# 10 Item Wardrobe # Reader Questions Answered

Working Messy Jobs Ten-Item Wardrobe Help Reader Q&A

Today I answer a question from Caleb (yes, men also watch The Daily Connoisseur!) :)

He works a job that requires him to get dirty and wants to know how that fits in the ten-item wardrobe world. I hope you'll check out my video this week because this topic applies to not only people with messy jobs, but also to people who work in the corporate world, or anyone who has to wear something "different" to work.

If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel at www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur . Don't forget to give the video a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel. I appreciate your support!


Simply Emily is in love with the ten-item wardrobe concept and writes about Lessons from Madame Chic on her blog.

Comments of the Week

Godaifi writes:
Totally agree - the clothes feel like brand new when I pull out last season's wardrobe and I can't wait to wear them again :) I've follow your system since 2012 and this year I started to do the same with my 2 toddlers' wardrobes.

Hi Godaifi, it's nice that we can still get the "rush" from buying new clothes, when we simply pull out our wardrobe from last year. I'm glad the ten-item wardrobe has worked so well for you!

Luisa M writes:
So glad you're back! I discovered your channel a few weeks ago and you've been my best friend this summer. Honestly! I'm between jobs at the moment and me and my husband just moved to our first family home. So I'm spending a lot of time at home, on my own, sorting out our new home. I watch your videos over and over again, I just let them running in the background to keep me company. It's been such an inspiration. You've motivated me to get dressed everyday even if I don't have to. I say hello to all my neighbors. I take more pleasure (and pride) on everyday tasks. Life feels... better. I guess I just want to say thank you for your work :) Enjoy the rest of your break and congratulations on your baby boy!

Thank you so much, Luisa! I'm so happy that my YouTube channel has been a source of inspiration for you this summer.

Today, I'd love to hear about your ten-item wardrobe experience. Do you work at a job that requires a unique dress code? Let us know about your ten-item wardrobe experience below and you could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog!

See you on Friday, when I answer a question about routines. See you then!

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Anonymous said...

I'm curious about keeping my clothing presentable. I love the idea of a minimal wardrobe. My concern is that I'm single and it takes more than a week to generate a full load of laundry. I know things can be worn more than once, but I live in Arizona. By the end of a hot day, I'm done and so are my clothes!

The Wool Fairy said...

Hi Jennifer! I love this topic! It's something I've had to work out for myself as well. I live in a rural setting, with farm animals, a gravel driveway and two very outdoorsy young boys. I've put a lot of thought into how to look presentable in a way to is also practical for my lifestyle. Here's a link to a blog post I did on it.


An idea I also like it the Itty Bitty City Wardrobe - something I picked up from Becka from Terriers and Tweeds. She lives a country life too, but has a small little special wardrobe for trips to the city.

Thanks again for a great post!

Carrie Willard said...

My "messy" job is that of being a homeschooling mom of seven! I love having a minimalist wardrobe, and I leave the house every morning by 6 so that I can write at a local coffee shop, so I have somewhere to "Dress up" for.

That said, I do have to replace my clothing more often than perhaps a single person or a mom whose kids are in daycare would, because kids are hard on clothes! Right now my favorite pink J. Crew skirt has a large grease stain on it because someone made a mess in the car and I sat in it. :-(

NO WAY would my 10-item wardrobe last an entire season. I have to be okay with that. I use aprons to wash dishes and cook. They're chic in their own way. I'm careful not to lean against counters while cleaning or brushing my teeth/applying makeup (that's where those tiny little holes in the front of your shirt near the beltline come from).

Paige said...

Being an RN can definitely be messy at times. I am so thankful for scrubs. My clinical instructor in nursing school would send us home from our clinical rotations if our uniforms (scrubs) had any stains, were in "any form of ill repair" and were not ironed. That was serious business because we were only allowed to miss two clinical days (firm) or we would be released from the program. Two years into my nursing practice and I still iron my scrubs and kick them out of rotation when they are faded or stained.

Paige said...

Also, I love how this woman seems to have figured out looking well while living messily in the French countryside with 6 (maybe 7??) children, twenty-something dogs, and cooks for a living:


Stephanie Clayton said...

What a great question and I just love your answer, Jennifer. I'm an artist and I also work in a ceramics studio. I deal with paint and clay almost daily, and often I am working outdoors, doing rather physical work, in the Texas heat, surrounded by very hot equipment. It's always challenging for me, wardrobe-wise. I always strive to look my best, and I seem to have that under control even when I'm covered in clay dust and sweat, ha! I tried the separate wardrobes idea (off-duty, on-duty, even recreation/fitness). However, I've found it wasn't so black and white for me. That's because I'm usually able to find presentable and stylish clothing that multi-tasks easily, without veering into the dreaded "yoga pants as daywear" category! All that said, I do strive to keep my wardrobe to a minimum, and that has proven to be quite liberating if not challenging because of my line of work.
Thanks for everything you do! You're an inspiration to many.

Anonymous said...

Another tip for those with messy jobs- Make sure that your work clothes are not torn or tattered. I've been guilty of saying, "These are my painting pants so it doesn't matter if there are holes in them." Clothes always look better-regardless of the job-if they don't have holes or frays. (I know that is a current fad, but not my personal favorite, especially for the professional environment, messy or not.) If you know that clothes will get easily ruined, perhaps create your own uniform or buy high quality but less expensive clothes that can be easily replaced.

Debra said...

Dear Jennifer--

This comment is going to be rather long, but I've been thinking about it for some time and your post today re: Caleb and clothes for dirty jobs inspired me to finally respond.

Most of us look to our mothers and other female relatives/friends for inspiration, but the real style icon in our family was my father. He was a big believer in quality and always looking your best. Although he worked in dirty, dusty potato warehouses and grain elevators (he was a USDA inspector), he never wore jeans, instead always neat work trousers and a collared button-down shirt, and always, always a fedora-style hat (felt in the winter, straw in the summer). He owned two pair of quality work boots that were polished and conditioned on a regular basis and taken to the shoe shop for repair and resoling as needed. I still have several of his Pendleton wool shirts that are of such quality and were so well taken care of that they look nearly new. On weekends when he was able to ditch the work clothes and dress up for church and nights out, he maintained a small quality wardrobe of classic midcentury suits and sportcoats, adding a dash of personality with ties and pocket squares and essentials such as a handkerchief and roll of breath mints in the pocket. :-) He was truly our example for presenting ourselves neatly and appropriately, whether we were in a warehouse or a chapel.

Thank you for addressing such unusual situations as Caleb's, as well as everything else you do for your readers. It is truly a pleasure to follow your blog and I refer to all the Madame Chic books often and recommend them to friends. Best wishes for continued success!

Warmest Regards,

Nadege said...

Jennifer, I look forward to every single one of your videos. Funny story - I have a chronic illness, some days peeling myself from the bed takes a tremendous amount of work. Well, on Monday I woke up in a great deal of pain. So feeling quite sorry for myself, I decided that the day was lost and may as well be a slothfest. I went into my closet and reached for my clean yet threadbare and totally unpresentable sweats and t- shirt. Then it hit me like a lead ballon that after watching your closet tour, I had again reviewed my closet and THREW AWAY all items that would embarrass me . I cussed under my breath (so not chic) at my beautiful and tidy closet and pulled out a lovely dresses. In the spirit of the book "If you give a mouse a cookie", seeing how nice I looked in my dress, thought a little bit more effort ought to be made.

I fixed my hair, hmm, might as well fix my face (looking even more put together), said a prayer of gratitude and began my day feeling and looking much better.

Needless to say, making that effort to look respectable must have had a psychological affect on me. Though I was still experiencing pain, my mindset had changed and my spirit was lifted. To top it off, my neighbor decided to stop by without notices - yet I didn't have to pretend I wasn't home.😇

Patricia said...

Jennifer, I totally loved Caleb's question and your response; also Debi's post about her Dad's sense of style even on the job. It occurs to me that even though I always dress to look my best even to grocery shop or run errands, lunch with girlfriends, and certainly dinners out with my husband, I somehow always manage to, especially the latter, drip something on myself or whatever...some dirt, spot, or temporary stain. Nevertheless, I now realize most people won't notice those because I look presentable overall and people tend to see you, not in specifics that way, but as a whole look. I would say to Caleb to find the best clothes he can for his job at an affordable price; washable jeans and tee-shirts or whatever, which fit him well and look attractive when they're clean. They won't look so bad even when they're dirty. Also, when I was a teenager and would wake up feeling ill or out of sorts complaining to my mother, she'd always say try washing your face, brushing your teeth, combing your hair, and put on some lipstick. That'll make you feel better. If you don't feel better, I'll make a doctor's appointment or take you to the ER. I was so impressed by Nadege's wonderful comment about waking up feeling unwell due to her chronic illness, still rising above her illness to make herself presentable to her neighbor, more importantly to herself, lifting her own spirit.

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