Wednesday, 19 October 2016

How the Autumn 10 x 10 Challenge went.

So, can't quite believe that 10 days have passed and I have survived with only wearing 10 items! Including shoes!! 

You can see my 10 items here.

I did no planning beforehand or any real thinking about it.  Purely based on my trip to Iceland in September when I packed just a carry on for 6 days, I picked my items fairly quickly the day before I started the challenge.  I just wanted to see if it was possible and if I would learn anything along the way.  I have been striving for a smaller wardrobe, aka 'the capsule', over the past few years and have progressively been discarding LOTS of items from my wardrobe that just weren't working for various reasons. 

So, the bottom line is.... IT IS POSSIBLE and it's not even that difficult.

I may, however, have gone off anything that happens to be blue or green for a while.

Days 1-3
 Nothing to crazy for the first three days, pretty much how I dress normally, jeans/trousers, tops and cardigan/jacket.

Days 4-6

By days 4-6, I realised I was going to have to try something different.  The first was wearing the pussybow blouse under the dress, I'd only ever worn this dress on its own, so it was good to see that it could be worn as an overdress.  The other two days were just using different accessories and different top/bottom combinations.

Days 7-9
I suppose days 7-9 were similar in that I was going for the 'what can I wear under the dress/dungarees?'  Perhaps trying to make things a little bit different with different tights, jewellery, scarfs.

Day 10
By today.... not going to lie, I had an 'at home' and really just wanted to wear trackies and a sweatshirt, but for the sake of completion I pondered and came up with the scenario of wearing a top OVER the dress.  Aha, I think it actually worked, now why didn't I think of that before!!

So, what have I learned from this challenge?


All my items were fine for the challenge because the weather isn't too cold yet.  Any colder and I'd be wanting warmer sweaters and certainly a longer coat.


As I work a lot from home, some days I was a bit overdressed for the activities I was doing, but it didn't matter too much really.


All of my items were blues or greens, both of which I love, therefore everything went together, but it was nearly all a bit too matchey.  Think if I were doing it again I would add in a completely different colour to provide variety and relieve potential boredom.


I think I was quite lucky with my rash choices.  The Bettine dress proved to be a godsend in that I could were tops under it and, as it turns out today, over it too.  This is definitely a factor to consider when choosing items for a capsule wardrobe, what shapes work well with others.  The slim jeans and tops is what I would were mostly so that was fine.  The dungarees were fairly versatile too, they are maybe not MY ideal silhouette in that they are quite oversized in style but for comfort they won hands down.


Not going to lie.  I did less washing than I normally would.  Well, we wash clothes too much anyway. The tops were each washed once and that was it, eek!

Reactions from others

Well living in a house of males.... NO REACTION, ie they never noticed.

Also I never see the same people all the time.  If I were going in to an organization and seeing the same group of people all day, every day I might feel more self-conscious, but I know I shouldn't, but honestly I'm not sure people really do notice that much.

Most worn item

Definitely the dress.  I will be aiming to sew dresses similar to that for day-to day wear from now on, either in a woven or a knit fabric, that can be layered in different ways.


Two pair of shoes.  Who thought that would be possible, but I managed no problem at all.  I'm glad I chose the Russell and Bromley ankle boots.  They were a special purchase and expensive and I have been keeping them for 'good' but it was lovely to just wear them, they're not doing much good in a shoe box in the bottom of my wardrobe.


This is very important to me anyway as I have mentioned a lot on the blog.  If you have less items in your wardrobe, you want them to be comfortable and suitable for the weather.  Those are a given, but for me I ideally want them to be as natural and breathable as possible.  I also try to use organic fabrics if I can, although honestly I've had mixed success with the more natural fabrics.  For me, my go-to fabrics are cotton, linen, double gauze, merino jersey and wool fabrics.

What next?

I really enjoyed doing this challenge.  It really does highlight what works best for your lifestyle. (And how little you really need)  It has also made me more aware when I go to buy an item or make an item, exactly how it can be worn with the rest of my wardrobe and if it can be worn in different ways then that's all the better.  Thanks also to stylebee who instigated the challenge and whose blog has been very helpful and motivating.  I'm now going to aim for the 20 x 20 challenge, haha!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

10 x 10 Challenge!

Reducing this down!

So, for Autumn, something a little bit different - some might say crazy, mad, extreme!  I have decided to embark on the 10 x 10 Challenge.  This is something I have been aware of for a while from following various blogs that focus on capsule wardrobes.  In this case it was the blog, she did her 10 x 10 in September, but now her friend is doing the challenge for 10 days starting tomorrow Monday 10/10/2016 (just realised that date is rather appropriate!)

So what is the challenge?

You pick 10 items from your wardrobe.
Style them into 10 looks.
Give yourself 10 days to it.

That's it, easy, haha!

Things I considered in selecting 10 items.

Weather:  On checking the weather high are between 12 and 14 degrees and lows between 8 and 10 degrees, if the weather forecast can be trusted! So, definitely getting cooler, but not too cool, hopefully.

Lifestyle:  Things I'll be doing over the next 10 days, working from home mostly with occasional meetings and some casual social occasions, so maybe not quite as taxing as if I were 'working out' if you know what I mean.

Colour:  Whenever I first looked into capsule wardrobes, the one thing that struck me was how a lot of them were monochrome or very similar colours.  I had enough of that when I worked in a big organization, so I love colour and definitely incorporate colour in my wardrobe.  Having said that I do get that items have to go together, especially when you have so little.  My colours for this are based around blues and greens, which I love.

Shapes: Not sure if I'm going to be that successful from this point of view.  Again, items need to be interchangeable with eachother and silhouettes need to work together also.  We shall see.  This is part of the challenge.

So here are my 10 items.

1 pair of shoes - Navy Trainers from Tedandmuffy

1 pair of ankle boots from

1 dress - Handmade, using pattern Tillyandthebuttons Bettine sewing pattern.

1 navy jeans from

1 pair of dungarees - Handmade using sewing pattern Roberts collection by Marilla Walker

3 Tops - All handmade   

1.  Navy/White striped top ( Liesl and Co Maritime Top)
2.  Floral Top (Mercury Collection by Marilla Walker)
3.  Pussybow blouse (pussy bow blouse sewing pattern by Sew Over It.)

1 cardigan (

1 Jacket (Sussex wax jacket from

So, why am I doing this challenge at all I might ask myself.

Well, partly just for the challenge.  Also, as this is mostly a sewing blog and I love sewing (but really sew too many things still) I want to try and be more mindful about exactly what I need, what really works for me on a day-to-day basis (both style-wise and practically) so that I can choose patterns more wisely.  I definitely have improved a lot over the past couple of years, but I would like to hone my style a little bit more (must be a turning 50 thing!) I would like this challenge to encourage me to get more out of my clothes and really WEAR them.

It could be really boring and repetitive (sorry in advance if that's the case) but I hope to have fun with it and maybe learn something along the way.

Wish me luck.  I'll be aiming to put a photograph on instagram every day #stylebee10x10

Not too late, anyone else up for an October challenge, you can check the details out here.