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Friday, January 16, 2015

Wardrobe Challenge ~ A French Girl Friday Post

It never hurts to have a little touch of
French in your life. 

Continuing on through the pages of "Lessons from Madame Chic" by Jennifer L. Scott, I have reached part two, Style and Beauty, and chapter four, "Liberate Yourself With The Ten -Item Wardrobe".  I can tell you right now that sends shock waves and panic through my entire world as I am a collector of pretty things. I have shoes, hats, jewelry and yes some clothing I have not worn in a very long time, but just can not part with, I know I would miss it if I did or live to regret it. I know this for a fact as I recently in the last few months as I have shared with you in past posts about style and fashion have changed my wardrobe drastically a couple of times and in doing so many items went to the local thrift store and as soon as it was gone, I wanted to wear something only to recall that I no longer had it and would never be able to replace it! One day I know it will happen, I will see someone wearing that dress I loved so much, but had gotten rid of and a single tear shall run down my cheek, messing up my makeup that I just put on and it will be the worst day, as I will then go spend money trying to get shop therapy and nothing will truly fill the hole in my wardrobe in quite the same way. Come on, you know I am not alone in this.  There has got to be one or two of you that feel this way.  HOWEVER, that being said, I think I already wear a ten item wardrobe, but more on that in just a bit. 

Does the thought of paring down your wardrobe 
keep you up at night ??
* photo E
velyn Ankers

When I turned to this chapter, the author began her tale of how she came to adapt this type of wardrobe by describing once again her time with a French family as an exchange student, coming in with six months of wardrobe, in several bags and causing dismay in her hostesses face as well as within herself when she realized that she was to only have a small wardrobe in which to house her belongings. The author soon learned about the ten item wardrobe and the fact that most people in Paris and in France in general live with such a small base of clothing, it was in the movies even. It was normal to wear the same clothing a few times a week and no one thought twice about it.  With enough time the author realized, after challenging herself to do the same, to create this capsule of ten, that it actually made getting dressed far more simple and less stressful, it even helped her to shop less. This is not the first account of doing this sort of thing and of people being quite happily surprised by the results that I have read about, and I have often wondered if I could get myself to do it. I have yet to make the leap, not entirely.  As I continued to read on I was relived when the author revealed that it is not just 10 items, but just that you had to be able to make up 10 outfits out of mixing and matching... "Don't panic. You don't need to take the ten-item wardrobe literally....The point of the ten-item wardrobe is to free yourself from a jam-packed closet full of ill-fitting, underused, or poor-quality clothing. Your ultimate goal is to create a wardrobe you love, in which every item of clothing speaks to who you are, and to create a space for your clothes to breathe- by eliminating the clutter..." Jennifer L. Scott. She then goes on to explain you are to have ten core items, but that does not include outer ware, occasion ware accessories, shoes and what she calls under shirts.... THANK GOODNESS! 

The idea is to not stand at the closet and say " I have 
nothing to wear" even if the closet is jam packed.
*Joan Crawford??

Can any girl really have too many pairs of shoes? 
*Joan Crawford

As I have also shared in past posts, recently in Stylish Saturdays ( can be found under fashion and style in the label section of this blog) , I have been doing a style program , actually it is more than just a style program, but anyway, I have been doing this program that has been helping me fine tune my self in that area of my life and part of the lesson plan is to create wardrobe capsules. You can have one for each part of your life, home, work, active, dressy, but to create with very few pieces of clothing these capsules that within them you can mix and match to create several outfits/looks. This is basically the same idea.  Now I have because of this program been working on this theory of doing things, and it has indeed made me more mindful when I buy something to not only access if what I am thinking of buying has a place in my wardrobe, but also will it mix and match with several other things so that I do not end up with what is called a wardrobe orphan. I will admit I have not perfected this just quite, but I am getting closer, and it has meant that less items are being bought, and  even more items are headed to the thrift stores, though I am taking my time and thinking it over very carefully before donating. 

Having core pieces that work together to
create different looks cuts down on
wardrobe items that just hang in
the closet never seeing the light of day. 

Now I mentioned at the top of this blog that I "think" I already have a ten item wardrobe in a lot of ways. When it is just a normal week and it is not day when anything special is happening, I tend to wear the same two pairs of jeans during the cold months and the same two to three pairs of shorts during the warmer months. In the cooler months  I have a few long sleeve T shirts, and a couple of sweaters for layering that I wear, and in the warmer months I wear tanks or Ts , those only once, so I own more of them, but they all look the same. I wear the same shoes each day , unless raining for the cool months and the same two pairs of shoes for the warm months ( sneakers for walking and sandals for running errands) . Of course I have a few coats of various weights and many scarves and as  I always wear earrings, I have a lot of those to change out depending on my mood. It makes it simple to get dressed, everything mixes and matches and I do not have to plan out what I am going to wear. I think in a nut shell I have fallen into the ten- item wardrobe for daily wear, it is the occasion wear that I have a real problem with, and it is something I am trying to work on... but it is hard because I love fashion, I love buying new clothing and special occasion or dress up clothing is my weakness to say the least. I am not entirely sure I will ever be able to get the amount of that type of clothing down to a few core pieces. I hear and read it is liberating, well if I ever achieve it I will be sure to let you know if it is. 

A few tips....
If you want to try this all out for yourself..

Wardrobe Assessment Questions.
1. Do I still like this?
2. Do I ever wear this
3. Does it fit and flatter me?
4. Does this article of clothing still reflect who I am?

Just because I have not mastered the dress up ten piece wardrobe , does not mean that I do not urge you to try it, in truth I encourage it, and you will not be alone in your journey to do this, there is of course the book I am sharing with you and the chapter is filled with wonderful and helpful advice and encouragement, and if you google the subject there is so many resources to help you along the way to creating capsules , my favorite over and above the book, is the website InsideOutStyleBlog by Imogen Lamport. So many posts and pictorial help as well as videos to help you every step of the way. If you attempt this and succeed or even if you find it is not for you, I would love to hear from you by either a comment here or over on my Facebook fan page ( you can find the link to your left) , share with me your experiences! 


  1. Great post. I really want to pair my wardrobe down but fall into that depression era thinking of squeezing out that last bit of use out of something even if it is horribly out of date. I have also read about Project 333 where you pick ~33 items and wear them for 3 months. They just say to pack up the remainder. Somehow that doesn't seem so scary.

    1. I think that would indeed be less scary. I might fit into that a bit more , will have to read up on it.


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