The Minimalist Wardrobe (aka The 10-Item Wardrobe)

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is how to create a minimalist wardrobe; and boy, do I love to answer it! I devoted an entire chapter of my book, The Joy of Less, to the topic; however, some readers have expressed the desire to see my tips in action.

Ask, and you shall receive –- in this post, I’ll illustrate some key strategies using items straight from my own closet.

(Men, don’t stop reading; although the clothes pictured are my own, the tips are gender-inclusive!)

What I’ve done is selected my core, or capsule wardrobe: ten items that can get me through the majority of my daily activities, in every season.

I didn’t include socks and unmentionables (we’ll take those as a given), or exercise/specialty wear (in other words, I don’t go hiking in my little black dress).

Furthermore, these items are particularly tailored to my urban, business-casual lifestyle, and work from office to dinner to weekend. If I were a construction worker or cabaret singer, my choices would be entirely different.

Okay, here we go — pictured below is my 10-Item Wardrobe:

Miss Minimalist's 10 Item Wardrobe

Miss Minimalist's 10-Item Wardrobe

First row: burgundy sleeveless top, plum ¾-sleeve top, slate blue long-sleeve top, black cardigan, black dress.

Second row: black skirt, black pants, black coat, black bag, black ballet shoes.

(Wow, you guys were right –- this is a lot more fun with photos!)

So what can you learn from my minimalist wardrobe? Here’s a brief overview of some of the techniques I elaborate upon in my book:

1. Choose a base color. Pick a neutral like black, brown, navy, or khaki for your “foundation” pieces (like pants, skirts, and suits). As you can see, mine is black –- it works with my skin tone, travels well, and hides stains brilliantly (important if you spend a lot of time on-the-go).

2. Choose accent colors. Select a handful of shades that flatter you, and complement your base. I’ve chosen burgundy, plum, and slate blue, but you have a world of pastels, earth tones, primaries, and jewel tones at your disposal.

3. Limit accessories to one color. My bag and shoes are both black; they go with each other, and everything in my closet. I love not needing footwear and handbags in multiple colors!

4. Dress in layers. I’m accustomed to a four-season climate, hence I’ve included everything from a sleeveless top to a winter coat. A cardigan is perfect for those temperatures in between. I find layers to offer much more versatility than heavy sweaters or season-specific clothes.

5. Mix and match. Needless to say, everything in your capsule wardrobe should go with everything else. You should be able to get dressed with your eyes closed, and still look fabulous!

6. Dress up and dress down. You’ll notice that there isn’t anything overly formal or casual about my ten items –- no sequins or sweatpants here. I can wear any of these tops, for example, to the grocery store or a cocktail party. The same goes for my bag, my shoes, and pretty much everything else.

7. Choose classic styles. Avoid anything that’s too trendy or dated, or that calls attention to the outfit rather than you. I stick to simple, timeless silhouettes: my pants are straight-leg, my skirt is A-line, and my dress is a classic shift.

8. Make sure it fits. When you have a minimalist wardrobe, no item can hang around waiting for you to diet into it -– everything should fit now. A little trick: choose forgiving fabrics with a little bit of stretch, to accommodate minor weight fluctuations.

9. Make sure it flatters. Be honest here –- you know in your heart whether or not you look good in skinny jeans, cropped tops, or muumuus. Stick to the items that complement your figure, and you’ll always feel confident in your clothes.

10. The feel-good test. When considering an outfit, question whether you’d feel comfortable being photographed, or running into your ex, while wearing it. Sure, that may sound a little shallow; but pride in your appearance goes a long way towards minimizing your closet.

Well, I hope you had as much fun reading this post as I had writing it! I’ll be exploring some of the specific items in-depth as part of my 100 Possessions series (I’ve already covered my black dress and black bag).

But for now, I’d love to hear about your capsule wardrobe: if you had to discard everything but ten essentials, what would they be?

Related posts:

  1. One Less Thing: Fashion Trends
  2. More Minimalist Wardrobe Musings
  3. My Minimalist Wedding Dress

146 comments to The Minimalist Wardrobe (aka The 10-Item Wardrobe)

  • Karen T.

    Great post! I love the capsule wardrobe idea, and as Deborah said, it’s perfect for thinking about packing for a trip.

    I think my 10 pieces would be:
    black pants
    black skirt
    4 cotton-with-a-bit-of-spandex 3/4 sleeve t-shirts (I like colors such as garnet, amethyst, sapphire, and turquoise)
    black cardigan
    black coat (I love yours!)
    black leather shoes (loafer-type, but cute)
    black Clark’s sandals (for warmer weather)

    I’d also want a couple of silk scarves, a couple of necklace/earrings sets, and a black handbag. Since I wouldn’t use the cardi and the coat for at least half the year, I’d probably add a couple more tops for summer — something flirty in black and maybe a tailored white (or black and white) shirt.

    Thanks for giving me a lot to think about!

  • Wow, I thought I had a small wardrobe (and I do), but wow! Love this blog. Glad I found it.

  • heather

    I wear Ann Klein suits along with Naturalizer shoes, as they have good cushioning. My shoes and handbags are all leather, they wear great and last a long time. No plastic for me. I am sure you can find a great vegan alternative if you needed too. LLBEAN and Lands End make great casual tops, for at home. Love their polos.

  • Loved your article and photo. I also wrote a blog article a while back about this subject – endlessly fascinating! http://firehorse3.blogspot.com/search?q=capsule

    My Top 10 items at the time were:-

    1. A perfectly fitting set of underwear
    2. A smart dress suitable for day or evening wear
    3. A smart suit (trousers or skirt)
    4. A pair of ‘feel-good’ jeans
    5. A smart shirt or blouse
    6. A fine-knit, v-necked sweater
    7. A fitted t-shirt
    8. A pair of smart, comfortable shoes that will go with trousers or skirts
    9. A stylish overcoat, such as a trench coat
    10. A mid-sized handbag with a classical style

    As I work from home, most of the time I wear the jeans, t-shirt and sweater.

  • Ashley Laurent

    Great post! As a classical musician, I am constantly performing and therefore, more than half of my capsule wardrobe is dressy concert/performance wear. I don’t have any slacks, I only have one pair of black jeans, but I do have 3 hot pencil skirts, three little black dresses, and a DKNY cozy. (An awesome multifunctional cardigan that can be turned into 12+ looks. I LOVE multifunction pieces.) I have 32 items in my closet and it doesn’t bother me that I have such few casual clothes…I pretty much wear the same thing everyday when I’m not performing.

    Although, I must admit, I know many performers, especially opera singers (aka divas…) who must insist on having a new gown/dress for every performance. How they afford that I’ll never know….

  • Nancy Adams

    Love this idea! I have been in the process of minimalizing for a while, and was inspired more by your book. I am not sure I could ever get down to 10 items. I do pretty well on bottoms: 3 pairs of different colored jeans, 1 pair gray casual pants, 2 black dress pants and 1 black skirt, currently. But I love tops, and I love print tops- I could do ths capsule with print tops and I think it would all go together as long as the tops went with black or gray pants/skirts. I found a great cowl neck, short sleeved fitted black dress with a “scarf” skirt- I’m not sure what you call that- yesterday. I do prefer my tops in prints though as I don’t really do scarves much to dress up the solid colors, and the tops I find that flatter my figure are not generally solid…Thanks for your inspiration :)

  • Kim

    Great post! While I haven’t narrowed my wardrobe down to ten pieces, I easily could. I’ve got my go-to clothes and anything else I own is rarely worn. Now that I think about it… I’m going to purge and give those pieces to someone who needs them.

  • runi

    Here are my 9 clothing items (except unmentionables). Please keep in mind that I’m old and retired, and am not worried about what people think. (1) long tunic that doubles as a dress (2) short tunic (3) slacks (4) quilted coat (not down)(5) fabric shoes (6) non-leather boots (weather, not fashion) (7) neck pouch (use as purse)(8 – 9)2 “loungers”. Everything is black except the loungers. To be honest, the slacks and shoes (and unmentionables) are cheap and usually have to be replaced once a year. The current coat and boots are several years old because I don’t wear them much. I do spend on the tunics.

    The most interesting (if you can call it that) items are the two “loungers”. They are also cheap and are usually replaced once a year. They are nylon/rayon and “skinnier” and shorter than muumuus. I wear one or the other most of the time. Of the current crop, one is bluish purple with red and orange flowers on it and the other is green with white dots. The kindest thing anyone has said about them is that they’re ugly. But that’s okay they handwash and drip-dry very well. Also I never have to check bags.

    I didn’t really try to do this, my father was military. (I attended seven grade schools and five high schools, and was allowed one suitcase–to be carried by me.) The schools I attended usually required uniforms. and when I finished school, my jobs usually involved uniforms.

  • Secret Squirrel

    This is a great post. I love clothes, and to wear different outfits, so would never be able to limit my clothes right down, but I always reach a point where what what I have feels ‘enough’ – that until something wears out, I won’t need any other clothes or shoes. And whilst it is not as pared down as yours, it does all fit on a rail. And friends are surprised – “are these all your clothes?” etc. The thing I do to keep things fun and feel like I gave lots of options is to have core items ( that would be my top 10) that stay forever, but I also have certain amount of stuff I buy from charity/2nd hand shops, which goes back to charity if it doesn’t work, but more often than not stays a while and pushes me to try different, more daring styles out. They maybe then go into the top 10, and push out another, more ‘safe’ style. Does that make sense? It works for me anyhow.

  • Im50

    “pride in your appearance goes a long way towards minimizing your closet”

    This is the key! For years now I have been trying to minimize my wardrobe with no success, and this statement reallly hits the nail on the head. Why do I want to keep things that fit if I have to suck in my stomach, or wear a coat? Give me a day or two, and I am certain I will be able to say “Alright, Mr. Demille, I’m ready for my close-up.”

    ! Thank you so much for your thought provoking blogs!

  • Simple Zen

    I’m lucky as I have a uniformed job so thats my midweek clothing sorted(and paid for).

    I wear jeans or cargos, T shirts, a jacket and a pair of trainers at the weekend but I do need to keep an extra set of stuff for when I’m away on holiday.

    And a best suit for weddings, funerals and job interviews.

    I like Rohan clothing because its smart, low maintanance and lasts forever.

    Steve.

  • Ann

    I love your Blog! I always find such awesome topics here. In fact, I have you set up on my Feed.
    I particularly love this topic! My wardrobe consists of the following (exclusive of unmentionables and weather-related items)….
    1. One pair of black and one pair of khaki pants. Good enough to dress up for the office with comfortable heels or wear more casual on the weekends with trackers.
    2. One colorblock dress
    3. Three or four tops that go with each pair of pants.
    4. One pair of jeans and a tshirt (work clothes for painting, etc.)
    5. My shoes include one pair of black MaryJane heels and one brown. One pair of black.
    6. One black skirt
    7. One black crossbody and one for spring/summer. My minimalist purses. I wouldn’t even carry them if it wasn’t a necessity. I hate purses!
    I don’t wear jewelry except for my scapular medal (I’m Catholic) and one pair of gold ball earrings I keep in and never take out. After reading the topic on your blog about accessories, I now use scarves.
    8. I do have one beige suit. But you know what? The tags are still on. I have never worn it!
    Most of my tops are patterned. You have inspired me once again with this topic. I want to give away my current ones and opt for solids. And I just went out today and purchased a little black dress ( one that can be worn in all environments, travels well, and doesn’t need to be ironed! My number one pet peeve. Maybe number two after purses. I hate to have to iron. It is a waste of time!)
    I am also inclined to give away my two MaryJanes and just keep my black flats. I find they are more comfortable as I get older anyway.
    My goal is that each pair of clothing I have does not need to be ironed, travels well, can be worn dressed up or down.
    I think I will be donating that beige suit.

  • Pamela C.

    I’ve been looking for some information online about creating a “capsule” wardrobe. I’m planning to streamline my wardrobe and I needed a little guidance. Thanks for sharing yours!

  • Ali

    In my wardrobe, I have two pairs of jeans (one for flat shoes and one for heels), two pairs of dress trousers (grey and navy), and three skirts (one floaty, one pencil, one mini). There are two everyday dresses (both neutral jersey), four wrap sweaters (in different colours, weights and styles), six t-shirts with 3/4 length sleeves (again, different colours, lengths, and weights), three big sweaters (I spend several weeks a year in very cold climates!), and three colours of cotton tank top (white, black, and amethyst). Almost any two (or more!) of these pieces can be worn together. I also have two yoga tops and two pairs of yoga pants (for sleeping and hanging and working out), and the obligatory little black dress for hobnobbing with the glitterati. Four great scarves and too many shoes (last count: 36 pairs) keep my wardrobe fresh and seasonal.

  • Like Twofashionistas, I’ve been finding these “core looks” horrifyingly bland. At the very least, the basics should be beautifully tailored or have an edge to them, not just a Banana Republic outfit. I don’t want to be all Debbie Downer (oops, too late) but I don’t feel inspired by this post. I feel depressed by it. Maybe I’d be cheered up if you showed yourself in your outfits with a unique accessory or sassy attitude. Please cheer me up! We’re born naked, and clothing is our create-your-own-plumage. It’s got to be exciting!

  • P.S. If you can stand one more comment from me, I don’t like to think that our lifestyle is “business casual”. Our workplace perhaps, but lifestyle no. Ok, rant over for real. I love your blog and you have great ideas and challenge us all to think about our decisions. <3

  • amanda

    You should check out Scarlett Thomas’ book “Our Tragic Universe” if you haven’t already. Its heroine has a ten item wardrobe, plus there are Zen koans throughout the book. Seems like it would be right up your alley.

  • [...] anyone who took issue with my 10-item wardrobe may not want to read any further, as the fashion transgressions in this post will be coming fast [...]

  • Mary

    Another wardrobe concept possibly of interest to the minimalist is the creation of one’s own personal “uniform”. A few years ago my local newspaper covered such a man who created his own personal work uniform. He called it “the uni”. He bought several exactly identical outfits and wore the same thing to work every single day for six months. He created a new look twice a year – his new uni “reveal” days became a big deal to his co-workers; even the local press’s fashion columnist started covering his reveal day every six months! Contrary to what some might think, this man was very fashionable and his chosen style was very current. He simply realized that he wasted a great deal of time deciding what to wear each morning and wanted to get on with the rest of life. The article said that at first it took his co-workers or clients a while to realize that he was wearing the same thing everyday. I’ve been mulling over this concept for a while; I haven’t integrated it yet, but it is definitely a possibility!

  • patti

    i’ve had a “uniform” for years.
    i change the uniform every few years, so i don’t bore myself to death.
    the current uniform is a masterpiece (if i say so myself, lol) of layering and mix and match.
    i live in the tropics, but i travel to cooler climates fairly often, so my clothes need to work in a range of temperatures, without investing in things like heavy coats or sweaters.

    i chose four colours: black, white, red, gray.
    all are solid colours, except for one frivolous piece i allowed myself in black and white.
    the gray is actually two shades….a lighter gray and a charcoal.
    the reds all match perfectly.
    i don’t wear dresses or skirts….just trousers, tunics, cardigans, tanks, long-sleeved t-shirts.

    i’ve got:
    black trousers x 2
    sleeveless tunic in a stretchy matte fabric, with interesting seams and and interesting hemline….one black and one red.
    3/4 sleeve body t, in some space age fabric…one white, one black, one charcoal.
    shoestring strapped tanks in the same fabric: one white, one black, one charcoal.
    swingy convertible sleeveless cardigan thing that i can wear six different ways…gray. amazing garment made from a rectangle with armholes, with some press studs that can be hooked up in various ways to give completely different looks.
    black heavier gauge cardigan for travelling in chilly climes….also very versatile and can be worn up, down, double breasted, etc.
    two layered tops that come apart into four pieces. each top has a long layer and a short layer. the fabric is some fine mesh/net stuff that washes and dries in about two seconds. the layers are very flatteringly cut.
    both layers mix and match with the tunics and the t’s and the tanks and the cardigans mentioned already.
    one layering piece in charcoal mesh/net stuff, which is a slightly different shape and a bit longer.
    i’ve also got a long back and white printed gauzy dress/tunic thing that goes over the top of any black or gray or white pants/tank/t combo and turns it into a gorgeous frock-looking thing.

    with these 16 items, i can wear a different outfit every day for weeks and weeks on end.
    and boy, it makes packing for a trip an absolute cinch!
    none of the garments require ironing, they all drip dry overnight, they scrunch into a bag and spring out looking fabulous.

    i am not one for millions of accessories…i’d rather have the extra layering pieces.
    i’ve got a red leather cosmetic bag that i use as a purse, and a pair of black sandals and couple, ok, three, pairs of black clogs, and a pair of black crocs and that’s it.
    i have four hermes scarves that go with practically anything.
    o and a very very small collection of jewellery, all of which is handmade and quirky, a mix of antique and modern, and none of which was a “fashion” purchase.

    my work is terribly messy (think kilos of herbs, oils, clays) and i have a uniform of very basic cotton yoga pants (3 pairs) and cotton t-shirts (3) and black aprons (3) that i keep separately for that.

  • [...] why I like this blog: Again, its a really simple and uncomplicated take on minimalism.  I also really like the section she has about highlighting real-life minimalists and her post about the 10-item wardrobe. [...]

  • [...] tema guardaroba e armadi (sì, sono ossessionata): The Minimalist Wardrobe (aka The 10-Item Wardrobe). Avete letto bene, 10 (DIECI) capi. Premettendo che a) non posso farcela b) nemmeno ne sento [...]

  • [...] wardrobe”.  This wardrobe is totally tailored to the individual and can consist of 10 items (Miss Minimalist), 4 shirts (Greenimalist), 30-piece wardrobe (The Everyday Minimalist), or a [...]

  • [...] “capsule” starter or minimalist wardrobe was modeled after an article by Miss Minimalist. She is a black- belt minimalist though; my sample wardrobe is a little bit [...]

  • Michelle

    My biggest problem is finding quality knits – the ‘perfect’ t-shirt is no good to us minimal gals if it’s headed for the charity bin after one washing! Love flowing simple clothes (picture buddist monks)and enjoy making my own, but would like to hear from those of you who are impressed with a particular manufacturer of knit basics…?

  • I love your blog!!!!! I have just started my minimalist journey. And the fun begins! I cannot believe you have only TEN items in your wardrobe!!!

  • [...] wonder if I can reduce my possessions to the back of the Prius. A versatile wardrobe, like Miss Minimalist’s 10-item clothing collection. A single bag (I’ve been a bag lady my whole life, I have dozens) that can be used everywhere [...]

  • [...] out Miss Minimalist’s complete 10-item wardrobe. Yes . . . well I’m not there yet, but it is [...]

  • [...] Examples: Project 333 and Miss Minimalist [...]

  • ES

    I really love the red sleeveless top in this post. I would enjoy it if you shared which company made each of your 10 wardrobe pieces.

  • Kate

    I think a lot about my wardrobe and how I can get it down to the bare minimum and create a classic look for myself.

    I’ve found a couple other great links on the topic:

    http://minimalissimo.com/2011/06/ultra-10/
    http://goop.com/newsletter/3/en/

    Great post, Francine! You are definitely on to something :)

  • That’s a very intersting article. Here’s my variation on the minimalist theme:
    Working in the corporate world, I have my minmalist outfit * 10. Thus, I have 10 identical black skirts for summer, 10 identical black trousers for winter. 10 identical white blouses and 10 cardigans in various colours. 2 black jackets – one I keep in the office and one at home for business trips.

    After two weeks it all goes in the wash – hand wash cycle (I am no fan of dry cleaning chemicals). Then I hang everything up in sets together with undies and leg wear. Each morning I grab one hanger with the complete outfit on it – a real no-brainer. Also it is very easy to pack for trips this way.

    My version of minimalist clothing maybe a bit out of the minimalist box. But it is minimalist on the time and resources spent to care for them. My washing machines are full when I run them and laundry time is once every two weeks.

    Anna.

  • This is awesome! Great information. Thank you for sharing it over at Bliss Habits!

  • Esme

    What do you do when washing? I hate handwashing (had to do it for about half a year) and I don’t want to have a washing cycle with a half full machine. Then when your clothing is drying (I don’t wat a dryer, to loud/to much on the electric bill, to much money/waste, no place for it) what do you wear? and what if it’s hot, and what when it snows? Or don’t you have this climate?

  • carol wood

    I, too, have questions about washing. 1) do you wash in the nude? What could you possibly be wearing while waiting for the spin cycle to finish and WHERE do you keep your quarters? 2) all of your items seem very dress to me. What do you wear while just kickin’ it at home? Cleaning the bathtub? Are those the specialty items you didn’t mention?
    Love the blog, btw,
    Carol

  • [...] Miss Minimalist Wardrobe (Comment section is interesting also.) Advertisement Eco World Content From Across The Internet. Featured on EcoPressed 4 FREE Recycling iPhone Apps Rate this: Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  • sarah

    my take is kind of like Anna’s… But my 10 is dresses. Each paired with a cardigan or button down overshirt in the cooler months (I do live in a basically warm climate) knee high boots for winter, sandals for summer… Pick 1 hanger and viola! Done for the day…

  • [...] want to dream… about a minimalist wardrobe.  Since the addition of the gifted clothes I received from my aunt, I really have to go through [...]

  • Jeanine

    I have minimized my work wardrobe this year. I am a teacher, so all must be machine washable. I got 6 3/4 sleeve button down poplin shirts from LLBean, 4 or 5 pairs of pants in either charcoal or black. Everything goes with everything else. I am tired of trying to figure out what goes with what and finding things to match something else. I know this is kind of boring, but our middle school has just gone to a “uniform” of plain shirts and pants. I wash and iron on the weekends, then, in the morning, I just pick a shirt and a pair of pants and I’m done! I would like to take it one step further and get 5 white shirts, 5 gray pants, and 5 colorful cardigans. It would be REALLY boring, but I am not there to impress young tweens with my outfits and I don’t have to worry about being appropriate (cleavage, etc.) at school. PS: now I can get rid of all the polyester stuff that just causes static cling anyway and have given up on panty hose. I went 3 years wearing just skirts and dresses, but have gone to pants.

  • [...] by other writers’ accounts of trimming wardrobes and whittling down clothing items to 100, 33, 10. Ten – wow. That’s inspiring. Though I don’t feel inclined to get quite as minimalistic with [...]

  • Sara

    I’ve created an idea for the fashionista-trying-to-turn minimalist: 12-piece wardrobe capsules that can be changed every six months (April and October). The idea is that you (a)still get to participate in trends (b)won’t get TOO attached to your clothes, because they won’t be kept forever and (c)don’t become bored with your clothing choices.

    Each new season, fashion designers throw a ton of ideas our way. The best way to navigate these without becoming overwhelmed is to pick 3 colors for that season (that flatter you, of course) and choose your items in only these colors. The easiest way is to select part of a collection from one store or designer. I prefer Loft; my friends frequent Limited, Express or New York & Company. You can shop at different stores, but I personally find it easier to dress in the morning when everything can mix and match perfectly.

    12-Piece Seasonal Capsules:

    2 scarves
    2 versatile dresses
    4 sweaters (2 pullovers and 2 cardigans)
    2 nice blouses
    2 tees or tanks

    Of course, this is assuming you have a basic wardrobe that includes jeans, a three-piece suit, trench coat, etc. already in your closet. Good places to get lists of these basics are from Tim Gunn or Nina Garcia.

    I have been using this system for a couple of years now and love it. I find it a way to live in the moment, stay fashionably relevant, and control my shopping purchases by sticking to this list. It is only 24 items a year (1 a month!) and can be donated to friends, family or charity when you are done with them :)

  • [...] The 10-Item Wardrobe The 100 Thing Challenge by Dave Bruno; 2010 [...]

  • [...] Okay, so again, it’s not exactly minimal – but I have a feeling I will never be one of these people. But as long as I am not one of these people, all will be well. Share this:Like this:LikeBe the [...]

  • [...] conservées qu’en « souvenir ». Puis je suis passée en deuxième vitesse : j’ai réduit ma garde-robe à 15-20 items, donné presque tous mes livres, vidé des tiroirs et des placards (que je garde maintenant vides), [...]

  • [...] started my first major minimalist undertaking. In an ideal world, I’d want to implement the capsule, or 10-item, minimalist wardrobe; as discussed in my previous post, however, there are a number of obstacles holding me [...]

  • [...] reminded of the idea of a minimalist wardrobe, where you have very few items of clothing (mostly, I’ve read about 10. TEN!). It’s in the same vein as the above, I guess, being about decluttering, but I just [...]

  • [...] Miss Minimalist has a 10 item wardrobe here. [...]

  • Rain-Adeline

    I started wearing nothing but black cotton tee-shirt crew-neck dresses after my twins were born. They are hard to find now, but LandsEnd used to have perfect ones. $40 ea, so I’d buy 10 and I was done. When you say you don’t go hiking in your little black dress, I have to differ with you: I DO go to the beach, sit in the sand, go in up to my waist to accompany the little ones. If the dress washes out well, fine. If it doesn’t, I wear it for chores. The brand-new perfect ones are for dressing up: As an older woman, I have some major diamonds and good belts, good shoes. Shoulder pads help create a formal look. From my pre-baby days, I have some great sports jackets — I mean like gorgeous blazers. Just a few, but they can go over it. I wear the same pearl earrings and multi-strand pearl necklace (tucked in) always. SO EASY.

    Boring? Not to me, because I am not interested in variety, as I was when I was young. I just want to be clean and together, ready for anything. But okay, for variety, a few tee-dresses in bright yellow, or pink. White is good, too. My closet is just two stacks of folded tee shirt dresses and my blazers. In winter, I switch to cashmere crew-neck tee-shirt dresses. I’m in a warm climate, so no coat except an oversize puffy quilted v long skiing-type of down coat on the rare cold or rainy day.

    Believe me, this is very liberating. I used to go weekly to the cleaners, a tedious trip and expensive. I did it w/o question. Now: into the washer, even the cashmere on cool and v gentle.

    When I have to go into the stores I used to drool over, I now wonder why people have any interest in all this STUFF.

    Next, I am trying to rid myself of many possessions. Esp hard with the sentimental stuff.

  • Rain-Adeline

    Just to add: the huge down coat (big, long) is fabulous on a flight where you want to sleep — protects me from the germ-y seats and can create a wall between me and a too-close person in the next seat. Ensures that my bottom is covered as I sleep. I was flying a lot last year and my simple dresses were perfect — remember how you can pull such a dress over your knees when knees are pulled up. True confession: I sometimes pull on an old dress for a nightgown. When they get too stained or tatty: into the wastebasket!

  • Rain-Adeline

    Here is a perfect example of what this blog is discussing, only in reverse:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2012/05/18/mark-zuckerberg-makeover-givenchy-gucci-burberry-instead-of-hoodies-photos.html#slide1

    This article tries to trick out in fancy, pointless clothes a man whose actual simplicity of dress is a welcome example to those of us who seek simplicity.

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