# 10 Item Wardrobe

Ten-Item Wardrobe Talk-Through Fall Winter 2014

Thank you for your incredible response to last week's ten-item wardrobe video for fall/ winter 2014! The video has already received thousands of views and hundreds of comments have been coming in. This week's video talks you through the wardrobe and will hopefully answer many of your questions.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

What happened to certain pieces from last year's fall wardrobe? Why didn't I see them in your wardrobe this year?

If an item from last year's wardrobe did not make it into this year's wardrobe, it was most likely worn to death and donated. Even if I love something, if it is looking shabby or has shrunk or is misshapen with wear, I will donate it. Remember the ten core items are the items that you wear everyday. When you wear the same ten garments over a period of months they are likely going to get worn down. If an item is well-made it will last longer than one season. This is why I strive to buy high-quality clothes.

Why are so many of your clothes from LOFT this year?

I have no affiliation with Ann Taylor Loft. There are many reasons why a lot of my clothes were purchased from them this season:
- I'm on a budget this year! (Two kids in preschool will do that to you)
- Loft had many lady-like clothes that I loved. (There's a famous saying: If it ain't broke, don't fix it)
- If I were a "civilian" (i.e. not a blogger), I would take time curating my wardrobe with different brands, but because I do these videos for you and need to get my shopping done quickly, sometimes one-stop shopping is the most convenient thing for me. If I see something I like in a brand, I am loyal to them for the season.

What do you wear to the playground with your kids?

For the answer to this question, please see the "tee shirt and jeans" portion of the video.

What do you wear when you're at home??

I wear my core items when I am at home. Yes, I'll be cooking dinner in the navy and red spot dress or I'll be cleaning up at the end of the day in the green jacquard dress. As I'm writing this I'm wearing the black fluid ankle pants and the green tee-shirt. One of the main points of the ten-item wardrobe is to force us to wear our best on a daily basis. These clothes are not just for wearing out in public so that we can change into our pajamas as soon as we get home. If you pick your clothes wisely, they will be comfortable and stylish and you wont' feel the need to change as soon as you walk through the door.

To hear me talk you through each piece in the wardrobe, check out this week's video. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel (and subscribe!) at www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Check out the original Ten-Item Wardrobe Fall/ Winter 2014 post here for links to all of the clothes.

Check out the piece I wrote for Huffington Post called, NO MORE BOOTY SONGS, PLEASE. It has a funny title but a serious message about what is happening to our popular culture. If you agree with this article, please share it with your friends. Every little bit of support helps ‪#‎VulgarityNoMore‬

Another stellar review for At Home With Madame Chic is in on the Hostess of the Humble Bungalow blog. If you aren't familiar with the Hostess' blog, it is a fabulous resource for living well at home. Do check her out and leave a comment!

UPDATE My book signing at Diesel Bookstore in Brentwood, CA has been moved from October 23rd to October 28th 7pm. Hope to see you there!

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Resist changing into sweat pants or pajamas when you get home. Remain in your day clothes until it's time to go to bed. Doing this subtly elevates your life at home and gradually makes you feel comfortable with wearing your best on a daily basis.

Comment of the Week
The comment of the week comes from Beth on Facebook, who writes: As a flight attendant for 20 years I can attest that dressing well while traveling does command first class attention...even in coach!

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Joy said...

Loved it!! Living in Hawaii, I have a lot of the same issues with "fall" clothes as you're having with the unusually warm SoCal weather. I want to look "fall-ish", but don't want to roast. I loved the ideas you presented here as a solution to that.

I also love the prints. As a mom to four, I've come to really appreciate prints on clothes... Because they hide the fingerprints! (Or those times when you are a human handkerchief -- sorry, I know that's gross, but we're both moms and it happens. And in those moments, turns out that black is not the best idea, but prints are.)

Anyway, I think you made wonderful selections. I have been curating my own version of the Ten-Item Wardrobe, that I hope to show on my blog soon. I've also bought a lot of it from Loft -- hooray for their sales, but do you know they charge almost $15 for shipping to Hawaii?! It has to REALLY be on sale for me to justify that expense.

Great job! Can't wait for your book! Just a few weeks now!!

Kimberly said...

You can buy a slip extender and it might help you feel more comfortable with the length of the one dress. I bought one on Etsy.com for a black dress I found a little bit too short. It helped make it the perfect length.

Example: https://www.etsy.com/listing/93735181/three-tiered-black-tulle-ruffletrimmed?ref=shop_home_active_3
(There are plenty of sellers that sell different types.)

belinda said...

Brava, Jennifer! A wonderful resolution not to wear jeans. I have none in my wardrobe.

From: A very very old lady

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Thank you for the in depth inside story behind the 10 item wardobe. You make wearing dresses look effortless...
I love the shape of your new favourite dress...very feminine style and I like the fullmess of the bottom and the way it moves when you twirl!
Thank you for sharing my blog link with your readers.

merci beaucoup Jennifer.

Rose said...

Thanks for the background on last week's video Jennifer. I am not a "dress" person but I can appreciate your reasoning and use it for my own options.

Rose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I've had a minimal wardrobe for quite some time now, but it's difficult for me to get to the mindset of wearing my dresses and skirts around the house. I have no trouble dressing up to run errands or go garage saling, but somehow I always reach for the jeans if I'm spending the day at home. Mind you, they are quality jeans, but still. I'm working on it. It's a mental block that I must get past.

A lot of people resist the idea that you can have ten items in your wardrobe. I am currently reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series (Yes, I AM a grown-up. Actually, it is not "written down" as books for young people today usually are, and it is quite informative about how people really lived in pioneer days. If you are interested in such a subject, I totally recommend them.) People in those days may have had a total of three dresses: one for working at home, one for day wear, and one for special. When one of them wore out, it was replaced. No, not by going to a store, but by sewing it yourself. Puts things in perspective, no? This series has given me an appreciation of all the modern conveniences that we have come to take for granted. It also has stirred in me a profound admiration for the spirit that once infused people like the pioneers -- a complete self-sufficiency that we have left by the wayside. If zombie apocalypse ever does happen, not many of us today would make it.

Catelijne said...

Hello Jennifer,

Still really love your DVF dress. My ten item wardrobe for fall/winter is already ready because I use everything from last year. Today it is 16 degrees celsius (60 degrees fahrenheit) here so I think summer is sort of over now. I look forward to wear my lovely winter dresses again. I think clothes in winter look much more elegant than in summer.

How can we find out if your book is available in a particular country? For example, I'm from the Netherlands, and would like to know if your new book will be available in one of my bookstores. Ask every bookstore in my city? Or is there a list somewhere where we can find if your book will come out in a country? I am really looking forward to it. It is my October treat.

Thank you for everything.

Leslie Richman said...

Very helpful- thanks!

Unknown said...

Thank you for a lovely blogg. I am a reader fr.o.m. Sweden. I love how you present your self. And that not everything has to be upscale. You can look ladylike in a budget dress and that is so inspirational!! That's true style.

celkalee said...

I so agree with your philosophy. However, I will readily admit to having more than ten items in my core wardrobe! My particular difference lies in at-home wear. I work at home and find that I absolutely need clothes that are more casual and comfortable. There are no sweatpants anywhere, I assure you, and I rarely wear jeans but I would destroy high end clothing and that would be a disaster. I call my style of dress public ready. Meaning I could leave my home on a minutes notice because I am dressed, minimal make up and hair is always done. I sew many of my clothing items so I demand (of myself) highest quality fabrics and impeccable construction. I have pants much like your 'slouchy' ones in dark colors that I mix with t shirts and tunic style blouses. Works for me. In addition I wear aprons for my work as a fabric artist and my household chores. I so appreciate your insights, Loved reading your book and await the release of the new one. One more point, as I read the comments I am thrilled that so many young women are taking your advice. While I am not young in years I am young at heart. I am 66 and busy as a bee in my second career. Thank you for your work.

D. said...

Thank you for opening a space where it's okay to dress like a lady, drink from a proper tea cup, and listen to classical music. It's wonderful to know you are out there encouraging beauty and elegance. Looking forward to your new book!
All the best!
And here's to wearing jeans much less!!!
P.S. I am not a fan of jeans for myself- I always think, "What a I doing in these blue canvas pants?!"

Anonymous said...

Hey Jennifer!!
I adore your style! I love seeing what you choose each season because you do have great taste. I enjoy the elegant style and I feel inspired to only spend money on pieces that elevate my style. I feel very casual in clothing and the best way for me to feel feminine is to add in skirts, dresses, and soft fabrics like silk and feminine colors. I love what you do!~

My question is regarding your little girls, are you doing the Montessori in the Home? I feel its a big thing on the west coast, I have been envisioning a little Montessori sized kitchen for my future toddlers, and I came across a Pinterest board that showed what others had done! My favorite is at this blog:


I'd love to hear more about how you are teaching and playing with your girls, I fondly remember the part where you talk about the tiny French kitchen and how the food was always delicious. I feel like it was either your Madame Chic or the book "Bringing up Bebe" that describes the French way of making a tart every afternoon for the daily dinner. I love that sense of making every day special!

Thank you!

kcf1971 said...

Lovely as ever. And your locket is beautiful.

Ann said...

Loved the Comment of the Week...yes, we "dressed" a bit for our flight to Paris this summer. My husband wore his sport jacket so he would not pack/wrinkle it...I wore a nice jacket, pants, scarf...and we were in coach. Our flight attendant saw us and said wow, this is how people used to dress to fly. Well, I always pick out one couple and spoil them, and you are it ! She asked if we were on our honeymoon...no, actually 37 and 1/2...halfway to 75 years ! She brought us champagne from First Class, gave us tips on where to eat in Paris, and was just so nice. I do believe it pays to dress well...you feel good about yourself and others feel good about you !

PurlyGirl78 said...

I appreciate these posts and am working on my own capsule wardrobe. Do you start with a color scheme before you shop? I strive to have all tops go with all bottoms as you do, but find it can be challenging when denim and/or black aren't among the choices for pants/skirts. (I have an aversion to black and denim isn't an option for work). As always, you look elegant, ladylike & put together in whatever you wear. Thanks for all you do.

Kathakaliseghesio said...

Jennifer, you may find luck with Boden when it comes to ladylike attire at mid-range prices. As a twenty-something who has never felt completely comfortable in a miniskirt, I find their dresses and skirts to be a reasonable length while still being hip enough for this Manhattan designer.

Gabriel said...

Great talk through. I love this concept. I've been doing it for several seasons and feel like I have it down now. I live in Austin, tx and try to modify things for the heat while looking seasonally appropriate. I find color helps with that distinction.
I love to shop Ann Taylor, especially as they often have 70% flash sales. I then alter the garment to fit better. And while some may be put off, I love thrift store shopping. I have some Brooks Brothers clothes that cost less than Old Navy!

I do find it easier to pick 3-4 main colors plus neutrals and a few accents when picking my wardrobe. It seems like a good mix between snooze worthy neutral only pieces or a closet full of "jazzy" clothes that don't go with anything.

barbara said...

Thank you Jennifer for bringing order and beauty to my closet down here in Melbourne Australia ...
It's taken over a year but now it's all about the sensible French way when it comes to my clothing choices!

I've bought just four new things for this Spring/Summer to go with all the things I still love from last Summer and would you believe it's my new $30 dress which everyone has commented on :)

Thank you for all the work you put into your videos they're very inspiring
Looking forward to reading your new book soon
Barbara x

Rita said...

Beautiful picks! I just want to say something about ballet flats: they are not for flat feet. Nor any shoes that don't have arch support. They may seem comfortable, but they are causing long-term damage. This happens very gradually, so you don't notice until it's too late. I'm 69 and now have a bulged-out place on the outside of both ankles. Not painful, just really ugly! This is a result of wearing non-supportive shoes, because unsupported shoes cause stress on your ankles, knees and hips. And to think I used to wear ballet flats and flat strappy sandals because they felt comfortable.

Claire said...

Do you ever find that some of your high end choices disappoint you in how well they launder or last, even when care is taken? It would be interesting to have a discussion on what is good quality at any price. My mother (Swiss French) taught me a lot about this. How to look at seams, hems, fabric, etc. Love to hear what you've learned when wearing 10 items over and over.

karen said...

You have found some beautiful pieces. Very inspiring!

Any chance you will be doing a book signing in the Northeast? Connecticut? Hope so!

Greeker than the Greeks said...

I love your ten item posts.
Just wish that I could stick to it a bit better!

Evaline said...

Hi Jennifer...if you make such amazing pics with limited time/budget, I'd love to see your wardrobeif you did have more time and money...Wow!

I'd like to echo the point made by Rita...I am also older and have problem feet including some weird knobs on the tops of my feet. My doctor said I need to wwater supportive shoes...which I thought I was, but after thinking it through I realized that I tend to water sandals a lot and bare feet at home.

That is one more thing to push manufacturers and retailers for...supportive but stylish shoes in a variety of widths and heel heights.

Thanks again Jennifer for sharing your life with us.

Evaline said...

Sorry for typos in my post --I need to pay more attention to the auto-correct.

Morgan said...

I discovered your website recently and I absolutely love it! You have great style and class, and I've been inspired. I turn 40 this April, and I've been working hard to get back into shape, and am re-thinking my wardrobe. I have an obscene amount of clothing I've collected through my 20s and 30s, most of which is very "young" looking. I've been putting a little aside each paycheck to invest in a piece I love, and that will stay in style for years. I just purchased the Loft dot dress to wear to work and I love it! I can dress it up or down. Next paycheck I'll be purchasing your books. Thank you!

rosie said...

I really love your blog and book and can't wait for your new book to come out. I love being ladylike, in both manner and dress and it is so nice to feel like I'm not the only one!

I'm trying very hard to keep to a 10 item wardrobe of better quality clothes that are within my budget and this season am doing well so far. I feel very proud of myself as keeping to budgets has been a big issue for me.

I agree also with your comments about the music videos - they are so vulgar. My own personal bug bear is women who get really drunk and behave terribly - so unladylike!!

And finally thank you for your book recommendations.

Robyn said...

Hi Jennifer,

There are many things about your blog I love. I am 55 and grew up in a time when I wore party dresses to birthday parties, we dressed to go to "town" and out to eat. The one place I differ with you on is wearing your dresses and "good" clothes all day. As a child whose father was in the navy as well as all our friends and neighbors fathers. I grew up very pragmatically. When we came home from work/school, church or where ever the first thing we did was change into our play clothes. Hanging up our work/church clothes immediately. I still do this to this day. I have ruined more clothes by not changing. I have found several outfits that I change into that are comfy but not sloppy.