WSS staffer tries 10 x 10 challenge

Editor-in-Chief Natalie Dunlap ’20 restricts her closet to 10 items of clothing for 10 school days.

It feels like American shopping habits are driven by wants and style instead of needs and function; there’s no time like the holidays to give and receive things we might not use or even want. Many of us gathered around with family and friends over winter break, unwrapped some single-use wrapping paper and opened a present that might sit in the back of your closet for months unused. It’s sometimes feels like the most wasteful time of the year, so I decided to spend the two school weeks before winter break focusing on what I already have. 

What is the 10×10 challenge?

The 10 x 10 challenge was created by Lee Vosburgh, creator of the blog Style Bee, with the intention of getting more creative with her clothing. The exercise consists of choosing 10 items of clothes you already own and creating 10 unique outfits for 10 days. The “rules” (which Vosburgh says can bend to fit your schedule) say tops, sweaters, pants, dresses, shoes and coats all count as part of your capsule wardrobe. However, you can add and change out other items in your outfit from day-to-day, including hats, bags, scarves, gloves and jewelry.

In the video above I choose the ten items I limited myself to. After some consideration I ended up choosing a pair of Vans, a winter coat, jeans, black leggings, an oversized denim top, a cropped blue top, an American Eagle sweater, a tan mock neck from Goodwill, a black body suit and a striped sweater. 

Day 1

10X10 items I wore: blue crop top, jeans and Vans. 

Other items: black belt, silver hoops, silver tree necklace. 

Day 2

10X10 items I wore: American Eagle sweater, leggings, Vans.

Other items: moon necklace, dangly earrings, small circle earrings, green scrunchie

Day 3

10X10 items I wore: black bodysuit, jeans, winter coat and Vans. 

Other items: pink crystal hoops, triangle studs, and crescent necklace.

Day 4 

10X10 items I wore: tan sweater, jeans and Vans.

Other items: brown belt, silver hoops and Celtic knot necklace. 

Day 5

10X10 items I wore: oversized denim top, striped sweater, leggings and Vans.

Other items: moon necklace and geometric studs. 

Day 6

10X10 items I wore: oversized denim top, black bodysuit, leggings and Vans. 

Other items: fossil necklace, silver hoops and studs

Day 7

10X10 items I wore: American Eagle sweater, jeans and Vans. 

Other items: gray scrunchie and climber earrings. 

Day 8

10X10 items I wore: oversized denim top, tan sweater, leggings and Vans. 

Other items: moon studs and hoops with a star charm. 

Day 9

10X10 items I wore: striped sweater, jeans and Vans. 

Other items: brown belt, ball studs and star studs.

Day 10

10X10 items I wore: blue crop top, leggings and Vans

Other items: silver studs and chunky hoops. 

Final thoughts

I’m glad I tried out the 10×10 challenge. It showed me I don’t need to drastically change what I’m wearing everyday to have a cute outfit, and repeating items within a short period of time is no big deal. Additionally, it was fun for me to pick out jewelry that made the clothes I was repeating more interesting. 

However, there were some draw-backs and if I were to do it again I would make some changes. First of all, I would trade one of the tops, either the denim or the cropped shirt for a different pair of pants. My decision to wear leggings and jeans was a boring one and all I proved in my combinations was that denim and black, as you may have guessed, go well with lots of things. If I wore a skirt or a patterned pair of pants the combinations would have been more interesting and less repetitive.

Keep your shopping habits in check with your values as we kick off the new decade. ”

— Natalie Dunlap '20

Also, a bit of the fun was taken out of the challenge because I planned my two weeks of outfits in advance. I didn’t want to wear the same top in a week, so by the second day of my challenge I had already taken pictures of my possible outfit combinations and decided what I was going to wear each day based on my plans.

As I was approaching the second week I was a bit bored. What I wear everyday usually varies and there were some clothes I wanted to wear that week instead of what was in my capsule wardrobe. When I reached the end of my week I was ready for the challenge to end and have a change to bring more variety.  However, since finishing the challenge I have been re-wearing the same item within a week, something I would have avoided in the past. I’ve also been looking at certain pieces in my closet and thinking of more interesting ways to wear them. 

I think we glorify consumerism and shop for the want in our lives too much, in a way that is unhealthy, unsustainable and overall not beneficial to us. Buying more things that we rarely use is a waste of money and takes up storage space. The new year is a great time to think about sustainability. As you are thinking of ways to be a better version of yourself in 2020, why not add a sustainability goal to your New Years resolution? Several of my friends are limiting the new clothes they are buying next year. Keep your shopping habits in check with your values as we kick off the new decade.