29 September 2016

Level Up Mini-Challenge : 10x10

It's been a long time since we've gone through a level up mini-challenge around here! Big changes come with small, manageable steps, so I like to give myself mini-challenges toward a simple life once in a while. This one I have picked from the lovely Caroline from Unfancy: take 10 pieces of clothing to mix and match for 10 days.

What is this wardrobe challenge?

Here is the simple version (it is a mini-challenge after all, it is supposed to be easy!). You can check Caroline's post for more details if you are interested. Basically, the idea is to select 10 pieces of clothing (tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes and outerwear). For the next 10 days, you will create your outfits only based on these.

Why does it helps with a simple life?

As you may know if you've been around for a while, the consumption cycle for material items goes as this: acquire > use > discard. A simple life is about acquiring less, making the best use possible and discard carefully (cf zero waste!)

With that kind of challenge, you optimize the "use" part of the cycle: making the best of what you own and finding new ways to get creative with your items instead of buying new things.

Tips for the 10 x 10 challenge

I thought a new season was the perfect moment to start such a challenge, as the weather changes and fall (or spring if you are in the southern hemisphere!) items come in, it might be a good time to play with your closet and find new combinations that will work for you in the months to come. It is also a good way to rekindle old flames instead of going shopping.

Here are a few tips to select your 10 pieces:
  • Be careful of the number of each category you pick (will you be able to last 10 days with only 2 tops?)
  • Think of the climate and lifestyle you'll have in the next 10 days
  • Adapt it to your needs : if you have a special event, maybe you can start the challenge afterwards or make that day a "break day" from the challenge. Maybe you won't want to include shoes but put scarves in. Your challenge, your rules!
  • You decide the level of challenge you'd like for this, but it might be easier to select a few neutral pieces to go with everything else (whatever neutral means to you), to make mixing and matching easier
  • Remember to have fun! The goal is to enjoy the new season coming, not to add extra hassle or constraints to your life
I have decided to go with rarely worn pieces for this mini-challenge. It will be a good way to assess their potential : either it gives me plenty of ideas to wear them more, or they'll go to charity.

I hope you'll join in this level up mini-challenge with me! Please let me know if you do, or if you've already done such challenges. I'd love to hear what you've learned.


  1. I just ended the challenge, and learned that it's good to shake things up now and again. I tend to make the same combinations over and over again with certain clothes, and although those are usually combinations that feel very 'me', it doesn't mean that the items can't be used in any other way. Wearing them in a different way, like I was forced to do now, does make them feel new, therefore diminishing the urge to go and buy new. I hope this lesson will come in handy when I will be building a maternity capsule wardrobe soon :). What have you learned, Florie?

    1. It is good to shake things up sometimes, isn't it? A maternity capsule? Congratulations ^^
      On my side, I have learned - or rather it reminded me of something I already know - I don't have enough pants and too many tops! As I mentioned I specifically used seldom worn items (except for a few staples like the black skinnies), and I loved them all! So my not wearing them often doesn't come from a problem in the items themselves. It's just that I own too many tops to be able to wear each often enough. It's a good reminder though, next time I find a cute top in a shop, I'll either leave it there, or use the one in, one out policy :)

  2. I did 30 days with 2x jeans, 3 x tops and a jacket a few years back. Shoes and accessories I didn't count. Perfectly doable, not counting the day I wore my national costume to a wedding.

    I like these kinds of challenges, although I doubt I ever wear more than 10 items in 10 days anyway :P

    1. Haha in such circumstances, you wouldn't need to engage in such a challenge indeed! It sounds like your everyday life already. That's very good if you can work with so few items. Don't they get worn out though? That's the issue I tend to have when I rotate only 2-3 items in one given category. It makes me sad that our items are so easily broken these days...

    2. I don't really see it as an issue with most of my clothes. My must have item is merino crewnecks from the mens department at Uniqlo. My oldest one is 3 years old and it still looks good (I did have to darn a little hole once). And when they finally wear out, I can just go back to Uniqlo and get new ones. The mens styles don't change nearly as much the ones for women. I do however have a lace top I will be sad to see go... I bought at a very expensive store at a very high discount so I won't be able to replace it easily. I am currently trying to ration the use of it.

      As for jeans and fitted trousers, I think it is fine that they wear out every year. I might be a size 26 one year, a 27 the next and then a 25. I think having a pair of jeans that fit well is more important than durability. At least for me. If I was always the exact same size, durability would matter more.

      I do have an issue with my shoes wearing out quickly though... and they are neither cheap, easily replaced or something I outgrow:/