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I had a ton of fun participating in Lee and Caroline's #summer10x10 challenge for 2017. I've never felt this way about my wardrobe before -- I think I've actually reached wardrobe Nirvana!
* I love every piece that I have
* They all mix and match really well
* They make me feel comfortable, put together and confident
* I feel good about them because most are either sustainably made, thrifted or me-made
* Many of the pieces can transition from casual, to office, to dressy
It's taken me a while, but I've finally found the style aesthetic that feels like me. It entails a neutral palette (black, gray, white and flax), boxy silhouettes, natural fibers like linen, silk and cashmere, and minimal accessories (I did this whole thing with scarves a few years back before finally realizing they're really not me.)
Another interesting thing to note -- there's always been a voice inside my head pushing me to wear brighter colors, and more 'preppy' options. I think this is a leftover from when I felt pushed by my mom to be more of a cheerleader type (believe me, I am just about as opposite of a stereotypically outgoing and bouncy cheerleader as you can get.) What's interesting, is that my mom was in town visiting during the 10x10 challenge. And all she had the entire time was compliments for every outfit I wore. I seriously though I'd get the "Why are you wearing such dark colors? Why are you wearing such a baggy top?" But nope, it was all, "You look great! You made that! Wow!" Don't know if she changed, or I changed, or I never had the right impression in the first place, but it was really nice
The one thing I customized with the challenge was that, since I wanted it to cover not just office wear, but at-home hang-out wear, I decided to keep the 10 pieces to clothing and add two pairs of shoes on top of that. That means it also covered the clothes I wore after I got home for work, and had two supplemental outfits over the weekend. Of course, in the middle of that, I had a new item delivered (an awesome dress from Linenfox), so I ended up throwing that into the mix as well. At the end of the day, here was my list, with number of wears listed as well:
Overall, I would not change a single thing of what I picked. I debated about putting the Mara in because I mistakenly thought it would be a bit inflexible, but it ended up as one of the items with the most wears. The other item that I've learned to adore is the Elizabeth Suzann Vera tunic I picked up on eBay a few weeks ago. I wasn't 100% sure about it. It's just a bit wide in the shoulders, so it has a tendency to slip off, but at the end of the day, as I wrote in one of my Instagram posts, "the Vera tunic establishes itself as the most versatile item in my closet. V in front, scoop in front, tucked, untucked, casual or dressy. This is an amazing piece!"
It's a funny story about that Vera tunic... I bought it on eBay, although it didn't have an ES tag on it, and when I received it, it did seem like a real ES piece. The silk is a nice weight and a beautiful navy color, but the stitching at the hem was definitely a bit crooked, which seemed odd. I had thought it was a Marlena (that's how it was listed on eBay), but finally realized it couldn't be because the straps at the shoulder are much thinner. So I emailed the ES team, just to see if they recognized the piece and what it was - I thought it might be a second or a sample, since it didn't have a tag. After looking at it (apparently even Elizabeth herself took a look), they decided it must not be a genuine piece because they never made anything tunic-length like that, and they always sew tags in to every piece, even samples. Finally, I got more info from the seller -- turns out it was purchased as a Vera dress, but the seller had a tailor shorten it to tunic length for her and put a single slit in on one side (I actually love this feature -- it's really cute.) Since the tag was in the side seam further down in the dress, it got cut off. So that solved the mystery, and I can enjoy having a one-of-a-kind ES-ish piece
I had a great time wearing these pieces and there were even a few outfits that I could have happily worn that I never got around to. It's good to know if I ever had to travel somewhere warm for work, for two weeks or more, I could easily do so with 10 items of clothing!
Here's a collage of 9 of the outfits (although there were 12 total):