The 10-Item Wardrobe


For the last few months I have been carefully whittling my wardrobe down to just the clothes I like and that look good on me. There is no use in keeping clothes I don’t wear, no matter how much I paid for them or how much I liked an item when I bought it. So I started going through and ruthlessly eliminating.
This hadn’t been an easy task, since there were years of clothes to go through and every time I thought I was done, I realized that there were still more clothes that I wasn’t wearing. But I think I have finally done it now and my wardrobe is down to just the “essentials,” or at least the stuff that fits and looks good.
Having my closet in this state is like a sigh of relief. Getting dressed is easier because everything in the closet is something I would actually wear. It sounds silly, but this has made my life simpler. I don’t need to worry whether X shirt is going to look good–I’ve already determined that it will. My bedroom is cleaner too. I recommend it.
Having done this, I was curious about Miss Minimalist’s 10-Item Wardrobe. The above image is what she calls her core wardrobe. It consists of a black dress, a couple of shirts, pants, one skirt, and a jacket, plus shoes and a purse. That’s it.
That’s certainly some impressive minimalism there. She’s really thought it out too–she’s sticking to a main color (black) and picking items that can be dressed down or dressed up depending on the situation. If I feel like my life is simplified by fewer clothes in the closet, imagine how she must feel. Her wardrobe must not cost much and her laundry must be extremely simple to do. And she never has to worry about what to wear.
On the other hand, what a boring wardrobe! I’m no fashion plate, but these 10 items lack fun and color. Plus there’s a range that this wardrobe doesn’t covers: sometimes you want to wear jeans and other times, you really do need a cocktail dress. (Well, I do anyway.) Personally, I would not want to be business casual all the time.
The idea of rejecting the pressures and politics of fashion is interesting to me. There are lots of ways to do it–buy no new clothes for example or wear the same thing every day for a year. This is another way, and if you have the discipline, or just really don’t care about clothes, it might be a good option.
What do you think? Would you ever have a 10-item wardrobe?

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6 thoughts on “The 10-Item Wardrobe”

  1. I’d consider myself a minimalist, but even I have more than that! Seriously, though, 3 close pregnancies and the ensuing maternity clothes got me into the habit of having a lot less clothing, but making sure it mixed and matched well. When I’m done losing baby weight, I hope to do the same with a high quality wardrobe (which will include jeans and yoga pants :P).

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  2. As an artist who wears her color mood, I could never do this. Black is the best wardrobe staple color, but temperature, children, events, mood and modesty require so many different items. I’d love to thin out my wardrobe but I live where we have HOT summers, and cold winters. For some reason I have a million jackets. I love a funky jacket or accent piece. I try to get rid of them…

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  3. I buy 90% of my clothes second hand, the rest on sale. I like the idea of a 10 item wardrobe, but I am not that disciplined. I like variety and don’t just have one style mood. One day I am modern and hip the next I am a hippy and then I go glam and sparkles. By buying second-hand though I tend to save about 60-80% off the cost of a vast wardrobe and since style is an ever-cycling thing most of the stuff comes back in style and other basic pieces can be updated easily. I have about 20 items that I cycle through regularly and then I have odds and ends that get used only occasionally as a mood strikes. I do agree that one should donate anything that hasn’t been worn in 6 months-1 year or doesn’t fit. Keeping your wardrobe small does make life easier.

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  4. “There is no use in keeping clothes I don’t wear, no matter how much I paid for them or how much I liked an item when I bought it.”
    AMEN!

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  5. I agree with the minimalist thing. But I think it has to be adapted to whatever your needs are. For example, I rarely go out so I don’t need the cocktail dress.

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