The Parisian 10-item wardrobe

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How many items of clothing do you have in your wardrobe? Is it 20, 50, 100, 300 or even more? For the past 2 years, my number is somewhere between 40-50 items in total!

Today’s closets tend to be big and filled with endless sets of striped tops, A-line skirts, leather jackets and 10 pairs of jeans in the same colour. Yet, when it comes to getting dressed, we still complain that we have nothing to wear. Does that sound familiar?

A friend recently sent me this TED talk of a very cool girl and an author, Jennifer who as most of us, started off with a closet filled with clothes, but quickly realized that there is a different and better way to get dressed each morning. A simpler, more understated and even life changing way of the ten-item wardrobe.

In her talk she explains how people operate under the misconception that the more clothes they have the easier it is to get ready in the morning. When actually the opposite is true. With a smaller wardrobe, you have to put more thought into every single purchase - fewer clothes mean less choice and quicker morning rituals.

Jennifer came across this phenomenon while living in Paris. During her stay there, she realized that Parisians tend to have very small closets filled with high-quality essentials that they wear over and over again. By minimizing the number of clothes they own, they organically create a wardrobe that is very unique to them and filled with very personal style.

Yes, the concept of getting rid of most of your clothes to start fresh might give some the impression of being superficial, but in reality when you just think that getting dressed is a daily activity, having fewer choices will give you more of an idea of what to wear, and in essence it will improve your style and your life.

According to Jennifer, the best way to go about it is simply taking out all the clothes you own and going through every single item to check if it still fits, if it’s your style, if the colour makes you feel comfortable or if you still love it. After you went through everything, see what you have left and then divide the leftovers into seasons by creating a core 10-item wardrobe for each season. Seasonal core items can be anything that you wear daily like skirts, sweaters, jeans, shorts or shirts. After you have that sorted, add a few extras like t-shirts, a blazer, a coat, a few pairs of shoes and a special occasion dress or two, for each season. Ta dah!

I'd love to know what you think about the idea of 10-item wardrobe? Do you think it's something you'd like to try? Is it doable? Or do you think it's impossible?

P.S: Also, the DNA of the Parisian style and the art of simplicity.
P.P.S: Plus, how to Frenchify your hair.

(Photos by/via Could I Have That?ChloĆ©Lone Wolf and Vogue)


Kate said...

I love that idea! I have a fairly small wardrobe but I need to work on it more. I bought some rain boots this year in preparation for El Nino in California. I haven't worn them once so I think they are going back. It's interesting that something I wanted for so long did not satisfy what I needed. My short leather booties have worked out great in place of the taller boot.

Anonymous said...

I need to do this. I'm terrible when it comes to getting rid of old clothes, I still have my school sweaters pilled up in the drawers but without making space for new things, I end up having nothing to wear or at least nothing that fits me right. It's a constant struggle.

Vintage Market Place said...

I love this. I have been ridding myself of nonessentials for a few years now. Slowly getting down to only what I love and need and then just a few wow pieces to keep for special occassions. Tiny living is best all around. Too much stuff clutters the brain!

Marieken Hoefnagel said...

I think I may get bored with only ten items, but lately I've been trying to buy less and to get rid of items I don't wear. I like how chic these girls look, I always feel a bit frumpy when looking at outfit photos like these!

laura said...

10 items may be a challenge but I have reduced my clothing (and the rest of the clutter in my house) considerably and I am much happier. It requires a change in mindset. While sorting through my closet I frequently had the urge to keep items that I used to wear frequently but haven't touched for seasons now. Once I got about half way though it became easier to add items to the donate pile and the emotional attachment faded.

Diana Mieczan said...

Kate, I had the same experience with a backpack.

Diana Mieczan said...

Anonymous, good luck! You can do it:)

Diana Mieczan said...

Amy, oh you are SO right!

Diana Mieczan said...

Laura, so true - it totally requires a change in mindset. Well done!

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