Whimsical illustration of young gamine girl in a pink dress, by Joana Miranda

I’ve been de-cluttering all my life.  I’m a confessed neat freak, but recently I took my de-cluttering to a new extreme and decided to embrace the Ten Item Wardrobe concept.  Not my own idea, but it intrigued me when I read about it in Jennifer L. Scott’s Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris.  (If you’re interested, her spring 10 item capsule wardrobe looks like this.)

The first step in my weeding out process was to try on everything I owned in front of a full length mirror.  Anything that didn’t fit well, looked cheap or unflattering, or that I hadn’t worn for over a year, went into the give-away pile.  This included a bunch of fancy labels (yes I actually owned some Gucci clothing) that had been passed down to me by well-meaning friends.  Vintage bohemian looked great on the hanger, but I finally faced up to the fact that the red suede Gucci flare leg pants just weren’t me.

pile of clothes

Which leads me to another important point.  Knowing your style personality helps immensely in the weeding out process.  It’s also a good thing to keep in mind when you’re shopping for new things.  As much as I’d love to rock a more edgy and bold vibe…

punk heel

the truth is, I’m a Classic Gamine.

In the end, while I wasn’t rigid to whittling down to 10 items – after all, I live in a part of the country that has seasons – I discovered an unexpected benefit.  Along with more space in my closet, came the ability to actually see what I have to wear.  All of a sudden it’s easier to pair things that I never considered pairing before, and therefore my palette of “looks” has increased.

Josephine ponders pink dress illustration

Finally, since I don’t have that many clothes, these days I wear my nice things more often.  Proof that less can be more!


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