So readers of the blog might now by now, but I love a good capsule challenge. I've tended to stick towards trying to sew my own, versus creating ready to wear capsules though. I always end up finding that I didn't really anticipate what I would actually want to wear when I do sew them. I decided to try the 10x10 capsule during my work week using RTW to try and figure out what worked for me and what didn't before I sewed up a whole wardrobe I wasn't going to wear.
I followed the beginner formula on the website to create my capsule:
- 2 Pairs of Shoes (1 heel + 1 flat)
- 4 Tops (Consider pieces that layer well like a fitted long-sleeve, a button-down and a cardigan)
- 1 Dress
- 2 Bottoms
- 1 Top Layer
A few other tips for choosing items:
- Check the forecast and pick practical items for the weather.
- Don’t give yourself too much time to choose. Try to make the call in under 30 mins. But if you need more, that’s cool too!
- Go for an easy, lean colour palette. Think neutrals, denim, white, black and grey with 1 or 2 colours.
- Reach for your favourites first and then add one or two pieces you’d like to wear more or aren’t sure about.
- Avoid Dry Clean Only items or pieces that are a pain to launder so if need be you can refresh them during the 10 days.
*I personally didn't count scarves, leggings and some other basic accessories.
What I did wrong right off the bat was to not really think about the weather. It got bitterly cold as soon as I started the challenge. I never ended up, nor could I wear the embroidered crop top pictured above. I ended up switching it out for a very warm bishop sleeve sweater like one whole day after the challenge started.
My favorite outfits
Why I loved these outfits: Well, I LOVED the sweater and felt great anytime I wore it. I never thought of myself as a pants and blouse girl, but obviously, I'm wrong. These outfits are almost all accessories with minimal jewelry as well.
My Least Favorite Outfits
Reasons why I didn't love these outfits: The one time I wore the skirt, I had no idea how to make it daytime appropriate, it involved mostly just covering it up and pulling it down over my butt. This piece might be reserved for nights out only. The sweater on it's own hits me at a length I don't love, I prefer my shirts a bit longer, and think it's a bit more flattering to my shape. I loved it when I layered it with a long tee. The dress and sweater combo was a bit too lumpy and shapeless, they just didn't work as layering pieces together.
What I Learned
- I got compliments on how put together I seemed all week. I think 99% of that was dressing with intention. When you know you're going to take a photo of your outfit every day you take a little more care in the morning.
- No one notices if you wear the same jeans every day. I have probably six pairs of jeans in my wardrobe currently. No one noticed or cared that I wore the same jeans for a majority of the ten days. I can for sure get away with less items, and just invest in higher quality items.
- I really loved minimal items with one statement detail the best. A black sweater with a grommet strip down the sleeve, a blouse with a large center ruffle, a bishop sleeve sweater.
- I need a better little black dress- I didn't reach for the one I chose as much as I thought I would. I don't think I enjoy wearing it as much as I thought.
- I care a lot about the comfort of the fabrics I'm wearing. I reached for things that were cozy and soft again and again.
- I prefer tunic length tops on my frame.
- I like bold, minimal gold jewelry. I actually bought a few new necklaces after this- accessorizing when you have a small wardrobe is one way to keep it fresh.
- It's not part of the challenge, but I also went minimal with my beauty routine. I brushed my hair, did my eyebrows, and put on mascara every day. It was weirdly calming to have that simple of a routine in the morning.
I enjoyed this challenge, I ended up reaching for the same pieces over and over again, which helped me narrow down what my style actually might be. I think I can pretty confidently do a pretty brutal wardrobe purge after this. Going forward with sewing my own capsule wardrobe I have a pretty good idea on what styles I'll end up wearing.