2.14.2011

Customizing Your 10 Item Wardrobe



Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you are having (or have had) a beautiful day with your loved ones...

Many of you have told me you’re intimidated by the idea of having only 10 items in your wardrobe, and I don’t blame you. It can be a drastic thing going from a 100+ wardrobe to only having around 10 core items, but believe me, this exercise is powerful- even if you only do it for a week. You can learn a lot about yourself and your style- what your wardrobe needs, about your resistance to wearing your nicest things (I still have a fighting urge to ‘save’ my best clothes for later) and about how you want to present yourself as a person…

Now that you’ve cleared out a lot of the clutter, it’s time to customize your 10 Item Wardrobe. This will all depend on who you are, where you live and what sort of lifestyle you lead. An attorney in Manhattan will, of course, have a drastically different 10 item wardrobe than a stay-at-home mom in Atlanta.

Your 10 Item Wardrobe will all depend on what your day usually consists of (Board meetings? PTA meetings? Working from home? Riding your bike?). Also take into consideration the season (Snow? Perpetual rain? Cool sunshine?). And of course, your style and personality… (Fashion forward? Classic minimalism? Bohemian?)

My 10 Item Wardrobe has been tailored as follows to fit my particular life situation: I am a new mother of a young baby, but I still like to look pulled together- so the majority of my wardrobe is casual sportswear with a slight dressed-up edge. I live in Southern California- which has a temperate climate even in the winter. I mainly spend my days taking care of the home and baby, on playdates , writing and going on walks and my choices for the 10 Item Wardrobe reflect my lifestyle.

Here is my current 10 Item Wardrobe for Spring. Every item in this selection of clothing can be mixed and matched, thus creating many sartorial possibilities- a must for any capsule wardrobe.

Sea green silk top


Beige sheer blouse


Navy stripe sailor top


Beige crewneck sweater


Sea foam button down tie cardigan


Lightweight pleated black trousers


Tailored black high waisted shorts


Sea green A-line skirt


Tan khaki pencil skirt



White jeans



The core items in this 10 Item Wardrobe are mainly from a moderately priced retailer and thus, are not 'investment pieces'. They are the best quality I can afford for my budget. My current fashion budget only allows me to spend big money on items in my 'extras' list such as: coats, shoes, sunglasses, handbags, cocktail dresses, jeans and jewelry because these last much longer. A good trench coat or handbag, for example, could last up to 10 years, whereas a silk top, when worn frequently, might only last two seasons. Every one's budget and situation is different- this is what makes sense for me. I will explore the nuances of one's fashion budget in a future post. And next week’s special Thursday post will show you pictures of some of my investment pieces (items not included in my 10 item wardrobe).

And for this Thursday I will be posting an article written by guest author Mr. Chris Cox from Easy and Elegant Life, who will be offering his thoughts on a gentleman’s 10 Item Wardrobe.

I would love to know… what will the key items in your wardrobe be?



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10 comments:

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

I'd have trouble with just 10...but I am studying your posts very carefully so that I can learn.
I am going to do an inventory of all my clothes soon so I can see what I have and what I might be able to remove.
I am so happy that accessories, coats, scarves shoes and boots don't factor into the 10 :)

steppingmywaytobliss said...

I like it! You picked out some very cute, versatile pieces. I can see how 10 items could work for someone. I really think I could get mine down to 20 without too much sacrifice--I think 20-25 would be reasonable in a very NOT temperate climate. I will think about it. : ) Great post!! xxBliss

fojoy said...

I took an axe to my wardrobe and slashed it down to 20 items...still 10 too many, but its huge progress for me. I could definitely get it to 10 for a month, but I have trouble putting aside the "but what if" pieces...

Merveilleux said...

I think the only way I could do this is if I found my tops to be extraordinary. I get bored easily with my tops (I wear jeans every day) and I feel like I can't repeat a shirt more than once within 2 weeks or I end up standing in front of my closet with a blank stare.
I'm interested to see how this works for you.

Kristi said...

As a mama and writer like you, I spend most of my days at home ... my 10 pieces for winter:
1. black skinny straight leg jeans
2. black bootcut jeans
3. black wool mini skirt
4. levis bootcut jeans
5. tee shirts in charcoal and navy
6. navy velvet blazer
7. black velvet blazer
8. charcoal wool blazer
9. vintage black cashmere cardigan
10. navy long-sleeve shirt dress
labellafigura.net

Rebekah said...

I'm still transitioning from living in Seattle to living in Texas, but this spring I am working on a 10-item wardrobe. For winter, my core pieces have been:
1. bootleg dark jeans
2. black leggings
3. black v-neck cashmere sweater
4. black aline wool skirt
5. gray aline wool skirt
6. black v-neck high quality t-shirt

7. white v-neck high quality t-shirt
8. chocolate cashmere sweater coat
9. black trousers
10. gray draped-neck sweater

Because my wardrobe basics are neutral, I employ many scarves in bright colors so I don't look funereal.

I can't wait to rotate my wardrobe to spring, especially in a new climate.

Pearl said...

I like the choice of colors and patterns. Seems very versatile--but I still couldn't do with only 10.

LunaStitches said...

I'm enjoying your posts about a 10-item wardrobe. You picked some great basics. I'm an older professional who loves clothes and fashion and works in a fairly casual environment.

I like the idea of paring down - you inspired me to go through my closed last weekend and cull. I still have way too much, but am going to ponder what I might focus on as part of a 10- or 20-piece capsule wardrobe for spring.

I've accumulated lots of costume jewelry and scarves over the years and will be able to use those to accessorize my neutrals (black, brown, khaki). Thanks for the inspiration!

Rose said...

I have to say I would really struggle but I like yours very much and I can see that you could get lots of outfits from those 10 items. I like that you aren't afraid of using colour, I'd imagine lots of people who pare down their wardrobe go for neutrals. I suppose the beauty of the 10 items if you can buy 10 quality items too rather than lots of not so quality ones.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hello everyone- thank you for your comments and input! I particularly enjoy reading about your own 10 Item wardrobes. It is so fun to see how different people customize their wardrobes based on their lifestyle and regional location.

For those of you that still say you could never do with just 10- that is OK. Going forward I am not going to be strict about only having 10 items, I will probably gravitate more towards 20 core items- I was only strict with myself so that I could learn more about what I needed. It's all about finding what works for you. Next Monday I will post my observations on what I learned from doing this experiment.

I have been keeping myself very busy working on the book this week. Hopefully I will have exciting news for you soon!

Jennifer xx

 
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