Spring ’16 10 x 10 – Recap

Time to take a look back at this Spring’s 10 x 10 Challenge! I can’t believe it’s already been a week since it ended but that’s how she goes these days! While this was my favourite mini capsule yet, this was actually the 4th time I’ve done one of these challenges (Spring ’15 10 x 10, Summer 20 x 20, Fall 12 x 12) so it makes sense that I’d be getting the hang of things by now. In fact, April was my best month ever in terms of site traffic so it’s clear that a lot of people are interested or at least intrigued by the concept of these mini capsules too, which is wonderful!

Style Bee Spring 10 x 10 Recap

I think these challenges are a great exercise for anyone interested in living with a lean(er) closet, trying out the capsule concept or just looking to get a boost of style inspiration and here’s a few reasons why:

1 | It’s doable. 2 weeks, 10 items, 10 outfits, no big deal. You don’t have to uproot your entire closet and commit to months of shopping abstinence if that terrifies you.

2 | It’s free. Even if you’re at major odds with your closet, most people can find 10 pieces that they genuinely like, without having to spend a penny. It’s the best way to reinvest in what you already have, which is the key to enjoying lean closet life and shopping less is the #1 way to embrace responsible style.

3 | It’s creatively invigorating. You’ve got to strategize and compromise and get a little bit innovative to come up with 10 full looks that you really like and I love how it get’s the style juices flowing. Plus, you end up discovering outfits and combinations you might never have tried otherwise.

4 | It’s enlightening. The biggest reward for me is coming away from each challenge with a much better sense of my personal style. It’s really interesting to compare this challenge to the first one and see how my style has both evolved and yet in some ways, remained the same. It’s also really good to be reminded of how little you actually need to feel chic and put together.

5 | It’s rewarding. Across the board participants have noted that the challenge was a surprisingly effective stress reliever. Eliminating the process of having to figure out what to wear in the morning really frees up your brain to focus on other tasks at hand. It’s also rewarding in that you’ll soon see how hard your closet can work for you if you just put in a little extra time up front.

So that’s my 10 x 10 Challenge sales pitch for anyone who’s still on the fence about trying it out! Now onto the recap!


MY TEN ITEMS

Just in case you forgot these are the 10 items:

Style Bee Spring 10 x 10 Recap

1 | Patterned Shirt (old) Madewell (similar) ($98)

2 | Mars Boots Rachel Comey  ($425)

3 | Sailor Pants Jesse Kamm  ($395)

4 | Blank Canvas Top Olive (c/o) Jamie + The Jones ($98)

5 | Cropped Sweater Everlane ($115)

6 | Georgia Dress (c/0) Elizabeth Suzann ($215)

7 | Clogs (old) No.6 (very similar) ($275)

8 | Silk Tank Dress Everlane ($88)

9 | Florence Pant (c/o) Elizabeth Suzann ($205)

10 | Linn Tee (c/o) Elizabeth Suzann ($145)



SPRING ’16 10 x 10 CHALLENGE RECAP

I’ll do my best not to belabour the process here and quickly run down what worked and what didn’t along with the things I’d change, what I loved most and how this challenge can be applied to real-life (calling all jet-setters!). Then I’ve got a few questions for you folks but let’s start with the 10 different looks I created with the ten items above:

Style Bee Spring 10 x 10 Recap

The Good:

This challenge reinforced so many of the reasons why I love this Lean Closet Mission. It reminded me that I can do so much with so little and still feel completely satisfied with my style and wardrobe. It also helped reassure me that I’ve been making good choices in terms of what I’ve been adding to and keeping in my collection. I genuinely enjoy wearing all the pieces I included and have already worn most of them again since, which is a pretty sure sign of closet contentment. In fact, there are a couple more outfits I would have loved to include in the challenge, like the Linn Tee with the Florence pant or the Georgia dress layered under the Olive Crop or the Olive Crop with the Sailor Pants. If I thought about it I could probably make another 10 unique looks! Maybe 10 x 20 is my next challenge? Yikes!

From a blogging standpoint it was great. I had all my content planned and ready to go plus I got to work with one of my favourite local creatives, Jacklyn Barber. I also learned that many of you really like seeing things repeated and shown a lot of times on the blog, which I didn’t originally think was the case. I’ve struggled for a long time to balance my lean closet objectives with interesting and ‘new’ blog content. So this was really helpful. I also just love that the community here on this blog and on similar ones has evolved into such a collaborative and supportive space. That makes me happier than a new pair of Comey’s, which is saying A LOT!

The Not So Good:

I got a bit overzealous about the weather and Mother Nature kind of left me hanging so I couldn’t actually wear every outfit over the 2 week period. That’s not to say I haven’t worn each look since but the fact is that the weather was colder than anticipated and not every look was practical at the time. Truthfully, this mini capsule was intended as more of an example of what you can do to inspire people to give it a try, more than I meant to show what I was wearing daily. Next time, I would err on the side of warmer, more weather appropriate looks, although now the weather is perfect for all of them! UGH! See my not so happy, frozen hands and toes outtake below:

Style Bee Spring 10 x 10 Recap

What I would change:

I’d swap a dress for a coat. Otherwise I love everything about the options I had. I know other people found it hard to have only a couple pairs of shoes and I definitely get that. More footwear options do help to provide a wider range of outfit vibes and it’s no lie that shoes can make or break a look. That’s the thing about this challenge though, you can opt for more of any category if you like. A simple black cocoon coat is the one thing I’d switch for because it works with everything and serves as the perfect layering piece for our bipolar spring temps (see below).

Style Bee - Jamie + The Jones

Favourite Looks:

I loved Look #1 , Look #3, Look #7 and Look #8. They were all very comfortable and a little bit unexpected. I love how I was able to express my true personal style and try out some slightly different shapes and styling tricks like cropped length, tied waists and interesting layers. It’s always the outfits that I feel most myself in that end up getting worn over and over.

Style Bee Spring 10 x 10 Recap

Style Bee Spring 10 x 10 Recap

Favourite Item(s):

  1. Florence Pant by Elizabeth Suzann. These are easily my most worn pants this season. They just feel amazing and I love how they look on too. The length is perfect, the fabric is sublime and the waist makes me feel slim and elegant but never constrained or self-conscious.
  2. Mars Boot by Rachel Comey. I’m confident that these are the most perfect boot in existence. They are so comfortable and have aged beautifully since last summer when I bought them.
  3. Blank Canvas Top by Jamie + the Jones. It’s probably my most wearable crop top due to the curved hem, beautiful fabric and olive is my favourite colour this season.

Style Bee Spring 10 x 10 Recap

Style Bee - Look 7 - 10 x 10 - Spring

Top Takeaways:

  1. If it’s not warm enough I won’t wear it. Weather trumps all outfit planning.
  2. Layers are a lean closets best friend. Play with them and shop with that in mind.
  3. Just one or two colours is all you need to keep a neutral palette interesting.
  4. Comfortable footwear need not be bland. Clogs and low heeled boots for the win.
  5. High-waists may not be for everyone, but they are definitely for me.
  6. Wear it, mix it, repeat it!

Style Bee - Look 5 - 10 x 10 - Spring

Practical Application: TRAVEL

As many of the other bloggers who did this challenge have mentioned, this was a great way to test out a travel wardrobe. The incredible thing is that you can wear so many different looks from just 10 well chosen items. I stress the phrase ‘well-chosen’ because it does take a fair bit of planning, testing and mixing and matching things to ensure they’re each going to pull their weight for you. But if there was ever a really practical application for this challenge it would be for travel purposes for sure. In fact, I’m considering doing one for my week long trip to Europe in June. 10 pieces fit into a carry-on no problem and that’s the only way to travel as far as I’m concerned!

Style Bee - Look 4 - 10 x 10 - Spring

#STYLEBEE10x10

I will admit I was a little nervous about inviting people to join me, assuming no one would, but so thrilled to see such a positive response and uptake to the challenge! The #stylebee10x10 hashtag is full of savvy, stylish women doing more with less and sharing some seriously chic outfits. If you haven’t had a look yet, be sure to check it out. Here are 10 of my faves:

Style Bee Spring 10 x 10 Recap

1  @stylethislife | 2  @hellofrommolly | 3 @lovelylauralife | 4 @andreahartman_ss | 5 @theeffortlesscloset | 6 @oliveadewinter | 7 @maydecember_ | 8 @teeshirtsandjeans | 9 @fawndlyandhart | 10 @baytobaltic


That, my stylish friends, is all I have to say about this 10 x 10 Challenge! Although I do have a few questions for you guys, so if you have a spare moment let me know what you think!

1 | Did you do the 10 x 10 Challenge? If so, how’d you find it? 

2 | Should I do a Summer 10 x 10? 

3 | What do you like about this series? 

4 | What would like you to see/read more of when it comes to lean closet life?


Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend everyone.

18 thoughts on “Spring ’16 10 x 10 – Recap

  1. I loved this post, and the entire series. I just shot photos for my own round. I actually did it once before, with winter clothes, and posted it all on in post, because I didn’t feel like it deserved the attention of a series, but you showed me that I can take it up a notch. Big inspiration, though our styles are different. The theme for mine is navy, and I love it.

  2. Please do the 10×10 summer challenge! I really love getting your posts when you style an outfit — I have learned so much from you about how to style and purchase my wardrobe and you inspire me to discover and create my own style. I am really enjoying that! I like seeing how you combine different pieces. I like seeing how pieces that I might not otherwise buy can be used (and in many different ways that I may not have thought of) in my wardrobe. I started keeping a capsule closet last summer and with each passing season I am learning more and more about how to do this minimally, modernly and stylishly. And my life is the better for it — I don’t worry anymore about what I am going to wear — I look forward to putting something together from my increasingly amazing wardrobe! Thank you! Keep styling outfits — taking a few pieces and showing us what you can do with them — you are great at this!

    1. Jill your sweet comment totally made my day when I read it, thank you so much for the encouragement and positivity!! I’m so happy you’re feeling so good about your new closet approach. Hearing that totally reinforces why I’m doing what I’m doing here on the blog. Summer 10 x 10 is a go for sure so there’s lots more to look forward to! xo

  3. Great post as usual. I’m glad you mentioned a coat because it’s the one piece I felt was missing from the capsule. I’ve been on the hunt for a simple black cocoon coat for a while now, so if you come across one, please share. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that ES will come out with something brilliant this Fall/Winter to satisfy that need. My crop top arrived with some other pieces recently and I couldn’t be more pleased. I think they will last many seasons if I care for them properly. And that is really my goal – to shop less because whatever pieces I purchase are well made and classic. Thanks for helping me achieve that goal. X

    1. Thanks Alexandra! I don’t know why I didn’t include the coat to be totally honest, but live and learn! I’ll definitely keep my eye out for a good cocoon coat but have no doubt ES will come out with another take on it this Fall. I’m currently saving up for one of their wool duster coats in the hopes that they come back. So glad to hear you love the crop top! I cannot say enough good things about investing in fewer, better pieces that last! Good for you! xo

  4. I love this! So many little lessons to learn from your experience. I’m interested to hear more about your clogs, and if you have any advice for choosing clogs. I can’t imagine them being comfy, but I’m ALL about comfort.

    1. Thanks Lo! I am getting a second pair of clogs soon (they’re being made at the moment) so I’ll do a more in depth post on why I chose them and how I find them in terms of comfort. I’ve found that clogs are very comfortable once broken in. A lot of people opt for low heels, but I find they don’t flatter my leg very much so I opt for the ‘high heel’ which is still very comfortable since they have a front platform. More on that to come 😉 xo

    2. Lo,
      I too am all about comfort and searched a long time for clogs with very little success. I ordered and returned many pairs until a Stylebee post about Gabi Hutchison (Good Bones) led me to these clogs: http://www.lottafromstockholm.co.uk Now I wear mine a few times a week and I love them. Moral of the story? Try, try, try until you find ones that work for you. Clogs now come in so many options (even flexible bases) that you should be able to find a pair that works for your feet.

  5. I didn’t participate in this one since I’ve been sick, and redid my whole Instagram account!
    I would love if you did a summer one, mostly because I feel confident enough to join in now.
    My favorite is the creativity, and repeating pieces/ looks/ uniforms since that’s how I dress in real life, and how anyone with an actual minimal closet would too.
    I’am interested in how much you really buy each season, and how you decide to budget. I feel like for me those are hard…
    I still think I’am buying too much (I got rid of so much I have under 100 pieces of clothing – not including: undergarments, two swimsuits, yoga clothes (3 outfits), and sweatpants). On Instagram and blogs I see a lot if #minimalism but they are always shopping and buying new stuff, so I think they’re confusing minimal style with an actual lean closet, which makes me feel boring like I’am doing it wrong since I buy like 2-3/ season and “everyone” else buys 15+….
    I feel like I’am rambling at this point Lee LOL. Sorry! More remixes, and how you live minimally, as well as how your closet is an extension of that, would be great.
    DM on Instagram for clarity if needed!
    Have a great weekend, & enjoy Mother’s Day with your momma! Xo!

    1. Thanks for the valuable feedback Jodie. I’d love to have you join in the Summer 10 x 10! I’ve had a budgeting post floating around in my head for a while. The tricky thing is that since my blog has grown over the last year, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot more designers so I often get clothing as part of our partnership. This means that my budget doesn’t accurately reflect what I’m adding to my closet each season. Maybe I’ll go into that more once I get it worked out in my head. I totally know what you mean about the ‘illusion’ of minimalism online. It’s a tricky one to navigate. Thanks so much for your continued support and readership! xoxo

  6. Amazing end to my favorite of your style challenges to date! I wasn’t able to join, unfortunately, but I’d really like to do one in a few weeks when I have time to sit down and brainstorm some outfits. I know you mentioned outfit repeating and how you worry about it, but I REALLY love that you do it. Looking at design blogs is something I love to do, but it can definitely feel tough to withstand the urge to buy. Seeing you wear pieces that you love again and again shows me that I don’t have to constantly buy new pieces to feel good about my closet! And on that note, please do a summer 10×10! It was such a treat to have a different outfit post to look forward to every day.

    Something that I’d love to see is your thought process for putting together outfits. Do you start with one component (i.e an accessory or a great pair of shoes) and work from there? Are you into balancing silhouettes (i.e. wide leg pants + crop top)? All of that is really fascinating to me and I love to hear how people build their style.

    Keep up the fabulous work; you are a true gem in the crowded blogosphere.

    Happy Friday!
    –Desta

    1. Thank you so much Desta! I really appreciate your feedback and I’m so glad you enjoyed this challenge. A summer 10 x 10 is in the works and I love your idea about outfit formulas. Hope your week is going well! xoxo

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