Hey there, I’m Rachel, and I head up Marketing and Operations at Fortress of Inca. Since I joined the Fortress last year, I’ve been so inspired by capsule collections and those that build them. Mindful fashion wasn’t something I previously considered, as I went about my way letting fast fashion dictate what I should be wearing and buying — and buying too much.
Maybe it’s a bit of me growing older and wanting to invest in pieces that will last longer, maybe it’s my style evolving to be more minimal, more interchangeable and less seasonal, but I’m digging this direction. And it makes sense!
Last season, our Founder’s wife Jackie took part in the Winter 10x10 Challenge, and all the while I made mental notes on what pieces I might include if I were to participate. Well, now is my chance and I’m diving in!
The 10x10 Challenge, hosted by capsule bloggers Caroline of Unfancy and Lee of Style Bee, consists of picking 10 items form your closet to create 10 outfits over the course of 10 days. While the 10 pieces consists of tops, bottoms and dresses, it also includes shoes, which is what we’re into here at Fortress of Inca!
Selecting my 10 pieces took me some time. Even though I probably wear about 20 to 30 percent of my closet, I had to consider items I could wear interchangeably and in a variety of temperatures (since the weather is always changing in Texas!)
I also had to consider some plans I had with family and friends when choosing my 10 pieces. Normally, dresses aren’t a go-to for me, but since I need to get a little fancier than jeans for an event, I decided to test drive a new dress I recently purchased from It is well LA.
Building my mini capsule around shoes was a natural move, and since I couldn’t narrow my choices down to two pairs, I decided to go with three: a flat Oxford (Carmen), my fav mules (Michelle) and buttery soft boots (Ani).
From there, I chose some closet staples and pieces I could layer with the dress for a “new” look. Check out my lineup below:
1 | Crochet sweater // Target
Ok, ok, so I know this piece isn’t responsibly sourced, but I have had it for about five years now and surprisingly it has held up. My goal is to move my closet slowly towards being fully supportive of sustainable and ethical brands, but that will take me some time.
2 | Setlist boxy tee // Madewell
Closet staple for me. It’s kinda cropped and has a nice weight to it.
3 | Rose top // Esby
Grabbed this piece on sale. I really needed an XS, but they were out of stock, so I settled on a S since I really loved this Camel color.
4 | 4-Way dress // It is well LA
I discovered this brand while we were at market in NY last year and I love their easy, simple pieces. This dress can be worn a number of ways and layered with tops and jackets. Even better, the brand gives 10% of proceeds to dig clean water wells for people in need of access to safe water.
5 | Dean jean jacket // The Reformation
Love the boxy fit and cropped length.
6 | Black skinny jeans // Madewell
Hands down, my favorite pair of jeans.
7 | “Wedgie” straight leg jeans // Levi's
Vintage feel, but with a modern touch. Size down to get a better fit.
8 | Michelle mule in Black // Fortress of Inca
Daily go-to. The heel is really manageable and comfortable throughout the day.
9 | Carmen Oxford in Black + Cream // Fortress of Inca
Newest addition to my Fortress collection. Super comfortable and makes any outfit look smart.
10 | Ani boot in Chocolate // Fortress of Inca
The leather is so soft and I love the pull-on style. I am DYING to get the new Rust color Ani (coming SOON!)
(Also a Huma Blanco bucket bag thrown in for good measure).
I'll post my recap here, but follow along on our Instagram stories each day to see my progress!
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Over the years, capsule wardrobes have been gaining popularity, especially as the horrors of fast fashion are exposed. The term “capsule wardrobe” was coined by London boutique owner Susie Faux in the 1970s, although it really caught on in America in the 1980s thanks to designer Donna Karan and her “Seven Easy Pieces” collection. At [...]
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