It’s day 3 of the 10×10 challenge!
In case you missed it, for the next two weeks, I’m teaming up with my blogging pal Lee of Style Bee, and we’re hosting a remix challenge: 10 pieces of clothing, 10 outfits, 10 days. Want to join in? It’s not too late — here’s my quick start guide.
Well it might look like a skirt, but it’s actually the same dress I was wearing yesterday — I just added a button-down on top to give it the appearance of a skirt + top.
I can’t help it — I love little clothing hacks like this. I’m always fascinated with how far I can push my clothes to perform outside of their usual job. I’ve been known to wear a dress as a top (like here in 2014 or here) or a dress as a skirt (like here in 2014 or today).
It’s nothing groundbreaking, but those little hacks work particularly well when I’m traveling and I don’t have much suitcase space.
Speaking of, I’m currently on the lookout for a good travel backpack that’s smaller than a carry-on suitcase — but that can still hold a 4-5 days worth of clothes. Got any recommendations? :)
Back to today, it’s another hot one — no surprise there — with a high of 98 degrees. Whew! I’ll be out and about most of today for a meeting, a chiropractor appointment, and a few other stops. So this outfit should keep me cool while I’m in and out of the heat today. And if I get a little too toasty, I can always lose the shirt and simply wear the dress as-is.
WEAR A DRESS AS A SKIRT | Clothing hacks for the win! Simply pop a button-down on top of a dress, leave the last few buttons undone to create tails, and tie them up in a knot.
GO FOR AN EFFORTLESS VIBE WITH AIR DRIED HAIR | While this may seem like a typical Unfancy outfit, I stepped outside of my comfort zone with my hair. Usually, I fix my hair with a curling wand to create loose waves — creating a “styled” or “done” look. But this time, I tried a more undone look. I simply put a little curl cream in my hair and let it air dry. It’s the smallest thing, I know, but it’s a step in a new direction for me and I think it gives this outfit a different vibe. Feels good.
TESTING OUT A NEW STYLE? TRY IT IN VARYING DEGREES | Sometimes when I try a new style, I feel the need to take it to the max or else it doesn’t count. :) Take Monday’s outfit, for example — it was super romantic and boho. Today’s outfit still registers on that romantic style scale, but it’s on the classic + low-key end of the scale. Testing out varying degrees of this romantic style (as opposed to taking it to the max every time) helps me hone in on the version that’s right for me.
• • •
And there you have it!
Make sure to hop on over to Lee’s blog to see her outfit today, too!
Keep sharing your outfits on Instagram with the #summer10x10 tag — we’re having a blast keeping up with you guys!
See you tomorrow for outfit 4!
Photo Credit: Katie Jameson
Liked today’s outfit? You can shop it and support Unfancy at the same time by using these affiliate links:
LINEN DRESS (old by Ann Taylor) / Similar / Similar / Similar (in a jumpsuit)
SLEEVELESS CHAMBRAY (old by Madewell) / Similar / Similar (under $35)
SLIDES by Nordstrom Rack (few sizes left in other colors) / Similar (under $25) / Similar (made responsibly)
Bonnie Rae says
Your style is just so wonderful! I love the way you pair different things together and use pieces in different ways! It always inspires me to get out of my outfit pairing rut. LOVE!
You win! Love to learn at least one thing a day and as we get so many “days” under our belts in life it is harder to see new things. Can’t wait to get back from the trip I am on to implement this. How many new outfits will this add to my closet without taking up a single new hanger!!-Laurel
Re: backpack recommendations, I’ve had the Osprey Porter 30 for a year and love it! It has a roomy main compartment (that is the perfect size for packing cubes), other small pockets that are conveniently placed, comfy back straps (that you can also stow away), padded handles where you need them, and compression straps that help keep everything snuggled in, no matter how much it’s holding. I was able to pack for a five-day Thanksgiving trip to a cold climate in this pack last year, and was still able to claim it as a carry-on. Definitely check it out!
Rebelle Kitchen says
Jealous that your hair looks like that air dried! Mine, not so much. I was just looking at a sleeveless chambray shirt the other day and love what you did with it here.
Hey Caroline! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on style and thoughtful fashion. I have been greatly enjoying following along. I just wanted to give a little shoutout to Lo&Sons as a company you might look to for a good travel backpack. The Hanover is really popular and I have loved my O.M.G and find that I can easily fit 3-4 days worth of clothing (and extra pair of shoes) into it.
maria Burnett says
May not fit your regular color palette, but I trust this company! And it’s all ethicallly made and gives back to charity.
LOVING the photography this week!! And this outfit is perfect. Cant wait for tomorrow’s : )
Your hair looks great!
I like that you styled this with a filet! I saw them all over the markets in Paris, but I could never find one to purchase while I was there. I just ordered one from Mur Lifestyle and can’t wait to bring it to my local market!
Love the cognac slides and that net bag makes a great boho accessory.
Check out https://www.tombihn.com/ , their products are superbly made and beautifully designed. I have the Western Flyer and packing cubes to fit in it. It’s small enough for me and I can easily get enough clothing in there to last 10 days if I’m being creative. And bonus: it doubles as a really great laptop backpack when you’re not traveling!
Rick Steves has a great line of travel backpacks. Open like a suitcase but carry like a backpack. My kids use the Appenzel and I use the convertible. https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/travel-bags
I love the top over the dress hack! Especially when traveling! I have used the dress with a blazer to dress it up for a business meeting and then the same dress with a top for a fun day of sightseeing all in the same trip. It is essential that clothes do multi duty when traveling.
As for backpacks, I love the Tortuga Outbreaker. It comes in a 35L and 45L size and the padded shoulder straps and hip belt make it SUPER comfy. It is the most comfortable for me to carry, but there are some other good ones out there as well. The ebags Motherlode Jr and Osprey Farpoint are some other good options. Happy backpack hunting!
I second the Tortuga recommendation! I traveled for a month with one, carrying about a week’s worth of clothes and doing laundry along the way. They’re an investment, but so high quality and comfortable.
Emily Cox says
First of all, I love this outfit!!! Secondly, I’m always amazed at the planning and lengths you must have to go to to prepare for these 10×10’s with all the photos and planning. You’re a rockstar <3
Peppermint Dolly says
Love. It! Great outfit lady :-)
Sarah Brocklehurst says
Lightweight travel is a must here in Europe especially when using budget airlines. I always travel with a backpack that can squish under the seat in front. I’ve been using a Patagonia Black Hole Backpack for more than 5 years and love it – it’s weatherproof, totally practical, and comes from a brand with some good environmental credentials. I have no problem fitting in everything I need for a 10 day trip.
Missy K says
Your hair looks lovely. And now I want to go play with my dresses and tops!
Love the idea of wearing a dress as a skirt! Planning to try this with my own wardrobe in the future. :)
I’ve used this hack before and love it! And you look beautiful with your hair natural like that :)
The best backpack I’ve ever owned is my Deuter Bike 1 sl. It’s about 6 years old now and showing almost no wear at all. You can see wear on the bottom, but only the tiniest amount of scuffing. I got mine on sale for about $70CAD.
What I love most about this bag (besides the amazing quality) is that it’s designed for women, so it follows the contour of your back really, really well. It has a chest strap and a waist strap. If you hate straps, you can take them off, but I get back pain and really appreciate just how well the straps distribute the weight of what I’m carrying. It also comes with a rain cover and a mesh strap that hide discretely in the bottom-most portion of the bag. You would never know they were there and they weigh nothing. The back design breathes well in hot weather. The inside has a pouch that’s the perfect size for a netbook or E-reader. The bag holds an incredible amount of stuff since it can expand and contract. I have been blown away.
The newer models look just as good. Have a look to see if a model suits you. My bag is grey, and it looks closest to the Superbike or the Attack models. The attack even has a pocket in the waist strap! When my bag finally goes in 20 years, you can be sure I’ll buy another Deuter!
Oh, and don’t bother with Obusforme — they fall apart over time and don’t contour well at all.
Good luck finding the perfect bag!
Deb Small says
I love the Timbuk2 backpacks. My son bought one for junior high and it has lasted great for 2 years of JH backpack roughhousing, has gone to Scotland and England and Seattle and is still going strong. I bought one similar to his after borrowing his constantly. It looks classy enough for mom (ours are all black) We now take only backpacks while traveling to see family near Seattle (hello light rail from the airport!!) They keep the water out, are VERY comfortable on the back even when packed with clothes, books and a laptop (and in my son’s case 60 lbs of books!) Check out their video on all the compartments.
Your hair looks gorgeous worn naturally!
my husband and i have the rei trail 40L packs for traveling. it’s a little challenging to keep them organized once at our destination, which is my main complaint. possibly some packing cubes would help with that, or unpacking at our destination (although often we’re moving around every night or two). i do love that the pack unzips all the way down on both sides, and that the zippers are two-way, allowing easy access to the bottom of the pack anytime, and i’m able to fit a lot into it. i was able to pack for myself and my then-three-month-old for a 4-day trip (well…i guess i cheated slightly by putting my toiletries in my husband’s pack). if you’re just packing for yourself, you may be able to get away with a smaller version of the pack. i love the freedom of a backpack over a suitcase! so much easier for dashes through the airport, dragging into a hotel for road trips, and lugging in tandem with a baby. bonus points for being rugged and light enough to bring backpacking when we take the baby in the front carrier!
I have this bag and I loooove it: https://www.ebags.com/product/ebags/etech-20-weekender-junior/261000?productid=10264764
They do exist in multiple colors, but for some reason the website it being a little funky and only showing plum right now. There is a slightly bigger option, too, but I can travel for a week in this bag, especially using packing cubes. In any case, I highly recommend ebags in general–high quality stuff and always a decent sale on. Bonus: they include coupons for TripAdvisor and Viator experiences when you buy a travel bag!
I love this! Your styling hacks always add a new perspective to my closet. These challenges are my favorite!
Patagonia headway mlc is the best carry-on ever. We have two and have had them for years. Can fit a week’s worth of stuff and still can fit under the seat in front of you. No lie. Lots of compartments to keep everything separated and has a padded computer compartment to boot.
Beautiful outfit! I included a dress and a sleeveless chambray in my 10 for this exact reason! (Though I’m failing at taking pictures I’ve actually been doing the 10×10 this time!) This backpack is just a little bigger than a regular backpack, opens like a suitcase so you can see all your stuff, works as a small carryon and fit enough clothes that I used it to pack for a month in Europe (in the summer)!
Oops, forgot to include the link! It’s the REI Vagabond Tour 40 Pack. https://www.rei.com/product/863335/rei-co-op-vagabond-tour-40-pack?CAWELAID=120217890000794989&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=30320809360&CATCI=pla-70926331120&cm_mmc=PLA_Google|404_2067|8633350001|none|e81e942b-384a-4e65-be38-3a12d153aac9|pla-70926331120&lsft=cm_mmc:PLA_Google_LIA|404_2067|8633350001|none|e81e942b-384a-4e65-be38-3a12d153aac9|pla-70926331120&gclid=Cj0KEQjwkZfLBRCzg-69tJy84N8BEiQAffAwqi4I1vKnxdAn3oYRBR3QWt6urxelnX2YTHolmKT8qGQaAknB8P8HAQ
The Osprey Farpoint or new Fairview packs (which are built with the female frame in mind) are both worth checking out for a smaller-than carry on backpack with plenty of room! :)
I loved the way that you have combined shirt and dress. For backpacks I can recommend deuter or jack wolfskin as brands. I do not know if they are available in the US.
Chambray and linen is the perfect summer combo!
Miranda | Miranda's Notebook says
Such a cute look! I love the tied shirt and string bag. xxx
Backpack: Tom Bihn 25L Synapse. I can fit a week or 2 worth of clothes, a couple small knitting projects, sunscreen, and an extra pair of shoes. Lightweight, sporty but not super technical looking. This is my EDC bag (though if I didn’t also use it to travel I would use the 19L version since there would be less temptation to overfill).
Duffle: If I need to bring a laptop, bulky items, or more yarn I use a 45L Aeronaut, also from Tom Bihn. It’s like a duffle bag with hidden backpack straps. Get the lighter fabric version for the weight savings and get the carry strap. (I have the 30L too, but find it is very similar in size to the Synapse, and the Synapse weighs less.) I have it packed and sitting on the desk next to me for a 6 day trip, and there is room to spare.
Tom Bihn is made in Seattle, so I may be biased because they are local to me. (Oh, and order a travel tray if you order from them. I ended up having to order a second one since the one I use to corral stuff also happens to be a really great storage area for yarn :))
Love how easy this look is and that bag is so cool!
Be sure to check out my latest blog post!
Katie (Alaskan weredork) says
The net bag is really wild! I don’t have any recomendations for a backpack, I still have my Jasper backpack from highschool that I use – it’s about impossiable to kill but not much on looks. ;)
This dress is really light looking and that’s awesome that you have wonderful memories from when wearing it.
I love this outfit hack – in fact, I might steal it for one of my own 10X10’s! As for a travel backpack, I actually just got one that would fit the bill for you perfectly because I got it for the same reason (going to Bologna and San Marino in September, woohoo!). The brand is Herschel Supply Co., and I got mine, which is a perfect blue-jean blue, on sale because it was ex-display. It has a little pocket in the back where you can slide a laptop in, plus other practical pockets.
Allison t says
Longtime lurker, first time commenter :)
I have been traveling with the Tom Bihn Smart Alec backpack. I’m a short lady and the size fits me well. All of Tom Bihn’s products are made in the USA right in Seattle, so I am always happy to support their company.
Don’t be intimidated by the label- diaper bags make awesome travel bags! Lightweight, lots of pockets, and made to carry heavy loads.
So cute!! I really want to try this kind of layering during my own challenge this week! I’ve changed my approach a bit…i’m doing a 10×10 with only dresses! My goal is to challenge myself to wear the dresses I have already before I am allowed to add any new dresses to my closet. I am always super tempted to buy new cute dresses in the summer, but I find i don’t really wear them very often. So this is my way of pushing myself to wear the dresses already in my closet…and see if I like them enough to justify any new ones! So…I am including 5 dresses, a white button down, my denim jacket (because we still get the odd rainy cool day in July up here in northern Ontario!), 2 pairs of shoes and a pair of cropped leggings (i may also be flexible with adding a pair of skinny jeans under if i get a cool day!) Hopefully 10 days in dresses will give me an idea of whether I love them/feel comfortable in them or not!
Under Armour makes fantastic backpack-duffel hybrids. I’ve been all over the world with mine. It’s a travel game changer. It’s called the “Storm contain” I think. Happy trails!
When I saw your pic, I thought, “It’s so cute, but–gosh!–it’s got to be unbearably hot to wear TWO tops on a summer day!” But you say it’s fine for running errands in 98*. How on earth is that? I’m in Alabama, and I know it’s no hotter than Texas. I admire your commitment to looking cute. I’m pretty sure I’d just say, “Screw it–I’m wearing the plain dress two days in a row!”
United by Blue has an AMAZING travel bag that can be a backpack or a messenger. A lot of their items are sustainably made – I’m not sure this one is, but they do take money from all sales to fund water cleanups.
I travel for work a lot, and this thing is the best. It’s really comfy as a backpack even when it is full. My last work trip I fit two pairs of pants, two button downs, three tees, two tank tops, a sweater, extra sneakers, underwear/socks/toiletries, AND a rolled up travel yoga mat in it. My co-workers were astounded ;)
Caroline! First off, LOVE LOVE LOVE the blogs. I flip to these sometimes after waiting a few days, weeks, so I can binge read your posts. Thanks for all your capsule and travel wardrobe inspiration! Your blog is what influenced me to try capsule wardrobes in the first place (it’s a work in progress. :o)
Anyway, I wanted to suggest the Osprey Farpoint backpack. It opens like a suitcase and has a detachable daypack. I always get my Osprey things from REI and they have an awesome return policy if you decide you don’t like it. I’ve used Osprey for hiking and even my school bag. I hope this helps! Can we expect more trip/ traveling/ packing posts in the near future?!?
Thanks for all you do!
Here’s the link:
I feel like an Everlane backpack, one of the dipped variety, would be a perfect match for you. The dipped bottom means you don’t have to feel precious about standing it on the ground in less than ideal conditions, because the base is waterproof. Admittedly I’ve only got the mini version, but even that packs a punch – I’ve fitted two 270g candles in boxes inside, along with a DSLR, scarf, everyday quotidian items (wallet, keys, phone) and there was STILL a tonne of room. With one of their full size backpacks, I think you could travel quite happily with a few outfits inside it and still have room for a few other essentials.
I have a Minaal Daily backpack and I LOVE it. Smaller than a carry on and I’ve used it to travel for a week at a time. Has secure areas for laptop, lockable zippers, and a rain fly rolled inside if you need it. If you were packing a 10×10 challenge, you could easily fit all your pieces :D
I don’t have a specific bag recommendation (hard to know if you want more compartments/pockets/one open space, how small is smaller than a carryon, etc), but I LOVE all of my/my husband’s Osprey brand bags for traveling. We’ve purchased them from REI since they have such a great policy. You could even get one, use it to see if you like it/functions the way you envision, and STILL return it later if you decide it’s a no go.
Backpack recommendation :) https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1131502390/the-nomatic-backpack-and-travel-pack