10x10 roundup

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Wow. I'm pretty blown away by the impact of the 10x10 challenge on my wardrobe and my attitude to my clothes.

I always knew that there was a lot more to a capsule wardrobe than just 'own fewer clothes', and for a long time I thought I had the capsule wardrobe thing pretty nailed, but this challenge has really pushed me out of my comfort zone and definitely taught me some lessons I didn't expect.

Here's a round up of what I learned during this challenge:

You need to actually try stuff on - the off-white shirt with dungarees outfit was one borne out of desperation and bad planning (I only had one top in my 10x10 that I expected to actually go with dungarees, and when that was in the wash and it was too cool for sleeveless dresses...), but it was one of my favourite looks out of the entire 10. I never would have tried it on without the limitations of this challenge to push me.

Outfits you love don't necessarily photograph well - OK, this is a shallow one, but it's a good reminder that what we see on instagram isn't necessarily what looks best in real life. I think it's fair to say my dresses photographed better, but I know that in real life my dungaree outfits looked at least as good, and my shorts outfits definitely looked better in real life than they generally photographed.

10 items feels very few when you start out, and feels progressively more generous - When I first started I really struggled to limit my items to 10, and indeed, allowed myself an extra pair of shoes. You know, I didn't even end up wearing the extra pair of shoes. As I explored more and more outfits within my 10, I felt the freedom of exploring those items rather than the limitations of it.

Removing all the other options from your life for 10 days is very relaxing - I found it epically restful to only have a small handful of clothing to consider for each day's outfits, even though my entire wardrobe is pretty small at the best of times.

There's no point in average clothes - I would actually really struggle to repeat this 10x10 with another set of clothes. The reason this worked so well was, I think, largely down to the fact that I really love each of the 10 individual items. I'm not sure so sure I could pull out another 10 that I love, certainly not from my summer wardrobe. This has really been an education in how much I love each of the garments in my wardrobe, and how much better it is to work with fewer, beloved garments, than more less loved pieces. Now my wardrobe is pretty minimal, so you'd think I'd have that figured out, but I'm surprised, looking at my wardrobe with fresh eyes now that the challenge is over, how few garments there are in there that really bring me joy.

So where do I go from here with my wardrobe? Rushing out and replacing everything with things I really love isn't an option, both because it's quite difficult to find dozens of sustainable, beautiful pieces on demand, and also because my budget doesn't stretch to that. But I am going to start working through a bit of a wardrobe plan and figuring out what I really need for the coming season, and trying to make sure that I have a wardrobe full of garments I love, even if it means it's almost as limited as the 10x10 challenge.