Sunday, 23 June 2013

The 10 item wardrobe. Could it ever happen?

I read a book recently ('Lessons from Madame Chic' if anyone's interested) in the hope it might 'gee me up' a bit with my wardrobe challenge which has been ongoing now for - ooh about 8 months - probably pre-dates this blog in fact! Now one piece of advice was to edit your wardrobe down to just 10 key, top quality, flexible items.

I liked this idea but the question occurred to me - how on earth to select the 10 items....?

I then read this blog post - which turns most wardrobe clear-out theories on their head by recommending that instead of the usual emptying of the closet and the laborious trying on / working out what doesn't fit etc etc - that you simply select things that you do LOVE. Yes LOVE. Note that this means that any hesitation, however slight, rules that item out on the basis that you don't love it. Now this appealed to the Ash mentality. (Impatient and simplistic.)

(Not my wardrobe, but a benchmark!)

So I went to my wardrobe, and the 10 items I selected were:

  1. White Company cashmere poncho
  2. Topshop Jamie black skinny jeans
  3. Toast voluminous artist's smock type tunic thing
  4. H&M long navy v neck sweater
  5. Gap Body t shirt  - black, 1 long sleeved, 1 short sleeved. (OK I cheated, 2 for 1!)
  6. M&S Autograph navy parka jacket
  7. LK Bennett classic beige trench
  8. LK Bennett classic black knee length pencil skirt
  9. White Company black capri trousers
  10. White Company beige cashmere mix sweater
  11. Monsoon navy linen tunic  (11a Green Zara trousers.... Oh heck - I'l have to stop there!)
Err...that's  actually 11, but we'll gloss over that fact. Artistic licence and all that.  In fact it really needs to be 12 - as I need a taupe bottom half in there somewhere - either trews or skirt. Let's select a Jigsaw taupe curvy fitted pencil skirt with a kick pleat at the back.

In selecting the 10 11 items which I wear most currently and love, I notice that quite a few are winter items. I am a winter kind of gal. I prefer colder weather. It figures that most of my favourite items will be from that season. I never spend much time or energy on warner weather wear because (a) the actual time window to wear it gets increasingly smaller and (b) I just don't feel happiest wearing lightweight  clothes.

I have been generous and allowed myself 10 key accessories too - though I am sure the '10 item system' allows for many more. In fact, accessories are the key to pulling off the 10 item wardrobe I suspect. (Yay! Free reign on the shoe purchases - I knew I was right all along!)

  1. Mulberry Mitzy tote
  2. Pure Collection cashmere snood
  3. Russell & Bromley black and tan quilted flats
  4. LK Bennett black / chrome long jewelled pendant
  5. LK Bennett silver knot pendant
  6. LK Bennett nude Shilo heels
  7. M&S Autograph black patent pumps
  8. Jigsaw tan strappy wedges
  9. Longchamp navy Le Pliage bag
  10. Primark faux leather black glitter front sandals  10a. Various scarves. Hmmm. See I did say needs to be more than 10 accessories. Cheating already - tut 
The advice is that you should follow the 10 11 item approach for a set period - a month say - and see how you get on. You are allowed to pull in other key items you need (in moderation) to make useful outfits - or maybe I made that bit up. But it sounds sensible anyway. 

There are other similar bogs out there advocating a similar approach. I also like this one - although it is slightly more generous (realistic maybe?) and allows 40 items :-)

Anyone ready to join me in a 10 item (maybe 40!) wardrobe challenge?!


  1. I'll join in if I can have 10 of each catagory :-) 10 t's, 10 vests, 10 pairs of jeans etc etc.....will that count?

  2. I'm just not organised enough with washing to cope with only 10! And it's a little too much like being back in school uniform!

  3. I would love to love this idea..but I'm with variety being the spice of life (a great excuse for no clear out I thought!!).


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