Hidden Danger of a 10-Piece Wardrobe.

Last week, I was reminded of the concept of a minimal wardrobe consisting of very, very few pieces. I first learned about it several months ago and was inspired by it, and tallied up my closet total at the time (less than 90 items). I was moved to keep my wardrobe small…and then promptly forgot when it came time to shop for spring/summer.

My reminder last week also led me to The Daily Connoisseur, a blogger who promotes a 10-piece wardrobe in particular, which is not something I knew existed as a “thing” that people do. That’s pretty amazing! I watched her videos and, once again, felt inspired to do something similar. I promptly filled five large trash bags with clothing. All my supposed “favorites” that are now too far big for me. The items I was keeping because I thought I’d still want to wear them if I ever went up five sizes again. Well, listen. I went through those items again with fresh eyes and only 10 pieces passed the test! I don’t even know why I had kept so much (I had already donated 70% as soon as I’d lost the weight. I had an enormous wardrobe before.) Really and truly, I will never gain that weight back, so there was just no reason to hold onto so much.

I also filled one bag with current clothing that still fits. Items that I felt too guilty to get rid of because they are new as of last summer, fall, and winter. But they are items that I avoided wearing or guilted myself into wearing. Every time I read anything about purging clothes, I immediately thought of those pieces. They were either fussy to launder, weren’t really my style, or didn’t fit quite right. The style thing was a big issue for me, because I started to experiment a lot with this trimmer body. I finally got to wear trends that I’ve always wanted to try, only to discover that I love them on others, but they are not “me.” The laundry thing is just as big; if it’s fussy, I don’t wear it because I don’t want to launder it. I’ve finally admitted that tissue-weight sweaters are my nemesis.

With six donation bags filling my car, I was on fire! On my way to a 10-item wardrobe. Except for the problem that I just stocked up on spring/summer a couple of weeks ago. Gluttony! I thought that maybe I’d focus on purging a few more items and seeing if I could get the number down, but not necessarily to 10. Excited about this idea, I talked to my husband about it. 10 pieces! Can you imagine? How great would it be if I, a shopaholic, could get down to 10 or even 20?

…And the axe fell.

Readers, my husband is so wise. He doesn’t even like to shop, so I don’t know how he is able to tune in so well to my problem.

He casually asked if my desire to have a small wardrobe would mean a desire for a perfect wardrobe.

Oh. Shoot. He was right — if I’m only going to have one blouse, it needs to be perfect. If I’m only going to have one pair of jeans, they need to be the perfect pair. I know all too well what the search for perfection means for me…


Endless amounts of shopping and research. Hours and hours of adding to my wishlist. Repeated retail excursions. Larger budgets for fewer items. Buy-return-buy cycles.

He knows me so well.

Deflated, I realized that a 10-piece wardrobe is not in my immediate future. I am, however, going to work on an intentional wardrobe. I’m going to note what I wear this season and what I don’t. I’m going to “let” myself repeat outfits and pairings, something I usually avoid because I think it will be noticed by others. If there are things that I’m not wearing, they’ll go into a holding area. I’m going to let my favorites emerge, and favor them.

(Can I just add here that three of my favorite tops are at least 5-10 years old?? I’ve had them a long time and still love them. Thankfully they made it through my heaviest weights and are still fine. Miracle fabric, I tell you.)

I’m just as excited about this idea as I was about a 10-item wardrobe. Now, to start!

6 thoughts on “Hidden Danger of a 10-Piece Wardrobe.

  1. maa says:

    Meanwhile, she has way more than 10 pieces of clothing!

    • Cristina says:

      Yes, but I can see why. I personally would count t-shirts because I would wear them as is. But I would not count nicer dresses or blazers that I don’t wear all the time or even once a month. Then again, I’m not going to try to stick to 10. One of my next posts will include a starting tally so that I can keep track of the process.

  2. maa says:

    It makes me want to get rid of all of my clothes… but yes, it’s a trap!

  3. Archana says:

    I get the idea and appeal of it. Less clutter and a uniform of sorts to save mind clutter. But what i dont get it it shuns the idea of disposable clothing and encourages purging to reduce a count. It makes sense if you grew up in a culture where you always had very nice and few pieces. But i see people worried about sizing down their wardrobes inspite the fact that they like lots of items in them coz they want to do the french ten. I think we should care less about a number and more about not adding more in the future. And not disposing items, there by contributing to disposable fashion.

    Also, the author was younger when she went through this experience. Older women, i hope tend to have grown out of f21 phase and have some not so bad quality clothing. If so, they need to hang on to it instead of aiming for a number, any number.

  4. Renee says:

    I don’t understand why people get so concerned about outfit repeating. 1) Not many people are likely to notice
    2) So what if they do?
    3) Why has it become important for other people to believe we have bottomless closets? Sure, Hollywood stars may never been in the same outfit twice at press events, but since when is that the standard for the average person? Did any of us have a bottomless closet in elementary school? High school? College? Is it supposed to be a mark of adulthood? Is it a reaction to our parents not buying us every little thing we wanted? [These are not questions meant to be critical of you personally, it’s just a weird cultural shift I’ve noticed.]

    • Cristina says:

      Yes, exactly! I wish I knew why I am concerned about repeating outfits. I remember keeping a journal in 7th grade specifically to keep track of my outfits so that I wouldn’t repeat them! No one taught me that (my family was definitely NOT fashion-focused). I’ve been making a point TO repeat outfits and it’s so much easier to get dressed in the morning. As for the bottomless closet, I really don’t know where that came from, either. I had a very limited closet growing up, so it could be a reaction to that. I’m glad to have finally realized that that’s not what I want.

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