10 x 10 Wardrobe Challenge: Winter Edition

In an effort to keep 2020 as streamlined as possible, I’m excited to announce I’ll be conducting quarterly wardrobe challenges to keep me on my sartorial toes. You see, I’ve been intrigued by the concept of a 10×10 wardrobe ever since I stumbled across the blogs Un-Fancy and Style Bee.

Now more than ever I sense this need to rid myself of the items that don’t spark joy (thanks, Mari Kondo) and focus in on what I love wearing and find great success styling. For me, it’s neutrals. I’ve long since cemented neon in my high school years, but since leaving college and grad school days and finding my own style I just naturally bend toward simple, non-pattered, neutrals.

This minimal life is not for everyone. I get that. But I truly believe that you don’t need to donate half your wardrobe and only wear 4 colors to successfully participate in a 10×10 challenge. The goal of this exercise is to shop the pre-existing pieces of your wardrobe and create formerly unseen outfits without dropping money on new, seasonal items.

If you want to start this challenge with me, I’d love company along the way – official start date is February 1st, FYI!

Keep reading for a list of the rules of this 10×10 Challenge and a full video where I explain the challenge and show the 10 items I’ve picked for inclusion in the exercise.

What Is the 10×10 Challenge?

Glad you asked! It’s a 10 day wardrobe challenge where you pick 10 items from your already existing wardrobe and use them (and only them) to create 10 outfits over 10 days.

What’s the Goal/Purpose of the Challenge?

It’s an exercise in mindful style. It forces you to take stock of your current wardrobe and wear + style the pieces you already own in new and fun ways. It can also help shine a light on the functional or foundational pieces you might need to buy or replace. An additional benefit is that it can help you cut down on needless shopping or impulse purchases by discovering pieces in your closet you had previous forgotten about.

What Are the Rules?

They’re not hard and fast and as a first-timer I’m probably not adhering to them all. I’ve chosen not to include activewear in this challenge. I wear athleisure often because I work out a lot and work from home but it’s always just a quick change into workout clothes and then out again, so it would be hard to include them in this challenge.

Accessories and shoes are included in the 10×10 challenge, but not undergarments.

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What Pieces I Picked

I give a detailed explanation of the pieces in my YouTube video – but I’ll do a quick run-through here too.

  1. A Versatile Black Dress | Shop the Piece
  2. Black Mock Turtleneck | Shop the Piece
  3. Black Oversized Tee | Shop the Piece
  4. Chunky White Cardigan | Shop the Piece
  5. Multicolored Sweater | Shop the Piece
  6. Elegant Grey Sweater | Shop the Piece
  7. Sweatshirt | Shop the Piece
  8. Dark Wash Denim | Shop the Piece
  9. Chelsea Boots | Shop the Piece
  10. Black Leggings | Shop the Piece

I’ve owned all these pieces (with the exception of the t-shirt) for over a year now and know I love every single piece. And because they’re all neutrals I’m expecting everything to work well together.

Inn at Patrick Square 11

How to Get Started on the 10×10 Challenge

So if this is a totally new concept for you, the best thing to do is find a few resources to walk you through how to best pick clothing that are versatile and adaptable.

This Is a Great Resource | This is a Great Example of a Challenge Finished

But a few preliminary pointers:

  • check the weather in your area for the next 10 days. You don’t want an unexpected snow storm or heat wave leave you regretting your clothing options.
  • know the rules are not hard and fast and it’s less about the challenge and more about using what you already have to create a wardrobe you love
  • pick items that work together seamlessly and you know you already wear. Those heels might not be worth including in the challenge but a pair of black flats are likely a winning piece
  • use the hashtag #10X10challenge to follow and engage with other people who are also completing the challenge.
Fall Look 4 2 scaled
Charleston Day 2 26 scaled

So, since I’ll be starting this challenge on Saturday I’ll be posting my daily outfits on Instagram Stories / Instagram then regroup back on the blog and on YouTube with a recap post + video sharing what I liked, what I didn’t like, my thoughts, and ideas.

Stay tuned for some exciting challenge content coming your way soon!

You can find me on Instagram at
Emily Lewandowski @emilyjlewandowski