# 10 Item Wardrobe # look presentable always

Budget Wardrobe Qs & Looking Presentable Always

How do I not get distracted by a bargain?

Should I have a budget in mind when I choose my ten-item wardrobe?

How do you look presentable when you are in the nursing phase of motherhood?

I answer all of these questions in this week's video and share insights from a male admirer of Lessons from Madame Chic.

If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on any or all of the subjects discussed in this week's video.

What are your answers to these questions?

We took the girls to the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles this weekend. Looking at real dinosaur fossils never ceases to amaze me. Check out these two guys:


Expressing deep gratitude to our veterans today. Happy Veterans Day. Thank you for all you have done for us ♥︎

See you next week! xx

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Winnie said...

I love all of your encouraging words and advice as I attempt to embrace the 10 item wardrobe. I did want to hear your thoughts on how to handle the work wardrobe. I am lucky enough to work for an organization that embraces business casual, but should I have two separate wardrobes, or just one?

Ann R. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann R. said...

Thanks, Jennifer, for your update and advice. It is always fun to see a new addition to your blog.

I am still struggling to pare down my wardrobe. I am not there YET, but it is a conscious effort. In the past year or so, I will only let myself buy something "I really love". I no longer get something just because it is on sale, or it coordinates with what I have. I only purchase it if it falls into the category of 'must have' or 'can't bear to let it go'. However, that makes getting rid of things really difficult because - how can I get rid of items I really love? I have too many items that they just don't wear out. That is my dilemma. Over the years, I haven't really changed sizes, so I have quite a collection. I am contemplating having 2014 be a NO SHOPPING YEAR, to use what I have, get creative, and try to save some money in the process.

I must say that the color sweater you are wearing looks lovely on you! That color and Robin's Egg blue are my two new favorite colors I've been slowly incorporating into my wardrobe over the last two seasons so far. Very flattering on the skin tone.

Regarding your trip to the Natural History Museum - what a fun day. I love those places. I actually work part-time at the natural history museum in the city in which I live. Some days, I answer phones and take all sorts of questions. One person called up to schedule a class tour, but when asked if she wanted to visit the current dinosaur traveling exhibit she responded, "Oh no, we don't believe in them." Her religion didn't believe that they existed. She wasn't debating the timeline, or creationism, but the fact that they existed. So THAT is something that is eye opening to me. It boggles the mind. The world is full of unique and different points of view.

Anyhow, thanks for your comments!

Jomara Carvalho Ribeiro said...

Great video, Jennifer! Thank you for your tips on budgets and bargains... I'm trying to skip sales as I used to get hooked and buy unnecessary stuff, you know.
I attempting at "always look presentable" and I'm getting compliments on that. It's rewarding! :-)

Deana B said...

As always, marvelous video and post! You are always so thoughtful in your content. I am struggling with my wardrobe pairings a little, but thanks to you, have been improving. I have recently found the courage to toss away shoddy and ratty items in my wardrobe, and they have been replaced with fewer quality items at I LOVE. S it is happening, albeit little by little. :)

I do try to look presentable always, and here's how I try: At least put on minimal make up, such as concealer and blush or Bronzer. I add from there if I have time. By having a better wardrobe, I feel it is hard not to look good if we only stick to flattering, quality pieces that are well-taylored. I feel my hair and skin/makeup have a lot to do with how I feel, too, so I try to make a few extra minutes in the morning for something flattering.

Deana B said...

Goodness, I am so sorry for my typos! I am on a mobile device, but that is still no excuse! :)

Anonymous said...

I am very interested in this as well. My day job is insurance, but my morning, night and weekends include chickens, horses and an almost 3 year old little boy. Is the answer to two conflicting life styles two wardrobes? I love my heels and dresses for work but that's not practical for the barn.

novelist said...

Very well put, Jennifer. Thank You, as always, for sharing your insight. I am gradually applying "the 10-item wardrobe," and am enjoying a new sense of confidence. Sales due not hold the same allure as before. I can really see how this saves money in the long-run, with quality results.

zephyr said...

Jennifer, I'm interested too in what you'd have to say about hey tif's question. I'm not feeding chickens and horses here, but own a three-flat building in an urban environment. We live in one of the flats. I maintain the outside - gardening, leaf/snow removal, etc. and it can be messy. And it's part of my daily routine, even if I'm just doing a quick walk-around. I never know what kind of garbage I'll come across - a beer bottle, papers blowing around - but whatever it is, I don't want it even near my 'good' clothing. I certainly don't want to ruin my nice clean outfit, for example, by accidentally dragging a wet muddy hose over the bottom of my pants. My solution to this has been to have a few items of dedicated clothing just for building maintenance. A pair of jeans, a turtleneck, a fleece zip-up vest, a casual winter hip-length coat, closed-back clogs and waterproof boots are in my arsenal right now, plus a fleece ear-covering headband. In warmer weather, I'll switch out the jeans for a pair of cropped pants or my special gardening pants with reinforced knees, cotton top, the same clogs as above, or waterproof sandals (my current pair are Crocs), if I'm not using tools. Always, always, gloves appropriate for the task!

So what I have ends up being four basic pieces of clothing, plus a few pieces of outerwear for cold weather, and three footwear items. I don't wear this clothing for anything else. None of it is ragged or grubby; several items have been rotated out of my regular wardrobe but are still presentable. All of it is easily washable, and if a piece is badly stained or torn, it's inexpensively replaceable. If the neighbor's dog jumps on me, or I spill gasoline from the snowblower on my pants, it's not a crisis.

I do care about looking presentable. We live in the city, there are always people walking on the street, and neighbors stop to chat. My son's school is close by and students/parents/faculty can appear in front of our building on their way to or from their cars. My hair is neatly pulled back, I have my "le no makeup" face on, and neutral lipstick. Okay, horses and chickens won't care about that, but I never know who I'll run into!

When I'm done, I leave any messy footwear in the boot tray by the back door, and hang my clothes on dedicated hooks in a corner of my closet, or throw them in the laundry if necessary. The change into my "regular" clothes only takes a minute or two, and I'm set. Having a very small, separate wardrobe for my maintenance duties has been the best way for me.

Madeleine Lawrence said...

Hi Jennifer,
I completely agree with you that a sale isn't a bargain if you don't actually need or love the item.
Some time ago I asked my partner to let me know if she saw a particular Rhodes and Beckett cashmere sweater on sale. I have another of their sweaters and the cut is perfect for me. It has also worn beautifully.
I've just heard that she bought it for me - at 70% off! I was delighted, and especially so because it means it is within budget :) I don't know about you, but I find when I am purchasing very consciously this sort of serendipity (70% off) happens more often.
In regards to looking presentable always, Alexandra Stoddard once commented something along the lines that it is a gift to those around you to look your beautiful best - I agree. And if you haven't already checked out the Advanced Style blog and book , I think you will love it!

Janki said...

Great video. You answered a question of mine when I first found your blog regarding dressing well when all the other moms are "frump city". Based on your answer I realized that I didn't have to be frumpy and that in reality, no one is spending that much time analyzing my outfit. I should dress for me!

I wanted to chime in on the budget issue. For the last 5 years I have been shopping thrift stores almost exclusively. It started because we had suffered a layoff. Now, we do it for the bargain and quality. All my clothes are good brands (Brooks Brothers, Ann Taylor, Talbots) and most cannot believe I buy anything used. I have a few cashmere sweaters too. Everything I buy is under $7 each! I learned to sew and make the minor alterations to make it look better. I do buy jeans since I find them hard to find used.

I do find that having a basic color pallet makes it easier to get dressed since almost everything "goes". I can spend money on cute accessories.

For my non work life, I now have a couple of jeans that are hemmed for my flats. I have a pair of Tom-like slip ons, a nice cord blazer and scarf to add polish to my look when I'm in "mom mode".

I'm not perfect, but your methodology is making it so much easier for me to buy (even thrift-- it's still about 10 plus the extras). I also recommend eBay (they have that Jcrew cardigan of yours!)

Keep it up!

Laina Laughing said...

I have found all your posts and video's on the ten item wardrobe to be very inspiring.

I deal with a chronic and often debilitating illness. Getting dressed is often a big ordeal for me.

Because of my illness I can't stick to only 10 items but I have found that applying the principles of the ten item wardrobe has helped me very much. The end result (after all the work of wading through and paring down)has been freeing and has helped me spend less energy on the whole clothing myself process. I feel better in the clothes I wear. I feel appropriately dressed for each occasion, I wear more of my clothes, and I feel better even when I am in bed (which is a lot), because I have given attention to my "sick", clothes also.

I thought you might be interested in the blog post I created on dressing in an energy efficient way while coping with chronic illness. In this post I linked to your blog because it has been so inspiring to me. http://lainalaughing.blogspot.com/search/label/Wardrobe

Thanks and keep writing such great stuff!