Building A 10x10 Capsule Wardrobe


http://I love creating mini 10x10 capsules from my seasonal capsule wardrobes. They are a perfect way to refresh daily outfits without buying anything new. Besides, these mini capsules help me stick to the everyday aesthetics vibe: I don't think much about what I want to wear today or tomorrow, I enjoy each item in my wardrobe to the fullest and I get inspired thinking of what my next mini capsule will be.


WAIT! If you’re more of a visual learner, check out my new YouTube video below where I detail everything in this post.


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So today I thought I’d walk you through my process of creating a 10x10 capsule wardrobe and share some thoughts on why mini capsules are so great.


What is a 10×10 capsule wardrobe?

The concept was originally a challenge created by Style Bee in 2015 as a way to get more creative with her wardrobe. Today, the concept is widely used as is and as a re-thought idea known under different names, such as 10x10 Capsule Wardrobe, 10x10 Capsule Wardrobe Challenge, or 10x10 Wardrobe Challenge.
The 10 x 10 Style Challenge™ is an exercise I established in 2015 to help encourage myself to get more creative with my clothes during a 30 Day Shopping Fast. The concept is essentially a mini capsule closet of 10 items that you work with for 10 days, creating new looks and styling your clothes in ways you might not otherwise try. – Style Bee

Besides, new concepts derive from the original one, like Parisian Style 10x10 Challenge created by Jessica Harumi and Bri Lamberson. Overall, the concept has become a regular practice amongst slow fashion and capsule wardrobe devotees as well as minimalist enthusiasts. And me, being an everyday aesthetics ambassador, is in love with this concept, too!


Benefits of a 10×10 capsule wardrobe

Ok. It's great to learn the history but what are the benefits of a 10x10 capsule? Why in the world can't you just pick random items from your seasonal capsule and go with the flow? Well, there's nothing wrong with doing so. But you get some tangible benefits if you decide to build a 10x10 capsule. So what are these?
  1. You get more wear out of what you already have
  2. You save time on picking your daily outfit
  3. You save money on buying new items
  4. You avoid frustration and that 'nothing-to-wear' feeling
  5. You get inspiration for creating your next mini capsule
  6. You get ideas on how to upgrade your wardrobe & style
  7. You can learn to wear your favorite pieces in multiple ways
  8. You can create a couple of go-to uniforms
  9. You can pack for a short trip with no hassle
  10. You can connect with and be inspired by like-minded people
To me, personally, there's one more benefit, that is the feeling of variety. The thing is, I tend to stick to some items for a long time. Actually, I can wear my loungewear unifrom (black cotton leggings + black hoodie + hi-tops) almost daily in autumn or winter. Or I can stick to a couple of dresses in spring and summer.
But what about other lovely items in my closet? They are great, picked carefully and really fit me. But there are times when I simply forget about them and get stuck in this uniform-ish cycle.
A 10x10 capsule wardrobe challenge takes me out of this cycle and allows me to enjoy my wardrobe to the fullest. Now, let me share how I build a 10×10 capsule wardrobe out of my seasonal capsule.

How to build a 10×10 capsule wardrobe

The original challenge rules are quite simple: choose 10 items and combine them in 10 outfits, to be worn over 10 days. The item breakdown includes tops (shirts, sweaters, dresses, coats, etc.), bottoms (pants, jeans, skirts, short. etc.) and shoes. Accessories are excluded (e.g. hats, bags, scarves, gloves, jewelry, etc.).
As for me, I pretty much stick to these rules, except for the shoes. Some people I know exclude shoes from their 10 items to get more variety, too. Some people also exclude outerwear from the list. So it's totally up to you – there are no strict rules when it comes to building a capsule, even if it's a mini one.

Ok, now let me walk you through my process of creating a 10x10 capsule wardrobe.

Step 1. Check the weather and your schedule

Now, I start with the weather. To tell the truth, I'm not a big fan of checking out the forecasts, but I try to get used to doing it regularly. Next, I check my plans for the upcoming days. These two factors make the foundation of my mini capsule.

Step 2. Define your colors

I like to find my colors for the next 10 days by starting with my favorite item of the moment. Looking in my closet for a variety of tops and bottoms, I prefer to choose those in a coordinating color palette.
If you haven't yet build your own capsule wardrobe or defined color palette, you might stuck here. But no worries, the blog post I wrote recently might be of help:

How to Build Your Perfect Capsule Wardrobe

Step 3. Find your formula

Ten items doesn's sound like a lot. But it might be confusing when it comes to choosing the exact pieces. There are plenty of formulas out there: some people stick to 5 tops, 2 layering pieces and 3 bottoms (excluding shoes); some keep it simple and choose 4 tops, 4 bottoms and 2 pair of shoes; others prefer a 3 tops 3 bottoms 1 pair of shoes formula. The options are infinite. 
What I do is stick to my everyday aesthetics principle. In this case, it's the part where I make sure my soul and my mind agree. What does it mean? I choose my current favorite items first and add 1 item (to each category) I really adore but don't wear much lately next. So my regular formula is:
3 tops
3 bottoms
2 dresses
2 outerwear pieces (depending on the season)
+ 2 pairs of shoes
And that's basically it! Now it's time to combine the items you've chosen and make 10 outfits in total. I suggest you do that the day before, so that you won't spend any extra time each morning on choosing the outfit. But if you wake up one morning and feel like you want to wear something different, not what's been planned – it's totally fine! There are no strict rules, remember?
Also, playing around with you accessories really makes a difference. you'll be surprised how one bag or necklace can change the way you look and feel wearing one and the same outfit.

What I've learned from building the 10×10 capsule

Though building a 10×10 capsule wardrobe gives lots of benefits (I mentioned some at the beginning of this post), I decided to point out the top 3 benefits I got from this experience. Share these with you, too.

1. A small minimalist wardrobe is versatile

While building a 10×10 capsule wardrobe I found another proof that a small selection of clothes still gives plenty of outfit options. At the beginning I thought it would be hard to come up with 10 unique outfits with only 10 pieces of clothing. But to my surprise, it was easy and even entertaining to think of 10 different outfits.


2. Fewer clothes help clarify a personal style

This experience also helped me define my personal style more precisely. I now am absolutely sure what items are not my thing and what items need to be worn more often as they add to my style a lot.


3. Fewer clothes make getting dressed easier

To me, a 10×10 capsule wardrobe is really a life changer in terms of how I feel. If you tend to get nervous and frustrated standing in front of the closet every morning as I used to do, then you definetly chould give this concept a try.


Have you ever built a 10×10 capsule wardrobe? Or maybe you have tried a 10×10 wardrobe challenge? I'd love to hear about your experience!


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A 10x10 Capsule Wardrobe


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