# 10 Item Wardrobe # capsule wardrobe

Ten-Item Wardrobe Look-Back SS 2015

I am doing more ten-item wardrobe videos focusing on the process because I want to provide them as a companion piece for all of you who are doing the ten-item wardrobe for yourself at home. Today I am recapping the wardrobe for spring/summer 2015. I discuss which pieces will stay and which pieces will go, my reasons behind why a piece did or did not work, etc. I hope that you find this helpful and that you feel compelled to go through your core pieces and give them the same thought and attention.

One of the many reasons why I love the ten-item wardrobe is it requires me to be thoughtful about my clothing. Nothing is shoved into the closet as an afterthought. If a garment is going to take up valuable real estate in my closet, it needs to belong there. At the end of each season, and before making choices for the next season, it's a great idea to literally go through each piece you have and decide if it is staying for next year or being donated. You can learn so much from these decisions and every choice you make helps refine your true style even further. If a piece is going because it is finally worn out from years of use and you loved it, you can make a note to buy something similar next time. If a piece is not returning because it shrunk or was uncomfortable, you can make a note to purchase a bigger size next time, or to avoid that particular style or brand all together. If a piece is going because you never wore it, most likely it's not your true style or it doesn't fit in your lifestyle. You can learn from all of these things.

For the spring/ summer pieces that are staying, store them nicely until next year when you bring them out again. This all depends on what kind of storage space you have. Make sure you wash, press and fold them nicely. You can keep them in a drawer or cloth basket until next year (this is generally what I do), or you can store them in space bags under a bed. Or you can hang them in the guest closet. Or you can hang them in one section of your own closet. The important thing is to separate the out-of-season clothes so you don't create clutter and confusion for the upcoming season.

Allow yourself to enjoy this process! It should not be stressful. It should be fun and exciting. Just look at every "mistake" you made as you getting closer and closer to your true style. Please let me know in the comment section, how your ten-item wardrobe process is coming along. Your question or comment could be featured on the blog!

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

For my original ten-item wardrobe blogpost with pictures or each garment, click here.

Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic: Lessons in Everyday Elegance comes out October 27th from Simon & Schuster. Pre-order available now.

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Devote an hour this week to going through your wardrobe and preparing for the seasonal change. Approach your wardrobe analysis in a methodical way. The consciousness you bring to planning your wardrobe will benefit you in ways too numerous to count.

Comments of the Week
It is getting harder and harder for me to pick just one comment of the week as you all share such gems of wisdom! Here are a few of my favorites from last week...

Ashley B writes:

Earlier in my motherhood journey I realized that I rarely put my makeup on and wore my nicer clothes for regular days, but if I was going anywhere I would get dolled up. What kind of a message was I sending to my children? You don't get my best? You're not special enough to see me in makeup and earrings? So now I give my children and husband my very best every day, and the general public gets the fringe benefits.

Mariam writes:

You are completely right, Jennifer! I have an unfortunate story where I wasn't feeling/looking my best and had to deal with a difficult customer at work. I felt self-conscious about my appearance while I was dealing with her and I'm positive that it didn't help me process the situation calmly and rationally. If I could do it again, I would have put on more structured clothing and fixed my hair a little better! This principle really reminds me of FlyLady and her "getting dressed to shoes" baby step. You never know what can happen, and getting dressed is one less obstacle in your day if you do it early! Plus it's a fun little moment in your routine to express yourself and get started on the right foot. Thank you, as always, for these lovely reminders to always be the best versions of ourselves! Hugs from Canada xx

Shellie G writes:

I love dressing well because of the positive response I receive. Who doesn't love it when your 9-year old says, "You look beautiful, Mommy". I made a decision quite a while ago that I didn't want my boys remembering that Mom was always in sweats or yoga pants. I find that people open doors, smile at me more, give me hotel room upgrades and overall better service because I try to dress well - especially when traveling. I'm not following every fashion trend, I'm not spending $1000's of dollars but my classic 10-item wardrobe is serving me well. I don't "save" my best things any longer - I have donated everything that I don't love that doesn't look great and wear "my best" everyday. Why not wear a DVF wrap dress to shop at Target? I might dress it down with leggings, and flats but why let it sit in the closet waiting for a special occasion? Thanks for a great set of books, Jennifer, with wonderful reminders of what I really already knew but just needed a friendly push of inspiration. (And having "10" as my target plus extras has really been a great guideline.)

Artistic Recommendation
Daily Connoisseur reader, Nancy L, has written a series of blog posts on ladylike behavior. She shares lovely advice here and I wanted to share it with you! Visit her beautiful blog, A Lady's Code.

Do you have an artistic recommendation for us? Let me know and your recommendation could be featured on The Daily Connoisseur!

See you next time...

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The Wool Fairy said...

Hi Jennifer! This is a great peek into your thought process. I look forward to seeing what you compile for your fall wardrobe. The air has shifted here in Nova Scotia, Canada and fall is certainly here. I'm in the process of putting away my summer clothes and pulling out the warmer items. As another reader mentioned, I find it more difficult to dress nicely during the cooler months. Last year I found myself braving the ice and snow and feeling very frazzled. It is hard to feel chic and pulled together when scaling snow banks to reach a parking meter. I envy your warmish weather year round. If other readers have advice on winter wardrobes in very cold climates they would be appreciated. I seem to feel fine until I have to pull on huge boots and outerwear to survive the elements. Merci!

Just Jess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just Jess said...

Jennifer, I have been a fan of your blog, books, and videos for some time now! I figured I would just drop you a line and let you know how much you have inspired me! I recently decided to take the plunge and overhaul my closet (which has been a shock to my husband, friends, and family because I have been known to have many clothes). I have worked it down to pretty near a 10 item wardrobe for the rest of the summer (I live in Louisiana, it will be in the 90s until October!) I have been living with my "new" wardrobe for 2 weeks and I have never felt better. When I simplified my closet, other areas in my life became more simplified. I find that getting dressed and having a clean house everyday, even on the days when no one sees me but my husband and baby, have improved my attitude and productivity.

And I want to say a special thank you to you for sharing your 10 item wardrobe with us each season. I know the videos take a while to make and you have to "shop quickly" in order to make the videos for us. Just know that you and your videos are inspiring change, even in the former "shopaholics".


Linda Elliott said...

I have been compiling a packing list for a Caribbean vacation in the winter and going through my summer wardrobe. It really helps you see what your true style is because you only want to take your favorites and those things that make you feel your best. I have a sundress that is a little shorter than I feel comfortable in but I love the color and style. I plan on wearing it as a swimsuit coverup. I think it will be perfect for this purpose, chic and comfortable for the occasion.

Mariam said...

The Wool Fairy--I feel your pain! I'm a fellow Canadian and I understand how brutal winter can be. My advice to anyone struggling with their winter style is to invest in three key pieces: warm boots in a neutral shade, a coat you love, and classic accessories that can change your look. As much as winter can be a chore, I love my winter coat, furry ear muffs in a neutral colour, and my little beret. I gave up on finding fashionable boots. I rather focused on finding a simple style that wasn't too sporty looking. What I usually focus on is changing up accessories instead of striving to look like people who live in hotter climates. Looking like you're freezing or slipping on ice is never chic, in my opinion!
Another tip is to shop for winter accessories when it's not winter--I managed to find a cashmere scarf under 100$ in July!
Good luck to everyone expecting a cold, icy, and snowy winter :)

The Wool Fairy said...

Thanks for the winter survival tips Mariam! I think I will invest in a coat I truly love this winter and maybe that will perk me up. I agree, the boots have to be practical. My cute heeled leather boots sat sadly in the closet all last winter while I sloshed around in a clumsy pair of Sorel's. I guess we should focus on enjoying fall before winter hits us!!

Vicki Zimmerman said...

What wonderful lessons you provide here as you take a hard and serious look at your SS 2015 ten-item wardrobe selections. I love the way you curate your closet from season to season and this is so helpful to get me to be more ruthless and less nostalgic for those pieces that didn't work. Be done with them and get rid of them and admit when mistakes were made. As an example, I bought a couple of Lands' End dresses and one didn't bring the happiness factor, so I removed it immediately from my closet and am selling it on eBay.

I took another look at your Spring 2014 video as a comparison of what you were wearing then (love that music, btw) and found it interesting that you had two pairs of jeans (white and denim) with several silk tops and, now, with these more humid spring and summer months we've been having, I can see why you've transitioned into loving your dresses even more, which I know have always been wardrobe favorites for you.

Looking forward to see what unfolds for your FW 2015-2016 Ten-Item Wardrobe.

V Esch said...

Love these videos. The 10 item wardrobe idea has been such a freeing experience. I no longer become overwhelmed and frustrated looking in my closet. I admit I am still trimming down, and I find with each season transition I eliminate items that don't really work. What you say is true, and one starts to really figure out the true style that is hidden inside us. I am now able to pass up trends that aren't really me. The plaid shirt is an example of a current trend that I will pass because it does not fit my style.

I also must admit to a little trick I do. One of my biggest style icons is Audrey Hepburn, and when considering an outfit or article of clothing I ask, "Is this something Audrey would wear?" If I think no then it does not belong in my closet. Some may say that I'm trying to copy Audrey's style and that it's not my own, but I know that when I dress "Audrey" I feel happy about how I look.

Tammy said...

Loved the recap!

I have a question for you related to the number of dresses in this 10-item wardrobe. I noticed that in years past you've had more separates, and I wonder how you enjoyed the capsule wardrobe this time around. It seems as though you would have fewer options with dresses vs. separates. Did you feel more limited in your wardrobe choices? Or was it easier to get dressed in the morning because you just pulled out a dress and didn't have to worry about what went with what? I'm just curious because I love dresses! But I haven't really had any for daily use.

Shonni said...

Thank you so much for these videos! I am always so inspired and encouraged!!!

Virginia Ruth said...

Hi Jennifer,
One of the reasons I like reading blogs (and yours in particular) is that on some level I have found a kindred spirit- someone who shares similar points of view, values, and ideas. The blog writers I particularly like are the ones with whom I would enjoy having a cup of coffee or sharing a meal. It would be a time of discussion, laughter and maybe tears. All guaranteed to provoke ideas, inspire creativity and provide encouragement.

If you peruse my blog and feel the same, I would be honored if you shared it with others.
Virginia Ruth

Anonymous said...

Not only do I go through my current clothing and ask myself what makes it work or not work for me, I do that with potential clothing as well. Whenever I try things on in a fitting room, first of all, I don't dither around about whether I like it or not. If I have to ask, then I don't love it. If I DO love it, I buy it. Secondly, I try to analyze what it is about it that makes me love it. But I also do this with my rejects! I analyze what about it makes it not work for me. Sometimes it's the cut of the neckline, or the length of the sleeve, or even maybe the tint is just a little too warm for my coloring. But this is the way I learn what will work for me, so that I can rule out things before I even get them to a fitting room.

JMarie M said...

Hey Jennifer,

I love your advice and style :)

Ihave an artistic comment for you! Have you considered re-dying some of your favorite faded clothing? For example your Apc Linen dress, which I really appreciate. A great staple. You can re-dye your Linen APC dress with fabric dye from Dharma trading.com. I envision a neutral vibrant blue. Dharma Trading sells both a cold process Procion dye and also an acid dye. Fun, inexpensive and safe :)

2nd Artistic recommendation: Have you considered sewing a few casual clothes? I recommend finding reviews of the Saltspring dress. Many woman have done this in silk crepe de chine for under $50 for a beautiful casual dress. I love it in green and pink :)

Also a note on extending clothing lifespan: I rarely wear out my clothes. My clothes last for years even though they are average quality. I feel the reason my clothing fiber lasts is because I stopped using Tide laundry detergent a few years ago and I switched to Vaska detergent. Have you tried Vaska laundry detergent? I switched to Vaska when I started washing merino wool. I didn't want to ruin my wool clothing. I love it. My clothes are always clean, and my clothing holds up beautifully. Even the bras and delicates. I highly recommend you experiment with Vaska unscented detergent. $12 on Amazon. I believe your clothes are fading and deteriorating faster then mine because we use different laundry detergent.

ChlsBird said...

Hi Jennifer,

First, your Madame chic messages are so inspiring. I am adopting your 10-item wardrobe in my own closet and as I organize my items for the upcoming Fall/Winter season I am thrilled to find that I don't have as many "gaps" in my wardrobe as I initially thought. I can build my entire wardrobe this season without going shopping at all. It is such an eye-opening realization that I can be fulfilled with the items I already own. And I have come to truly appreciate and adore each piece.

Second, as I organize my things, I am struck by an interesting discussion topic idea;

I would love to hear your reaction to the new craze of high-end clothing rentals. It seems to me that websites like Rent The Runway are encouraging consumerism and in essence are the antithesis of the 10-item wardrobe message. I admire the business model of websites like this and appreciate that companies are giving people access to wear high-end designer garments that they normally would never be able to access. For example, you can rent a Jason Wu dress for an upcoming event for a one-time rental price of $125 - $250 (typical cost for such an item would range from $1,000 to $2,000). I wonder what your view on this is from your "cost per wear" perspective.

Rocksbox is another rental website with a membership-style business model(think Netflix for accessories). This business offers a few accessories you can own for up to a month. The membership cost is $20 per month and you acquire credits the longer you are a member to purchase the items at a discount if you so choose.

One of these I have personal experience with and the other I heard about from a friend.

I am very curious your thoughts on the clothing-rental trend. I believe it was first popularized in the 2008 film, Sex in the City. You may recall the assistant of Carrie Bradshaw had a Louis Vuitton bag rental. The rental-business trend is here and growing rapidly.

What are your thoughts on this?

galant said...

I have found that if you keep something which was originally well-made, well-designed, and in a quality material, it will often return to 'fashion' although I am somewhat wary of so-called 'fashion' which has little (as fashion guru Iris Apfel has demonstrated) to do with 'style'. An example of this is my ivory-coloured wool Artigiano blazer which I bought more than ten years ago. It was great then, but now I find it a little too boxy and the reason is that it is a tad too long, ending below my hips. And so I'm having the length of the jacket shortened and this will make it an ideal item to wear in the autumn/fall with jeans or cords and a light jumper or pol-neck (once more back in fashion) underneath. So don't be in a hurry to get rid of quality clothes in neutral colours - they may yet return to 'fashion' or if they are close to being fashionable, then you can have them just slightly altered.
Margaret P

J said...

I love your hair in this video! Did you cut it recently? What size barrel is your curling iron?

Nana said...

Hello again! I still didn´t make my ten-iten wardrobe but i want to do this season.
Thanks for the tips.
Kisses and God bless you.

Irma said...

Hi Jennifer,
I have enjoyed your Madame Chic book, and am in the process of cleaning out my closet.
I have a question that I'm hoping you can share your opinion on. When it comes to sweatpants, is there an exception when it would be appropriate to wear them - say for example deep cleaning your home. I'm having difficulty rationalizing getting dressed in my finer items to scrub the bathrooms.

Rose said...

Jennifer this analysis is so helpful, thank you so much for the time and effort you put into these videos. Here in Australia we are now having warmer weather so it's time to consider our spring/summer options, I'll be viewing your Spring 2015 videos again this week so I can plan for these changes. I wear trousers and jeans but still get enormous help from your videos, the concept of the ten item wardrobe is universal, it's the interpretation that makes it our own.