The Ten Item Wardrobe

I am a little obsessed with the French way of life- probably so much that it is a fault.  One of the things that has captivated me about this great mystery is their simplistic yet always put together style.  In Jennifer L. Scott’s Lessons from Madame Chic, she perfectly explains how to cultivate this type of style.  It starts with the “Ten Item Wardrobe”.  I used to be a complete shopaholic and couldn’t walk out of TJ Maxx without spending at least $50 (that’s on the low side), but after reading Scott’s tips, I can honestly say I have completely changed my ways!  Which wasn’t a small feat!  Over the last year (yes, it has taken me that long) I have slowly been paring down my wardrobe to only things I truly love and wear on a regular basis.  I have gotten to the point where I am not ashamed to wear the same clothing items each week- some may have a harder time with this than others, but remixing outfits is a fun “game” which is necessary when you have a few pieces!  This fall will be the first time I actually start the season (and hopefully end it) with a capsule wardrobe- I will post my list soon!  Here are the guidelines to a Ten Item Wardrobe:

1. Cull the closet-

The first step is to go through your current wardrobe and be brutally honest.  Make four piles- give away, consign, store, and keep.  Personal style does change over the years (as well as sizes!) so consign these items that may not work for you anymore, and donate the items that are a little worn out.  Store things that may be useful in other seasons or that you are having a hard time parting with.  Keep only the items you absolutely LOVE, can wear multiple ways, and are the correct fit.

2. Create the Ten Item capsule-

This is my favorite part!  Each person’s capsule will look a little different because of how we spend our days, but I will explain how I make a capsule wardrobe for my life going to classes full time and working part time in a business casual environment.  The ten items need to consist of items work the most frequently and are the main part of an outfit.  I like to have two pairs of work appropriate pants (over the summer I had a pair of white jeans and a pair of black skinny jeans), a few dresses and pencil skirts that can be dressed up or down, and some blouses that layer nicely or can be worn alone.  Then comes the “extras”- these are the things that complete the outfit- the tee shirts, jackets, cardigans, accessories, etc.  Don’t get stressed about the number of how many items are in your capsule, though.  As long as you have created a grouping of items you love to wear, you’re on the right track!

3. Make a list-

Now that you see your inventory and where there may be some holes, it is time to make a list of needed items.  From now on, the items you buy need to be of quality, can work with other items, and make you happy while wearing!  My list this fall consisted of a silk blouse, a striped dress, and two pairs of skinny jeans (black and dark wash).

4. Shopping-

Take your time while you shop- gone are the days of impulse buying!  Focus on sticking to your list and it will be amazing how you no longer want to buy frivolous items!  Make sure to buy items of good quality, which you can find at many different price points.




As you can see, this way of dressing can fit anyone’s budget or lifestyle.  I love the flexibility that comes with not worrying about what to wear, but always looking pulled together!

Is a Ten Item Wardrobe something you could manage?  I would love to hear!

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    1. Thank you Jen! I will admit, it’s still a process for me, as it is so easy to fall into the buying rut but I’m making progress 🙂 Good luck if you try the Ten Item Wardrobe- let me know how it goes!

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