Ever tried to make 10 outfits you love out of 10 pieces of clothing?
It sounds simple. But is it?
I’m about to find out!
My lovely friend Lee of Style Bee is the master of the 10×10 challenge. Her creativity when it comes to remixing her clothes is just one of the coolest things to watch. She reminds me that my closet, just as it is, can actually do more and work harder than I think it can.
And spoiler alert! Lee and I are teaming up for a winter remix in a few months!
But before that, I’ve got to get at least one practice round in.
So, here’s how it works: I pick 10 pieces from my closet and create 10 outfits from them over the next 10 days.
And let me tell you, it sounds easy, but I’m already a little nervous. Because, sure, I can schlep together 10 outfits from 10 pieces, but can I put together truly great outfits that I love?
That’s the question. We’ll find out in two weeks, won’t we?
I’m particularly glad to be doing this at the beginning of the fall season — a season where I’m a little unsure when it comes to my personal style.
Because, if there’s one reoccurring lesson I’ve learned about my closet, it’s that when I remix what I have, I learn more about my style than I would if I’d simply gone shopping.
So, have a look at my 10 pieces! I’ve got 2 pairs of shoes, 2 pairs of jeans, 1 dress, and 3 tops, and 2 jackets/vests.
I’m not including accessories — they’ll swap in and out freely.
And remember, my ultimate goal for fall is to dress for the fall where I live, not fantasy fall. So, these 10 pieces aren’t sweaters and boots — in fact, hanging here in the picture, they look downright summery. But! The magic is in the styling. Once styled (and on a human being), they’ll seem much cozier.
01 / Silk Black Dress (similar and similar for less) / Yes, it’s this dress again — the one I’m always talking about. I’m sure it’s not a shocker to see it here, since it’s possibly the most versatile piece in my closet.
02 / Boyfriend Jeans / Remember these? They are the one thing I bought from the Nordstrom Sale this year. They are quickly escalating to my favorite pair of jeans ever, despite my love for my high rise skinnies.
03 / Black Skinnies (similar) / I included these black skinnies because I’ve missed them! They don’t really get worn in the summer, since they have more of a fall / winter vibe — but that’s about to change.
04 / Open Toe Booties / Letting go of fantasy fall, leaning into real fall. Open toe booties are perfect the 80 and 90 degree days that are happening right now where I live.
05 / Open Toe Flats / Once again — dressing for the fall where I live, not fantasy fall. Meaning open toe shoes are A-OK for the end of September.
06 / Denim Jacket (similar) / I included my denim jacket because I love how it pairs with my black skinnies. Plus, it makes a great layer for cooler evenings or chilly restaurants.
07 / Knit Vest (similar) / This piece might be a mistake — another top might have been a better choice, but I really wanted at least two layering pieces in my 10 pieces. Time will tell.
08 / White Button Up (similar) / A button down is always versatile to me because I can make so many little style tweaks to it — I can roll the sleeves, tie it in a knot at the waist, wear it open over a dress, wear it under a jacket, etc.
09 / Silk White Cami / As delicate and high maintenance as this piece is, I just can’t stop wearing it. Telling myself it’ll work great underneath layers because then you can’t see the sweat stains it incurred over the summer. (Still working on those.)
10 / Stripe Button Down Shirt / Like the white button up, this shirt is so versatile. Plus, in my book, stripes are mandatory when working with a limited number of clothes.
• • •
And that’s that! My ten pieces. Can I make ten outfits I love out of them? Well, we’ll know by the end of the month!
Hey, want to join me? Grab 10 pieces from your closet and try to remix them into new outfits over the next 10 days. Nervous to try? Don’t be! This is low stakes. No long term commitments — just 10 little ol’ days.
And if you you mess up, or you aren’t able to make 10 outfits, or something just goes plain wrong — how fascinating!
Let me know if you’re joining in the comments. First assignment: Instagram your 10 pieces today and tag ’em #unfancyremix so we can all follow along.
See you tomorrow for the first outfit! :)
I love a 10×10 remix! I joined Lee back in the spring with a 10×10 challene and documented it on my blog as well. Then I did an undocumented one over the summer — both were so successful! I love it’s ability to shed new light on old pieces and curbing the impulse to shop because you learn just how versatile your closet already is. For me honing in further on the fine details of my own style and what makes a look really feel like *me* is just icing on the cake. :) Can’t wait to see how you put these pieces together — I’m sure I’ll come away with a couple outfits I didn’t even know I had myself. ;)
Hey Laura! Sounds like a worthwhile experiment, I’m excited to give it a shot :) xo, Caroline
Good luck and have fun!
Brittany | Words like honeycomb says
I am nervous FOR you…lol but I know everything will be amazing and if it doesn’t work…who really cares :) we all had fun following along! woohoo! I may try this soon as well! my workplace doesn’t allow much flexibility in these types of things but I will be doing my own version! :)
Yes Brittany! Would love to see :) xo, Caroline
I love open toe shoes because they always look super stylish!
Mireia from TGL
Hey! :) I love the idea of doing it and I’m very intrigued as to how it’ll turn out but I’ve got a question… Seeing your wardrobe, you’ll have to wear things twice or more. I don’t know about you but there are only a few occasions where I can wear a shirt two times in a row without washing it… So, how do you do it? My shirts are ususally a bit smelly after I’ve worn them the whole day so it got me thinking as to how I could do that!
Anyways, I’m very excited for this project!
Have a lovely day!
Hey Leona! One of my favorite tricks to sanitize my clothes in between washing is a good ol’ fashioned steamer like this one: http://bit.ly/2dbkZvP
It kills bacteria and refreshes my clothes pretty well. A second line of defense would be a spray like Febreze or this Cold Iron Wrinkle Releaser that doubles as an odor eliminator: http://bit.ly/2cyqnrQ
And if all else fails, I’ll have to throw together a load of laundry or hand wash an item in the sink.
Hope that helps! :)
Freezing works well, too: roll the item of clothing like you’re rolling dough into a cinnamon roll or a swiss roll (don’t fold into a small size–for instance, for jeans you could fold in half so that one leg lays on top of the other [don’t fold in half at the knees] & start at the waist rolling down to the cuffs) then put in a large plastic food-storage bag, and put in the freezer overnight. Take out in the morning, smooth out with hands on a flat surface (in the winter let it come to room temperature for a few minutes), then put on your body or a hanger to go into your closet. Between laundry days I do this for all clothing items that have no visible stains, except for panties & hose, which I wash after one wearing.
Well, we’re still in the 80s here in Chicago and next week will be in the 70s, so clothes like this will work just fine for me. Can’t wait to see the remix. And once again, I didn’t get the e-mail and nothing in the spam folder. I checked WordPress and everything looks in order, so I don’t know what the problem is.
Hi Carol, I’m sorry we’re still having that issue! I tried adding you manually awhile back, so I’m not sure what’s wrong. But I will keep trying. :) xo, Caroline
Lee Vosburgh says
YAY!! So excited to see how you tackle the challenge and the looks you create! You probably won’t love every one but that’s OK. No doubt you’ll come away with at least a couple you can’t wait to repeat :) Love the items you chose and totally hear you about dressing for your actual Fall climate.
So happy this weird world of lean closets led our paths to cross Caroline! xo
Me too, Lee! Thanks friend :) xo, Caroline
been following your blog for a while, Caroline, and i love it! and now looking forward to the remix challenge, this is the part i need to master! and please, please tell me about the Thea sandal, i’ve been eyeing them for so long but could not pull the trigger because so many people said there were uncomfortable.
Hi Katia! This is true — I had another commenter say she read a lot of reviews from people complaining of blisters. I use moleskin padding to help with any uncomfortable areas in the shoe, and now it’s broken in and very comfy! :) xo, Caroline
I second Caroline’s comment! I hesitated buying these sandals for so long because of the reviews, but I don’t have a single complaint! My advice is to buy/order a 1/2 size up and insert gel heel cushions (like these: http://www.target.com/p/-/A-13978943) to avoid any rubbing or blisters on the back of the heel. It worked like a charm!
McKristie Mannan says
For the stains on the silk cami try The Laundress. I love that line.
Thank you McKristie! :) xo, Caroline
I recently soaked my baby daughter’s lace baptismal gown in a highly concentrated mix of oxi-clean and cold water. It is a 30+ year old gown (it was mine as a baby) and it took all of the yellowing from age right out! I was amazed. You could likely try something similar on your silk cami.
That’s amazing Christina! Worth a shot :) xo, Caroline
Love this! I’ve always loved watching when Lee does it (as it looks so effortless ?) but have never jumped on the bandwagon. Thinking I ought to try this time around!! Also, WHERE did you get that fabulous wardrobe rack? I’ve been on the hunt for a sturdy yet simple one and have not stumbled upon one as darling as that :)
Hey Alissa! Give it a go! And I found the wardrobe rack on Amazon, it’s called the Songmics Laundry Rack: http://bit.ly/2cM3Afg :) xo, Caroline
I am so excited for this- I literally picked up a pair of camel leather booties and a striped top over the weekend, can’t wait to see how you style them
This sounds both fun and challenging. I think I will join in!
Once again, I’m jealous of your ability to just go for it- even if it is only 10 days! I work in an office and as much as I want to try this, I’m not sure how it would play into my day-to-day needs. I just can’t imagine wearing the same slacks or skirt repeatedly for 10 days… which is why I NEED to just go for it, I know! …someday. Until then, I will keep living vicariously through you!
Yes Jessica! I hope you will someday :) xo, Caroline
I have just loved your idea of dressing for the Fall you have because it’s still in the 80’s here in Baltimore and because of you, I’ve really been embracing it! I’m looking at my summer clothes in a different way and mixing in some Fall colors and clothes here and there but not trying to force myself into sweaters yet.
Hi Katie, that’s awesome! Way to make it work for where you are living :) xo, Caroline
Ahhhh I actually started this before I knew you were going to do it! I’m almost done but I’ll still tag my posts on Instagram! Can’t wait to see all your looks!
Hi Randi! Yes, please join the hashtag! Look forward to seeing your looks :) xo, Caroline
I’m super excited to try this! I’ve been wanting to do a capsule for a while, but never quite can pull the trigger. I feel like this is a good way to dip my toes in the water, so to speak.
Hey Laura, it’s the perfect opportunity. I hope you’ll join along! :) xo, Caroline
Rachel Hochman says
I actually just blogged about doing a 10×10 challenge (inspired by Lee from Stylebee)! I like what you said about layering – that was my biggest takeaway is that I need to get better at layering to create variety.
Can’t wait to see your outfits- let me know what you think of mine!
Hi Rachel! Thanks for sharing your experience. And I love your laid back style! Look forward to seeing more :) xo, Caroline
I love those flat sandals – but clicking on the link shows a ton of people who have issues with blisters in them! Have you had that problem?
Hey Allyson! I actually stick moleskin padding on the insides of my shoes to avoid that problem all together! I can see how that would happen until they get broken in otherwise. :) xo, Caroline
I can only hope to find 10 pieces in my fall wardrobe at all. Since venturing into capsule wardrobing 2 years ago, my main issue is- not enough clothes. Ironically.
I had/have no problem clearing out my entire closet (die hard minimalist here), but my main issue is collecting new clothes so I actually have clothes to wear.
Thanks for this challenge because if I do manage to find 10 pieces, I’ll be thrilled to see 10 outfits come out of that! I have a package coming in the mail tomorrow with 5 pieces that will *hopefully* all work and add to my limited items at home.
Fun fun!! Can’t wait to look through the hashtag!
Hi Katrina! Good luck with the new items you are adding. I hope you find a way to make it work! :) xo, Caroline
maria // educationchic says
I love everything about your choices. They are absolutely phenomenal! The aesthetic is so comforting and inviting while still being super chic. Well done!
Hi Maria, thank you for such a sweet comment! :) xo, Caroline
I sat down to put together a 10×10 a few months back and just couldn’t do it! Part of the problem is, I have an office job so the clothes I wear to work are different than on the weekends, etc. Plus, I choose to dress really simply for work – just a sweater and black pants. As much as I want to hop on the 10×10 train, I’m just not sure it makes sense for me – but I love watching others do it!
Hi Stacy, you’re right that it may not be for everyone. You’ll have to try it next time you go on vacation or something! :) xo, Caroline
This is such a great idea! I can’t wait to see the combinations you come up with! And thank you so much for introducing me to Style Bee, her blog is simply gorgeous–I’m excited to have a new blog to discover (: This challenge seems like a lot of fun, I may just have to give it a whirl. After all, it’s only 10 days and if it doesn’t go well, well at least I’ll learn something! Yes, I think I’ll join! haha.
Hi Andrea! I hope you will join us! :) xo, Caroline
Pretty sure these would be my 10 pieces too! Definitely in need of a good jean jacket!
Hi Amelia, yes! The jean jacket never seems to go out of style! :) xo, Caroline
Oh my goodness I love this idea ! I might need to hop on board !!
Hi Torie! I hope you do! :) xo, Caroline
I love this new direction you’re taking! I’m looking forward to getting some more style ideas from you. Maybe I’ll have to try the 10×10 soon!
Hi Dawn, I totally think you should give it a try :) xo, Caroline
Love it! I’m predicting in my head what your 10 outfits will be — and I’ve pre-predicted my favorite! Ha! Have fun!
I’ve been searching for a distressed dark gray (or black) pair of boyfriend/slim jeans for 2 years! Shopping for jeans is my absolute least favorite thing to do. I give up quickly. Most the pairs I see that are gray or black are not really distressed enough and seem kind of flat, and of course, I think 99 out of 100 jeans I try on don’t fit. I need a curvy cut, or else I could stuff a football down the waist gap on my back end. Ugh. If anyone has any leads please let me know! :)
Hi Lyn! Jeans can be so difficult to fit, definitely. Have you thought about getting them tailored? A little nip in the waistband to get rid of that gap wouldn’t be very expensive to do and you’ll feel like you have custom jeans on! Just a thought. Good luck on the hunt. And I’m excited to see how your predictions pan out :) xo, Caroline
Now that’s a challenge. 10 x 10 sounds fun though. Maybe I’ll give it try. Will use that hashtag if I do. You have chosen some great pieces btw. :)
clare dowling says
Hope I’m not too late to the party, I didn’t get a notification email for this post or your last one. It makes me sad ;(. I have a capsule wardrobe of 10 pieces for work, where I have to wear all black (and I don’t love black on me, so when I’m not at work I don’t wear much of it except for opaque tights and boots…the black accent is definitely my thing), so it’s a permanent 10×10. I have two skirts, two dresses, one cardigan, two tops, one blouse, one pair of ankle boots and one pair of ballet flats. For winter I’ll swap my two tops for long-sleeved ones, the shirt for another sweater, and we’ll have to see about the ballet flats. I get a real kick out of combining my pieces in different ways, more so than when I style clothes from the rest of my, more extensive, wardrobe (also a capsule). With all the variation, I don’t get bored and no one complimenting me seems to notice that I repeat the same pieces a lot. I started the job in June so I’m three months into this wardrobe…I might be forced to add some pieces when winter hits and our building freezes, but I’m enjoying the challenge so much that I’ll be quite loathe to do it.
I follow along for quite some time now and you inspired a great deal of change in my closet (and also decluttering my life in general).
There’s real fall where I live and I love it! When the last warm day came and everyone was sad I was like: Hey! We can unpack all the pretty fallclothes! That’s a reason to celebrate!
I created my 10×10 a few minutes ago and I noticed, that I picked only my favourites and not something challenging :/ But that way I know I can do it and maybe realise once again that it’s time to get rid of a few unworn items.
Haha being eight months pregnant is like doing this permanently! I’ve only added a couple of new tops (which are mostly just worn around the house) and a pair of maternity jeans to my already minimalist wardrobe, but my husband was commenting the other day on the number of scarves I own. Accessories are so helpful for changing up outfits!
I love this idea but what about work vs at home clothes? My job involves me dressing up more than I soul at home. Some items could be interchangeable but not all. Any ideas?
I am slowly shifting my own attitude towards clothes and the 10 item wardrobe could really help.
I should point out that I’m only in the office 3 days a week. Tx SJ
Hey Sarah! If you don’t feel like a 10×10 would be sufficient for both locations, you could try a separate experiment for each? Or you can just try it for one of the two locations (probably wherever you spend the most time). And another option would be to just practice. Pull 10 items and play dress-up in the mirror. See if you can make some new looks from just 10 pieces. Enjoy! :) xo, Caroline
Love it! Please, please post a picture of the 10 items displayed on a flat surface rather than hanging from your dress rack. It’s easier to see the items. Very excited to dress for my 90+ degree fall! ?
I love this idea! Although I’ve been working hard to slim down my closet and stop shopping as much, I have never fully committed to a capsule wardrobe. I find my off-duty style is very similar to yours, but some days at work require a more business-casual approach. Sometimes I feel like I almost have two separate styles. This challenge is a great way to give the capsule a go for a shorter amount of time!
I also totally agree with you about dressing for fall where you are. I live in the Midwest, and it is still toasty out! However, within a few weeks, that chill will finally set in. I feel our ever changing weather makes it hard to commit to a capsule, as one day I need shorts, and the next, I might need a jacket!
I noticed a lot of commenters expressed concern that they couldn’t commit to 10 pieces because they work in an office environment. I work in a professional environment, too, although our dress code is quite lax unless we have something going on. So, I chose: 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of navy trousers, 1 button down sleeveless top, 1 short sleeve stripe top, 1 long sleeve stripe button down, 1 camel cardigan, 1 floral-ish dress, 1 “sweater blazer” from J. Crew (honestly the most heavenly piece – I love it), 1 pair of clogs, and 1 pair of navy oxford loafers! I am hoping that these items can mix and match for casual office days to business casual days. We will see! Thanks for the great inspiration, Caroline!
I was hoping you could include some outfits that are for an office work space. I live in the office most of the time and I could use some help in that arena. I know it may not be the wardrobe you need in your life right now. Do you have a friend who has an office career? Maybe use someone else and their wardrobe as a model.
This is so true: “Because, if there’s one reoccurring lesson I’ve learned about my closet, it’s that when I remix what I have, I learn more about my style than I would if I’d simply gone shopping.”
And also the ‘dressing for the fall where I live.” I can completely relate!
Thanks for sharing Caroline!
Hi Basant, one of my guest bloggers worked in an office so you might get some inspiration from her: http://www.un-fancy.com/category/guest-bloggers/
You should also check out the Style Bee blog: http://www.stylebee.ca I feel like some of her items could work in an office environment. :)
Isabella Fuentes says
This is a great challenge for days when a lot of my clothes are at the dry cleaners. I am all about recycling outfits and think that the mix and match opportunities can be endless if you keep some staple accessories in your closet! Can’t wait to share my options!
Amy C. says
How fun! I adore your style, and shopping for your reality of a Texas fall totally makes sens. Unfortunately, the rains start hitting in the PNW in September/October and open-toed shoes just don’t do the trick. Maybe somewhere along the way you could throw out options that would work for other climates and still be similar to your core pieces? Just a thought! (Even as I type this I’m thinking this sounds totally whiny and like I want you to cater your blog to my PNW weather. And maybe I do just a teensy bit. Lol!)
Looking forward to seeing your ten style posts. Your blog is one of my absolute favorites!
Amanda Elsie says
What a fun idea! I’m an Australian living in BC Canada, so I get the whole ‘fantasy’ fall idea. Fall in Australia is not all that cold (depending on where you live), so I’m excited to actually dress for cold weather in BC! I’m definitely going to give this challenge ago myself. I am a mother of a 2 year old as well, so while I’ll try the challenge, what I will probably end up wearing for most of the day are clothes that are sturdy enough to withstand stains, messy activities and lots of hugs! haha.
I’m excited to see what you will post!
I love 10×10 remix. I have seen the instagram hashtag, it’so interesting, different countries, kind of falls, tastes, etc…
Hey Saru, isn’t it fun to see all the different takes on the same idea? I love that! :) xo, Caroline
Tanya E says
Oh, I didn’t get a notification email either! Well the UK is definitely a northern climate but last week we had a heatwave, this week is milder, but we are sunny today and in 20°C + (70s). Though, I’m sure that will change. I have put away some of my high summer stuff but not got out my autumn stuff really, as I’m barely wearing thin, summer weight jumpers yet.
Shirts, 3/4 sleeve tops, jeans, sandals, trainers and light boots are the order of the day, so I think I’ve inadvertently got 10 pieces until it’s cold enough enough for jumpers.
Kate sullivan says
I’m a graphic designer currently on a year long road trip around the US! I’m living in different cities for 2 months at a time while I explore and look for a new place to settle. Inspired by your original capsule experiment, I packed a “warm” and “cold” capsule of sorts since I was planning for all different climates! It was so hard packing for an entire year on the road but the structure of a capsule was hugely helpful!
I love the idea of doing the fall remix since I’m a born and raised New Englander currently living a very warm fall in Nashville. I love the blog so much. Excited for more inspirational outfit posts to come!
Wow Kate your year long adventure sounds amazing! Enjoy xx
Elizabeth Jenkins says
I love your posts and I’m especially enjoying this week’s remix. Keep ’em coming! In my world, not dressing for fantasy fall means dressing for actual fall/winter. I live in Alaska and although it’s not freezing, it certainly does get chilly this time of year. Today I wore black skinnies, black New Balance and a cropped light grey sweater :)
What a super fun idea!! I am heading home tonight to plan my 10 pieces to instagram tomorrow (because, sunshine…)
I am geeking out right now about my upcoming trip to the US (from Australia) and am planning on taking a very minimal wardrobe with me for my 5 weeks travelling around and visiting family in Dallas. This 10×10 project will be a great test run for my capsule travel wardrobe.
I can’t wait to see how everyone goes and am eagerly awaiting you Winter Seasonal Post to help me plan for a Texan winter!
that sounds like a lot of fun to style with only 10 pieces for 10 days. I’m in! :)
And I love your blog btw, it always gives me a good feeling when reading, your posts somehow always put me in a good mood and motivate me :)
Thank you for that!
Where is your clothing organizer from? I LOVE it
Hey Nina, it’s from Amazon — it’s called the Songmics Bamboo Garment rack (http://bit.ly/2cM3Afg) :) xo, Caroline
SOMEONE IN A MINIMALIST GROUP ON FB WANTED TO KNOW WHERE SHE CAN PURCHASE UR WOODEN CLOTHES RACK!
Hey Jeanne, it’s from Amazon — the Songmics Bamboo Garment Rack (http://bit.ly/2cM3Afg)