Winter 10 x 10 Challenge

Happy New Year! I hope that 2017 is going well for everyone so far. I’m very excited to be back and to be starting things off with my first ever Winter 10 x 10 Challenge! This one is going to be extra special as I’ve got my friend Caroline Rector of UNFANCY joining in (hop on over to see her picks!) and from the looks of things on Instagram there are TONS of savvy style mavens joining in too! Thanks so much to everyone for spreading the word. It makes me so SO happy to watch this inclusive community expand, especially when I see people extending invites, sharing encouragement and getting excited about personal style in such a genuine way. It’s just the best!

So let’s dive into this Winter 10 x 10 Challenge! Today’s post will cover:

  1. Key Information about this particular 10 x 10 Challenge.
  2. A bit about why Caroline and I joined forces this time. (+ a fun bonus component)
  3. My 10 Winter Pieces.

Style Bee - Winter 10 x 10 Challenge


#WINTER10x10 – Key Info


WHAT IS A 10 X 10 CHALLENGE?

The 10 x 10 Challenge is an exercise I adopted in 2015 to help encourage myself to get more creative with my clothes during a 30 Day Shopping Fast. The concept is essentially a micro capsule closet that you work with for 10 days, trying new looks and styling your clothes in ways you might not otherwise try.


BASIC GUIDELINES

  1. PICK ANY 10 ITEMS FROM YOUR CURRENT CLOSET
  2. STYLE THOSE ITEMS INTO 10 DIFFERENT LOOKS
  3. USE 10 DAYS TO DO IT
  4. HAVE FUN AND DON’T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY!

I say ‘guidelines’ instead of ‘rules’ because this is meant to be a fun and helpful exercise, not a daunting or rigid task. It’s all about being creative and exploring personal style. If it doesn’t go flawlessly, no worries, you’re still going to learn something positive from it.

You can limit yourself to only those 10 items for the full 10 days or just wear those items to work or after work. Take the weekend off and do 10 business days (that’s what I tend to do). You can try a smaller challenge first if you prefer with only 6 items over 6 days or up the ante and choose a few more items to style over a longer period (I’ve done 20 pieces over 20 days before). And if you’re really not loving one item, just switch it out!

Do whatever makes it feel manageable but still be sure to challenge yourself!


HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE WINTER 10 x 10 CHALLENGE

1 | Snap some shots of your 10 pieces and your outfits as you go and post them on Instagram.

2 | Use the hashtag #WINTER10x10 so we can see what you put together! We’ll be sharing our favourites from the feed during our wrap-up posts too!

3 | Feel free to include the existing hashtags #StyleBee10x10 and #UnfancyRemix if you like as well! That way they’ll be in the general archive for all future challenges too.

4 | In Real Life | Similar to last time (although hopefully less awkwardly) I’ll be sharing my day-to-day looks on Instagram Stories so you get a ‘real-life’ look at the outfits. Caroline will be doing the same so tune in if you like and try sharing your own if you feel up to it!


CHECK OUT THE 10 x 10 CHALLENGE PAGE WHERE YOU’LL FIND MORE INFO, TONS OF EXAMPLES, STARTER TIPS AND A HELPFUL WORKSHEET TO GET YOU STARTED.


Style Bee - Winter 10 x 10 Challenge


UNFANCY + STYLE BEE – 10 x 10 TEAM UP


I’ve been a long time reader and admirer of Caroline’s work on her beautiful blog UNFANCY. I discovered Caroline when I was initially toying with the idea of a capsule closet (which evolved into my Lean Closet Mission instead) and fell in love with her laid-back approach to style, writing and overall ethos when it comes to fashion blogging. It’s safe to say she’s been a huge inspiration for so many women all over the world and I’m so honoured that she saw some merit in what I was doing here on Style Bee.

We started chatting last year and once we got to brainstorming about collaboration concepts, teaming up to host a Winter 10 x 10 Challenge just seemed like a perfect fit. So here we are, joining forces to spread the word about this little exercise that we’ve both found extremely useful, fun to do and full of insights no matter what stage you’re at with your closet or style.

++ BONUS ++

In addition to spearheading the #WINTER10x10 we’re very excited to be hosting a LIVE Q&A SESSION at the end of the challenge where you can ask us anything you’d like to know about personal style, capsuling, lean closets and responsible shopping (or any other wardrobe queries)! We’re still working out the logistics but essentially we’ll be running a webinar with an open forum for you to ask your questions and we’ll share our two cents right then and there! Stay tuned for all the details as we iron things out.


Style Bee - Winter 10 x 10 Challenge


MY 10 PIECES


I’ve never done a Winter challenge before so I had to adjust my approach slightly to suit the weather we’re having here in Guelph, which is pretty damn COLD. I still wanted to have some fun and play with style so I opted to exclude base layers like tights and bodysuits, which I will undoubtedly require at times. You’ll also notice I left out coats. That’s because coats would have taken up 1/2 my options and I like to pair certain ones with specific layers underneath. To make up for it, I’ll be including an indoor look and an outdoor look for each outfit so they’ll be applicable whether you’re somewhere more temperate (you lucky duck!) or stuck in the cold like me.

My main considerations for these items were:

  1. Weather Forecast – Luckily the next two weeks look relatively mild for us with high temps hovering around 1 – 6°C. I’ll probably throw on a pair of snow boots and my parka to walk Dobby in the morning and at night but otherwise I think my options will suffice!
  2. Activities – I’ll be working in my studio most days with a couple meetings and dinners out thrown in there. I like to get dressed and feel put-together when I work so even though I’m at home, I’m in a professional mindset.
  3. Wear + Washability – Most of these items can tolerate a base layer like a thin tank underneath so hopefully I won’t need to wash my sweaters. The Chambray Shirt and Merino Turtleneck can be easily hand washed and hung to dry overnight.
  4. Don’t Overthink It – After playing around with lots of ideas and options I ended up just going with what I’d be comfortable, warm and happy in at this time of year. I’ll save the more ‘fashiony’ outfits for warmer days.

So here are my 10 items! 


Style Bee - Winter 10 x 10 Challenge


1 | BOILED WOOL LINN TEE | It’s not available in wool but you can still order it in canvas ($140 USD) or linen ($145 USD) from Elizabeth Suzann. I’ve also sourced a few similar options: ASHLEY ROWE (Tan + Options | $145 USD) | BLACK CRANE (Golden $128 USD) | LOVE this long sleeved option by MEGAN HUNTZ ($250 USD) | All made in the USA

2 | CHELSEA BOOTS | RACHEL COMEY ($339 USD) Exact pair on sale and available in size 6, 7, 8. | When you sign up via this link, you save $20 and I receive $20 credit when you shop (1 time only). | Also love this pair from EVERLANE ($235 USD) |

3 | DARK WASH SKINNIES | MADEWELL | 10″ High Rise in Hayes Wash ($177 CAD)  Imported | Similar pair by CITIZENS OF HUMANITY ($218 USD) + PAIGE ($ 265 CAD) + AG ($235 CAD) All made in the USA | Made in Canada option by IRIS ($185 CAD)

4 | WHITE SWEATER COAT | No longer available from Everlane (at least not from the Canada site) but they have the OVERSIZED CARDIGAN in Grey and Navy (which I seriously considered). | VINCE makes a very similar option ($230 USD 40% off) Imported | LAUREN MANOOGIAN is super dreamy too ($560 USD) Hand knit in Peru |

5 | CROPPED CASHMERE SWEATER | EVERLANE ($115 USD) Only a few sizes and colours are left in this style but the Cropped Crew Neck ($130 USD) is a similar option with tons of colours and sizes. | Eileen Fisher makes a very similar option in cashmere and a tencel/wool/alpaca blend for less. | Amour Vert also makes a gorgeous cable knit sweater in Merlot (swooning over the camel colour too)



Style Bee - Winter 10 x 10 Challenge


6 | BLACK KAMM PANTS | IN BLACK | Sizes M, L available HERE (along with all the colours) and Sizes XS, XL available HERE | These bad boys cost a pretty penny but Everlane’s Twill Crop Pant is a similar style for $78 is much more wallet friendly and I’ve been eying the Wide Leg Tuck Pant by NEED for ages ($155 USD Made in USA).

7 | CHAMBRAY BUTTON-DOWN | This exact style is no longer available through Everlane but they make a Relaxed Poplin Shirt ($ 65 USD) is a very similar look and fit. | I used to have this one from J.Crew and wore it all throughout school until it finally disintegrated ($ 110 CAD) Imported.

8 | MERINO TURTLENECK | Old from Zara | Everlane makes a couple similar styles in Cashmere ($135 USD) and Merino ($85 USD) which I have and LOVE.

9 | PISTOL BOOTS | ACNE STUDIOS ($570 USD ) Made In Italy | On Sale Here (Size 5, 6, 7 available) and Reg Priced Here (All Sizes available)

10 | CASHMERE CREW | EVERLANE ($100 USD) | Also available in 10 other colours!



Style Bee - Winter 10 x 10 Challenge


So there you have my #Winter10x10 picks and all the details on this round of the challenge.
So tell me:
Are you joining in!?
What’s the weather like where you are?
What items are you most excited to style?

This post is not sponsored but contains affiliate links. When you shop via the links above I may make a small commission from a sale. Thanks for supporting Style Bee! All opinions are always my own.

25 thoughts on “Winter 10 x 10 Challenge

  1. I like what you are doing. Not trying to be pedantic but I counted 11 in your list of pieces, not 10?! My OCD self can’t seem to reconcile that with the 10×10 challenge. Or am I missing something altogether??

    1. Hi Zany, Not sure where you got 11. I still count 10 and outerwear is not included. That said, the 10×10 Challenge is not meant to be super rigid or restrictive. It’s about getting creative with a small number of items. You can tailor it to suit your needs and adjust accordingly. Hope you’ll give it a try sometime! xo

  2. Yay! So excited for this, Lee, and I am following along in all of my free online time.

    I intended to be totally prepped…but found myself quite scattered on Start Day. (So happens it hit on a crazy Monday amidst a mid-year schedule change – along with my private practice, I teach Chinese Medicine).

    My closet is already so minimal…the biggest challenge is picking pieces that stretch my edges. The first two days were not that – more like my usual uniform.

    Still. I’m in. (And I notice my clients are curious too, which I love to see.) Thank you for inspiring us!

  3. I’ve joined! The weather here in San Francisco is going to be a mix of really rainy days (today is supposed to be the worst of it) and clouds/sunshine. I’m most excited to style me new ES Florence and Clyde pants since they’re new additions. My T Top is new too but since I’ve been practically living in it since it came I feel like that one I just included for my own comfort 🙂 Looking forward to seeing your first outfit!

  4. Outfit 1 in the books! In the past few weeks I got a few fun new pieces that I just had to include in my 10×10 so I can break them in 🙂 I look forward to seeing the looks you and Caroline and this amazing community of women who have come together to participate put together.
    xo,
    Paige

    1. Loved your first outfit Paige and can I just say your hair is looking amazing!

      Thanks so much for participating and for spreading the word. We so appreciate it!It’s quite an incredible little community we’re fostering, filled with positivity, openness and encouragement. Not something you normally associate with Instagram and Fashion! haha Looking forward to seeing more of your great style! xo

  5. Great blog! Found you through Unfancy. Ill be a new follower now. It’s especially great to have a cold winter Canadian blogger posting about capsules etc. because I find so many minimalist/capsule/fashion bloggers do not have the winter wardrobe we have to have, and so I can’t get the ideas on what my wardrobe might be missing to give it the variety it needs in the winter. Thank you for posting the retailer and prices and providing a link. It makes things so much easier and more efficient for the reader by providing the research upfront. I have some shopping to do now!

  6. I’m so excited to join my first 10×10! My items are a little different and are based on the fact that a) I work from home and b) 90% of my wardrobe are yoga clothes (yoga teacher on the side). I’m excited to see what I can come up with that is comfortable but also put together! Thanks for hosting something so awesome! PS I also live in Ontario, I’m over the three feet of snow in my backyard!

  7. Excited to see how you style the Everlane cropped cashmere, it’s tentatively on my wishlist although I really want the burgundy color (which is out) and I hardly have use for sweaters in Texas!

  8. Hi Lee,

    How do you take care of your everlane cashmere? I thought it was dry clean only – I have one myself and have been afraid to wash it myself.

    Thank you!
    Angelica

    1. Hi Angelica, So far I have only dry cleaned my Everlane cashmere and I only do it a couple times a season. I know lots of people swear by the Laundress Wool + Cashmere Detergent and have heard great reviews. I am very tempted to try it but I’m pretty worried about shrinkage. There is a great comment thread on a previous post (http://www.stylebee.ca/2016/11/07/50-piece-fw-closet/) I did with lots of tips on hand washing cashmere/wool/other animal fibres. Hope that helps! xo

  9. So excited for this! I’m doing a 10×10 this time around too (and blogging/Instagramming it) and I’ve already learned so much. I’m also so excited to see that you included so many items from Everlane. I have three items from Everlane in mine (and four from Madewell…guess I’m not much for brand variety haha)! I’m excited to see how you style the cropped cashmere and sweater coat since I have those items too (well, not the sweater coat exactly but their chunky knit cardigan).

  10. Hello, first challenge for me there. My closed is about 30 pieces anyway. It won’t be much different as usual. One question though. Do you wear anything under your sweaters ? Maybe you don’t include tanks or t-shirts. Thanks for your answer.

    1. Hi Estelle! Yes! I definitely wear tanks, tees and bodysuits under my sweaters. Keeps me even warmer and helps them stay fresh for much longer. I just didn’t include ‘base layers’ in my count of 10. Good for you for rocking such a lean closet! That’s awesome. xo

  11. I’m joining in, but my Instagram is private, so if I post anything you won’t see it. 🙂 I am 25 weeks pregnant with my first baby and I live in South Florida. It is winter for us today, but the rest of the days will be mid-high 70s F. Needless to say, I did not include any coats in my 10 items, but am wearing one as the low this morning was 41 F. My activities are going to be mostly at work in the financial services industry, so pretty conservative, but since being pregnant I have let myself be a little more casual. Over the long weekend, I will be mostly running errands. I picked 1 pair of flats, 1 pair of booties, 1 black ponte pant, 1 black pencil skirt, 1 gray cardigan, 1 tank, 1 long sleeve T, 1 dress, 1 short sleeve “fancy” T, and am still figuring out my 10th item because I don’t know what still fits in my closet. I am the most excited to style the pencil skirt. It’s a maternity skirt that is newer to me and I think could be a lot of fun, but so far have only tried two different shirts with it.

  12. I’m going to be joining in, but in selecting my 10 items, I realized I generally only wear about 10-15 items over a ten day period anyway. 🤔 So my ensembles might be kinda boring and what I already wear all the time. But I added a few things I don’t wear quite as much!

    1. That’s great Emily! So happy to have you joining in 🙂 I think it’s a perfect challenge for you to see what you can do with those items you don’t wear often. Looking forward to seeing your outfits and reading any insights you discover along the way. xo

  13. Can’t wait to see what you come up with. My style challenge for January is not to let my sling get me down (I slipped on ice and fell on Christmas day and wound up fracturing my elbow). I’ll have to save a personal 10 x 10 for February when both my hands are free and I can put on necklaces again!

  14. I am in too. I’m from northern Manitoba so it’s brrrr cold! I have already a restricted wardrobe but while picking my items I didn’t see a lot of items to mix and match so that is my mini challenge to myself. Sometimes I find I am reluctant to buy things because I’m not sure what I need to help my wardrobe so I just buy an outfit. I am going to pay close attention to what I would need to pull my clothes together more or if I’m just happy with what I have.

  15. I’m it! I am in the Southern hemisphere at the moment so it will be a Summer style challenge for me. I struggle with warm weather dressing so this challenge will give me an opportunity to practise. I am excited to style my white runners … I usually only wear running shoes while I am exercising …

  16. Happy 2017 Lee!
    I am so glad you’re back to blogging, and with such an awesome challenge.
    The weather today is 5 degrees Fahrenheit, and will get as high as 40 during the next 2 weeks. Woo hoo! Lol.
    My 10×10 choices look similar to yours, no surprise there. I got the gray Everlane cardigan you’re referring to, and it’s amazing. Wanted to get a cardigan like yours too but couldn’t decide on the color. Can’t wait to see how you style it!
    I am going to join in to support you, and Caroline (my favorite fashion bloggers), but with my wardrobe being so compact now (less than 50 items total for fall/ winter) I almost dont notice much of a difference doing the 10x10s, or at least that’s what I noticed for the fall one.
    Can’t wait to see your first outfit. Stay warm! Xo!

  17. Am so excited to be joining in! You’ll find me on Instagram as @allyhird and I’ve already started posting my closet/outfits. I’ve chosen to challenge myself by only including one pair of boots – normally I create my outfits around my shoes, so I thought this was a great way of getting myself out of my comfort zone and mixing things up. The weather here in Northern England is very unpredictable in January – today its about 10c and showery, but by the end of the week its expected to be around 0 degrees with maybe some snow! So while I’ve included coats (a parka) and boots (tan leather ankle boots), I reserve the right to reach for more practical options should they be required 🙂 . I’m excited about all my items – have just picked all my newest things for the challenge, to see if they really are mixable and matchable. So looking forward to seeing everyone elses ideas. xx

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