
Natalie Was Here
Thank you so much for organizing this, Caroline (and Lee). Honestly, when I first started, I didn’t know I’d make it. :) But hey, just like you mentioned, it’s all about the experience, right? My biggest takeaway is mix and match is a learnable skill. I started my first 33 piece capsule last Oct. It was hard! This time with 10×10, it’s still difficult especially towards the end, but I did find it’s easier than last time. And that is encouraging! I would definitely try it again in the future. And hope to make it to your fav looks :p XOXO
Lynn Herrick says
I think it is a fantastic concept and I look forward to the challenge each time. This was my first time styling a dress multiple ways. I layered over jeans and then even added a top layer. Have not tried that in my 45 years of getting dressed! Really liked the look, and, even more, just loved trying something new. Also realized how much I enjoy winter whites and creams. Funny, because of my new love for these colors, other women in the office have noticed and started to wear them too.
Hi, thanks for the wonderful recap and for the cute video that showed your outfits. You have such a sparkling and positive personality, it’s amazing! Keep it up, girl!
As for my own 10×10, it was the first time I’ve been doing it and I think it was a very inspirational little project. This morning I was thrilled to see my other clothes again ;-). So, what am I taking with me from this challenge?
I kind of have a clearer view what a versatile piece looks like and what to look for when out shopping next time.
Dark colors like black and blue are the winners – and I can always add color with scarves.
What worked really well was not having all 10 items lined up on day 1, but adding over the first few days.
I gave myself some extra fun assignments like including one thrifted piece, one that I haven’t worn in a while, one brand-new piece, …
The best part was that I was amongst a community of creative and caring women that made the time worthwhile.
I love both yours and Lee’s styles, completely different weather but still very sleek looks. I didn’t participate this time around (wasn’t sure I’d be “into it”) but I am loving the idea and can’t wait to try a spring 10×10 with you guys! Thank you for being a everyday, real life clothing blog that I can relate to, it’s FASCINATING!
Wow Caroline- huge thanks to you and Lee for hosting this challenge. It has been SO much fun to see all the outfits in the feed. Thanks especially for including some of mine in your favorites- what an honor. Can’t wait for the spring challenge. xoxoxo Rachel
you’re adorable. love your lashes and instastories video. i don’t know why i can’t seem them from ig. hmmm.
Loved this posts. Great round up. Every outfit was super stylish!
Daniela Soriano says
Love them all <3
I loved seeing these posts, your outfits were great.
Abigail Alice ?
Denise k. says
This was my first 10×10 challenge and I loved it!!! I will definitely participate again and I also signed up for Lee’s blog, too. So many fantastic ideas between the two of you. I am in Illinois so my weather is colder than yours but I had no problem using your suggestions to suit my climate. My fave piece-something new to me- was a cream, grey, black and blue plaid Pendleton blanket worn as a shawl instead of a winter coat. My outfit that day was black textured leggings, l/s white linen blouse with long shirt tails under a lean black sweater. Black suede booties. Black leather clutch and twisted hoop earrings. Dinner and a play that night. Fabulous!!
Caroline, I think that you and Lee set such a positive tone about how our clothes affect us. I love that you both encourage being gentle with yourselves, while acknowledging that you want to challenge your own ideas and grow your confidence in portraying the true you(s). Thank you both for creating this community of well-wishes, mistake-makers, and dare-doers. I’ll join in the next challenge. This one was one for watching, but I’ll make great outfits and some mistakes with everyone the next go around.
Kimi, Cotton Cashmere Cat Hair says
Thanks for hosting the challenge! I won’t be joining in the spring, but I hope you guys do another one in the summer. ;)
thank you so much for your beautifully detailed post. i am in the middle of “the curated closet” and learning so much.
Mademoiselle Coconath says
Thanks for the shout-out! I had so much fun doing this 10×10. Your outfit #3 was my favorite too – it’s inspired me to recreate it and seek out my own sweater dress. I found the winner at Need Supply Co this weekend in my hometown. Can’t wait to take some more styling cues from you in the next 10×10!
What about Outfit 3 out of your comfort zone?
Hey Mikayla! The dress is a little too short, the boots are a little too masculine, the bare legs with socks and boots — it was just a new combination I hadn’t thought of wearing before. I warmed up to it pretty quickly! :)
Andreea U. says
I enjoyed this challenge and hope we will have a Spring one as well.
I miss the sun so much.
During this challenge I learned that:
– in the winter I have a tomboy style all the way as I like warmth and comfort during the cold days and dressing to stylish might end up with a flu everytime I go out
– I noticed that jeans are not my best friend in the winter as my legs freezed when going out in the evening so I became friend with some pair of leggings which I forgot about (even though I hated the idea of wearing only leggings because I feld too naked but a cashmere dress& a cozy skirt did the trick – again thank you for the inspiration )
– I learned that for my real winter in Bucharest RO, I really need those big cozy sweaters and cardigans everybody dies for on Instagram so they are on the list for next year as the very very cold days will end next month
– I also noticed that I did not miss much of my clothes as these specific items I choosed for the challenge were the most worn outfits
– It made me miss some of the items I forgot about like trousers and cozy hoodies
– I am proud i was part of this together with the Unfancy community
Looking forward to the packing posts as I have an out-of-state family event that will entail air travel. I’d love to be able to take everything in a carry-on.
And YYYAAASSSS to dressing your winter reality. I love 3/4 length sleeves and linen tees, but here, it’s cold. And messy. So, my reality is lots of sweaters, long sleeve shirts, socks, and shoes that can get wet. It’s all about dressing for ourselves, not for a fantasy.
Anna W says
One of these days, when I have a pretty location to shoot photos of myself, I hope to participate!
Caroline, the 10X10 ended up being a fun challenge, so I will definitely join you all again in the spring! You and Lee are awesome for putting it on. It was fascinating to scroll through the hashtag and see how others approach their style. As for me, I learned a bit about layering – what works for my body and what makes me feel bulky and self-conscious. Also accepting the fact that some pieces just look best in certain ways… and that’s okay! Looking forward to the packing post now – I’ve got vacation on my mind. :) Enjoy your break!
Wow…those instagram photos are gorgeous and artful, ladies. Bravo!!!
I actually cut 3 of the 10 pieces completely out of my wardrboe as a result of the challenge! And that’s a good thing. I can’t believe how different stuff looks in photos versus when you just look in the mirror! Big AHA!!
Thanks much, Caroline!!!
outfit number 3 is giving me major feels
This was the best elixir to shake winter doldrums, and I really felt — now I am capsuling!! Instead of seeing a closetful of lovely clothes I saw possibilities, and it has me so excited I am doing it again. Now! Am as well eager about packing plans and know you’ll have more inspiring bits to share. Thanks Caroline!
Patricia Kay says
Grateful! Freedom is now in my closets! Excited!
I am retired, so now I have too much even though I continually move out pieces.
This remix showed me I can remove pieces that may be more for Feb, March, even April. I live in Northern Minnesota( near Canadian border!).
My winter sweaters are many and so are my jackets and boots. Also, I teach fitness classes, so even my workout collection is way too “full”!
What did your remix inspire me to do???? Wow!!!!
First, on day 1( Wednesday of this week), I looked, read, listened to all of your 10 days. I have been following your blog for a year, and the past 10 days, but that day I literally took notes and caught your process! Before it seemed overwhelming, but it takes that ONE moment that says “do it”! So I studied all. Fabulous content you have!
Then, day 2 Thursday-Yesterday I did it all!
Approached each of my two closets: dressier—-followed your lead—chose maybe 12 total pieces.
Sports closet: removed several tops/jackets/etc and again followed your lead and have a few select pieces that work well for comfort, warmth, look great for teaching.
And— went into my winter coat-jacket-vest closet! Same thing. Only a few pieces left! Took the others out.
Freeeedom from “overwhelm”!!!! And best of all—no guilt for moving out all of the excess to a closet in the basement office! Wahoo!!!!!!
I will do this for 10 days starting today and may just continue until the end of February! And then assess. And then select for March & April. We have snow & cold sometimes until May, so weather will be the gauge.
Thanks for the weather note…. I looked ahead yesterday, and we are to have no higher than 20 degrees for the next 10 days, so that keyed me in on what 2 sweaters to choose( out of many!!!!) .
For so long I have opened my closet doors and have seen a wave of abundance.
I do believe Imopened each closet several times yesterday and last night praising God for opening me to your process, taking my hand, and letting go of the “too much” to the “less is truly more” that your testimony/ministryreveals.
Bless you, Caroline. You have a market place ministry that teaches, encourages, reveals “all in moderation” living according to the Word.
Cannot wIt to open the door today for going to town for meetings & appointments!
Ready. Set. Jump.
Love your style. Choices. Remixes.
This is a great post!
Patricia Kay says
Thanks, Milly! Have a blessed day!
Nicole Boyd says
I have one question regarding the cashmere turtleneck dress. The one you are wearing just says “old” but I am curious about the brand. Even if they don’t make it anymore, perhaps they will in the future and I would love to keep an eye out :)
Hi Nicole, it’s a brand I haven’t heard of – Pauw Amsterdam :)
Jan Marie says
Hi Caroline :) I was in awe/flattered/starstruck to see you comment on my Day 1 instagram post. I pretty much got Instagram just for this challenge. :)
I learned a lot from this challenge, detailed at http://aspiringminimalist.tumblr.com
Biggest takeaway as a Bostonian is probably that I don’t have to give into Eddie Bauer Land in order to stay warm in the winter. I wore dresses and skirts with leggings, and never felt cold. It was only 35-45 all week, but still. It was great to get my femininity back from the sea of flannel and fleece and puffer coats.
Oh and, direct opposite of you ;) I also learned that accessories are my JAM!!!
Jan Marie says
+I leave for New Orleans in 6 days, never been. Stressin about packing tho! My big two quandaries are:
1. How to dress like you fit into a place, instead of like a tourist… when the place is wilder and crazier and brighter and bolder and more flamboyant than you (usually) are/dress
2. How to feel like you have a few days of distinct looks while possibly repeating some pieces (to save on space)
Thank you for everything!
I’ve (finally!) finished my ten days (I made them work days when I had client meetings)…. and I’m very surprised. Ten items is totally enough to have some variety + consistency + always wear my favs, so I’m by and large planning to stick to this set of items until the summer is over. Thanks for inspiring the challenge!!
Yeaaah, I “failed” 2 weeks ago after day 7. I started over, and today is my 10th outfit out of ten clothes, it was fun. Definitely useful to have a dress :)