I have a confession to make: I don’t love summer. I’m not a hot weather girl. I’m not an avid beach goer and I prefer snow to sand. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have summer wardrobe essentials ready to go. Living on the East Coast, we deal with all four seasons and it’s best to have a few staples for every single one of them.
With that in mind, I wanted to do a 10×10 challenge for the summer. The concept is pretty simple. You select 10 pieces of clothing and for the next 10 days mix and match them to create 10 different outfits.
This challenge is a great way to see how versatile your closet is. If you’re looking to create a more capsule-style wardrobe, this challenge can be super helpful. My closet has recently been decluttered, but there’s always room for improvement. This is why I’m doing this challenge.
What are the rules?
I’m only counting tops, bottoms, and shoes. These 10 items do not include undergarments or handbags. And I’m not counting the workout clothes I wear on the days I run. This is strictly for my day outfits.
I’m trying this to make sure my summer wardrobe essentials can be used in a variety of ways. It’s a great way to see if I’m missing anything and it’s a fun, creative challenge. Want to join me?
My summer wardrobe essentials for this challenge
It’s a good idea to know before the challenge what clothes you’re going to use. Here is my list of summer wardrobe essentials that I’ll be using for the next 10 days.
There’s nothing more versatile than a white tee. And my go-to is my Organic Basics one. The organic cotton material is perfect for the summer. It’s light and can be paired with just about anything. I’ll spruce this shirt up by adding a necklace so it doesn’t look so boring. Still, I love the good old-fashioned look of a white tee and blue jeans.
I definitely don’t want to wear white the whole time so I added this rust color tee for a neutral option. Like my Organic Basics tee, it’s super comfy and lightweight. The V-neck is low enough and it pairs nicely with a lot of my cardigans and jeans.
Patterned or Decorative Tee
Because plain tees can get a little boring, I pulled out this Ascend striped button-down. I love a good old-fashioned button-down. I got this one from Cabela’s in Pennsylvania. It’s super soft and lightweight. I love the color. The photo makes it look gray, but there are hints of blue in there. It also fits loosely, which is what I prefer.
It wouldn’t be summer without tank tops and this one from Fortune + Ivy is super lightweight. Not to mention I have heart eyes for the color. Most of my wardrobe is black, rust, and green. I love the zippered center and detail on the pockets.
Depending on where you live or where you go on vacation, some summer nights can get cold. Stores and hotels also pump their ACs. Because of that, I’ve learned to always have a sweater with me. Even on the hottest days of the year. You never know what the temperature will be in a building. This black cardigan pairs with all of my selected tops and is super comfy. The length and pockets are my favorite features.
Though it is summer, I’m more of a jeans girl than a shorts girl. So during this challenge I opted to keep my favorite pair of high-waisted jeans in the loop. This pair is from the brand HUE and I absolutely love their jeans. They’re stretchy, comfy, and can be dressed up or down.
Capris or Cropped Jeans
But because it is summer, we have to let the legs breathe a little. This pair of capris denim leggings aren’t something I wear that often. So I thought it’d be fun to add them to the list. The lighter wash shade is a nice summer blue and since they stretch I won’t feel super sweaty in them.
See a pattern here? The pants are getting shorter. I obviously can’t do a summer clothing challenge without a pair of denim shorts. I got these Dear John shorts from Stitch Fix and they fit like a glove. I’ve always had a hard time finding the perfect fit. I tend to stick with denim leggings, but these are *chef’s kiss* perfection. Not too short, stretchy, and comfortable.
And because I won’t always feel like wearing denim over the next 10 days, I included my favorite pair of black leggings. These will definitely come in handy for those mornings I wake up and not feel like getting too put together. Working from home means I can do that pretty much whenever, but I do enjoy getting fully dressed. I focus better. Still, by the end of the week, I am ready for comfort over style.
I was debating between these and sandals for the challenge. I eventually went for these because they’re more comfortable. And like sandals, they can be easily slipped on when I need to run out to the store or do some errands. Often I’ll wear these with no-slip, no peek socks otherwise I’ll get blisters but for short trips, I can go without.
Now that I have my summer wardrobe essentials for this challenge, I’ll use only them to create 10 different outfits. I’m going to start the challenge tomorrow (Tuesday, June 15). It’ll end on Thursday, June 24. I’ll be posting my combinations daily to Instagram so be sure to follow me if you’re not already.
Are you intrigued enough to try?
Obviously, my summer wardrobe essentials won’t be the same as yours. We all have different tastes, but the general rule to follow — if you plan on trying this challenge yourself — is to use this formula:
- 4 or 5 tops
- 1 cardigan or sweater
- 3 or 4 bottoms
- 1 or 2 pairs of shoes
Mix and match until you have 10 pieces you know you can create 10 different outfits from. Don’t count undergarments or bags. You don’t want to challenge yourself to the point where you’re wearing the same thing every day. The basis of this challenge is figuring out how versatile your closet is.
It’s also fun to see how many different combinations you can make from a small selection of items.
So be sure to follow me on Instagram where I’ll post the outfit combinations. And if you plan on doing this challenge, tag your posts so I can follow along. Use the hashtag #10x10challengesummer. I can’t wait to see the combinations you come up with.
What are some of your summer wardrobe essentials? Have you ever done a clothing challenge like this? Comment below!