Why To Try The 10x10 Clothing Challenge

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The 10x10 challenge is one of those things that seems to float up into my social feeds every 45 days, almost like clockwork. I spend a lot of time on Instagram (BREAKING NEWS! ALERT THE PRESS!), and it seems like every other second another blogger is posting about this damn clothing challenge or preaching the gospel of less.If you aren’t entirely sure what the 10x10 challenge is, you can read more here. It’s essentially a challenge to wear only 10 items of clothing (not counting accessories or undies) for 10 days. It’s a practice in minimalism, and also one step on the path forward to having a capsule wardrobe.

Since 2018 was my year of mindfulness, I’ve started paying much more attention to how I spend my money. I realized this year that so many things that I was holding on to in our house (clothes, books, random shit in the basement, you name it) was stuff that I either never used or had never really liked all that much. I’ve been slowing getting rid of things that are collecting dust and am low-key obsessed with how clean it makes our house look. It’s hard for things to get cluttered when you only have a few choice things and they are all right where they belong. When I’m feeling anxious I go on a rampage through our house with a box and stuff it full of things we haven’t used in the last few months. It’s like free therapy.

The items I will be rotating for my first 10x10 challenge.

The items I will be rotating for my first 10x10 challenge.

I love a good challenge. Honestly, I live for a challenge. I sign up for crazy things like Ragnar just to be able to prove that I did it. I am absolutely the kind of person that will race you from Target to the car just for the sheer competition of it all. I’m horrible, aren’t I? It’s just in my blood, though. I can’t help myself. There is a story in my family about my mom flipping over a Monopoly board in her youth because she was losing. My dad is the slowest board game player of all time because he has to make the perfect move. What can I say? Competition is in my blood. I like a good challenge (even if said challenge is literally just trying something new) because they never cease to surprise me.

There’s also a lot of bullshit on the internet, so when I see something drifting around on the depths of Instagram, I can’t help but give it a sniff. I feel compelled to give these things an honest try and then to tell you if they’re worth it. Mostly because I feel like there is so much bad advice out there, you know? Like, there are thousands of bitches out there trying to sell you fucking laxative tea. I have taken it upon myself as my literal job to try all the random “health tips” on the internet to let you know if they’re really worth your time.

So, the 10x10 challenge seemed like a worthy Instagram-inspired adventure. I have been curious about capsule wardrobes for a while (though probably won’t ever break my closet down to be quite that small), and most of my clothes already go together. It only took me 29 years, but I like to think that I’ve finally figured out my “look”. And I mean… I pretty much wear the exact same thing every day anyway. Don’t we all?

I’ll document all of my outfits on Instagram because I’m a blogger or whatever, and promise after to let you know if I actually liked it or if it made me low-key want to scream at innocent bystanders, baristas, small children, etc. I’m really curious to see how this makes me feel, and also how much laundry that I’ll be doing. Like an idiot, I didn’t check the weather before planning out my outfits. I only chose one T-shirt and it’s a little hot out. Oops! Also, I’m already three days in and have forgotten to take outfit pictures, SO THINGS ARE GOING GREAT! How do fashion bloggers do this every day?

Don’t feel like you are a glutton if this doesn’t appeal to you, it’s just something that jumped out at me that seemed like a fun challenge. I love a good challenge.

Why I decided to try the 10x10 Challenge:

  • To buy less. As much as I like to wear the same thing every day, I truly do enjoy shopping. I’m a big online shopper. It’s my way to relieve stress, to treat myself, whatever. Buying a new outfit can make everything feel like it’s falling into place. I’m like, super unique! JK. But it is something that I got in the habit of when I was bored at previous office jobs, and it’s a habit that I’m hoping to shake!

  • Hopefully less stress? I get really stressed about getting dressed. This is something that, obviosuly, isn’t new to the female experience. I think that a lot of it also comes from being a blogger, and feeling like people expect me to look a certain way. I feel like I need to look really fashionable (especially at blogger events), when in reality I usually look like a sweaty dirtbag.

  • To explore my own closet. This is my biggest reason. I’m not particularly creative when it comes to my wardrobe. I always wear things in the same combinations and rarely force myself to branch out. I hope that by having fewer options to choose from I’ll get more creative with my pairings.

  • To get rid of clothes I no longer need. Even though I’m only three days in, I already know that by the end of this I’m going to be acutely aware of the clothes that I never wear. After exploring my closet, I think that I’ll realize I have way more combos than I realize that I did. Also, I’m hoping it will be inspiration to finally list the clothes I never wear on a site like Poshmark.

  • For the mother-fucking hell of it. I mean, why not? If I hate it or if I don’t complete the full ten days nothing is going to happen. I’m not a failure if the 10x10 challenge doesn’t work for me. I’m approaching this as something fun to try and am reminding myself (FOREVER OVER ACHIEVER) to not take it too seriously.

My natural inclination is to buy all of the things and then never wear them.

My natural inclination is to buy all of the things and then never wear them.

Tips for trying the 10x10 Challenge:

Don’t forget to check the weather! (Learn from my mistakes).

Don’t forget to check the weather! (Learn from my mistakes).

  • Look at your schedule. I originally had picked out 10 different items, but I realized that I had to go to a fundraising dinner AND was going to LA during my challenge, which called for me to to start from scratch to make sure I had enough options. I also recommend looking at the weather during the days of your challenge. Like I said, I only picked one t-shirt and it’s been pretty hot. I am going to be washing this damn t-shirt every fucking day. Don’t do what I did!

  • Lay out all of your items next to each other. I’m a visual person, so this was key for me. I reorganized my final 10 a few different times to make sure that my items were cohesive. Initially I had a light purple sweater in the mix, but it really didn’t feel like it worked with what I had. The color was just bright enough that I felt like it would be too obvious if I wore it multiple times. Instead, I ended up choosing lots of muted neutrals.

  • Take pictures! I’ve already been really proud of the combinations I’ve come up with. I paired my flannel with my leather jacket and was kicking myself for not thinking of this sooner. Take pictures to remind yourself of all of the different combinations that you made, and to prove to yourself that you DID the 10x10 challenge. You don’t have to post them if you don’t want to! I take a lot of outfit pics that are just for myself.

  • Don’t beat yourself up if you fail. Pro-tip: this is supposed to be a fun challenge. If you try it and it stresses you out, stop! If it isn’t your jam, that doesn’t make you a bad person. Minimalism isn’t for everybody, and if you try the 10x10 challenge and feel like it isn’t your thing that absolutely doesn’t mean you’re greedy. Or a bad person. Or whatever. Have fun with it and stop if it starts to feel gross.

Have you ever done at 10x10 challenge before? I’ve been surprised how many of my friends have done these multiple times and been so sly about it! I would love to know if you have any tips so that I can share them with everybody else. Also your fails. Because obviously.

Love you weirdos,

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