10×10 Spring Challenge: 10 Pieces, 10 Outfits, 10 Days

After reading articles on how to appreciate what you have more, I stumbled across Style Bee’s 10×10 challenge. She developed a challenge to force people to become more creative with their clothes. While she was going through a shop-free fast she decided it would be the perfect time to create a challenge where she only wore 10 items for 10 days. Since I love a good fashion challenge, I decided to try.

Rules:

  • Pick any 10 items you already have in your current closet
  • Style those items in 10 different ways
  • Use 10 days to do it

PJs and workout clothes also do not count. Lee, from Style Bee, recommends that if you’re a beginner you start off with:

  • 2 Pairs of Shoes (1 heel + 1 flat)
  • 4 Tops (Consider pieces that layer well like a fitted long-sleeve, a button-down, and a cardigan)
  • 1 Dress
  • 2 Bottoms
  • 1 Top Layer

I ended up picking 2 pants, 1 dress, 2 jackets, 4 shirts, and 1 pair of shoes. If I do the challenge again, I would pick a cardigan instead of a pink blazer because it is comfier and more versatile. Otherwise, I really liked my picks. I think for the summer challenge I would pick a few skirts instead of jeans.

Nonetheless, here are the 10 different outfits I ended up creating. If you want to see these outfits in action make sure you check out my Instagram page here.

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Day One | Friday

I felt like a total rockstar in this outfit. There is something about a solid black and white outfit with a pop of color that always looks good. I ended up hanging out at friend’s new house (talk about major adulting) after work. I can’t believe I’m starting to embark on the age where my friends are all growing up. Please make it slow down ASAP please and thank you. This bag was definitely the highlight of this outfit due to it’s bright color.

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Day Two | Saturday

I did absolutely nothing on Saturday and it was soooo nice. Most weekends I’m running around with my head chopped off so it was so lovely doing nothing. Well, I did take these pictures with a makeshift tripod (I set up my camera on a stool outside my house and hoped to God that my neighbors wouldn’t see me acting crazy). This layered outfit is perfect for spring because you never know how cold it is really going to be. Plus, I’m a huge fan of olive and light denim paired together.

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Day Three | Sunday

Easter Sunday was a big day for me! I started the day going to church with my mom and ended the day with watching my brother propose to this girlfriend! Talk about a good day! An awesome outfit to match an equally as awesome day. I was slightly worried about doing this challenge during Easter because I knew I needed a fancier dress for Church. I ended up being able to transition this dress a few different ways. If I were to do the challenge again I would have picked a dress without a pattern because it was a little too recognizable for my taste. However, I would have still picked this bright yellow because it is perfect for spring!

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Day Four | Monday

The best thing about this challenge was that it convinced me to pull out this scarf I purchased in high school. I bought this neck scarf thinking I would wear it one day and never did… until now. I love how the pattern looks contrasting with the stripes! This is definitely an outfit I would have never of tried if it wasn’t for this challenge so I’m super soaked about that.

Note: I did have to cheat on this day! It ended up randomly snowing so I needed to pull out my winter coat. I ended up wearing that winter coat on top of some of my outfits as the challenge went on. I felt guilty, but Lee said herself that this challenge is meant to be fun not stressful. Thus, I felt like it was okay for my first time ever trying this challenge.

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Day Five | Tuesday

This outfit definitely got the most compliments out of all of these. One of my coworkers told me he liked my shirt three different times. I mean, I love a good green shirt but I’m not sure it deserved three different compliments. Anyway, I did end up tucking this shirt into my pants and throwing on my white belt just because I wanted to make sure I didn’t show any of my belly at work. During this challenge, I ended up wanting to wear this green shirt the most because of the bright color and soft texture. The power of a good t-shirt is really underrated.

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Day Six | Wednesday

Since my coworker complimented my green shirt from the day before, I was worried that people would notice that I’m wearing the same shirt. Not one person noticed. This challenge was definitely a great way to refocus on the fact that not everyone cares about what you and other people wear. Often times what you say is much more important than what you wear. As someone who is very passionate about fashion, this is something that often escapes my reality. My work is very casual so it was really nice to be able to wear a fancier dress to work without it being a really big deal. dsfsfdsf

Day Seven | Thursday

Thursday was just another casual day at work. I love wearing my chambray top like this because it is the comfiest thing in the world. It’s like wearing a thick cardigan but wihtout the extra warmth. Out of all these outfits, this one was definitely the comfiest.

cccccDay Eight | Friday

I wore this outfit to work but ended up throwing on my white belt from this outfit and making the necklace a lot shorter (check Instagram if you want to see the real deal). Robert came to visit me this weekend so we ended up going out with my friends to see a live band and play some games. I did end up switching into my outfit on day one but with blue jeans because I would be devastated if anyone split alcohol on my white pants. None of my coworkers noticed that this was the same stripe shirt I wore on Monday. My boss even complimented my top.

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Day Nine | Saturday

I didn’t end up wearing this outfit the entire day because I was actually taking future blog pictures (eek, I’m so excited to show you them later). I love this outfit but it would have been a little too dressy for the day. I ended up going to Puerto Vallarta with Robert, taking pictures, and then watching Deadpool… laugh all you want but it was a great movie! I could definitely see myself wearing this outfit for a girl’s brunch or spring birthday party.

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Day Ten | Sunday

If you followed my Instagram stories, this actually wasn’t what I wore on Sunday! Since I took these pictures on Saturday when I was planning out these outfits, I thought I was going to wear this. I ended up getting a little bit more creative and throwing on a thrifted belt alongside my chambray button up. I love this outfit too but definitely loved wearing a belt that I rarely get to wear instead.

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My takeaways

I ended up trying new accessories that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

I loved being able to try out new accessories in order to spice up different outfits. It definitely made my challenge myself to rethink how I wear things and how to make them unique. Plus, I found out what items I gravitate towards more than others. I’m loving these white jeans and my green shirt!

No one noticed that I was wearing the same items over and over again.

Literally, no one noticed. I thought for sure someone would have said something about wearing my white pants twice during a work week. No one noticed or cared. This was a great reality check that not everyone cares about what you’re wearing so you might as well wear something that makes you happy. For instance, I’m never trying the wooden basket bag trend… maybe the woven ones but definitely not this bag.  It’s more important to find stuff you like wearing instead of what other people like wearing.

I need to appreciate what I do have more.

It’s so easy to get swept up into the idea that I constantly need to buy new articles of clothes to keep things fresh. I really need to look at the items I already have and develop new ways of wearing them. Plus, I really need to appreciate that I’m fortunate enough to have all these clothes.

It’s more about a positive attitude than what you’re wearing.

People don’t care what you’re wearing, they care about who you are as an individual. It’s better to be positive and optimistic than negative and pessimistic. People want to be around you because of who you are not because of what you wear.

What do you think about the 10×10 challenge? Would you ever try something like this? What is your favorite outfit out of these 10? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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Rethink the Way You Buy Jeans

Let’s talk about America’s favorite piece of clothing: jeans. I’m jean obsessed. Growing up my brothers used to mock me because of my different colored jeans. They even had a song for when I wore my pink pair… “Logan pink pants Porter” still rings in my ears to this day. Nonetheless, my love for the classic pair of jeans has never faded.

It didn’t occur to me how jeans were actually made until I watched the Trust Cost. I figured cotton and a little bit of stretch make the ideal jean. I knew so little about how much jeans and the cotton production ruin the environment surrounding the factories and cotton farms. I never knew that although cotton is only planted on 2.4% of agriculture land, it accounts for nearly 11% of pesticide sales in the world. I never even though of the beloved plastic elasticity in my jeans being the exact reason why it is so hard to recycle jeans. The more I researched the more I started to feel guilty about the cheap pair of $12 jeans I found at Marshalls. Who made those jeans and what conditions were they made in? I started asking myself more and more questions and found myself researching until the wee hours of the night. That’s when it occurred to me that needed to make a vow to stop buying cheap, fast fashion jeans and either thrift of invest in ethical jeans that will last. So when I was looking for a new pair of white jeans, I found Everlane.

Everlane White Pants

Jeans | Boots | Sweater (Sold out… Similar) | Jacket (Similiar) | Belt (Same on eBay)

Everlane is a slow fashion company that focuses on basics with a touch of creativity. The reason I found this basic store so incredibly comforting is that they show the factories that make their clothes on the website and then break down the cost of the item directly  (see their jean factory here). I know, wild. So let me take you through the process of making these jeans and explain to you why these ones, in particular, are the white jeans you need for spring.

“Belly” washing machines that are used in standard denim manufacture plants waste up to 1,500 liters of water per pair of jeans (about 132 Gatorade coolers).

Depending on where you live water may not seem that important because it always seems like it is raining or snowing (ex: these snowy pictures). But 35% of the world’s population doesn’t have proper access to clean water. Instead of wasting all of that water, Everlane’s factory, Saitex, uses a closed water system and super-efficient jet washing machines. The result? Only .4 liters of water is lost due to evaporation. By being conscious of the water consumption, Everlane is making a difference in jean production and the community around the factories.

Often times factories in developing countries dump polluted water back into the waterway, which directly affects the surrounding communities. 

Saitex recycles 98% of all used water and when it comes out the other side, it’s so clean you can actually drink it. You don’t have to worry about Everlane’s factories polluting the surrounding areas. Instead, you can have a clear conscious buying a pair of wicked cute jeans.

IMG_0112.jpgIMG_0126Most denim factories use an insane amount of energy for their factories because they have to constantly dry the jeans. 

Saitex airdries 85% of their jeans and the rest of the jeans are dried with energy coming from solar panels. This has allowed their factory to reduce energy usage by 5.3 million kilowatts of power and reduce CO2 emissions by almost 80%. Kudos for clean energy!

All denim creates a toxic byproduct called sludge.

No matter how clean a denim factory is, jeans will still create a byproduct called sludge. This byproduct is nearly impossible to get rid of until Saitex found out that when you mix sludge with concrete the toxic material can no longer leech into the environment. The factory uses this method to make concrete bricks to build affordable homes. So far, Saitex has built ten homes with these bricks. So not only are they creating jeans but they’re actually creating homes from a byproduct!

Everlane White PantsIMG_0137My top four picks for your white jean wardrobe:white jeans.jpg

Everlane ($68) | Able ($128) | Amour Vert ($178) | DL1961 ($188)

So if you’re ready to buy another pair of white jeans for this spring and summer why not buy a pair that is better for the environment. When you’re buying a pair of jeans that are better quality make sure to check what the jeans are actually made of. Look for the ratio of cotton to spandex and make sure that you’re not just buying a cheap pair of jeggings that will only last a few washes. A good pair of jeans will be made out of either 100% cotton or 99% cotton with 1% spandex. Staples, like jeans, that you wear again and again deserve to be invested in.

What do you think about Everlane? Did you know how jeans were produced? Let me know in the comments down below. (Also, I’m very curious if you think it’s wrong to wear white before Memorial Day… I clearly have no shame).

As always,

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5 Ways to Stop Buying Fast Fashion Today

Vent. Okay, so originally this post was going to be about my weekend and how wonderful it was visiting Terrain with Juliette from Julietteful (which by the way was all kinds of wonderful). But before I sat down to write this blog post I watched The True Cost on Netflix and I couldn’t focus because I was so unbelievably frustrated and overwhelmed. For those who don’t know, The True Cost is a documentary that explains negative impact fast fashion has on the social, economic, political, and environmental structures of developing countries. That was a mouthful. In short: fast fashion is ruining everything around us. But what really resonated with me were the following statistics:

  1. The fashion industry is the world’s second-largestpolluter. (Oil is the first).
  2. The world now consumes a staggering 80 billionpieces of clothing. (And we throw clothes away just as quickly as we consume them).
  3. One-in-six people work in the global fashion industry. (The majority of them are women and are being paid less than $3 a day).
  4. Only 10% of the clothes people donate to charity or thrift stores get sold (When the clothes are not sold, they are shipped to various developing countries where they are bought by the box and kill the local textile industry).

After watching this film, I feel so overwhelmed. I have been so blind to what was happening right underneath my nose. More than half the products I own I don’t even know where they came from. I don’t even know how my clothes came to American or the processes in which they were cut, dyed, or sewn. I love shopping and the “rush” of finding a good deal but I’m quickly realizing how wrong that is. Do I really want a cheaply made garment that will unravel after a few washes? Do I really want a garment that people have made with their own blood, sweat, and tears? I think it’s time I drastically rethink the way I consume, which is why I plan on implementing these steps into my daily life.

Recycled Fashion - Thrift ShoppingIMG_9387Sell your clothes on eBay. 

I know it feels great giving your clothes to charity and thrift stores but the harsh reality is that only 10% of those clothes are actually being sold and the majority of those profits aren’t going back to charity. Some second-hand stores even have a 30-day cycle so that if they aren’t sold in the 30 days they are removed and either thrown away or shipped in a box to a developing country. Once the box arrives at the developing country, buyers pick random boxes without knowing what exactly is inside. Those clothes then flood the textile industry in that country and diminish work opportunities.

By selling clothes on eBay you not only make a profit, but you can potentially donate that money to a charity that you choose. You then can know how much of your proceeds are actually going to the charity. Or you can simply just keep the money and use it to purchase clothes that are sustainable. I’ve been selling clothes on eBay for about a year now and have made a decent amount of money. It is a great way to have a little extra cash and I often use that money to buy sustainable alternatives. Let’s face it, I own a good amount of fast fashion clothes but I’m not going to just throw them all away because that would just be adding to the problem. Instead, I can think of different ways to reuse these items and get the longest life out of them.

Shop on eBay or go thrift shopping. 

Now, I know this idea might deter a few people but hear me out. This adorable dress was actually found thrifting. Since the cut of the dress is way too rebellious for my taste, I just threw on a simple turtleneck and called it a day. When I go thrift shopping, I really need to be in the right mood or else I won’t find anything. You really need to be open-minded to different ways you can style something. If you are, you’ll find endless things.

This is a great way to find vintage clothes and clothes for DIY projects. Plus, you’re helping cut down the impact of clothes that would be going to landfills and adding to our pollution problem.

IMG_9496Research the products and companies you’re buying from. 

This is something I’m still trying to get used to. As an American and a blogger, I love consuming countless things I really don’t need. This is why I’m trying to refocus what I’ve been putting my money towards and seeing if it is really worth it. For example, instead of spending $50-70 bucks on a pair of cheap boots that I knew my awkward, pigeon-toed feet would ruin, I decided to buy a pair of high-quality boots from Thursday Boot Co. I did just as much research on these boots as I would on a camera. I looked up what type of leather they use, where they manufacture the boots, and what other consumers say about the boots. Since we live in such a technology-driven world, there is really no excuse to not researching a company before you buy from them. Plus, this really helps cut down on my impulse shopaholic habits.

Quality over quantity. 

Just like my boots, you really want to make sure the products you’re buying are worth it. Are your boots going to last walking around three airports at top speed? Will that white shirt still look white after the 20th wash? Will that seam stay pull or unravel after the third wear? These are all questions I am starting to ask myself as I shop. I admit, I still shop and Marshalls and Nordstrom Rack. The only difference is that when I buy products from there I really want to make sure they’re really good quality. I no longer buy a $5 cotton shirt that is thinner than a piece of paper because I know that I might only get a few uses out of it. Plus, if the shirt is $5 think of how much the person making that shirt is getting paid. I’m hoping that as I start this journey I can start developing a sense of what is good quality and what isn’t. IMG_9401Lastly, just be aware.

Since fast fashion is so ingrained in our lives, it is so hard to quit cold turkey. I totally get that and I’m right there with you. But now that I’ve opened Pandora’s box for you, you’re going to start hearing a little nagging voice in the back of your head every time you want to buy a cheaply made shirt. Sorry! But, hopefully, your bank account will thank you.

If you want to know more about fast and slow fashion I highly recommend watching The True Cost on Netflix, listening or reading the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Fast Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline,  listening to the podcast Conscious Chatter by Kestrel Jenkins, and downloading the app Good on You. The following blogs are also great resources for finding more information on companies: Ecocult, Sustainably Chic, The Good Trade, and Ethical Unicorn.

IMG_9382Recycled Fashion - Thrift Shopping

Now I know conscious shopping isn’t for everyone, but I hope this makes you just a little bit more aware of where you’re getting your clothes. What do you think about fast fashion/slow fashion? Have you seen The True Cost? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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5 Graphic Tees that Give Back

Disclaimer: Running for Rescues contacted me to review their organization. They personally sent me this graphic tee. Every thought and opinion expressed on Peculiar Porter are entirely mine alone and do not reflect the views or opinions of Running for Rescues. 

Style can do so many great things for your confidence, but it can also help others in need. Running for Rescues, a local Connecticut organization, recently reached out to me and asked if they could send me one of their shirts. Since I’m a huge animal lover, I immediately said yes.

Running for Rescues is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that raises money through races, donations, and products to help rescue animals from high-kill shelters. Runners from across the country can pick a race they want to run and fundraise independently for Running for Rescues. This money then goes to small organizations that help fun the rescuing animals and the associated costs.

Running for RescueRunning for Rescue

As some of you may already know, I’m that obnoxious person who talks in baby voices to dogs. I know, it’s embarrassing and I cannot help it in the slightest. With that said, I don’t know what I would do without my two dogs. Butch and Daisy are like weird, goofy humans. They both have their own personalities compact with weird poses, obsessive habits, and funky sounds. We picked up my dogs from a farm in the middle of a huge blizzard. With that said, Butch and Daisy were not rescued from a kill-shelter. However, I can only imagine what it would be like if my dogs were behind bars, constantly waiting for a warm home, hugs, kisses, and above all… love. No animal should be put down just because they simply exist. If you have the ability to run, donate, or purchase a shirt from Running for Rescues, I’m sure each and every dog and cat would be thankful with warm, slobbery kisses.

Running for Rescue

Buying socially conscious goods opens an opportunity to start conversations and develop awareness to values you believe in. It is one thing to be stylish and another thing to be able to convey messages you’re passionate about. By wearing a t-shirt that captures the values you believe in, you can create a conversation that wouldn’t have been able to happen otherwise. Plus, you’ll look good doing so.

Graphic tees are incredibly easy to style with any outfit. You can throw on a fun skirt like I did in this post or put on a bold pair of colored pants like I did in these pictures. Lately, I’ve been really into trying the graphic tee into a knot and rolling up the sleeves. Just throw a fun jacket over this look and bam a whole new look. You’re making an impact while having an incredible outfit.

Running for RescueRunning for Rescue

I admit it is pretty hard to find socially conscious t-shirts unless you look hard for them. That is why I developed a little list of five companies you can buy shirts from. You can buy a Running for Rescue shirt here or you can buy one from these four other companies:

graphic tees.jpg

1, 2, 3, 4

  1. Feed Shirt ($16.50). For every purchase from Feed, a portion of the money goes to school meals. This particular shirt provides 10 school meals to children in need. Feed has a wide selection of bags and accessories. I’ve been saving for one of their beautiful, leather bags.
  2. Arm the Animals ($21.99). Similar to the company I’m sporting in this post, tArm the Animals’ mission is to spread the word about animal welfare. They have a long list of witty t-shirts that bring awareness to neglected animals.
  3. Krochet Kids ($48). Every product that is made from Krochet Kids is hand signed by the person who made it. They do this in an effort to make you realize where your products come from. This particular shirt states “Wear for Hope.” Their business is established on the principle that people in developing countries should be paired fairly and equality.
  4. Serengetee ($32). Serenge Tee supports 32 different causes ranging from education to ending sex trafficking. Each shirt comes with a different pattern that is linked to a specific cause. If you want to incorporate abstract patterns in your every day look while helping out great causes look at this company.

What do you think about graphic tees that give back? Do you think we’ll be seeing it more in fashion? Do you know of any similar companies? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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