# 10 Item Wardrobe # At Home With Madame Chic

Closet Tour 2016 Ten-Item Wardrobe

Today I have a closet tour for you. Come with me as I show you our walk-in closet and how I store my clothes. This is what a ten-item wardrobe looks like! Many will be relieved to see that there aren't just ten items in there. The extras are mixed in as well. You can see how I store my out-of-season clothes and extras (swim, scarves, etc.) and hopefully you can get inspired to organize your closet the Madame Chic way.

Here are some tips:

If you don't have a chest of drawers, use canvas bins to store your clothes. I get mine from Bed, Bath & Beyond. Place a cloth at the top of each out-of-season bin so your clothes don't attract dust.

Be sure to regularly go through your bins to make sure you aren't holding on to clothing or accessories that you never use or wear.

Make all of your hangers uniform. Get rid of wire hangers and invest in hangers that will treat your clothes well. This will also improve the visual appeal of your closet.

Use scented sachets for everything from your tee shirts to your undergarments. In this video, I show you ones that were gifted to me by a family friend from her company, The Linen Souk.

If possible, only hang up the clothes that are relevant to the season you are in. This will bring clarity on busy mornings when you are trying to figure out what to wear.

Regularly go through your closet to organize and assess. Enjoy your closet space and make it look like a chic boutique.

Check out this week's video to see my closet. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel (and don't forget to subscribe!) at www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur


Thank you to ballerina, Kathryn Morgan, for featuring my YouTube channel and books in her August Favorites video. If you don't know Kathryn, you will love her videos! She is a wonderful example of a poised lady. Thank you, Kathryn!

Also, Travelettes includes Lessons from Madame Chic in her article, 4 Books You Must Read Before Visiting Paris.

Comments of the Week
Bosendorfer32 writes:
This might be one of my favorite videos ever, Jennifer! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! It is so refreshing to have someone be so upfront and honest with the struggles of dressing ourselves through the different stages of our lives, especially during pregnancy and nursing, when most women still have some weight to lose. I have had seven children myself and for some reason, I felt like I could only have a 10 item wardrobe when I was at my pre pregnancy weight. I was honestly so confused on how to implement it during the first few months of pregnancy, when regular clothes don't fit, and the first 4-6 months postpartum when very few of my clothes fit and feel like they should! I would usually end up buying several really cheap items to get me through, but the quality was poor and they made me feel worse and affected my self esteem. I hated feeling like that at such a joyful period in my and my family's lives! Now I know that especially for these times when are bodies are not as they usually are, to keep quality rather than quantity in mind, and it's ok to gave a 5 item wardrobe of beautiful and flattering clothes and to just keep an eye out for what you need and to not feel the pressure of having certain things right away(for instance a pair of jeans.) This week's video was so very helpful and I think I can speak for a lot of us when I say your candor and your beautiful but down to earth way of handling life is so refreshing. You look beautiful and congrats on your precious baby.

Thank you for your kind words! It's true, our bodies go through so many different phases that we need to stay centered and commit to dressing well, no matter what phase we are in. If that means paring down the wardrobe to a very small size, so be it! I love the feeling of peace I get from my small wardrobe. I love to share the ten-item wardrobe and see how it positively affects other people's lives.

Jo K writes:
Dear Jennifer,
I thought you might be interested in my recent experience with a limited wardrobe. I have just started a new job after many years of working from home and raising my children. My immediate instinct was to go shopping for new clothes – although my work environment is not very formal, I do need to look presentable. Financially, a shopping trip (or, more likely, a catalogue-shopping binge) was out of the question.

So, with you in mind, I did a thorough review of what I already had and found three serviceable dresses, two summer dresses that I’ve had for several years and another dress that I bought for a special occasion and have not worn since. With two cashmere cardigans, one of which I repaired, I have enough to be presentable five days a week. I have some tailored trousers for when the weather cools and I am on the lookout for a neutral skirt to mix and match.
Aside from the convenience of the limited options, some interesting things I have realised are:
New is not necessarily better. I have always thought that confidence came from new clothes. In fact, the same feeling can come from having my outfits well planned.

The two summer dresses were not favourites. In fact, one of them I did not like very much but being ‘forced’ to wear it has made me value and like it more.
There is a satisfaction that comes from ‘wearing up’ clothes, rather than adding new ones. It is like the feeling that comes from using up the last bits and pieces of food in the fridge at the end of the week.
Finally, when I do purchase new clothes for my work wardrobe in the future, I will have a clearer idea of what works best and what I really need.

Dear Jo K, thank you for sharing your experience with us. What I like most about your process, is that it was thoughtful, disciplined and not rushed. I am so happy you are taking satisfaction out of the ten-item wardrobe concept.


Sharon B. writes:
I picked up "At Home with..." from the library. Thank you so much for writing this book. It is beautifully written and exactly what I needed.

Sharon, thank you so much for your email. I am so happy that At Home With Madame Chic has brought you joy!

This week I would love to know what you thought of my closet tour. How do you organize your closet? How is your ten-item wardrobe coming along? Let me know and your comment could be chosen as a comment of the week on the blog.

See you soon!

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Anonymous said...

On clearing out my wardrobe this weekend I re-confirmed something which my mother and I often talk about. A tidy wardrobe ruthlessly eliminates selfishness. This time, to my chagrin, I found myself wanting to cling onto things which were really ready to go. By continually assessing what we need, and giving away those things which are not needed, and by eliminating excess we are poking at the cling of selfishness as it manifests itself in our wardrobes.

Shannon said...

I really loved this video! Especially that you didn't prep everything perfectly before and hearing your thought process on the TB dress. Seeing you walk through that "discovery" was fun. I'm fairly new but am curious if your husband follows a similar wardrobe plan?

Anonymous said...

Where do you keep your unmentionables (bras, underwear)? I'm thinking of downsizing to the closet only, but I'm wondering how to store them so that they aren't out in the open. Thanks in advance!

Emma Knight Peel said...

That was fun! I'd love to have a closet like yours with so much space and shelving and a window! A European woman at my mom's church mentioned to her that she noticed that Americans tend to hold onto things and have so much clutter, and how Europeans have only a few nice clothes that they wear and wear. I can absolutely see the benefit of having fewer high quality items that I love and wear regularly. I'm still slowly reassessing my clothes and getting rid of a lot of things after I wear them. I loved some jeans that I wore a lot, but then saw a video of myself in them and how they were not flattering (!), so they're in the donation pile now. It's exhilarating to make positive changes! My Mom recently lost a lot of weight and is clearing out her closet and wearing things she hasn't been able to in years and having fun with that, but also is having a hard time letting go of things she can't wear, but they are still nice and never worn. I told her to let them go and let someone else enjoy them. :)

Emma Knight Peel said...

P.S. I've found that for me, it helps to see a video or photo of myself in clothing. Lots of things that I think are flattering in the mirror are so not flattering in photos or videos, which I think tell the truth more than a mirror for some reason.

Natasha Orr said...

She tells you this in the video. In those canvass bins

Denise said...

I thoroughly enjoyed these last two videos on changing seasons and clothing storage. Your storage solutions have inspired me. I'm going to get me husband to participate in packing up spring/summer clothes in fabric storage cubes from The Container Store, one color for me and one for my husband. Our awkward closet has deep wings that are impossible to use except for storage. I think we can pack the cubes into the recesses of the closet when out-of-season. Looking forward to spacious drawers in our tall dressers. We each have our own to hold just one season at a time. How cool is that? You are so clever! I've been stressed for a long time with storage issues and this will help a lot. You convinced me, and I think my husband will be on-board to editing as we pack and unpack each new season. This method will free up lots of closet space and our beautiful upholstered easy chair. Thank you.

LoveLee said...

Loved this video! I especially like the comments at the end about it being a lifestyle change. I have been doing Project333 for 2 years now and I can't imagine going back to the old way of a closet full of clothes. I think most people really don't understand how freeing it is to have fewer choices instead of more. Thanks for the inspiration!

Summer Smith said...

Thank you! I love visuals. I went right upstairs and went through my dresser. I'm amazed by how little I kept and how much I got rid of. As always, thank you for the motivation and the encouragement.

Lesliekallio said...

Hi Jennifer:

Thank you for your video! You and your books are a source of constant inspiration to me. I am wondering if you implement some version of the 10 item wardrobe with your children. I have two young daughters and I would love some tips on how you manage your children's' clothing.


Ashley Diaz said...

Dear Jennifer,

What a treat! I felt like an excited little girl, getting a peak into her mother's luxurious, grown up closet. I'm happy to hear you're looking for jeans! While I completely understood your choice to not wear them for a few years in order to emphasize looking presentable, I do believe that the right pair can look very chic. I've purchased a few from Talbots and have been pleased with their ability to keep their dark wash and shape.


madeofmydreams said...

I so enjoyed being invited to peek into your closet! Thank you for allowing all of us the opportunity.

I first saw your Ted talk a little more than a year ago. My husband and had I moved from our large one bedroom apartment to a lovely three bedroom home, and (because I was pregnant and my massive collection of more than 50 dresses was in boxes) I did not fully recognize that we had scaled back to less than half the closet space until after I had our daughter and I tried unpacking all my normal clothing. Not even half of it fit into the provided space! I became somewhat irrational and begged my husband to build me an additional closet. (Which he looked into because he is congenial even in the face of rediculousness.) During this crisis my sister sent me your video and challenged me to try it. Honestly it's exciting to curate a small high quality wardrobe! Additionally it's been a tremendous blessing to have a thoughtfully put together closet to select clothing from as I learn to be a mother and grow in my effort to live consistently.

Despite the fact that our closet is smaller than any I'd called mine before and the fact that I have to share it, I find it a refreshing piece of peace in our busy home. Far from stuffed to the brim, there is space for each item to breathe. (I have been known to leave the door open so that I am able to delight in looking at it.) My clothes are on the left, his on the right, and within each category they are hung by color in rainbow order on matching hangers. Our out of season clothing is in boxes on the shelf above and our dirty laundry baskets are lined up on the floor.

We are expecting again; due early December, so much of my ten item wardrobe from last fall does not fit. I have been shopping with purpose over the last two weeks or so and I'm almost there. I'd like to find a skirt and another long sleeved T shirt or two.

Thank you again for inspiring us to live as daily connoisseurs! Your message has been encouraging to me.

~Kathleen Hemingway

madeofmydreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madeofmydreams said...

My phone double posted, I apologize.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hello ladies, I am excited to read that many of you are going through your closets this weekend. I wish you all the best of luck and want you to have fun with it. Thank you to all of you for your wonderful comments and insights. It is so exciting to do this with you. I have many contenders for the comment and question of the week! Best wishes, Jennifer xx

Jennifer said...

The way you keep your closet is what I strive for and I have kept mine in a similar fashion in the past. These past few months have been very busy for me and somehow I have managed to accumulate so much "stuff." After seeing your closet I am going to start going through mine today! This video had a similar effect to watching an episode of hoarders and frantically going to clean out the entire home. Except your video was so inspirational! I loved seeing how you store and organize your wardrobe as well. It got my creative juices flowing for how I plan on reorganizing mine.

Annie said...

I have that Sherlock Holmes game! How cool to see it in your closet too.

Anonymous said...

I discovered the daily connoisseur in spring of 2016 and quickly watched most of your videos. While it was great to get such a large dose it left me with the impression that you had more clothes sitting around than you probably do. I've loved the last 2 videos because they have encouraged me to be content with what I have.