Hi, friends! Today I am so excited to share with you the 10 outfits I put together for the Winter 10×10 Challenge! (In case you missed it, you can read all about the challenge and the 10 items I picked in this post.) I was planning on posting each outfit as I wore it on the blog, but waiting until the very end saved me a lot of extra work during the week (and it turned out to be an extra busy one at school!) So I hope you are ok with doing my 10×10 Challenge recaps in a manner similar to this in the future!
As I mentioned in this post, one of my goals for this year is to slow down and to learn to savor the moments as they happen. One of the ways I am doing this is to stress less about the blog. Blogging has always brought me so much joy. And I always have 1000 ideas of what I want to share with you on this platform. But my excitement and enthusiasm sometimes cause me to bite off a little more than I can chew and as a result, keeping up with my personal expectations with the blog can be really draining and really stressful. Which is kind of funny considering this is supposed to be a creative outlet for me. So long story short, one of the things I’m doing this year is cutting back on the hassle. Meaning…if there is a less involved option with a post, I’m letting myself take it and giving myself permission to worry less about being perfectly planned or executed. (Because let’s be honest…is that really ever how it turns out anyways?!)
At any rate, this 10×10 Challenge provided me with the perfect opportunity to test this new mantra out. One of the ways I let myself off the hook was waiting until the end to post my 10 outfits on the blog. (As always, you can see each day’s look in real time on my Instagram, if you follow me there!) Another was in the way I shot photos for the challenge. For those that don’t know what goes on behind the scenes in fashion blogging, it’s a ton of work! And while putting together 10 outfits ahead of time is a challenge in and of itself (we usually only do 4-6 looks in a typical session), it’s even more challenging to take photos of 10 different outfits in 10 different locations (while changing in the back of a car and finding parking at each new spot #thestruggle). So as a less hassle alternative, I asked Noah if we could instead shoot in his studio. Ten looks. One location. Ahhh…I could feel the tension melting away the instant I asked him and he said yes. All this to say, the format of these photos is a little different from my normal aesthetic, but I love how they turned out. And I especially love that I had the courage to take the less stressful route, which in my opinion is a huge step in the right direction for me, my blog, and my health!
All this to say, I hope you are just as excited about this new 10×10 Challenge format as I am! I think it’s going to be a great way to share my wardrobe remixes without causing a lot of undue stress on my part. So without further ado, let’s get into the reason you all are reading this post today–my Winter 10×10 outfits! And if you need a little reminder, here are the 10 items I picked out for the challenge! (You can find links to these/similar items at the very end of the post.)
In my past 10×10 Challenges I have started with a dress in every instance. I mean who could blame me? What could be simpler than a one-and-done piece?! But this time around, I was surprised to find myself reaching straight for the sweater tee paired with high-waisted jeans and ankle boots on the first day of the challenge. It’s an easy combination that I wear a variation of all the time, so perhaps it shouldn’t have surprised me too much! But it was the perfect comfy, casual Friday look for a day in class and doing research at the office.
A quick note about these high-risegirlfriend jeans…they are the best! I’ve recently had to invest in some different jeans (thank you post-prelims and post-holiday weight gain :/ ) and I love that these are high-waisted but still incredibly stretchy and comfortable to wear all day long. Most of the time, high-rise jeans can feel a little restricting in the tummy area, especially after lunch, but these are slightly oversized, soft, and feel like a dream to wear! I typically wear skinny jeans non-stop but love having these as an alternative!
As a variation on the look, I added on a pretty white plaid scarf. Sometimes I like wrapping the scarf around my neck, but other times I enjoy just having it rest long and flowy over the front of my body. No hassle, no fuss! And it adds some fun visual interest while keeping you nice and warm.
Friday nights have also become our go-to date nights where Allen and I splurge to go out for dinner. This particular night, we treated ourselves to Lucky’s Pizza in Louisville (our favorite!). So to make this look date-night ready, I simply added my beige faux leather jacket on top to give it a little edgier vibe and to keep me warm in the nighttime breeze.
For the second day of the challenge, I decided to rock my star print dress with over-the-knee boots. Allen and I started the morning off with a baby shower for our sweet friends in Broomfield, so I knew this cute shift dress would be the perfect casual yet dressed up look for the event. And the OTK boots kept my legs plenty warm for winter temperatures (too warm at times!). For a fun little detail, I added on a sparkly star necklace too. My friends are in fact friends from the Aerospace Department, so I knew they would appreciate it!
Since cold weather was on the move into Boulder this particular weekend, I added on a chunky knit scarf in a pretty cobalt blue color (which has become my favorite color this season!). I also layered on my beige faux leather jacket for warmth and to keep the outfit from looking too simple. I love how adding on a simple moto-inspired jacket can give a look the perfect amount of edginess without veering too hard into the biker chick regime. 🙂
With the third day of the challenge brought a dumping of snow into the Boulder area. So naturally, a comfy sweater was a no-brainer for this slow morning spent in the mountains. With the beautiful snow falling outside, Allen and I decided to drive to The Huckleberry in Louisville for a cozy breakfast indoors, which also turned into driving lessons for me afterwards (on how to drive safely in the snow and ice). If you notice below, I decided to style my wrap front sweater backwards on this particular morning. It may be a little unconventional, but it just felt so much more cozy this way, and so I went with it! I also loved how the lacey bralette I was wearing showed in the back and gave the look a little sexier feel (without being overdone or obvious). Something that was fun for the weekend but not something I would try during the week at work.
Back to the grind on Monday! I mentioned in my original post here, but I have never really been an overalls girl (at least not since I was 6 years old…). But these black velvet overalls from Madewell were screaming my name and I was so excited to try them out in this challenge. If nothing else, I wanted to force myself to style them multiple ways over the course of the 10 days and to give them the best chance of being incorporated into my current wardrobe favorites.
This Day 4 look is exactly how I imagined wearing them when I first got them. As I’ve always said, you can’t go wrong with stripes! And I love how this look turned out. It was just as I imagined it and even comfier than I thought! Turns out, velvet overalls are quite warm and a fine choice for a snow day spent at the office. One minor change here, I wore my black snow boots with the overalls since it was still quite icy outside after the blizzard the day before. I never include my “weather proof” items (such as snow/rain boots and coats) in my 10 items just because the weather here is so unpredictable and hard to plan for. I never feel bad about switching them in as needed, but like to include my changes here in all honesty! It’s partially a bi-product of having to shoot these outfits way before I actually wear them too. 🙂 You just never know what Boulder is going to do from day to day!
My Day 5 outfit turned out to be my favorite of the whole challenge, and surprise surprise it’s a sweater layered over a dress (my other favorite outfit combination from 10×10 Challenges past). But come on! I mean, don’t you love this outfit too?! It really doesn’t get more comfy than a dress…except when you layer over a super soft, oversized sweater over top, and especially one in the most beautiful cobalt blue color. And then it’s just beyond incredible. I didn’t have class this morning, or any commitments on campus, so I ended up working on research from my favorite coffee shop and then transitioned to working at home later in the afternoon. So this was a great look to feel put together while remaining comfortable, even when I was working at home on my own.
Ahhh…I love the little peek of stars from the dress around the collar. It’s funny, but these 10×10 Challenges tend to remind me to notice and relish in the simple details that make an outfit stand out. Sometimes you don’t need to have a statement piece to make a statement.
Alright, time to wear this front wrap sweater the way it was meant to be worn! 😛 Since the v-neckline is a little too deep to wear on its own, I layered on the sweater tee underneath. It not only added a pop of color, but also added the perfect amount of extra layer for a super chilly day.
I have nothing against neutral gray sweaters. In fact, I’m beginning to realize that having a great neutral foundation of basics is best because you can pair quite literally anything with them! But I’m generally not the kind of person to go with a totally neutral-colored look. So adding on the rust red sweater underneath really saved this look for me (and my personal style). I also added on some longer length layered necklaces to make the look feel a little more unique and special. It’s usually around this time in the challenge (just over half-way) where I start to feel like my outfits are all looking the same! Haha. So even a simple necklace change up can do wonders for your outfits!
This was probably my least favorite outfit of the challenge. Not because there was anything wrong with it, but simply because there wasn’t anything particular exciting about it. That’s ok though! Not every look will be a winner. The important thing is to learn as you are going through the challenge–what works, what doesn’t work and what you would/wouldn’t recreate in the future. And perhaps most importantly, to practice contentment and gratitude for the things you own and the unique style you bring to the table through your creativity.
My Day 7 look was a “classic Kristin” look. This is definitely one I would wear (and have worn) on a consistent basis–a striped top, jeans, and a solid-colored jacket. It’s timeless and classic and can be adjusted for any season you’re in. Since it was winter for this challenge, I chose a black-and-white striped tissue turtleneck and my high-waisted girlfriend jeans with black OTK boots. This look is perfect on its own, but if you want to feel extra put together and on top of your outfit game, just add on a beige faux leather jacket (or sweater) and you’ve got yourself a repeat-offender worthy outfit. I wore this look for another full day of work on my own, and it was perfect! Honestly, it’s one I never tire of!
Friday, Friday! Yess! The weekend had almost arrived! Unfortunately, I was having some serious bloating issues on Day 8 of the challenge, so all I wanted to be in was something flowy and oversized (really, anything that wouldn’t press hard into my stomach). Since it was pretty cold outside, and I had already worn my dress as a dress on Days 2 and 5, I decided to style it as a top with my high-waisted jeans. Luckily for me, these high-waisted jeans are super stretchy and slightly oversized, so they felt sufficiently comfortable for the stomach pains I was having.
To make the dress into a top, I simply tied the extra end using a clear elastic hair tie. I know a lot of people like to knot their dresses or tops, but I can never seem to get mine to stay put. Plus, I hate stretching out the material to get it into a knot in the first place. So tying mine up with a mini elastic tie is just easiest for me! (I find them in a big pack that you’ll never run out of in the kids hair section at Target. 🙂 )
On Saturday, Allen and I went skiing, so a 10×10 outfit really wasn’t appropriate for that day. And I took Sunday off because I really just needed to focus on a big deadline happening later the next week. So I picked up my 10×10 challenge on Monday for a full day of work at the office, including class early that morning.
My Day 9 look is another one I’ve actually worn before (outside of the challenge) and love! It’s one that just makes sense and really works for not only my personal style (how it looks), but my lifestyle (how it wears) as well. I always wear base layers under my sweaters, so why not layer on a fun, striped turtleneck underneath to give this look some extra character?! I love how the two pieces–the striped turtleneck and beautiful blue sweater–end up complimenting each other perfectly.
If I were to dress this outfit up for going out, all I would add is a classic black crossbody purse. This Fossil one is a favorite I got last year on sale (styled previously here, here, here), but really any black purse would do!
Day 10! Day 10! We made it! For my last look of the challenge, I styled my sweater tee underneath these velvet overalls and loved the final result. It definitely wasn’t a look I would have put together on my own, but one I’m so happy the challenge brought out! I wore this look for a research meeting with my advisor and a day spent working at the office. Funnily enough, I had to wear my black snow boots again on this day because of another snow and ice storm that blew through Boulder. (I was much more concerned with staying on my feet and not slipping on the ice than keeping strictly to the challenge guidelines.) But as these photos show, the overalls can be paired with both black and beige boots in the winter! Don’t feel restricted to wearing only one color of shoes with these overalls. They are quite versatile and you just have to be willing to try out new and different variations each time to see what you like best!
So those are my 10 different outfits of the Winter 10×10 Challenge. What did you think?! Not bad, right? Overall, I was super happy with how all of my outfits turned out and was so, so glad to have taken part in yet another micro-capsule experiment with all of you! Even after completing four of these challenges now, I still feel like there are always new lessons to learn–weather its better defining your personal style, trying out a new asthetic (overalls!), or even just practicing contentment with your closet. So in the spirit of sharing some of my own insights with you, here are some of my biggest take-aways from this challenge…
1. Sweaters over dresses are my favorite. | It’s funny because I rarely wear sweaters over dresses outside of these 10×10 Challenges, and yet they always end up being my favorites (previous favorites here and here). I’m going to take a note from this observation and try to incorporate more of these looks into my everyday styles choices.
2. The right kind of overall can make all the difference. | I am not what you would call an “overall kind of girl” and I never thought I would own a pair (even with the trend coming back into style recently). But this black velvet pair really brought me around to the idea that I could style them to meet my own personal aesthetic. I think not only the black color, but the fancier velvet material is what allowed these to fit my style. They are slightly dressy, if I may say so, and so make any top you pair them with feel put together.
3. Adding unique accessories keeps your outfits from looking the same. | I know when I say this that most other 10×10 challengers can agree, but come day 6 or 7, all of your outfits start to feel and look the same. So adding different, unique pieces to your outfits each day helps your outfits from feeling blah. Whether it’s a statement necklace, or a funky scarf, or a colorful purse, you’d be surprised just how much of a difference your choice in accessories can make!
4. Be gentle on yourself when you just aren’t feeling it. | I ended up taking 2-3 days break sporadically during the challenge due to one thing or another, and at first I felt really badly that I couldn’t make it straight through the challenge. I mean…isn’t that what the challenge is all about? Forcing yourself out of your comfort zone and struggling to make it work? Actually, NO! This challenge is all about learning personal style and finding contentment with the things you own. If you have to force yourself (beyond reason) to go straight through the challenge, you aren’t going to get out of it what you need to learn. There were a couple days I just really needed to put the pedal to the metal and finish up a deadline, and I really didn’t want to wear anything but oversized, comfy clothes. And so that’s just what I did! And I’m so happy I decided to do that. It not only allowed me to focus on my work when it was appropriate, but also enabled me to fully engage in the challenge during its own time too. So if you are in a similar situation, I would encourage you to take note of what is really important and don’t force things when they don’t feel right!
5. The #10x10friends are THE best! | Seriously. I don’t know what it was about this 10×10 Challenge round, but I met so many more incredible women (even more than I have in the past!) and I am so so thankful for their friendship and support. It’s incredible to think that we are all in different places in our lives, in different jobs, in different cities, and yet we are all striving for the common goal of finding and defining our personal style while also practicing contentment with what we have in our lives (both physically in our closets and metaphorically in our lives). And everyone is so incredibly supportive with ZERO judgement. had to take a break? That’s ok! Needed to switch in a different pair of shoes? Great! If you haven’t parken in a 10×10 Challenge before, I highly recommend you try one with us in the spring! I promise, you will be blown away by the support and community you find in the 10×10 group. They are just the best!
Alright! Well that’s all I have for this round of the Winter 10×10 Challenge! I already can’t wait until our next one in the spring! Until then, I’ll be over here appreciating all the clothes in my closet even more now that I’ve gone a full 10 days without them!
What about you? Did you take part in the 10×10 Challenge? And if so, what were some of your biggest take-aways? (If you wrote a recap post, link to it below so that I can read it!)
You might also like…My Summer 10×10 Challenge and My Spring 10×10 Challenge.
Photos by Noah Berg
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