Preparing my Fall & Winter 10- Item Wardrobe

Fall is finally here. Which means it is time to start preparing my fall & winter 10- item wardrobe. In this post, I will show you the steps to take, as well as a process to follow, in order to help you build your own fall & winter 10-item wardrobe.

If you read my previous post, I have a 10-item wardrobe which changes every spring/ summer, and fall/ winter.  This idea is based off Jennifer. L. Scott’s Book, “Lessons from Madame Chic.” She also has a TedX video as well, if you would like more information. But the idea is that you only use 10 articles of clothing, all season. Wearing those same pieces, over, and over, and over again. This may sound boring, but getting dressed becomes easier, your closet gets simplified, money is saved, and you’ll look put together on a consistent, regular basis.

My spring/ summer wardrobe typically runs from April to September. And my fall/ winter wardrobe begins in October, and lasts through March. With October just around the corner, it is time to start preparing my fall & winter 10-item wardrobe.

Step 1: Take out Your 10-Item Wardrobe from Last Season

(Otherwise Create One)

I typically store my off-season clothes in a bin on top of my closet. They are out of the way, take up little space, and I don’t need to access them again until the corresponding season arrives. Here were my items from last fall/ winter:

5 shirts – 5 pants – 2 skirts – 1 dress 

minimal capsule wardrobe

10-item wardrobe

As you can tell this is more than 10 items, it is actually 13, which sometimes happens. I was working a corporate job in the winter, so I needed a few extra professional pieces.

Step 2: Decide What You Want to Keep

Once you have all of your articles out from the previous season, decide what items you want to keep, and which ones you don’t. This means trying things on again. Seeing whether or not your stuff still fits, if you still like it, and if it will still work with your lifestyle. Remember, you only have around 10 pieces, so choose wisely.

After going through my 13 articles of clothing, I have decided to get rid of the following items. They will either be donated, thrown out, or moved to the extras section of my wardrobe, which I will talk about in a later post. I have also explained why these pieces will not stay in my wardrobe, hoping to provide insight when you build your own 10-item wardrobe.

  • 2 skirts: pencil skirts don’t suit me or my lifestyle, I only wore them for work, so I no longer need or want them.
  • leopard print top: I’ve had this shirt for a few seasons, so the material has stretched, become faded, and no longer looks nice.
  • striped t-shirt- I love this t-shirt, but I moved it into the extras section, because it is just a t-shirt, not something I want as a main piece.
  • Light colored jeans: I only need 1 pair of jeans, I don’t want 2. And the lighter ones have a small stain I can’t get out.
  • printed pants: these were extremely difficult to find tops to go with them, so I don’t want to deal with that for another season.

So, this is what I was left with:

1 dress – 2 pants – 3 shirts

fall/ winter wardrobe

The longer you do the 10-item wardrobe, the more you will learn what works and what doesn’t. I already know that having printed bottoms is no good. It makes finding matching tops hard, and limits what clothing pieces can go together. This is not something I want when I only have 10 items. You too will become very decisive and particular, if you decide to try this wardrobe out for yourself.

Step 3: Find Any New Items You Need

(Go Shopping)

Pretty much every season, you will need to buy or find some new pieces to add to your wardrobe. Why? Some brands, and articles of clothing, hold up longer than others. Some items you selected, may not work with your lifestyle, so they only last one season (aka: my pencil skirts & printed bottoms). If your size changes, clothes may no longer fit well. And as you learn what you like and don’t, your personal style may differ, leaving items that don’t reflect who you are anymore.

Since I only have 6 pieces that I decided to keep (1 dress, 2 pants, 3 shirts), I need to get 4 more items. And this is the fun part. I get to decide exactly what else I want to add into my wardrobe. What articles will fit well with what I already have? What items are missing? And what else do I need to complete my wardrobe? This makes my shopping purposeful, intentional, and I’m not just haphazardly selecting clothing I’ll probably never wear.

After some thinking and planning, I decided what my 4 pieces would be:

  • 1 pair of pants
  • 1 dress
  • 2 shirts

That way my total 10-item wardrobe will consist of:

– 2 dresses

– 3 pants

– 5 shirts

Once I know what pieces I am looking for, I go shopping. Which is obviously super fun. I look around for exactly what I want. I make sure whatever I choose, goes together with the other items that I have. And I only look for pieces that I love, and that I’ll actually enjoy wearing. This can be done at malls, thrift stores, online, wherever you can find clothing. For me, I live in Japan, and don’t particularly like or fit well into Japanese clothing. So, I bought some of my items at the military store, and others online (which I am still waiting for them to arrive).

Step 4: Pack Up Your Spring/ Summer Wardrobe

Now that your fall/ winter wardrobe is ready to go, you no longer need your spring/ summer wardrobe. So, you can pack up those items into a bin, and store them again until April. I often go through my spring/ summer pieces before storing them away. Because if there are items that I won’t use next season, why bother keeping them? For reference, here were my items from spring/ summer:

5 shirts –  4 shorts – 1 skirt

ten item wardrobe

4 dresses

ten item wardrobe

It doesn’t take me long to decide which of these items I want to get rid of, as I have been wearing them constantly for the past 6 months. I know what works, what doesn’t, what items are worn out, and which ones are good to go. So, I have decided to keep everything but these 2 pieces:

  • blue floral t-shirt: I’ve had it for years, and it now has a hole in the armpit- time to go.
  • navy blue shorts: I actually stopped using these halfway through summer as the material was too thick and not appropriate for the heat of where I live.

These are the spring/ summer items that I decided to keep, all packed up and ready to go till next season:

packed wardrobe

That’s it! Good luck, and have fun preparing your 10-item wardrobe. Come back next week when I show you all the pieces I have selected for my fall & winter wardrobe 10-item wardrobe. I am unfortunately still waiting for my final pieces to arrive!












2 thoughts on “Preparing my Fall & Winter 10- Item Wardrobe

Add yours

    1. I totally hear you- it wasn’t easy in the beginning and as you can see, most times I ended up with 12 or 13 items. Whatever works to help simplify!

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