# 10 Item Wardrobe # Ten-item wardrobe

Preparing My Ten-Item Wardrobe | Spring Summer 2017

It is that time of year again! Time to pull out your clothes for the upcoming season and begin to compile your ten-item wardrobe. In today's video I show you the detailed process of how I prepare for the upcoming spring/summer season. I'm taking all of my clothes out, trying them on and making decisions. I also discover what I need to add to my shopping list.

I hope watching my process is helpful for you and gives you ideas on how to make the ten-item wardrobe workable in your every day life.

For your reference, here is the Ten-item Wardrobe Spring/Summer 2015 where you will see most of these clothes, as well as the post on the Tailored Boden Dress Before & After.

So many of you have shared beautiful pictures of the Madame Chic books online, I would like to regularly start featuring your Instagram pictures in the news item of this blog! Simply use the hashtags #MADAMECHIC , #jenniferlscott or #dailyconnoisseur so I can find your photo. I can't get to all of them, but I will do my best!

Discreetly London shares a beautiful picture of Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic on Instagram.

A post shared by @discreetly_london on

Skycarves shares a beautiful photo of the Russian At Home with Madame Chic

A post shared by Biryukova Anna (@skycarves) on

Also, The Perfectly Imperfect Club draws inspiration from Lessons from Madame Chic when building her own capsule wardrobe.

Comment of the Week
I've only just found you, Jennifer, and I'm so thrilled. This video was so honest and beautiful because really, shouldn't we all be "spent flowers" at the end of the day? I loved your focus on the baby spit on your shoulder and remember that from years past. I'm now 55 and my children are all grown and I am still working at doing better at my wardrobe and appearance on a day-to-day basis. I live on a ranch and I help outdoors with the cattle and sheep and so my wardrobe is not always very feminine. Still, there are work at the barn days and work at home days so I could do better. Thank you for the inspiration. I'm sharing your blog and videos with my daughter and daughters-in-law.

Hi Jody, welcome to the blog! I loved your "spent flowers" comment. That makes it sound so beautiful. As I'm writing this, it is Sunday evening and I feel like a very spent flower, indeed. Your life on the ranch sounds beautiful and wonderful and messy all at the same time. Fabulous!

See you all on Thursday for an episode of Teatime with Jennifer, discussing a very funny viral video.

In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts on this week's post. Was it helpful for me to show my process to you? Are you gathering your ten-item wardrobe together? Where are you in the process? Let me know and your comment could be chosen as comment of the week on the blog!

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Charlotte Park Creative said...

Hi Jennifer,

This video is great inspiration to get organized for the spring and summer seasons. I have been slowly selecting my favorite items from my existing wardrobe and donating the items that no longer work for me. I have carefully added a few items that will be core pieces. I am excited to get the entire wardrobe pulled together. Thank you for sharing your how-to tips and what your plans are for your 10 item wardrobe. I am always delighted and encouraged by your blog and videos.


Maureen @Raising The Capable Student said...

You put this up in perfect time for me. My daughter and I have Spring Break next week, and I plan to watch your video with her, and then implement our plan for Spring shopping. She loves watching your videos with me, and I love that someone younger and much cooler than me tells her the things I want her to hear! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Great video! I love the ten item wardrobe idea! I live in Poland and this is my ten item wardrobe for spring:

1 pair of jeans
1 pair of black trausers
1 white shirt
1 green blouse
2 plaid shirts
2 dresses

This is 8 items. I want to buy yet a pair of trausres and one or two blouses, a jacket and maybe a cardigan.

Unknown said...

Hi Jennifer, after couple of years of following your blog and after having purchased all your books I finally found the courage to declutter my home (I am so very pleased with how it turned out, I sincerely feel lighter just thinking of it) and to start a 10 item seasonal wardrobe. By the way a beautiful book I read which advocates for similar things like you do is Ines's de la Fressange "Parisian Chic", thought you might like to read that in case you haven't already:-). Keep up the good work and the inspiration:-)

Vicki Zimmerman said...

This was so helpful and practical as you did your walk-through on your your ten item wardrobe spring prep.  Keeping a list of what to purchase is a great way to stay focused.  Have you tried The Laundress Stain Solution or Zout to work on your dress stain?  They may help.  Also, did you post a video on your AG dark denim high waist jeans, or did I miss it?  It would be great to see them as jeans can be a difficult purchase.  Knowing that you are a fan of Equipment blouses, and regarding your blouse purchases, and keeping in line with a budget-friendly wardrobe, I just purchased two easy-care long sleeved blouses at Uniqlo, one in white and one in pink, and I am quite happy with both of them, as I can wear them with slacks, jeans or a skirt, and they feel so lightweight and comfortable.  Thanks, Jennifer, for sharing your insights.  ^^ P. S. I just thought of something else: Do you ever put outfit ensembles together on the same hanger (for example, your Rebecca Taylor dress with the soon-to-be-purchased white leggings) or do you store them in separate places?

Ladylike said...

Hello Jennifer,
I enjoyed your video~ Yes, this is an exciting time of transition~ Luckily, I planned ahead and am now prepared for the warmer weather with a three week outfit plan printed out~ What to wear today? Let's see what it says on my plan! My method was to come up with a color palette for this season, and that helped enormously to narrow down the choices. My core color palette is white, navy, and black, and the accent colors are red and pink. The accent colors come into play mainly in the form of shoes and accessories; I have about 15 core items in my spring wardrobe. Actually, it's 14, but I'm leaving room for a gift or a purchase since my birthday is coming up soon! May I say that as we grow older, all this organization and choosiness feels even more important. Being of a certain age and poorly dressed is so not chic.
My challenge at this time is that it feels like winter in the early morning and summer in the afternoon here in Northern California. So, I'm still wearing closed-toe (winter) shoes and coats in the morning, then ditching the coat and wearing sandals with the same outfit in the afternoon. So far so good. As soon as I can lose the coats and the winter shoes completely, my closet transition will be complete.
By the way, I have to share that I also recently de-cluttered some drawers full of papers. Guess what I found? Over $400 worth of savings bonds I had completely forgotten about~ These were gifts for my teenage son, and he was very happy to receive them. De-cluttering in all its forms definitely pays off, sometimes quite literally. Thanks so much for the guidance.
Warm best, Alexandra

Deanna L said...

HI Jennifer!

My first time commenting, but I have followed your blog for over a year now. I have a questions about the t-shirts you wear - are those also high quality or are you less specific about the quality of you t-shirts? I have found that in my "10" item wardrobe my low quality t-shirts get worn quite often and will wear out after maybe 6 months of use. I was wondering if you faced this same issue and how you make your t-shirts last.

Thank you for all of your great tips,


Unknown said...

These 10 item wardrobe videos are so helpful! I find the spring transition quite tricky, particularly because here in Scotland it can still be warm one day and cold the next. This year, I sorted my wardrobe out on a Friday evening, with a glass of prosecco, and hung up all the clothes on a rail we have for our guest room, and took some photos. I wrote my list, and when I went shopping on the Monday, I had the photos to look back on too, which helped a lot to make sure that everything would really coordinate when I got home.

Robyn said...

Thanks for sharing your spring/summer wardrobe. What stood out most for me was that you are not a fashionista. So often I try to follow fashions and especially the fashions recently just aren't me. So for the second time, yesterday on another blog-Light by Coco the subject of dressing according to your style as opposed to what's in style is important. I am a very simple, causal but classic dresser. So this morning when I got dressed I put on an angora sweater, white blouse and gray trousers and instead of feeling frumpy I simply appreciated the outfit. (after 80 degres days we are just now having snow?)

elle said...

Hi Jennifer and DC community, I have been slowly eliminating items from my wardrobe and carefully considering what I add to it. One of my relatives has recently changed her clothing based on the colors that suit her best. Is this something you have ever researched? Some of the dresses- blues and greens- look so right on you! It might be considered old-fashioned to some to wear your "season" but I have to admit, it's not wrong. Knowing that warm reds and plums and teals suit me, and that white and pink do not has narrowed my focus so much and gives me great direction toward what items to look for. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Meg said...

Jennifer---I love your blog and books. What leggings do you recommend? I liked the black ones you have in the video, above, and would like to turn some of my shorter dresses into tunics, too.

Thank you for everything you do!

Akila said...

Hi Jennifer and fellow connoisseurs,
I'm looking for some tips and encouragement on my situation. Unfortunately over the last couple of years I've developed a chronic foot and ankle injury that requires me to wear fully supportive running shoes and an ankle brace at all times. I can't walk barefoot or wear much other than bright neon Asics with my bulky ankle brace. I'm young--a mother of a toddler and a preschooler and have always been active and before this injury I wore dresses and presentable clothing similar to what Jennifer wears. Now I have been wearing workout clothes more because I feel odd wearing dresses with bright running shoes. Any tips on how I can curate a wardrobe that looks decent given my circumstances? I'd be so grateful for any encouragement and tips!

dc_occ said...

Yes, I would love some tips on tshirts as well. I've bought low and high end brands, and always end up feeling cheated.

Anna said...

I found your video inspiring to get my closet organized for spring. I wanted to do the 10 item wardrobe, but I felt like I couldn't do it in my setting. (Western Africa). The clothes that are culturally acceptable tend to be outfits all of one beautifully patterned fabric, but not mix and match. After watching your video I had the idea to treat these as "dresses" since I wear them together and many people here even call an outfit like that a dress. Now I'm ready to plan my spring 10ish item wardrobe.

K.L said...

Hi! Just wondering if it would be possible for you to replace the running shoes with orthopedic insoals? I have those especially molded for my feet and buy shoes with removable insoals & place my special ones inside. Granted all shoes don't have removable insoals but they do exist & then you have more than sportswear to chose from. Hope that can be an option?

K.L said...

Depends on the need of your feet of course but some brands also try to have more or less feet-freindly shoes, as well as perhaps having removable insoals. I dont know that many international brands, but German ones are usually good (Legero/Reiker) & Clarks (not all their models, some more than others). You would have to do some heavy research & preferally try them on in physical stores to make sure they fit your needs.

Anonymous said...

I am a 70-year-old retiree. Over the winter, I have fallen into the habit of wearing my flannel "granny" gowns and robes throughout the days when I know that I won't be going out. (I am a real nester and stay inside whenever possible during cold weather.) I purchased 3 dresses for winter that were really expensive and beautiful. I want them to last forever. So, here is my problem: I don't want to wear them around the house because I want them to look fresh and new always. Now, when I put one of them on, I feel so good. They are all comfortable, they're actually the same style, and I enjoy how I look in them. How do I get over this mindset that they must be "saved" for when I go out? Mostly, the only "person" who sees me at home in these dresses is my dog Jax, but he really doesn't care what I wear. He likes me just fine in anything. How do I get past this and enjoy these beautiful dresses on a daily basis? Have you confronted this strange problem before?

Akila said...

Thanks K.L! I do have custom orthotics and have tried the route you recommended, but currently my ankle is so bad that only custom orthotics in my Asics with the ankle brace seem to provide the adequate support. My ankle brace doesn't fit with most non-running shoes. I'm going through a process of trying to rehab my ankle and looking into surgical options as well, so I'm pretty limited in terms of footwear for the foreseeable future. I'm thinking that either I keep wearing my usual wardrobe with my bright, bulky footwear, or I will look into nice jeans and black pants and presentable tops for most of my wardrobe, and a dress or two for situations where I don't plan on walking and can wear regular shoes, such as going out for dinner or a movie with my husband. Having physical limitations is something that really changes one's perspective on a lot of things. Any other ideas would be most welcome.

Anonymous said...

Alice -- Please wear these dresses on a daily basis! I am 60... not quite up there with your 70. But even so, I can do the math: we can see more days in our rear-view mirror than there are ahead of us. I talk myself out of saving anything "for special" by projecting myself into the future, and asking myself if, on my deathbed, I would say to myself, "Gee, I'm really glad I hardly ever wore those dresses! They still look like new!" I doubt very much I would say that. More likely, I would smack myself upside the head (presuming I was still capable of doing that) and call myself a fool for not wearing things that I loved while I was still alive to enjoy them. Because the truth of the matter is that no one day is any more special than another. Every day you are alive is special. Our own mortality is a great reminder to live in the present.

Anonymous said...

Akila V, I see Ines de la Fressange wearing her sneakers with a little jackets and wider bottom pants. You might also try a mid-length skirt, pull on easy, with a scarf you tie around your neck and pretend you are sporty chic. Alice, try wearing your nice dresses on Fridays! Then add maybe another day:) I like to have at least one day of the week that I dress up a little more. Love the inspiration you give us Jennifer!

Unknown said...

I don't know why I have never thought to write down what I have, but that was a "duh" brilliant point! I will be doing this. I am 2 weeks postpartum and most of my pregnancy clothes are too big, so I've started to go through my non-maternity clothes and like you feel like I just went shopping! I even told my husband, "it's like I have a whole new wardrobe!" He said, "GOOD!" I will be buying minimal too.

Thanks for the advice and motivation! I can't wait to see you model them! I think those are my favorite videos of yours. :)

Gumbo Lily said...

Jennifer, I really enjoyed the video of you showing us how you prepare for your spring wardrobe. Why does "writing down" the items you need seem so simple and obvious, but I wouldn't have thought of it? Excellent! Since watching your videos, I have cleaned out my closet and drawers and am focusing on what I have.

Question: How do you feel about looking for fall/winter things for the capsule wardrobe when items are on sale but out of season? I found the most lovely, wool, plaid skirt on Garnet Hill for less than half of the original price. It looks to be one of those classic skirts that will stay in the wardrobe for a long while. Your thoughts?

Thanks for using my comment. How sweet of you.


Linda said...

Dear Jennifer,
Thank you for your inspiring videos and books, I really enjoy them.
About that stain, have you ever tried bile soap? It is amazing. I got chocolate butter cream all over the front of my blush-coloured silk Equipment blouse (please don't ask me how it happened). I put it in the washer immediately, but it didn't go away. There was a brown, fatty smear the size of a basket ball in front. I gave up on the shirt, but still put it in storage since I couldn't bear parting with it. Six months later, I found it again and tried bile soap, that I had recently heard about. And with some very careful rubbing, the stain disappeared completely! I have been wearing the shirt dozens of times since then and still love it!