When it Comes to Clothing, Less is More. Bring on the 10-Item Wardrobe.

I’ve always been a shopper, especially when it came to clothes. I was constantly wanting, searching and buying new pieces. Hoping to get my look just right. Or fill some sort of void. My closet would get more packed, but I’d still feel like I had “nothing” to wear. Most items I purchased would get worn once or twice, if at all. Then there they would sit. But not anymore. Or at least not as often. After reading Lessons from Madame Chic, and watching the TedX talk, I was hooked on the 10-item wardrobe. I learned that when it comes to clothing, less is more.

Here’s how it works.

You get 10 articles of clothing to wear for spring/ summer. Then 10 different clothing pieces for fall/ winter. This is your wardrobe. That’s it. But the point isn’t the number. Just to keep a small quantity of clothing that fits well, and you absolutely love. Use whatever amount works best for you. Then you wear these same pieces over, and over, and over again. In a variety of ways.

Sounds boring right? I thought so too. Until I tried it. Let me tell you, it’s life changing. Time and money saving. And absolutely freeing. I no longer question, wonder or stress about what I’m going to wear. I don’t have many options. When I pack for a trip, I can just bring my whole wardrobe with me. My retail therapy has decreased, because I don’t buy clothes much. And it definitely makes things easier for my husband. He can literally grab any items from my closet and they’ll go together. And fit. And look good.

Then, you get the excitement of season changes. This is when you get to pack up your spring/ summer items and take out your fall/ winter ones. This usually feels like Christmas. Like you’ve gone on a big shopping spree, but really haven’t. All your clothes feel new again.

But the best part of the 10-item wardrobe, is that I look decently put together. Every single day. There is no longer an option for me to wear frumpy clothes. I don’t own any. And even if I do nothing with my face or hair, my appearance is still presentable. And with the demands of children and life, this isn’t always a simple task.

Now remember the 10-item wardrobe does not include your extras. Things like layering tees or tanks. Pajamas that you wear to bed. Workout gear for the gym. Swimsuits you wear to the pool. Jackets or sweaters for cold weather. Just the basic, day-to-day outfits for your lifestyle.

The whole point of having less items, is to make sure you love them more. When you only get to pick 10 pieces, you will become very selective about what you choose. Also, you learn your personal style very well. What you like, and what you don’t. What works for your lifestyle, and what doesn’t. Your clothing starts to reflect who you really are, and who you want to be.

Still don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself.

  • Select a season. Either test it out for the remainder of spring/ summer. Or start preparing your new wardrobe for fall/ winter.
  • Then choose 10 items of clothing. Or 12. Or 14. Whatever will work best for you and your lifestyle.
  • All clothing may be selected from what you already own. You may decide to discard everything and start from scratch. Or use some stuff you own, while buying a few others as well.
  • Then wear only these items. Day in and day out. For the rest of the season.
  • Repeat the same steps for the next season.

*Make sure to get rid of, or donate, any clothing that you have not decided to include in your spring/ summer or fall/ winter wardrobes.

*Remember- you still have your extras (pajamas, swimwear, workout gear, layering pieces, jackets)

Whatever you do, just make it work for you. There are no official rules, only your own. When I first selected my 10 items for spring/ summer, it took me forever. It was SO hard, I couldn’t choose only 10. But when I finally made my selections, I loved them, and was supremely happy. Then we moved to Japan, and the weather changed. It is SO hot and humid here. I often shower several times a day, and therefore change my clothes a little more than normal. So, I decided to add in a few pieces to make up for my sweaty lifestyle. I altered the 10-item wardrobe to make it work for me.

Here is my 14-item wardrobe for spring/ summer:

  • 4 dresses

  • 5 shirts
  • 1 skirt
  • 4 shorts

That’s it! That’s all I wear!

I know, I know what you’re thinking:

Q: What if I find a piece of clothing I really like, but I already have my 10-12-14 items?

A: Buy it, and have another piece in your wardrobe. Or else buy it, and get rid of another item that may not be working out so well. Or just don’t buy it, wait until you actually need a specific piece.

Q: How do you decide what items to include in the 10-item wardrobe?

A: This took me forever. It’s a lot of trial and error. You will learn so much as you go along. But you want to make sure they are all pieces that you genuinely love. That they fit well, match with your lifestyle, and represent you. It also helps if the pieces go with one another, then you have more variety and matching options.

Q: How can my wardrobe adapt to the changing weather where I live?

A: You want to pick pieces based off your climate. You may need more pieces, or more variety in the items you choose. I only have shorts and dresses because it’s so hot and humid here. With cooler or changing weather, people may choose more pants and capris.

Any other questions or concerns? How do you feel about your own current wardrobe? What’s stopping you from trying the 10-item wardrobe?

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11 thoughts on “When it Comes to Clothing, Less is More. Bring on the 10-Item Wardrobe.

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    1. Thanks so much!!! It can be quite difficult choosing what pieces I want, so it’s nice finding ones that I love and work with my life!

    1. Oh you totally need to! I was skeptical at first, but it really is life changing. Getting dressed is so easy & I pretty much always look put together or presentable!

  1. Every changing of the season I look at all my pieces and ask myself, did I wear this this season? No? Then the piece goes into the donate pile. That way I try to keep it to a reasonable amount of clothes I really wear. Now Fall is coming I’m going to try this approach. Thanks for including the Ted Talk too, I really liked it, Terra 🙂

    1. That’s really smart, then at least you know you’re actually wearing the items you own. Yes I love the 10-item wardrobe, and her ted-Talk is amazing;)

  2. Love this!!! It was only during the first month of moving in with my boyfriend did I realized I was wearing the same clothes, over and over again, and nobody cared. I only had one luggage with me while the rest of my stuff were at home for another moving day. It saved so much time in the morning and so much money! Now that I’m settled in and have this big closet again, I still only wear the same few pieces. I’ve done better cleaning out my closet but I know I can donate much more items once I lose that ‘I may wear it later’ mentality.

    Your little wardrobe looks fantastic! Even from the pictures I wouldn’t have been able to tell you had such a small closet.

    1. Thank you! Yes it’s funny when we look at our wardrobes, and realize we only wear the same few pieces. And it definitely saves time with fewer items, because there’s less choice, and everything goes together. I know you think you may wear something later, but I highly doubt it. I thought I would need more clothes, but I’ve done weddings, road trips, camping, travel, and yard work just with my 14 items.

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