Monday, October 7, 2013

Can I achieve a 10 Item Wardrobe?

After re-reading Lessons from Madame Chic, and implementing so many other lessons into my daily life, I felt that spring was the perfect time to try and implement the Ten Item Wardrobe. Jennifer's ten items is not ten items total in the vein of Project 333 (just my shoes and accessories would take me over that limit!); instead, it represents the 10 core items forming the backbone of your closet, which are then filled out with what she calls extras - outerwear (blazers, cardigans etc), accessories, shoes and "undershirts"(tanks and tees). As well as using Jennifer's book, I also relied heavily on her amazing videos on YouTube, including this one below which shows her Spring ten item wardrobe. I warn you, though, watching one of her video's is like falling down the rabbit hole as you discover all of her other fantastic ones!



I tried very, very hard, but I just couldn't get it down to ten! I really, really culled and tossed and donated, but still couldn't make it to ten. However, Jennifer makes it clear in her book that 10 is an arbitrary number;

"Don't stress about the amount of core items. If 10 is too drastic for you, go for more, like 15 or 20. The point is to pare down your wardrobe to a small collection of beautiful clothes that make you feel good. It can be very liberating to get rid of the rest. You can do it!"
While I didn't get to ten, I did narrow it down to 21, and when summer comes and I re-evaluate my core items, I will try to whittle it down further. And when I look at my wardrobe now, versus how it looked before, I'm still pretty impressed with myself! I went through my closet piece by piece and evaluated each item, and I was ruthless. For an item to stay, it had to fit, it had to flatter, and I had to love it. At the end of this, I had a slimmed down wardrobe less than 40 items, with just 22 core wardrobe items, and my wardrobe looked beautiful! The pic below shows my new, organised wardrobe:

 On the shelves (from top to bottom) are my tee/tank extras, cardigans and sweaters, and finally my jeans and pants. On the left hand hanging rack are my outerwear extras (you can see I really do have a blazer obsession!), and on the right are my skirts, blouses and dresses.

These are my 22 core items:

  1. white slim leg jeans
  2. dark rinse slim cut jeans
  3. boyfriend jeans
  4. blue linen trousers
  5. black print knit track pants
  6. print denim pencil skirt
  7. navy and yellow floral print skirt
  8. navy striped ponte skirt
  9. navy jersey dress
  10. navy jersey maxi dress
  11. black jersey maxi dress
  12. coral three quarter sleeve sweater
  13. pale pink three quarter sleeve sweater
  14. navy three quarter sleeve sweater
  15. navy and cream striped sweater
  16. grey and yellow print sleeveless silk blouse
  17. teal, navy and white sleeveless chiffon blouse
  18. cream long sleeved silk blouse
  19. orange and white cotton tunic
  20. white and blue striped tunic
  21. navy, white and red ikat tunic
  22. Liberty print linen shirt
 and my extras:

Outerwear
  1. navy linen blazer
  2. navy stripe ponte blazer
  3. natural linen blazer
  4. coral blazer
  5. seersucker jacket
  6. aqua knit jacket
  7. denim jacket
  8. navy waterfall merino cardigan
  9. navy short sleeved cotton cardigan
  10. coral cotton cardigan
 Tees/tanks
  1. white, navy, coral, and teal plain scoop or v neck tees
  2. navy and white tanks
  3. navy and white stripe v neck tee
  4. navy, white and red striped tee
  5. navy and white anchor print tee
  6. coral floral print tank
  7. navy floral print tank

As you can see from the items above, the key to making a limited wardrobe workable is to have a select colour palette, with each piece of clothing able to be matched with most others in the wardrobe. For spring, my base colour is navy, with accents of white, red, coral and aqua. Summer will probably be pretty similar, maybe with white moving towards being more of a base, and for winter, I will definitely rotate in my black, grey and camel pieces. Pick colours that suit you, suit your lifestyle, and most importantly, are colours that you love!

So there you have my 10 (22!) item wardrobe. I'll keep you updated on how I am finding it, and stay tuned for my summer wardrobe in a couple of months.

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