If any of you follow my Instagram feed for GGMusings you might notice that I wear the same dresses over and over and over. In my life I am a minimalist, in fact when I made a cross country move last year everything I owned aside from a couple of boxes of childhood stuff in my parents’ basement fit in a Volkswagen Jetta that also had room for me, my mom and a 35-pound poodle.
My wardrobe is also minimal. I follow a theory called the ten item wardrobe by author and YouTuber Jennifer L. Scott. I’ve never met Jennifer but I have been watching her and reading her books for 4 ½ years now. Despite my many attempts at capsule wardrobes over the past four years – my summer 2018 capsule wardrobe was my first true success. Most of it is going into storage for next summer and getting dressed every day for work was easy and thought free. Well, I had one day in August where I couldn’t find anything to wear even though almost all of my wardrobe was clean but considering this used to happen twice a week I’ve come a long way.
The idea behind the ten item wardrobe is that your core items are made up of only ten items. The core items are your daily clothes: your dresses, pants, jeans and blouses. I get this doesn’t sound like a lot but there are also extras in this wardrobe plan. Extras are t-shirts, sweaters (or as I like to call them layering), jackets/blazers, outerwear, special occasion wear and athletic wear (meant to be worn for actual exercise and not as daily clothing). Jennifer L. Scott only does two ten item wardrobes per year, however she lives in Southern California which has less dramatic temperature swings. As I am living in a city with four distinct seasons – I will have four capsule wardrobes this year.
I work in a business casual office and most of what I wear to work I can also wear on the weekend. If you have a more formal office most likely you would need a ten item formal workwear capsule and then a smaller separate weekend capsule. Below is the list of the main clothing I wore from late May to early September. I’ve noted where I purchased the garment, what the garment’s future is and if I had already used it in a previous capsule.
My Ten Items…
Blue Ruffle Bottom Dress (Bravissimo) (Saving for Summer 2019) (US size 14SC)
Black Ruffle Bottom Dress (Bravissimo) (Saving for Summer 2019) (US size 14SC)
Zip Front Dress (Bravissimo) (Moving to Fall Capsule) (US size 14SC)
Blue/White Stripe Dress (WHBM) (Moving to Fall Capsule) (size XL)
Navy Long Shirt Dress (Monoprix) (Saving for Summer 2019) (French size 48)
Tommy Hilfiger Blue/Pink Stripe Shirt Dress (Fail – Selling on eBay) (size 16W)
Black Button Front Jeans (H&M) (Spring 2018 Capsule – Moving to Fall Capsule) (size 36)
Black Pencil Skirt (T Tahari) (Fall 2018 Capsule) (size 16)
Chambray Shirt (Bravissimo) (Spring 2018 Capsule – Moving to Fall Capsule) (US size 14SC)
Navy Silk Blend Shell (Boden) (from Fall 2018 Capsule) (Fail – Didn’t Wear At All!!) (US size 16)
Short Sleeve Red/White Polka Dot Wrap Top (Urkye) (Summer 2017) (size 44oo/ooo)
Short Sleeve Black Wrap Top (Urkye) (Saving for Summer 2019) (size 44oo/ooo)
2 Princess Seam Tanks (red – Summer 2017) (black – Summer 2018) (Saving for Summer 2019) (size 44oo/ooo)
4 Loose T-Shirts (Forever 21+ and Etam) (Moving to Fall Capsule) (size 1X and XL)
Long Jean Shorts (Forever21+) (not really if sure if this can be considered an extra – but I didn’t wear them much) (Saving for Summer 2019) (size 14)
Black French Cardigan (Monoprix) (Moving to Fall Capsule) (French size 4)
White Cropped Cardigan (Bravissimo) (Saving for Summer 2019) (US size 14R/SC)
This was my second capsule that contained clothing from Bravissimo: three dresses, one chambray shirt and a cropped white cardigan. I loved all of these items of clothing. I purchased the same dress in blue and black. I loved this dress, but the side zip made it hard for me to alter the dress to make the hips smaller. I know how to sew but I don’t know how take out and resew in an invisible zipper. The front zip dress was super easy for me to take in the side hip seams. Yes, I could pay a skilled seamstress to alter these dresses – but that makes the overall price of the dress quite high. Maybe I’ll take my next Bravissimo dress in to be professionally altered.
This wardrobe has only two items that didn’t work out so great. The Tommy Hilfiger Blue/Pink Stripe Shirt Dress and the Navy Silk Blend Shell from Boden. I got compliments every time I wore the Tommy dress – but it just wasn’t me and I’m planning to sell it. Way too preppy and the sizing was way off. I never actually wore the navy shell this summer but I’m going to hold onto it because it still fits and it is a classic style that I might feel differently about next summer. Or not maybe I will get rid of it next summer?
Changing out your wardrobe every season does not mean buying all new clothes! I switched jobs and cities this year and my summer wardrobe had many new items to reflect this change. I am now working in an office that is more dressed up than my last business casual office and living in a city where people dress nicer as well. For those of you wondering I moved from Los Angeles to New York City.
My measurements in these pictures are 48-40-46 and I’m 5’7.
Stay tuned for the reveal of my fall ten item wardrobe. Do any of you have a capsule wardrobe?