On the first of April, I took on a challenge and created, photographed and blooged about the first of ten outfits. Over the ten days, with the same shirt-dress being included in each outfit, I accessorised with pieces from my own product line.
Reflecting on how to style one item with a limited choice or capsule wardrobe and unlimited accessories definitely led to more than a few revelations.
There were ten outfits, but I chose to wear multiple necklaces and so there are more than ten of my products that I styled in total.
I wore seven scarves:
… a bespoke Autumn Midnight scarf (now in its new home) from my Midnight collection
… my personal paisley scarf (I couldn’t resist even though it’s not available to buy – I can make you one though)
… Citrus Ripples scarf (one of the most detailed I’ve ever made)
one rogue bow tie:
Here are the ten things I learned from this experience.
1. A longline shirt is a very versatile piece of clothing, and I am very very glad I bought it last year. Look 1 was the way I intended to wear it when I bought it, but this challenge has made me more creative in using it in multiple ways. I will indeed be wearing it with that maxi dress in the future, if not with the shorts – I have a silk shirt for that because there was too much excess to tuck in.
2. Wearing heels with casual as well as formal outfits is a game-changer. It just makes me feel more confident, even though I only wear low to mid heels. This is definitely a style that I want to wear more of… a little bit of a heel also makes me stand straighter and slouch less.
3. A denim jacket simply makes me feel good. Since the challenge, I’ve styled it with dresses, trousers, jumpsuits and culottes. It is definitely a classic which I will keep in my wardrobe for many many many years and decades to come. I’m now thinking of getting a faux leather jacket to see if that becomes a staple as well before going all out for a real leather one.
4. Multiple necklaces is a thing. I suddenly began to notice everyone – and I mean everyone – wearing them once I’d done my Day 4 look with two chunky bead necklaces. I’ve realised I can even pair multiple scarves together to create a boho feel and increase bulk. It’s another thing I’ve added to my style repertoire, and I do get compliments about the pairings too.
5. Menswear is only for men until a woman decides to wear it. Breaking the so-called ‘gender style rules’ is not quite as frightening as I thought it would be. Nor does it mean you have to look masculine, androgynous or like a fish out of water. I will now be wearing a bow tie when and where I wish to. Who made up those rules anyway, huh?!
6. Jumpsuits aren’t my thing if I have to wear other stuff with them. It was excruciatingly difficult to keep the folds of the shirt-dress from bunching under the smooth fabric of the jumpsuit. And don’t even get me started on all the tweaking I had to do to get it back in shape every time I needed to take the blasted thing off (for necessities, you understand). So yes. I’ll wear them, but not with a shirt underneath.
7. I’m much more comfortable in camisole tops if I have a light shirt or jacket over them. I’m just not that comfortable with having it all hanging out, and since I do feel chilly even on a warm summer’s day (English breeze and all that), it makes perfect sense to do so.
8. Repurposing ‘summer’ dresses for wear in other seasons by combining them with shirts or turtlenecks underneath massively expands the scope of my wardrobe. The dress section is suddenly unlimited, no matter the time of year. It has been a revelation. I’m now going to wear my dresses all year round.
9. I’m realising that I am not that fond of belts as a prominent part of my outfit, but certainly am a huge fan of belts to keep things in place. The shirt-dress on Day 9 would not have stayed where it ought if not for that belt holding it in; nor would my trousers or shorts, for that matter.
10. Experimenting with my wardrobe is actually becoming fun! I’ve realised ‘shopping’ it and trying to see how many outfits I can create with each item has become a challenge in itself, and as a result, I’m getting so much more use out of the limited items I own. I am more mindful of what I own, shop far less and now rarely, if ever, say ‘I don’t have anything to wear’. Life-changing.
I do hope you’ve enjoyed my little experiment and what I’ve learnt and have been inspired to try and ‘shop’ your own wardrobe. Do leave me a comment below and tell me all about it.
*Affiliate links in this post may earn me a small commission. This does not in any way affect the price you pay for the item, and does not influence my choice of items to show you.