The 10×10 challenge is very popular in the slow fashion movement: You select 10 items of clothing that you wear for 10 days. The 10 items typically include shoes and outerwear. I’m still not happy with the amount of clothing I own; the number is at its smallest (55 pieces in total, not including lounge wear) it’s been for many years, but I find that this number is still too high. I’ve had many of these pieces for several years; some go back 10 years. I take very good care of my clothes, and I buy good quality, so they tend to last a long time. Some of my style preferences have changed since i bought many of these pieces. I have always preferred clothes in neutral colours (my neutrals are warm toned, such as cream, beige, brown, warm greens, and navy blue) and with no patterns, but I experminted with patterns for a while, especially in my dresses, and with colours that don’t flatter me too well, such as black and grey. I want to return to my preference for plainer neutrals, as I do find patterns to be a little overwhelming. I also prefer to work with a smaller number of clothes; I find I’m at my happiest when I travel with only hand luggage, as my choices are very limited and I get to repeat outfits. A full closet actually makes me feel overwhelmed; the more I whittle down my possessions, the more easily I become overwhelmed.
I want to strip down my wardrobe to the essentials, as I’m finding what I have to be too busy right now. After lots of trial and error over the years, I’ve narrowed my preferences to suit my colour palette, fabric choices, and body type. Further, I prefer to have a year-round wardrobe, rather than a seasonal one. A year-round wardrobe is more challenging in Canada, where we have a long and cold winter (the longest month), and three other seasons, but it’s manageable. I’ve found that tights, cardigans, and blazers can be used with items of clothing for the colder months. Here are the essentials that I have in mind
The palette above is a paint swatch, but it captures perfectly the colour scheme I love best. I would add to this navy blue, which is a wamer tone that I can wear, and preferably for the bottom (e.g., skirts and trousers).
My favourite fabric is linen. While linen is so often associated with warm weather, I think it can be worn year round, especially if it’s a heavier weight. Tencel is another good choice, as it’s very silky, and sustainably produced. Cotton is another choice, and my preference would be for organic, where possible. Cotton has a high environmental impact, so it would be my third choice.
I have an inverted triangle body shape: Broad shoulders (they are the widest part of my body), larger bust, not much waist definition, and straight hips. My narrower hips means that I can get away with pencil skirts and skinny jeans, but doing makes me look a little lopsided. My body type needs fuller bottom pieces to balance out the shoulders and torso, and v-necks and unfussy shapes to balance the shoulders.
The 10X? challenge
As part of the exercise to focus on paring down my essentials, I’m goint to do a variation of the 10×10 challenge. I will do this in different stages, working with 10 items at a time for a period, then switching to another 10 items. This will help me detemine which items in my wardrobe I really want to keep. I’m not counting shoes (I have so few), outerwear, or lounge wear, or layering pieces that I need to keep warm or to protect me from the sun (e.g., cardigans). It’s the end of May, and it still gets cool, and my condo can be very cold. I don’t have fancy closet editing software, so I will simply list the 10 items I will use for this first round. I will post my outfit of the day with these 10 items, but I don’t know for how long I will do this; I’m thinking two weeks at a minimum for now. These are the 10 items I will be working with in this round:
- Natural v-neck linen top
- Beige v-neck linen top
- Striped navy v-necl linen top
- Cream and brown blouse
- Blue paisley tunic
- Navy linen trousers
- Cream linen trousers
- Levis 724 high rise straight leg jeans
- Navy blue cotton shirt dress
- Navy blue cotton wrap dress (with reversible neckline)