Style

an experiment in minimalism • 10 pieces, 10 outfits, 10 days

Through a recent spot of financial despair and a genuine jaw drop moment at just how much material shit I have, I’ve decided it’s a good time to challenge myself to shop a little more (OK, a lot more) minimally. This blog post from Un-Fancy catapulted me into an internet rabbit hole full of capsule wardrobes and minimalist living et cetera, and I was immediately thinking to myself, I have to try this. There’s literally no reason for me to own so many clothes and shoes, but I do, and I keep buying them, and that’s bad for not just my bank account, but the physical space around me and the mental space inside me. Also the Earth! It’s all just very cluttered, and the cost-per-wear of some items is seriously shit, and I could go on and on and on about why I need to KonMari the fuck out of my life, but I think a lot of us could. So, anyway – this is my challenge to myself to see if I can dress for 10 days with 10 pieces.

The original 10×10 challenge is from Style Bee, and it seems like such a good exercise for me, especially as I’m trying to do a month-long shopping fast. I’ve messed around with the general guidelines a little bit – I’m not including coats in my 10 pieces, because 1) I am in England and 2) I want some coat variety in my life lol.

Here’s how the whole thing’s going to work:

Pick 10 pieces from your closet and create 10 outfits from them over the next 10 days. Include everything but accessories, bags, and outerwear – these can flow in and out freely. Clothing for normal life activities (sleeping/working out) don’t count.

And here are my 10 pieces!

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  1. cropped white sweater – Urban Outfitters
  2. cropped navy sweater – Gap Kids Boys
  3. red DUDE sweater – Gap Kids Boys
  4. white button-up shirt – Muji
  5. black v-neck bodysuit – Brandy Melville
  6. elbow patch blazer – Mango
  7. high-waisted blue skinny jeans – Madewell
  8. black pleated culottes – Topshop Petite (they’re apparently called ‘awkward pants’, which is possibly the least appealing product name ever)
  9. blue Cortez sneakers – Nike
  10. black lace-up flats – Gap

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I started off following Caroline from Un-Fancy’s 25 minute guide to planning – looking at the weather, my activities, gathering some tried and true favorites and then building on top of that. In the end, I came up with:

  • 3 sweaters
  • 2 tops (1 bodysuit + 1 button-up shirt)
  • 1 outer layer
  • 2 bottoms
  • 2 shoes

Here’s how my thinking goes in picking these 10 pieces!

Weather: London’s in a bit of a weird spot, weather-wise. Today it was raining, but yesterday it was so sunny people were in shorts and sandals. I tried to account for the temperature fluctuation with a pair of breezy pants (these are new… it’ll be my last clothing purchase for a month, I swear!!), as well as knowing that I tend to get cold more easily on the upper half of my body. And since outerwear doesn’t count in these 10 pieces (and thank heavens for that, because girl’s got a weakness for coats and shoes above all other categories of clothing), I’ll be able to layer up if it actually gets freakishly cold.

Daily activities: I have none! You know, on account of the whole ‘taking a break from sk00l’ thing. I’m mostly trying to research and plan my future school shenanigans, and then going to a lot of museums and reading and drawing and going for long walks in the park. Nothing very serious business, but there is a lot of walking involved, so I picked my comfy Cortez sneakers for that. (Sidenote: my boyfriend laughed when I told him I got these and then informed me that all the Mexican gangsters in SoCal wear this sneaker. Is this tru??) I try to hit this arbitrary goal of 10,000 steps every day; on days where I go for a run that’ll bump me up closer to the 10,000 mark way faster. On those days, I’ll probably take a bus instead of walking to my location, so I picked my lace-up ballet flats from Gap for that since I won’t be in them for long. They’re comfy, don’t get me wrong, but they’re comfy in the sense that flat shoes = comfy. They don’t provide much support otherwise – these shoes are mostly a #Look thing, lol.

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I’m trying to approach this in a ~fun~* sort of way, because it’s supposed to be “more about what it teaches us along the way and less about the success of the challenge”. I’m kind of failing at that right off the bat, because I stick to rules pretty harshly and beat myself up if I don’t adhere to given guidelines. So let’s think of this as a style challenge, but also a ‘Can Maxine not hate herself if she messes up?’ exercise.

What I’m hoping to learn/gain from doing this is to see how I fare living with less clothing for a bit. In my 20 years of life, and maybe 6 years of buying shit to wear, I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff. I’ve been toying with the idea of a capsule wardrobe and donating/selling a lot of my shit, but I always back away at the last minute. Because, I mean, what if I need this sequined shirt down the line? And what if every item I own fulfills a specific purpose? One that no other item can do? These are the thoughts of a gal who’d happily donate a bodily organ if she got ten pairs (all different colors) of Valentino rockstud pointed-toe caged ballet flats and/or Charlotte Olympia kitty embroidered velvet flats handed to her. Hyperbole? Maybe! But ya don’t want to know how many times I’ve drooled over expensive shoes on the Net-A-Porter website… Lol, what I’m trying to say is, I want to see if I’m capable of living more minimally, even if it’s only for 10 days and even if it’s only restricted to my wardrobe. I want to get into the mindset and behavioral patterns of that whole “less stuff, better stuff, all stuff that sparks joy” shebang.

So! Starting on Monday and going through next week, I shall be posting daily on here with my 10×10 remix. This will be 10 days over 2 weeks, so technically 10 business days, lol. I feel like I wanna ease myself into this and give myself a weekend break in the middle.

You’re welcome to join, if you’d like – it’s always fun to have a buddy in whatever new thing you’re trying out, right? 🙂 I’ll follow Caroline/Un-Fancy and Lee/Style Bee in capping off the whole thing with a summary of how everything went after the 10 days/10 outfits are done. I’m feeling kind of excited, which I think is because I’m starting a ~challenge~* and those always feel kind of fun at the beginning. I think maybe on Day 5 I’ll be mournfully staring out of a window thinking of all my shoes and pants though, lol.

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I’ll see y’all on Monday for the first day!

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2 thoughts on “an experiment in minimalism • 10 pieces, 10 outfits, 10 days

  1. max! i’m excited to see how this goes – your pieces are so lovely to start out with *sobs in vague grandma i’m-still-wearing-clothes-from-7th-grade style*

    Like

    • ah THANK U SHALOM! tbh i am still wearing clothes from 7th grade too, although miraculously all of these pieces are from after that year of ma life! i think the white sweater might be from 8th grade, though… (also i just asked my parents to cut me off, rich snobbish boy who’s drinking and sexing too much, bc I FALL IN LOVE WITH CLOTHES TOO MUCH it’s a real problem)

      Like

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