What is a 10×10 Challenge and why is it useful as a grad student or busy person?

The Summer 10×10 challenge is fast-approaching (start date: July 27th) and while my Instagram is abuzz with participants, I would like to make a quick invite to grad students/academics out there. A 10×10 is a 10-day challenge where you pick 10 items of clothes and remix them into 10 days of outfits. (More on that here!). I’ve completed 4 challenges now and I think they’re a great opportunity for grad students in particular! Here’s why:

Use what you’ve got

It’s no secret that grad school is a time for budgeting. As someone who loves clothes, the 10×10 reminds me that re-wearing clothes can still be creative and fun (instead of shopping for new stuff, a true hobby of mine…).

Discover wardrobe VIPS

The 10×10 reminds me of what clothing items are true workhorses in my closet–stuff that goes with everything. And that helps me to not get too clean-out happy and donate that stuff when I’m tired of it. Instead, I stash those items in storage until I want to grab them again. This chambray shirt is one great example.

Figure out your style

I don’t think I usually wear ‘stylish’ items, but the 10×10 tends to remind me that there are ways to dress up jeans and a t-shirt. With a limited wardrobe, I have to get creative. It’s a good way to reach for accessories, try tucking/rolling/tying garments due to day-9 desperation, etc. Like this shirtdress, which became a shirt when I was out of other ideas. It also turned me into a hat person for the first time last spring.

Identify wardrobe gaps

Truly, the best part of the 10×10 is that it helps me shop better for the upcoming season. Want to know what you need for Fall? Try the summer 10×10. If I find myself thinking repeatedly during the challenge “gee, I wish I had ____”, that’s usually a good sign and helps me make better decisions than just going shopping and guessing. This green jacket is one of those items. I realized after the spring 10×10 last year that I needed a lighter layer for spring that wasn’t denim. And then I found it at a thrift store.

If you want to join in this time, message me! I would love to see your outfits! And use the tag #summer10x10 on instagram and tumblr.

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