Erin's 10x10: Just Add Lipstick

On most mornings, Erin enters the office with an impressively large traveler, brim full of coffee, complete with cream and sugar. And nobody blames her. Though technically her position is Chief Marketing Officer here at Cladwell — in classic startup style — you can find her working in any area of the business on any given day. She's the glue that holds the Cladwell team together, and she does it all with a smile. And that huge cup of coffee.

And yes, it was that bright caffeinated smile that convinced us all to join in on the 10x10 Challenge — a challenge that Erin heard about from Caroline at UnFancy.

10 items, 10 outfits, 10 days — she made it all sound so simple! 10 days later, we all had different accounts: from simple to stressful to just wanting to wear our shoes again!

If you haven't already read the 10x10 story of our developer and shoe connoisseur, you can read it here. But now, here's Erin's 10x10.

"To be honest, I was feeling bored with my fall capsule. This little challenge snapped me out of my closet rut and reinvigorated my creativity."

Erin's 10 Items

1.     Flannel Dress

2.     Green Knit Tank

3.     Grey Sweater Tank

4.     Blue Jeans

5.     Black Jeans

6.     Ankle Cowboy Boots

7.     Black Flats

8.     Striped Boxy Button-up

9.     Ivory Boxy Button-up

10.  Denim Jacket

View All 10 Outfits

"The biggest surprise was how much layers and makeup makes a difference. I felt like I could change a look by how I wore my hair or which lipstick I put on that day. The details mattered way more than I anticipated."
"After this whole experiment, I’ve decided to use my 10x10 as a foundation, a launching pad, for my fall/winter capsule.  All the items in my 10x10 I truly, deeply love. So I can slowly add more items to it and then weed out the pieces left in my closet I find myself no longer needing."
"I am so in love with my flannel dress. I’m not much of a dress girl, so I had forgotten how easy it was to throw on one garment and call it a day."
"I’ve got to admit I felt like myself in the whole green vest and jean jacket outfit. Maybe because I had my hair up in a high bun or because green is my jam. I’ll never know…"

Remember how Erin walks into the office with that traveler full of coffee? Good. You’ve got the mental image. Well, let me add one more thing. Each day of the 10x10, when Erin made her way into the office, she had added something new to her outfits to just make them pop. Though we were all sporting the same ten items day after day, she made each outfit unique.

Rockin’ a topknot or a fabulous shade of red lip color or a great piece of jewelry, she did simple things to make each outfit different. From having 450 items in her closet to a 10x10, Erin has come along way in a year. But her capsule wardrobe doesn’t limit her style; instead, it gives her a chance to show off her stylistic creativity. Mixing and matching, adding lipstick or jewelry, she is a living example of how a smaller wardrobe can be interesting, creative, and just as much fun to work with. The 10x10 highlighted this creativity and her fabulous personal style. No wonder she suggested we take on this challenge...

Erin’s final word on the 10x10?

"A girl can only wear heels for so many days."

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Robin's 10x10: The Story Of A Girl And Her Shoes

In the month of October, four brave members of the Cladwell team took on the 10x10 Challenge. The challenge (straight from our friend Caroline at UnFancy) is to select 10 pieces from your closet and create 10 outfits from them over the next 10 days. Here’s Robin’s story…

Meet Robin. She's our in-house developer and all around go-to-gal for product development. She hails from Jersey but currently lives in downtown Cincinnati. And on any given Monday, you just might catch her walking to work, sporting some of the chicest boots in town (take note, shoes are gonna be a theme here).

"I expected the challenge to be super simple. When I went to my closet to start pulling my favorite items, I had a pair of jeans, a white shirt, and 8 pairs of shoes…. Looking back now, I almost wish I had done that, just to show how impactful a fun pair of shoes can be."

Robin's 10 Items

  1. White Button Down Shirt
  2. Oversized Men's Striped Sweater

  3. Striped Tank

  4. Avengers Tank

  5. Peplum Top

  6. Loose Cardigan

  7. Black High Waisted Skinny Jeans

  8. Blue Skinny Jeans

  9. Silver Ankle Boots

  10. Snakeskin Ankle Boots

"I’ve been struggling with the transition to a capsule wardrobe because I feel like most people who do it have mostly black and white. I want to challenge myself to not be the stereotypical person in fashion who only wears black and white. And even though this is something I think about a lot, I ended up with an almost exclusively white and black wardrobe…"
"I feel like accessories (and shoes) are a great way to pull in some personality into your wardrobe. You can’t really tell in the pictures, but in one of the first days I wore a pair of earrings that are yellow rubber ducks wearing pearl necklaces. They’re ridiculous, but they bring an element of fun to an otherwise white and black outfit."

"I always knew I had a love for weird, crazy shoes, and this definitely confirmed that. When picking my 10 items, I really wanted to prioritize shoes. I feel like I show the most of my personality and style through shoes, so I wanted to pick two of my flashier pairs. I love the shoes I chose.  If I could redo, I’d maybe pick one of those shoes, and another (still flashy) pair that had a more similar color so I could mix and match a little better."

Robin’s style (and the way she strikes a pose in front of the camera) can only be described as confident. Cruising her way through the 10x10, she picked out her 10th item in the final days of the challenge, so she basically rocked a 9x10.

Robin's 10x10 swag comes from the fact that she loves what she owns, and she confidently wears it. The oversized striped sweater she wore in the challenge is a frequent favorite, and she's rocking her Avengers tank with a pencil skirt right now in the office. Robin models the idea that if you love what you own, a smaller wardrobe just isn't a big deal—neither is a 10x10 for that matter—because you want to wear all your clothing again and again!

We form our wardrobes around obscure rules that say you can only re-wear a shirt every other week on Mondays and Thursdays and only if it's sunny outside (or something like that...). But Robin helps me picture a world where we get up and wear what we love. Imagine that. 

Robin's final thoughts on the 10x10?

"I was surprised how much I missed my other shoes. I really love my shoes."

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Why Cladwell Accepted The 10x10 Challenge

You’ve heard of a Triathlon or an Iron Man... but have you heard of the 10x10? It’s a strenuous test of physical and mental prowess.

Ok, maybe it’s a little different and a lot less exhausting, but it's just as exciting (so says the team that works at a fashion company)!  As Caroline Joy Rector of Unfancy describes,

The challenge is to pick 10 pieces from your closet and create 10 outfits from them over the next 10 days.

The team at Cladwell saw Caroline's Fall Remix Series and got excited to do one of our own!

UnFancy's "Fall Remix"

UnFancy's "Fall Remix"

So, we've officially accepted the challenge. For the last 10 days, we've been mixing and matching ten items into ten different outfits.

Here at Cladwell, four different people with four different styles and four different levels of shopping and capsuling expertise all gave this a try. The results? Four dramatically different looks, experiences, and stories that we can't wait to share with you over the upcoming weeks!

We're not going to lie, we committed to the 10x10 on a whim— jumping in without thinking through the challenges that awaited us on the other side. But hey, a team that dresses together stays together. (People use that phrase all the time, right?)

Turns out, the 10x10 really was a challenge— one that caused us to think deeply about how we dress and how we shop. It made us step outside of our daily work and allowed us to reconnect with our purpose. The challenge prompted us to ask questions about our clothes, its interchangeability, and how creative we are about our style. Caroline says it best:

Because, if there’s one reoccurring lesson I’ve learned about my closet, it’s that when I remix what I have, I learn more about my style than I would if I’d simply gone shopping.

We gave this challenge a shot because we wanted to learn what we love, what we should re-purpose, and what we just don't need! Shopping only throws more options at you; it doesn't help you determine your own personal style. And that's what Cladwell is all about! And so is this challenge!

Or...that's what it's supposed to be about...  Stay posted for our 10x10 stories what worked, what didn't, and how we felt when we finally got to wear the rest of our clothing again!

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9 Must See Books & Movies To Live A More Conscious Life

See here's the thing... we live in an age of "the internets." Yes, my friends, "the internets." And if "the internets" has taught us anything about life, it's that in today's world information is readily available to us, for us, from us. In fact, it's so available that we often become overwhelmed with the amount thrown our way.

Now, we (at Cladwell) are not of the mindset that humans are all running around the planet intentionally ruining the environment and employing slave labor. That would just be silly, and we believe people are generally good.

Rather, we think most of the "bad stuff" driving many industries can be attributed to most humans consuming in an unconscious state. Doing what has always been thought of as normal consumer behavior, trusting that industries are simply following the rules. 

Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case. And lately, it seems certain industries have quite frankly lost their way. So what's the good news in all of this? Phew, that was getting pretty deep... so we're glad you asked.

We as conscious consumers actually have all the power. Our purchases, little by little make a huge difference. The industries, the products, the things that end up on the shelves of our favorite stores are based purely off of our demand. It's really that simple. Think about it. There probably wasn't an organic section 10 years ago at your local grocery store. And if there was, we'd bet it was pretty small. Fast forward to today. You can't go into a grocery store without a large organic section, cage free eggs, and local fruits & vegetables sourced from local farmers. The more we demand, the more the industry wants to serve us. So let's demand more. 

If you're not sure where to start or how to start, we suggest taking some time (preferably on a rainy, Sunday afternoon) to watch or read some of these gems. Trust us, you won't be disappointed.


1. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

"Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to do less, but better, and declutter and organize their own their lives, Essentialism is a movement whose time has come." 

2. Minimalism

"In their debut book, Joshua & Ryan, authors of the popular website, explore their troubled pasts and descent into depression. Though they had achieved the American Dream, they worked ridiculous hours, wastefully spent money, and lived paycheck to paycheck. Instead of discovering their passions, they pacified themselves with ephemeral indulgences--which only led to more debt, depression, and discontent."


3. The Humane Economy

"From the leader of the nation’s most powerful animal protection organization comes a frontline account of how conscience and creativity are driving a revolution in American business that is changing forever how we treat animals and create wealth. Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States reveals how entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 CEOs, world-class scientists, philanthropists, and a new class of political leaders are driving the burgeoning, unstoppable growth of the “humane economy.”

4. Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World

"In Stirring it Up, Hirshberg calls on individuals to realize their power to effect change in the marketplace - "the power of one" - while proving that environmental commitment makes for a healthier planet and a healthier bottom line. Drawing from his 25 years' experience growing Stonyfield Farm from a 7-cow start-up, as well as the examples of like-minded companies, such as Newman's Own, Patagonia, Wal-Mart and Timberland, Hirshberg presents stunning evidence that business not only can save the planet, but is able to simultaneously deliver higher growth and superior profits as well."


5. Overdressed:  The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion

"Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut. What are we doing with all these cheap clothes? And more important, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, and our economic well-being?"

6. The True Cost

"The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary that pulls back the curtain on an unseen part of our world and asks us each to consider, who pays the price for our clothing? Filmed in countries all over the world, this unprecedented project invites us all on an eye-opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes."


7. Food Inc.

"Food, Inc. is guaranteed to shake up our perceptions of what we eat. This powerful documentary deconstructing the corporate food industry in America was hailed by Entertainment Weekly as “more than a terrific movie—it’s an important movie.” Aided by expert commentators such as Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser, the film poses questions such as: Where has my food come from, and who has processed it? What are the giant agribusinesses and what stake do they have in maintaining the status quo of food production and consumption? How can I feed my family healthy foods affordably?"

8. The Omnivore's Dilemma

"What should we have for dinner? Ten years ago, Michael Pollan confronted us with this seemingly simple question and, with The Omnivore’s Dilemma, his brilliant and eye-opening exploration of our food choices, demonstrated that how we answer it today may determine not only our health but our survival as a species."


9. Poverty Inc.

"From TOMS Shoes to international adoptions, from solar panels to U.S. agricultural subsidies, drawing from over 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, Poverty, Inc. unearths an uncomfortable side of charity we can no longer ignore."


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Fall Flannel Ideas For Every Style

It’s officially fall! Pumpkin spiced latte in hand, you head out (or online!) to find that favorite flannel for the season.

Moved by the gently falling leaves and the cinnamon aroma, you buy your new favorite flannel, wear it once to a hayride, and then what? It’s just another piece in your wardrobe that sits in your closet. No, no.

We suggest there’s more to a flannel than that. I'll repeat, we suggest that this piece can be a wonderful addition to your fall capsule wardrobe for every style and every activity. Each piece of a capsule wardrobe should be something you love and something that can be worn interchangeably.  So, we've done some pre-work for you—to show how your flannel can be a transferable, wearable piece for work or play! Something you can wear again and again—no matter your style preferences. 

The Preppy Flannel:


The Eclectic Grunge Flannel:


The Girly Girl Flannel:


The Modern Minimalist Flannel:


The Athlete Flannel:


The Girl Next Door Flannel:

Check out our Pinterest Page for more style ideas. And if you feel so inclined, show us how you'll be wearing flannel this fall on Instagram by using #fallcapsule tagging @cladwellteam!


Image source for all photos above is

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