This spring I experimented with a minimalist 10 item wardrobe. I chose 10 of my favorite pieces of clothing, and for 10 days wore only those pieces. As part of the USA wardrobe movement, my major push is quality over quantity. I love the idea of seeing how much can be done with a few high quality pieces! I am not a minimalist, but for 10 days I played a minimalist and was surprised by what I found out!!!
Here is what was in my 10 Item Wardrobe:
If you have been following here at the Gracious May blog, you will know that I am a huge advocate for buying made in the USA clothes whenever possible, then thrifted/2nd hand beyond that. Click to read more.
- Black Shirt (Made in the USA)
- White Shirt (Made in the USA)
- Denim Button Front (Thrifted)
- Pink Button front (Thrifted)
- Blue Cardigan (made in the USA)
- Denim Jacket (Made in the USA)
- Army Green Jacket (Thrifted)
- Blue Chinos
- Black Chinos
- Denim Skirt (2nd Hand)
**I did not put any limits on shoes or accessories, however I wore either my black or hazelnut Mama Janes daily!
What I expected out of a 10 piece minimalist wardrobe:
I expected to feel bored and unable to create a polished look with so few options. As a reference point, I probably have 30-50 items in my wardrobe on a regular day. Going minimalist and parring down to just 10 had me skeptical.
Here is what actually happened when I wore only 10 items for 10 days:
I loved it!! I chose 10 of my favorite pieces that were in a easy-to-mix-and-match color pool. Making sure the 10 pieces went well together allowed me to mix and match any item. I actually ended up dressing better on a daily basis! Here is a full list of some important things I learned during my 10 Piece Wardrobe Experiment…
What I learned during my 10 days with a minimalist wardrobe:
- Quality is important. After wearing some of these clothes on repeat (and subsequently machine-washing on repeat) I was shocked at how quickly the lesser-quality items were wearing out. It made me realize that quality is essential to simplifying. Having a 10 piece wardrobe on a long-term basis is possible, but you’ve got to choose clothing that is built to last.
- Less stress. I had less options, and only my favorite items to choose from which cut out the “what am I going to wear” stress-point in the morning.
- I realized the full potential of simple styling tweaks! Adding a belt, tucking it in, layering. Simple adjustments made every outfit feel fresh, despite working with only 10 pieces!
- By repeatedly wearing the same thing every day, I was able to pinpoint what was I did not like about the way the item fit. For example: the skirt I chose sat just a little too high on my waist for my liking. This will help me to avoid buying mistakes in the future.
- At the end of 10 days with my 10 piece wardrobe, I didn’t want to be done. There were so many options and the simplicity was refreshing!! Plus, having the extra space in my close was a perk ;).
Bottom Line from my 10 item wardrobe challenge:
My mission for quality over quantity is totally bolstered and I will be downsizing my wardrobe! I would say that a 20 piece wardrobe would be more of what I would downsize to long term. Why 20 instead of 10? Because I would need to add: a formal outfit option, another skirt or pant option and a couple of active-wear pieces in order to suit my needs
As I mentioned at the start, we have founded the USA Wardrobe Movement here at Gracious May. It is all about reviving US manufacturing through purposeful wardrobe choices. The USA Wardrobe Movement aims to cultivate an appreciation for quality and a willingness to invest in US Made products. If every US citizen incorporated 1 made in the USA item into their outfit every day, we would stimulate 313,000 US jobs!!
Grace // owner at Gracious May and founder of the USA Wardrobe Movement
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5