# 10 Item Wardrobe # Garnet Hill

Ten-Item Wardrobe Update and Summer Break

Hello Dear Readers,

Congratulations to Lena, who won the LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE giveaway. Today I have a final video before I take my annual summer break from the blog. In it I answer a frequently asked question: How has my ten-item wardrobe fared this season and are there any changes?

This ten-item wardrobe has been my most favorite. As I have previously mentioned, every season you do the ten-item wardrobe you get closer and closer to honing in on your true style and the clothes you love to wear. I was recently speaking with my sister, who is trying the ten-item wardrobe for herself, and she told me that one of the most valuable things is she is definitely figuring out what she doesn't like to wear. This is valuable! Oftentimes when our closets are stuffed to the brim with clothes, we add so much confusion to our fashion identity and we just don't know what we like to wear. We're all over the place. With the ten-item wardrobe, because you are "stuck with" (for lack of a better term) the same small amount of clothing for a season, you learn pretty quickly what you like and you don't like. That's why each season, you eliminate mistakes and get closer to your true style.

There was one item of clothing, my Spanx jeans, that I found I rarely wore this spring/summer.

In fact, since March, I've only worn them 3 to 5 times! Essentially for the past few months I have been wearing a 9-Item wardrobe! Don't worry, I'm not changing the number on you. I decided to set the jeans aside (I'll most likely use them in fall/winter or I can bring them out if there is a cold-spell in the summer) and purchase a dress to fill the gap so that I am back to ten items.

Because I loved my black Garnet Hill dress so much...

I decided to purchase the same dress in navy polka-dot. The dress was on sale for significantly less than I paid for the black dress and I thought this would be a wise move. And it was! This dress is so comfortable and forgiving. I might keep both dresses on into the fall/ winter wardrobe as I believe I can layer them for colder weather. We will see. Here I am wearing the polka-dot dress last weekend visiting historic Victorian houses in San Diego.

Please check out this week's video for a more in-depth examination of my summer ten-item wardrobe experience. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Be honest with yourself and figure out what you don't like to wear. Get rid of the clothes that just aren't you, even if they were expensive. Even if they were a gift. Even if you swear you might wear them one day. If they don't feel right, you won't wear them and you'll never feel comfortable in them. Have fun this summer purging your wardrobe.

Comment of the Week
Debbie S. writes:

Jennifer, I just wanted you to know that I'm learning so much from you. I'm 55 years old and my kids are grown and on their own, my youngest just graduated from college. The teen years were tough and I had become a little crabby with everything going on in our family. My kids were good kids but there was just so much commotion with all of their activities and their teen angst. I enjoy your Blog and your videos. They have reminded me to be kinder and gentler with everyone in my life. I kind of lost myself a little being a mom so thank you for helping me to refocus.

Love, love, love your clothing tips!

Debbie, thank you so much. As a mother of two kids I know how hard it can be to not lose your sense of self, especially during the difficult times. It is very important to have an outlet where you can express yourself and cultivate your interests so you don't lose yourself in the drama that can sometimes come from family life. Wishing you the very best!

Check out For the Love of Organizing's book club discussion of Lessons from Madame Chic, starting with part one.

My newest book, Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic comes out on October 27th and is available for pre-order now.

I will be taking my annual one month break from the blog as I enjoy the summertime with my family and get settled in our new house. I look forward to returning to the blog reinvigorated and have many special videos and posts planned for you. If you have a request for the upcoming season on The Daily Connoisseur, please leave it in the comment section below. Thank you again for your support of my blog. You are so greatly appreciated. See you soon!

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cherie said...

Jennifer, I have enjoyed your message regarding the ten item wardrobe. I am interested in seeing/hearing more about minimalism in the home. I am finding that the principal of simplifying a wardrobe makes life so much easier and would go far if applied to my entire home. Will you please consider more videos showing how you simplify your spaces in your home? Thanks!

Pammie said...

Happy belated Birthday - enjoy your time off - love your posts and videos!

Jovan said...

Hi Jennifer! You are so lovely. I'd love a video on fitness wear when you have to exercise outside of the home as well as one on swimwear. I also struggle with the desire to put on lounge wear as soon as I get home and then I feel so unladylike. Merci!

Natalie Tze said...

Happy belated birthday, Jennifer!

I watch your videos on Mondays and along with the podcast by Shannon Ables at The Simply Luxurious Life, they are the highlights of my every Monday. As for ideas, I would love to see more videos on minimalism/simplicity in all aspects of the home, family and self, all with a twist of your taste for beauty and grace.

This is my first comment since I started reading your blog (and both of your books!) a good while back, and I must say that you have helped me feel proud of homemaking. Terms such as "stay at home mom" or "housewife" widely utilized in our society carry a negative connotation and I for one, believed in the past that these terms also associated with laziness, an easy life, unintelligent gossips or discussions and a generally low or unimportant sense of value. Boy, was I wrong. Thank you so much for helping me shift my mentality on homemaking and what it entails. It is truly life-changing.

Enjoy your month off from the blog with your family! A bientot! -Natalie T.

Fiona said...

Really cute, classic dress. I had a black dress like that (but sleeveless) as a teenager, and I used to get so many compliments on it. Haven't found anything similar, even though it's such a simple cut! The polka dot version is adorable, especially with the hat.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your summer break! I would love to see a video tour of parts of your new house?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Even though I am a minimalist, and my wardrobe is already small, I have found a wealth of ideas in Marie Kondo's book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I was holding on to a couple pieces because they were high-quality, but have decided to sell them on consignment. Since I had my hair cut, they just no longer fit the "new me". One thing that I don't think women realize: when you change your hair (color or length), what looks good on you changes... even if your body stays the same! I just did her wardrobe purge; next is books. A few people who commented want to know how to simplify. I think that Kondo's book would be very helpful. In a nutshell, ask yourself if it brings you joy. If it doesn't, let it go. But buy or borrow the book from the library (which is what I did). It's very helpful for all aspects of paring down.

Another book that was just released that I unexpectedly found some gold nuggets in is The French Beauty Solution by Mathilde Thomas (founder of Caudalie). She is a proponent of beauty coming from within, and that what you eat and drink shows on your face. Included in her book are recipes for beauty products -- which I didn't expect much from on the basis of past experience with "trying this at home". In this instance, I was wrong. She has a recipe for a hair mask that contains rum and egg yolks, as well as oil. She raved about it, so I thought I'd try it, but on a day when I wasn't going anywhere the next day -- just in case the oil didn't wash out. I kept the mask on for an hour, washed and styled my hair as usual... and my hair looked magnificent! Normally, my hair is very porous and fine; I've been dying it for decades. The mask gave my hair heft is the best way to put it. It seems to have filled in the porousness and made it behave like thicker hair. And it washed out with no greasy residue. I will be using that treatment once a week, you can be assured! (I use coconut oil on my hairs ends before I shampoo on other days. Her face mask recipes also worked very well. All in all, I was very pleased that I bought this book. I think you and your readers would find it helpful as well.

Charlene said...

Happy birthday! Hope you enjoy your time off and getting everything sorted in your new home. We look forward to hearing about the new space. Thank you so much for all your posts and books. They're so helpful. I look forward to book number three.

dysfunctionalscrapbooking said...

Hi Jennifer:

I'll echo the above sentiments: I love your approach to life and style. In fact, you favorited a tweet of mine (@DFscrapbook) where I said so!

This Fall, I would love to see a video about a few "go to" outfits that you have completely at the ready. I have come late to the concept of literally hanging together on one hanger the pants/skirt, shirt/top, jewelry for one casual and one dressier outfit. When I packed for a writing conference last year, it was suggested to do this. it was hugely helpful. I've carried it over and now have one casual and one upscale casual outfit always ready to go (for days when I am rushed). I'd love to see how you might do this.

Also, another "what's in my purse" segment would be great. As well as an organizational tutorial (kitchen, linen closet, family room?).
Just a few thoughts. Enjoy your break and I know we would all love to see pictures/tour of your new home when you are ready.



Corrie said...

Hi Jennifer- I just finished reading your book, "Lessons from Madame Chic", and I loved it! I've also been reading your old blog posts and am really enjoying those as well. It's so refreshing to find someone writing about living a simple life and being chic at the same time and I think it's rare to find this combination.

I also discovered Europe (for me it was as an exchange student) when I was young (17), have visited Europe many times since then, LOVE Paris and pretty much anything french, and married a German.

I'm especially interested in housekeeping rituals. For example, the bed- how best to keep it like a hotel bed without spending hours making it every morning? What kind of sheets, comforters, pillows, how often to replace them and/or send them out to be cleaned, etc. (My husband used to send out his sheets to have them cleaned and ironed before we met...his mother had always ironed his sheets. I can say with relative certainty that my mother has never ironed a sheet before, and before I met him I never even knew that ironing sheets was something a dry cleaner would do.)

Thank you for this blog and Happy Summer!

Lisa said...

You look amazing in that dress! I look forward to every Monday morning with such joy!! I just adore you. I love all your videos, but I would be especially interested in organizational ideas, your fitness routine if you have one, and what you eat in a typical day. Also, how you juggle motherhood, home life, and a career. What are some ways you that you spend quality time with your daughters. Thank you for who you are and all you share!! Enjoy your time off!

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday, Jennifer!I love your wardrobe and all your choices. This has been very helpful to my wardrobe choices. Enjoy your time off.

Unknown said...

Jennifer, first of all very Many Happy Returns. You bring so much joy and clarity to people, you deserve much for yourself.
Also, I loved Debbie S's comment. That's me, too, and having been really ill too I'm looking for climb-back inspiration - that's how I ended up at your wonderful blog. I'm noticing I enjoy a number of new blogs which have a common theme - minimalism in pursuit of a simpler, more joyful life. New favourites are Sugar Mamma, for finance from a very different perspective, project 33 and lightbycoco, but particularly Mimi Kirk. All feel like the 60s reborn in a more sane light!! Have a lovely holiday. Maggie Jx

Debbie From Illinois said...

Happy birthday Jennifer!!! That was so sweet of you to use my comment. You are a special young lady and I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer with your family.

Gigi said...

I don't think I've ever commented here before...but I had to pop in to tell you how much you have inspired me.

As a Texas girl, born and bred, and a transplant to North Carolina I have always lived in hot and humid climates. As such, I lived in shorts and tee shirts on the weekends during the extended summers that we have. But, the older I've gotten, the more frumpier I would feel. So this summer, thanks to you, I've begun wearing dresses/skirts on the weekends - instead of just for the work week. And it has totally changed the way I feel about myself on the weekends. Even the husband and son have noticed and are constantly complimenting me on my outfits.

Thank you! Keep it up. Eventually the word will spread to the masses and we will all start dressing better.

Vicki Zimmerman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vicki Zimmerman said...

Love, love, love your videos, Jennifer, and I await, with great anticipation, each one! Thank you for always being so open and sharing your wisdom and kindness with us. I have, as part of my Ten-Item Wardrobe, the same Boden dress you are wearing in your video, although mine is blue and cream, as blue is my favorite color like green is yours, and I love this dress so much and it's easy to wash and wear. May I ask you what camel/beige cardigan you are wearing in this video? It's lovely and I recall your J. Crew cashmere camel cardigan from an earlier ten-item wardrobe collection, but this one is different and I am most interested, because it works well with this dress, and probably others, as a neutral.

Enjoy your time with your family and the excitement of a new home! Happy homecoming and I look forward to your next installment in a month. A bientôt! Vicki ^_^

Nana said...

I just love your tips. Thanks e enjoy the summer!
Kisses and God bless you

Ashley Diaz said...

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for your videos! I look forward to them each Monday :) As sad as I am to know there will not be any new videos for a few weeks, I greatly respect your decision to take what we call a "Summer Sabbath." I look forward with anticipation to your return!

I am so excited to hear that you've thought about doing cooking videos and more home-life videos! I would love a tour of your new home! Also, I appreciate the general run-down of your daily schedule in your book, At Home With Madame Chic, but I would love to know, specifically, how much time you allot for activities. Once school resumes, I feel that no matter how much I plan and how early I wake up, we are ALWAYS rushing. Growing up, we were always rushed and always late, and I feel like I'm passing along all of the stress associated with that to my daughter. I want to break the habit, once and for all!

I am trilled for your new book and in anticipation of its release, I plan on re-reading and reviewing each of your previous books on my blog during August and September. Please check them out! www.inpursuitofthefinerthings.com.

Unknown said...

Happy belated birthday and have a wonderful summer break!

I just recently discoverd your blog and books and I am so glad I did! I really love the inspiration I am getting from your ideas and have been watch a lot of your previous videos already.
One thing I would love to also see is your routine to remove your make up! I always struggle with that. Especially with the mascara. I like to wear it, but I do not really have found a good way of removing it and other make up complettly in the evening. I tend to look like a panda the next morning and that keeps me from wearing make up more often, which is ridiculous.
So I really would apreciate your insight on that topic...! Thank you for everything...;-)

Unknown said...

I'd love to see more in-depth videos about your fashion choices (what you look for and how your style has changed over the years) and I would also love to see a house tour once you are all settled it. I'm sure it looks marvelous! Other ideas are cooking videos, interior and decor, being confident and comfortable while dressing the way you want, styles that are appropriate for different ages (I am 19 and I have many "lady-like" dresses but I sadly feel like I am to your for them and that they don't suit me.. Guess I will have to save them for when I turn 30!), hairstyles and more makeup tips. You have inspired me to be more beautiful and to always look my very best as well as leading a healthier lifestyle. I am truly thankful to you Jennifer! Love, Katarina

Unknown said...

Hi jennifer I'm just wondering how you managed to maintain your philosophy and remain presentible when your babies where newborn. I'm a 35 year old mummy from England i have a 3 year old and my second is due in November. I have the minial make up sorted as i've only ever worn minimal make up, but its the rest i'm wondering how i can maintain things with sleepless nights, demands of a toddler and a husband who works away all week, any tips or experiences you can pass on would be great
thank you in advance Laura

Audrey said...

Hi Jennifer! I would love to see videos on poise and manners and graciousness. Having grown up in a somewhat crude household, and now living in a rude, casual society, I would love remedial training in sitting up properly and comfortably, eating with natural elegance, walking like the ladies on Downton, placing one's own hands elegantly. Basically, how to be a lady and not a slob. Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

I echo J's blog suggestions above about exercise wear and swimwear. I have been wondering what you do about that. I, too, have two young children (2 1/2 and 5), and we have been active and outside a lot this summer. We live in Delaware where it is humid as well as hot, so it is difficult to wear dresses and dressier clothes, for instance, going biking and then playing in a sand pit. Or going swimming at friends' houses or the beach. Curious what your suggestions would be to keep it classy, but also to be able to get sweaty and dirty with my kids.

Unknown said...

Good Luck settling into your new home!! We just did that, it's a lot of work. Have a wonderful vacation.

Rose said...

It sounds like you are having a lovely summer Jennifer, good luck with sorting your new home.

I have less a request than a recommendation: you may or may not remember I enjoyed your music recommendations in At Home With Madame Chic,?

I have found a composer/pianist who works much like Ludovico Einaudi, his name is Giovanni Allevi, I think you would like him.

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

Just discovered your blog here through your TED talk. I've had this idea for a while now and you make it seem cool instead of wierd, which is what I thought others would think. My only concern is that I'm hard on my clothes, and spill things a lot. Any recommendations? Are the clothes your recommended very durable or easy to clean? Do you need high quality clothes to make it last through weekly use?

wildnettle said...

Nice inspiration :)

RebekahB said...


I enjoy reading your posts and appreciate all of the photos!

The practical suggestions throughout your books have been useful to me and I look forward to the arrival of your next one.

I'm curious how you stay so lovely in your chic dresses while being active throughout your day. I've been walking a lot more through my neighborhood, while taking the kids to school and to pick up groceries. But by the time I return home, the underarms of my blouses are wet, my makeup has nearly melted off, and I really need a shower. I feel so much better in my body and want to continue, but I also want to avoid wearing sneakers and sweats everywhere. How do you (and French women) do it?