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Creating a capsule closet

At least once a week, I used to walk into my closet, stare at the massive piles of clothing on hangers, shelves and, of course, the floor and tell myself that I had nothing to wear.

The irony of this situation doesn’t escape me—in fact, it bothered me so much that I not only sold the majority of my clothes on social media (Instagram is great at more than just keeping track of your likes), but I also resolved to fall back in love with the few staple pieces I still owned. I did some research, and came across an Insta-trend called the 10x10x10 challenge.

Photo by Haley Gibson

In the 10x10x10 challenge, participators choose 10 items of clothing, and create 10 different outfits using only the 10 pieces, styling them over a period of 10 days—hence, of course, the repetitive and rather redundant usage of a double-digit number.

The rules for the 10x10x10 challenge are quite ambiguous, leaving participators ample room to express themselves through the clothing items they’re learning to re-fall in love with. I wanted to take the challenge a step further, though, by including my shoes in my 10 items.

What can I say? I’m radical.

My 10 items:

Forever21 black corduroy overalls

H&M orange mock neck sweater

Everlane satin dress

GAP tan suede sneakers

Old Navy white denim culottes

GAP denim jacket

Topshop booties

Gray cotton t-shirt with cute rolled sleeves

Everlane black dress

GAP denim jeans

The majority of these items—with the exception of the two Everlane dresses—are pieces I’ve had for at least a year and worn often, but have fallen out of love with in the past few months, which is why I wanted to break them out for this challenge. I love the idea of making more with less—call me a minimalist, but there’s something special about choosing to love what you already have, rather than owning 10 $7 t-shirts that won’t make it past the rinse cycle.

It all comes down to choosing a life with less waste, and that’s what I’m learning through the 10x10x10 challenge, and why I think I’m maybe a bit too passionate about the principle behind it.  My goal for the 10x10x10 challenge is to remind myself that my love for fashion is rooted in my love for creativity, an intrinsic trait that is necessary for viewing fashion as more than just an obligation.

Instead of shopping that 40% off sale at Urban Outfitters this week, try shopping in your own closet. You know those pieces you have that haven’t seen daylight in six months? Try them on—if there’s not a spark, part ways.

But if there is, you just found a new outfit for free.

Photo by Haley Gibson