10 x 10 winter wardrobe challenge round- up

As I mentioned a couple of weeks back now, I decided to participate in the winter 10 x 10 challenge. This exercise was created by one of my favorite bloggers, Lee Vosburgh of Style Bee. To recap, we took 10 items from our wardrobe and styled 10 different looks to be worn over the course of 10 days. 

I was a little nervous to do this challenge. I was worried that I wouldn't have time to style and document 10 looks and it was also super nerve-wracking to share videos/photos of myself on Instagram. But, boy, am I glad I did this. 

Things I learned over the course of this challenge:

- I feel a lot better when I get dressed. A lot of times since I work for myself and from home, it's easy for me to stay in my workout clothes all day. This challenge made me get dressed after my morning work out and I felt fantastic! Taking the time to get myself ready felt, in the past, like a waste of time. Like I could be spending that time on getting more things done. But taking the time to get dressed just felt like I was putting my best foot forward.

- You can style some many looks with ten neutral pieces. I know you math-oriented people probably could have told me that, but I sort of felt like I could keep going with this challenge after the ten days were up! I think the key there was to select styles I'm loving right now and keep with a neutral color palette. 

- I'll never look at packing for a trip the same way. I've gotten better in recent years, but I used to be a notorious over-packer. I feel like for my next trip I would limit myself to ten pieces. If the trip was a short one, It could cut a few things out. And I believe I could fit all of these items in a carry-on suitcase. Then I'd feel impossibly clever and chic with my pared down wardrobe. 

-I'm not much of an accessory wearer, but they can totally change a look. On the days I felt like an outfit I was wearing wasn't super different from one I'd worn before, I'd just add a bandana or a hat! 

To recap, here were the 10 items I chose...

 

10 x 10 items

 
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I ended up making a swap in my original selects a few days in to the challenge. I had included a wool jacket in the mix (pictured bottom right), but realized that I was photographing these looks indoors. So, instead, I included a navy jumpsuit. 

And here are my 10 looks in the order that I wore them...

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day 1: me-made cardigan (it's the uniform cardigan by madder made), everlane t-shirt, vintage jeans from meek vintage, and troentorp clogs

day 2: eli & barry t-shirt 2 in hemp organic cotton (from last summer, but a similar version will be launching this spring), me-made cardigan, me-made jeans, thrifted beret, blundstones

day 3: me-made sweater (it's the knit wit x nido turtleneck), me-made jeans, see eyewear glasses, and blundstones

day 4: vintage jumpsuit from stressed, me-made cardigan, and blundstones.

day 5: eli & barry smock top (launching spring 2018 in a different color/fabric), vintage jeans, and troentorp clogs.

day 6: vintage jumpsuit (worn as pants), everlane t-shirt and troentorp clogs.

day 7: eli & barry smock top, me-made jeans and blundstones.

day 8: me-made sweater, vintage jeans, troentorp clogs, bandana from madewell (old) and slide (the bead around the bandana) from last chance textiles

day 9: vintage jumpsuit and troentorp clogs.

day 10: me-made cardigan, eli & barry t-shirt 2, vintage jeans and blundstones

I want to thank everyone who took the initiate to engage with me and follow along while I participated in this challenge! I felt super connected to my Instagram community and my only wish is that I could keep that kind of momentum and inspiration going. I guess there's always the next 10 x 10 challenge. :)

10 x 10 wardrobe challenge

I'm so excited to be participating in the winter 10 x 10 wardrobe challenge, which was created by Lee Vosburgh of one of my favorite style blogs, Style Bee. She co-hosts this challenge with fellow blogger, Caroline, of Un-Fancy. It begins this Friday, January 19th (tomorrow) and a few of my Insta-buds (Claire of @clairemadeit and Allison of @thethoughtfulcloset) are doing it, as well. I'm really looking forward to connecting with this community of conscious women and see everyone's styled looks!

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In this challenge, we'll be taking 10 items from our closets and styling 10 different looks over the course of 10 days. Accessories are unlimited and things like workout clothes and loungewear won't count towards our 10 pieces (whew!) 

It's that simple and I think it's a great creative challenge, as well as a practice in looking to what you already have in your wardrobe instead of buying something new. I love this idea because we live in a culture that encourages a "buy, buy, buy" mentality that often leaves us drained and hollow. I want to continue down this path of consuming less and coming up with more ways to wear what I already own. I also feel like this challenge will help me get dressed for the day. Since I work for myself AND from home, I don't always have the motivation to get gussied up. And I often get my morning workout in and end up in workout clothes for the rest of the day. I'm hoping this challenge will help me make the transition from workout gear to beautiful styled looks.

I realize this post is not good timing if you, dear reader, want to join in. BUT this challenge happens once a season, so if it interests you there will be more chances!

Without further ado, here are my 10 items...

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eli & barry t-shirt 2 in hemp organic cotton (from last summer, but this is another good option), eli & barry smock 1 (launching fall 2018), everlane striped long-sleeve tee, me-made knit sweater (the pattern is the knit wit x nido turtleneck), me-made knit cardigan (pattern is uniform cardigan by madder made), me-made wool jacket (berlin jacket from tessuti fabrics), vintage levis from meek vintage, me-made wide-leg jeans, troentorp clogs, blundstones.

After selecting these items, I realized that most of them are handmade or vintage! That feels pretty cool. :) I wanted to choose items that I'm feeling excited about, that felt practical in terms of the weather and my lifestyle (those were great tips from Lee and Caroline), and stick to a neutral color scheme. Although, if you haven't noticed, I rarely skew from a neutral color scheme. Hey, I know what works for me, you know?

I'll be posting my 10 outfits and spur of the moment reflections on the challenge on my Instagram, so be sure to follow me there if you'd like to see this unfolding in real time. I'll also be doing a round up post at the end of the challenge on this blog to see how it all went. 

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the season of cinder

I like fall and winter. When I tell people this, they sort of look at me like I'm crazy. But spring and summer are not the seasons that make me feel most at home. When the weather starts to get cold, I feel myself begin to turn inward. I'm someone who loves to be cozy; all curled up on our old couch with a cup of tea and my newest (or neglected) knitting project. I feel a little tension with this practice in spring and summer when the weather begs for us to be outside. In fall, I feel the first inklings of that grounding in, of the chance to inhabit our little home with my husband and dog and just rest. By the time winter rolls in, I'm fully ready to hibernate. My neighbors retreat into their homes until spring and wool socks rarely leave my feet. 

The colors "tea" and "mushroom" that I offered this fall are very reflective of the season. They are colors of the earth, of grounding in and getting ready to nest. "Cinder" is the color of winter. Maybe because it represents "death," but not in a traditional sense. "Cinder" means the plants and animals are curled in for the season, but they will be reborn. We can't have the rebirth of spring without the dark of winter. 

With this launch comes an exciting update. Pant 1 has two new sizes: open size 0 and open size 12. Open size 0 is a traditional 00, while open size 12 is a traditional size 22. This decision came from the simple fact that the models I work with needed those sizes, but it's also another step I can take towards inclusivity and challenging sizing norms. I hope you love these new "cinder" pieces as much as I do. May they bring you comfort during your winter hibernation and be a reminder that all things go and spring will come. 

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say hello to pant 1

If you follow me on Instagram, then you already know that I've been working on my first pant design for quite some time now. There were a few reasons that I haven't offered a pair of pants up to this point. This first is that I'm pretty new to pattern drafting and I'm completely self taught. Tops and dresses came a bit easier to me, but everyone had told me pants can be really hard to fit. That might be true, but pattern drafting an elastic waist pant (compared to a fitted style) was less difficult than I imagined. But after I got my basic pattern done, then the real designing started. This new style is called pant 1, but there were many iterations of this pant before I reached the final style. I tweaked hemlines, fit, taper, rise, and pocket placement multiple times until I was happy with the fit and shape. Then I hand pattern graded (the process of making a pattern a smaller or larger size by cutting the pattern into strips and overlapping or spreading those strips apart) each size knowing that I wanted to offer a quite a few size options. Currently I offer 11 sizes ranging from open size 1 to open size 11, which is a traditional 0-20 sizing run. It's been a journey and a process and at times I felt like I wasn't going to get there, but the day has come and I'm so excited to share this design with the world!

I've talked about the design of the pants on Insta and within the actual product description, but I'll do so again right now. I designed these pants to fill a gap in my own wardrobe. I didn't have a pair of comfortable, elastic waist pants that had room to move in, but that came to a neat taper at the bottom for added warmth. I love wide leg pants, but I can't make those work as well in fall and winter because they're not warm enough. The pants feature a 15" rise, inseam pockets, and a cropped hem. The fabric is a beautiful mushroom-colored hemp/organic cotton canvas, which I'm so excited about offering! Hemp is an environmentally friendly crop since it grows in abundance and lends itself to sturdy, made-to-last garments. To me this means you won't be tossing these away anytime soon. And the presence of organic cotton means no pesticides and a softer hand feel. The fabric has a bit more drape than other canvas materials that I've come across. And I'm happy to say that these pants (and t-shirt 3 and pullover 2) will be coming in this same fabric in "cinder" later this fall. 

I hope these pants make you feel comfortable, safe, and provide the perfect vehicle for you to live your life in. Enjoy and purchase them here.

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shop happenings august 2017

Things have slowed down a bit for me after a burst of orders and prepping new pieces for fall. It's been tough to get used to the ebb and flow of running a retail business, particularly since I'm the sole employee. It's very exciting when orders come in and you feel like you're in the flow and then things slow down a bit and you sort of wonder if you'll ever get another order again (that's my anxious mind leaning towards catastrophic outcomes). But I try to take the busy times with gratitude and the slow times with gratitude. Slower times mean a quieter mind and more time for knitting and personal sewing. I still haven't had much of a chance to do a lot of the latter in recent months, but I'm so looking forward to showing you all what I've been working on for fall. I'm photographing some of those pieces this Thursday and I'm hoping to have them live next week.

I'm also in the process of hiring a contract seamstress. It was a huge decision for me that was riddled with excitement and doubt. I'm hoping having help means that I'll have more space during busy times to continue to offer new pieces, style and photograph my offerings and take on more opportunities that have been difficult to take on in the past. I will be introducing you all to my new clothing makers once things get finalized. 

One other thing I've been practicing with my business is visualization. I have a powerful imagination that can lead me to imagining very scary situations (see paragraph one), but I've realized that I have the power to imagine things going well for me. In recent months, I've been seeing myself standing strong, feeling confident and calm. What's crazy is sometimes those ideas become manifested and I feel fantastic, which has been an amazing feeling for someone who leans towards self doubt and fear. 

For you local folks (or anyone hoping to travel to Denver in the next two months) I have three events coming up. The first is the Longmont Block Party curated by Yore on August 26th. The next is Prism's Fashion Collective on September 2nd and the third is Renegade Craft Fair on the weekend of September 23rd. Flyers with extra details are below. I love these events because I get a chance to meet people that I never would have if I remained solely an online business. I will also have an additional stockist this fall (my current one is Goldyn here in Denver.) 

Hope you guys have a great week! 

 

the new eliandbarry.com

I can't believe this day is here! Today is the day that the new eliandbarry.com goes live and I'm pretty darn proud of what I've created here (if I do say so myself). I felt like my last website was lacking in a few ways. I wanted to have a simple layout that was visually beautiful, of course, but with slightly more content that what I was providing with my old site. I wanted larger product photos and an easier navigation. I wanted to BLOG again (feels like an old friend to me by now). But, most of all, I wanted to provide a larger backdrop (I've been using Instagram to do this up to this point) to discuss what being a sustainable business means. I want to provide more information on why I'm doing things that way I'm doing them. You'll see that I have an explanation of how my sizing works along with a guideline for how to measure yourself, coming soon will be more information on the fabrics I'm using (i.e. info about the actual plant/fiber used and where I'm getting my fabrics from.) I'm sure there are kinks to work out and I'm working on them, but for now, I'm basking in the glow of this accomplishment. And I'm excited to continue to evolve as a business and share with you all along the way what that's like! 

Below are some lookbook images I shot with lovely model, Emma Meeks.