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Imagine flinging open the closet doors and having something to wear that is appropriate to the weather, fits and looks great on you. Sounds like a dream right? It’s so easy to make it a reality.
On average, we throw out clothes every 2 weeks in the name of fast fashion. The fashion and retail industry runs on fast turnarounds which have a HUGE environmental and human impact. In previous generations, clothes were mended and passed down or re-fashioned into something new, but with the decline in sewing and our fast-paced life, retailers have to find a way to keep up with our fast fashion-obsessed culture, and yet, we’re still not happy.
I discovered the 10 item wardrobe through a TED talk that Jennifer L Scott did on this topic. This led me to her website, and by the end of the weekend, I’d read all her books* about living a simpler and chicer life inspired by her time as an exchange student in France.
Around this time, I also found Into Mind, a minimalist blog that helped me to ascertain my personal style with a variety of blog posts and worksheets. I went from dressing like a 40-year-old, to finally dressing the way I always wanted to dress but didn’t know how to.
Here are my tips for creating a 10 item wardrobe that fits your lifestyle.
1) Study what you do have and honestly assess what fits and looks great on you already.
One of the things I learned from the Into Mind workbook was that you need to figure out what you already have, what you like about it and why? I figured out I wanted to be more ladylike but also have fun with bold prints and dress more my age, so my current wardrobe reflects that.
2) Try everything on.
Most columns dealing with wardrobe overhauls focus on the Keep, Donate, and Mend/Storage pile.
I think you should try everything on and see if it still fits. I donated so many clothes because I thought they fit, but when tried on, they didn’t suit my current body shape and lifestyle.
3) Choose clothes for your current body shape.
You might have items from your wardrobe from a different time in your life that you’re keeping just in case, but every time, you fling open your closet, they’re taunting you. Either store those clothes away or donate them to someone who they’d make happier.
You are not the true owner of your clothes until they make you happy.
4) Have more than one 10 item wardrobe.
Did I just blow your mind a little?
It blew my mind when I realised, you can have more than one 10 item wardrobe!
The goal is, of course, to have 10 or even 15/30/50 carefully curated items to work in all aspects of your life, but this is not always the case. I have a 10 item wardrobe for work, for home, for leisure, and for special occasions.
5) Buy the best quality you can afford.
One of the tenets of the 10 item wardrobe is to buy the best quality you can afford. This does not mean full on designer wear head to toe, or you can’t practice it. I don’t have ANY designer brands in my wardrobe which are a mixture of high street, mail order, and random market stall stuff, but it’s all the best quality I can afford.
Everything reflects my personal style, and I love going in search of a bargain!
6) Try something new.
I recently bought some fitted floral trousers, an item I’d tried never before last year, but didn’t gel with my look because the material was too cheap. This time, I researched the fabric carefully and decided to take the plunge and add something different to my wardrobe. I can tell you, they are the most comfortable and fun item in my wardrobe! Don’t be afraid to try something new.
Whether that’s going from a floral wardrobe to some monochrome pieces or adding different textures, be brave and add something new to you.
7) Assess your wardrobe constantly.
With the 10 item wardrobe, it’s not just about clothes. Assess your shoes, accessories and scarves constantly to see if they work for you and your lifestyle. Each season assess what worked and what didn’t, so you know what to invest in next time.
I bought some platform shoes, and I hated them so much, I donated them. They worked for an idealised version of what I thought I could be, but not for my real life.
By assessing constantly, I can figure out which items work for my real lifestyle rather than my idealised one.
8) Use Pinterest to Visualise New Concepts.
Use Pinterest or a physical mood board to visualise colours, textures, and concepts to help you to start dressing in the lifestyle of your choice.
I love going through magazines and ripping out styles or concepts which resonate with my ideal style, and then creating a physical mood board to reflect that, so that when I go shopping or browsing on Pinterest for inspiration, I already have an idea what to shop for.
Are you inspired to try the 10 item wardrobe?
Tell me in the comments below.