This week we have a guest blog post by Julian Tate Powell! Julian is a personal stylist based in California and she shares her love of fashion and sustainability in her blog High Wasted. Just like Julian, my journey into all things eco-fashion started with an understanding of my style and getting creative with what I already own. Enjoy the read! 🤗Read More
This capsule wardrobe in black and white is perfect for the fall (or year round). These 15 pieces plus accessories can create at least 30 looks! The best part? These brands are affordable and they have ethical and sustainable practices!Read More
Try repurposing your expensive party dress into something you would want to wear every day! Here, I turned a Reformation dress into a maxi skirt and styled it three different ways for the summer.Read More
I started off the #summer10x10 capsule wardrobe challenge with determination, but in the spirit of transparency I will also tell you the truth - I did not make it until the end. The biggest reason was that by the time Sunday came, I had to wash almost all of my clothes and I got too lazy. Between the work we did to pull of the conference we were organizing (and subsequent celebrations) and the 12 hours I spent getting from one city to the other...you could understand how my levels of giving AF were low on Sunday. All I did was binge-watch Game of Thrones to get ready for the season premiere, but the gods of HBO GO decided that us underlings did not deserve the live streaming we paid for. We also had three power outages that night, thought I am not sure if that had anything to do with the premiere.
Sure, I could have picked it up on Monday, but I was also too sick to care. I am currently fighting an allergy infection so it doesn't become into a full-blown cold. I have a super sentient body that knows when it's okay to drop the ball on life and curl up in bed (same thing happened after my wedding!). I have 1 week to be sick all I want, next week my mom and grandma are coming to visit me!
Lessons Learned from the #summer10x10 challenge
Again, here are the pieces I picked. You can read about the sustainability credentials of each in my previous post.
- I wanted to use as much sustainable/ethical items as possible, so I limited my capsule to those items. I don't own that many, and that's why I had a lot of printed tops. I bought them to complement my other basics which are not sustainable/ethical. Having too many prints made it very predictable, I could only match the tops with one of the two pants (only a few could be combined with the skirt). Next time I would balance the prints with neutral colors.
- Undecided about the shoes. Is counting them as part of the challenge harder to mix and match, or did I choose the wrong pairs for this capsule? I only ended up wearing the booties three times, which is not bad considering I only did the challenge for 6 days. Counting the shoes as part of the challenge is HARD. If I were to do it again, I wouldn't count the shoes. I didn't realize how important it is for me to tie my outfit with the shoes I am wearing! For me, the shoes make the outfit, so limiting to 1-2 pairs felt like I was wearing a uniform. Now that I am looking at the photos it doesn't seem that way, but in the day to day I felt I was being redundant with my outfits.
- I thought that I would go crazy with the accessories to create different looks. Turns out, because of the tops I picked, I didn't feel like I had a lot of room for accessories. I did use a scarf in multiple ways, so I achieved that goal!
- The challenge was an excellent packing list, I even did some outfit combinations that were outside the ones I originally designed (I came up with 11 as you can see below). I had an unexpected business meeting on Friday and I had not packed another business outfit, so I wore the striped shirt with the trousers.
- If you decide to do this challenge, at some point you will need to do laundry (especially in the summer, pants can be worn multiple times but shirts? ew!) So I would carefully plan the order in which you will wear each outfit so you are not stuck with a dirty top or forced to do laundry more than necessary (which is a waste of time and water).
Some surprises in the 10x10 challenge:
- I'm still not convinced about the striped top with the skirt. Yay or nay? Maybe if I wore it with different shoes...
- Instead of just doing the typical shirt + trouser mixing and matching I tried to use my Ekyog dress in three different ways. I had used it before with the People Tree skirt, but I had never paired it with trousers. I felt a bit like Frankie (Grace and Frankie) and even my husband said that the style was not me at all, but I liked it, I surprised myself with it! I think this is something I would wear on a lazy Sunday. The bralette that I wore in that outfit is from NYC HarMonica Designs.
All in all, I'd do this experiment again! How about you, will you join the 10x10 challenge?
Perhaps you have already heard of the 10x10 challenge that Lee from StyleBee started in 2015. The 10x10 capsule wardrobe challenge is very simple: pick 10 items (includes shoes) from your closet, and style them in 10 different ways for 10 days. This time, Caroline from Unfancy is also co-hosting the challenge!
You can follow the challenge on Instagram with the hashtags #summer10x10 and the ongoing hashtags — #unfancyremix and #stylebee10x10.
I am joining in and I am challenging myself to use my ethical/sustainable clothes for this capsule. In my guest blog post for Good Cloth, I talked about some of the beliefs I needed to get over before switching to sustainable fashion. It defeats the point to switch mindless consumerism of fast fashion to mindless consumerism of ethical fashion, right?
I don't have an extensive collection of ethical clothes because I only shop 1-2 times a year. A lot of the clothes that I will wear in this challenge were bought last April, that's my time of the year to shop because it's my birthday month (yes, month, not day!)
Here are the 10 pieces I chose:
- 3 t-shirts
- 1 collar shirt
- 2 pants
- 1 skirt
- 1 dress
- 2 pairs of shoes
This week I have to go to Cali, which is great because I don't have to worry about including outer layers..it is hot over there! One of the days I need to wear my "business attire" and I think I can pull it off with the skirt and the collar shirt, but definitely not with the shoes I picked for the challenge. I will have to cheat that day and wear different shoes!
I already feel that this challenge will make me think about how I wear accessories. Who else is like me and pins all the posts about wearing a scarf 50 different ways and you never actually try it?!
UPDATED: Here is my recap of the challenge!
Who Made my Clothes?
In this 10x10 challenge, 9 out of the 10 items I picked are from sustainable brands. I have other pairs of shoes that are from ethical brands but they did not fit this capsule and the things I need to do this week, so I will use them in another challenge!
The Striped top and Trousers from Armed Angels
The striped top and the blue trousers are from the German company Armed Angels. This is my first time buying clothes made from Tencel, and I love the material! The trousers are SO comfy I feel that I am wearing fancy pajamas.
Check out their blog, they are earnest and open about sharing their experiences as a fashion label and recently posted a story about a supplier that did not pass their audit! Armed Angels is part of the Fairwear Foundation, which ensures ethical and safe work conditions of garment workers.
The T-shirts and Candy Skirt from People Tree
The palm print t-shirt, the lipstick t-shirt and the candy print skirt are from People Tree. I got them on sale in April so sadly they are not on the website anymore. Below is the tag with the story of my clothes. All three items were made at Assisi Garments, which is an Indian company that uses organic cotton and hires deaf and mute women in their factories.
The Indian Heritage Shirt from Fabric of Humanity
The white collar shirt is a crowdfunding campaign purchase from last year. The picture I took doesn't do justice to the shirt, but you'll see it better once I share the full outfits! I received a letter and a signed postcard with my purchase, I love these small details that make the purchasing experience more special!
My Indian Heritage shirt is made in Jaipur, from GOTS certified organic cotton. The details in the cuff and the collar are block printed by hand and the buttons are carved from mother of pearl.
The LBD from Ekyog
This was my first sustainable clothes purchase EVER (Mom paid for it, thanks)! It was winter of 2015. I had done some research on Ekyog as part of the business plan I was doing for my MBA thesis, and when I had the chance to visit Paris I went to one of their shops and got this black dress (it was hard to walk away with just the dress, they have so many beautiful things). The dress is made from Cupro, which is a textile made from regenerated cotton waste. I've worn this dress year round, the design is versatile and it can be dressed up or down very easily.
Jett Coated Pants from Prana
I bought this pair of Prana pants on Ash & Rose's platform. This was the first time I bought a pair of pants online, I have weird body proportions (I should weigh more for my height, so sometimes pants don't fit me). I had to take them to a seamstress because my ass is just not big enough to fill the pants *sniff*. I love the leather/shiny texture, it makes them more interesting! The pants are no longer at Ash & Rose's store, but I found them here (if you have Done Good installed in your browser it will tell you that this shop supports Trump products - do as you wish with this information!).
Black Sandals from Fortress of Inca
I freaking LOVE these sandals, and I like telling the story of how I found these shoes. It was February 2017, we were spending the last days of our honeymoon in Miami (we did a heavy metal cruise for four days, #besttimeever) and we were walking around South Beach when I found Nomad Tribe's shop. I had not heard of them but I was excited that I found this place because I WAS looking for a place to shop for black sandals, they had been in my wishlist for quite a while! The whole time I was in Miami I was resisting buying from other shops because I wanted to shop from an ethical brand. I felt like the universe rewarded my patience because I also got a good discount as they were closing that location at the end of the month (you can now find them in Wynwood). The sandals are from Fortress of Inca, a company that works with artisans in Peru to manufacture high quality, EXTREMELY comfortable, and stylish shoes. I wore them the second I bought them and walked the entire afternoon with my new shoes. No blisters, no tired feet, NADA! I have sensitive skin and new shoes give me blisters, it is very rare when that doesn't happen to me.
Boots from Bocage (Not sure where they stand on sustainability and ethics)
Bocage is a French shoe company that's been around for 50 years. I bought these shoes on a trip to Belgium and I wore the hell out of them during fall 2015-winter 2016. I decided to include them because I haven't worn them since last year, they were sitting in my closet for so long that mold started to grow on them *gasp*. I am taking them out for this challenge because I've been stuck in a rut wearing the same clothes and shoes while half of my closet is just sitting there. I tried looking into their website for information on their manufacturing and sustainability, and the only thing I found was that they still manufacture about 25% of their shoes in France.
Be sure to check out the recap post to see how I styled this capsule!