Thursday, 29 November 2012

10 Item Wardrobe Challenge

As you know, I’m big on de-cluttering and only keeping clothes that you absolutely love.  But I have recently had a big wake up call that made me think about how ruthless I actually am with my wardrobe, and with keeping only those things that are ‘perfect’.
I was reading Lessons from Madame Chic  by Jennifer L Scott , which is a lovely, frothy little read about an American’s experiences staying with an aristocratic family in Paris, and in there, the chapter that most captured my attention was titled ‘the 10 item wardrobe’.  I was intrigued enough from reading this to check out Jennifer’s blog – which can be found here, in which she has a couple of additional entries about this concept, and  in which shows the viewer her version.
And I started thinking – could I ever make this work for me?  Jennifer admits that Madame Chic, from whom she got the original inspiration, had a very specific and formal style, wearing effectively the same classic pieces all the time.
Jennifer works from home (she is a full time blogger and mummy – lucky girl!) and therefore doesn’t necessarily have the sartorial challenges that come from a sort of high-powered-ish job in the City – combined with mummy days at home.  She also admits she isn’t a fashionista.  I may not be a fully-fledged fashion bunny these days – but I do still love my trends, and playing around with clothes.
So – I had almost decided that it was impossible before I even started.  With my lifestyle challenges effectively necessitating 2 separate wardrobes in any case, a wardrobe which currently runs to about 200 pieces, plus shoes, t-shirts and accessories, and my love of fashion and experimenting, how could I possibly reduce what I have to something so fundamental.
But I decided I would try to pick out those key items which I cannot do without.  Not necessarily a 10 item wardrobe, but at least a list of vital pieces.  A sort of desert island discs of sartorial staples if you like.
And it was illuminating.  The ultimate list was not necessarily the most stylish or interesting list of pieces.  But it did show me what I use most frequently and what I would find it most difficult to live without.
The final list was:
1.     Indigo skinny jeans
2.     J Brand Combats
3.     Grey cashmere v-neck
4.     Navy round neck blouse
5.     Striped gathered sleeve t-shirt top
6.     Black fitted dress
7.     J Crew geometric skirt
8.     lace t-shirt top
9.     black 7/8ths trousers
10.  Zara black puff sleeve jacket
11.  Cream silk shell
12.  Cream beaded cardigan
13.  Navy blue long sleeved jersey midi dress
Not quite 10 items, but nearly.  You’ll notice that coats, accessories and shoes are not included in here – but neither were they in the original challenge.  So not cheating. 
13 item wardrobe

13 item wardrobe by biscuitmummy

I haven’t gone anywhere near reducing my wardrobe down from the 200 items in there, to just these 13 – and I guess that different combinations would be needed for Spring, Summer and Autumn, given the weather challenges in the UK.  But it has inspired me to clear out some more things that just don’t inspire, fit, or suit as I continue to streamline. 
What do you think?  Could you be inspired to shrink your wardrobe by such an extent? 

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