i first learned about the 10x10 wardrobe challenge a few months ago thanks to sew liberated's meg mcelwee's instagram feed. the basic concept is that for 10 days, you wear only 10 items of clothing (excluding underwear and socks, but including items like sweaters and bottoms). the goal is essentially to see how easily you can structure your life around a capsule wardrobe, and for many members of the making community, it's a chance to see whether your handmade items are enough to fill up a basic wardrobe. i decided to give the #spring10x10 a try.
i think some people get pretty intense about it, but for myself, i decided to be realistic and not include outerwear (it spanned the last week of march and the first week of april - any winnipegger will tell you we need at least 10 items for outerwear alone), tights, or accessories like scarves. in hindsight, i probably could have opted for one less top, done laundry a day earlier, and added an extra sweater into the mix (spoiler alert: i cheated and wore my juniper sweater, which comes out this friday on ravelry, because midway through the challenge mother nature decided to be an asshat and drop about 15 extra degrees with the windchill and drop some snow sideways into our faces). my ten items, which you can see below in rotation, were: zinnia skirt, bridgetown backless dress, two rtw (ready to wear) tanks, one pair of rtw pants, corbin sweater, third-hand pendleton button-up, strata top, a rtw crop top, and a cochineal-dyed dress made by a local designer who's no longer making clothes.
some thoughts that i have in general about the challenge:
- i actually do have a pretty contained wardrobe for the most part, at least as far as regular items go. it's one day after the challenge and i'm wearing my cochineal-dyed dress and corbin cardigan, so 10x11 would have been ok in my books.
- photographing myself every single day got a bit tiresome. that could also have been related to the fact that i'm back in burnout mode, of course.
- i sort of enjoyed having my social media posts easily planned out for a week and a half, but i also struggled to get creative by midway through. i don't think taking daily photos of my outfits is a particularly sustainable social media strategy longterm, but maybe semi-frequently could be a little more fun.
- having a minimalist wardrobe in a climate with extreme seasons is just about the most stupid idea in the whole world. you'd either be wasting a lot of water on frequent laundry loads or just freezing and/or boiling from your lack of layers.
- good layers are essential, and also help to change up the look of a smaller wardrobe. you don't need a new dress, you can just wear a different shawl and it's a whole new outfit!
- participating is fun, but don't take yourself too seriously or you won't enjoy yourself. allow yourself the flexibility to adapt to real life. if you planned out 10 days of city outfits and suddenly you have to go help prep the in-laws' garden for the growing season, grab those mud-worthy clothes without a second thought!
so what do you think, would you participate in a future 10x10 challenge?
if you're interested in building your own slow fashion wardrobe, join me and other like-minded folks for the slow fashion april kal!