Friday, 6 September 2013

The 10 key items

Well 10 or thereabouts, I am not a creature of exact science.

A while ago I edited my wardrobe heavily, attempting to attain the 'holy grail' of the capsule - 10 item - wardrobe.

I'm not quite at 10 items yet, but I do have space between the garments hanging in my wardrobe.
I've been quite surprised by the items I have been wearing and which have been working for me.

Here is a run down of my absolute basics. As some of the items are no longer available I've included links to similar things should anyone be interested.

1. Tesco navy cotton pencil skirt (similar here). Skirts have featured more heavily in my 10 items than I expected. Maybe it's a little bit of not wanting to wear jeans / trousers ALL the time, maybe a bit weather related. But whatever, my Tesco navy pencil skirt has proved to be a real workhorse. I love navy and it fills a 'jean shaped hole' while still looking feminine and just ringing the changes from jeans. I plan to snap up this new season version as a 'spare' because,  while Tesco clothes are great, I don't expect the original to last forever:

2. Musto checked shirt (similar here). This was a bizarre item. Had I been dreaming up my ideal 'must have' wardrobe, it's hardly the first item which would have sprung to mind! I just tried it on and decided I liked the checks. Mine is a subtler colour but I also like the colour-way below. Checked shirts are apparently the next big thing - they are everywhere! - so unknowingly I was right up to date for this season as well as (I think) having a reliable basic for years to come:
Musto are 'heavy duty' country wear I guess, so are a little pricer, but lots of equivalents are available if you just want a nice shirt and are not planning to go shooting ;-)

 and also Tesco - see here

3. Selection of breton tops - my new Jigsaw breton (now further reduced at John Lewis - just £18):

And classic navy and white from Zara here:

4. Sainsbury's black cropped capri trousers (similar here from M&S). Just one of those basic items you need to have I think. I like the 7/8 length - seems a bit fresher somehow and I'd say will still work for autumn with ankle boots:

5. Pink Joules cable knit crew neck jumper (similar here from Crew). To add a bit of colour. Complemnts the navy and the shirt, and the trousers.... (you get the idea!):

6. Toast & New Look denim / chambray shirts (similar here from Tesco). Layers brilliantly over the maxi dress and breton tops and under the pink jumper. Works alone too. No-brainer:

7. White Tesco jersey biker style jacket and navy White Company jersey style biker jacket. I like the fact these can be worn done up and also left open, giving very different looks. Two for one, or four for two. I am a creature of simple brain, but there you go. Similar knitted autumn /winter version from Pure Collection below:

8. Long black Warehouse vest style maxi dress (similar from Asos).

This has proved to be an absolute necessity. It can be worn so many ways - as a dress on its own, over a tee, under a tee - under a jacket - with scarf, with bold necklace, belted up etc etc.) If I was starting from scratch and had to buy one item I think this would be it - on a cost per use basis - and this one from Asos is an absolute bargain at £14!

9. M&S black knee length swingy jersey skirt. Can't find an equivalent and don't really want to! Unbelievably it was all I had in the suitable / flattering black skirt line!  And it has now been replaced by the Whistles black jersey tube skirt. A necessary basic, in much the same way as the black trousers:

10. Loose Zara black top - similar here. Because everyone (well I do at least) needs a black t-shirt:

10a. I haven't included jeans as I haven't worn them much recently. Realistically though, any 10 item wardrobe would need a pair of jeans. My current favourites which will be added to the mix are these from Topshop:

These are just the 'bare bones'.

I haven't talked about the myriad of shoes, bags, scarves and other accessories which are key to varying the look. I've been plundering my reserves of those to keep me sane. Maybe I'll do a future post on the accessories which I find most useful to make the 10 item look more interesting.... :-)

The 10 or so clothing items will change as I move further into my warmer autumn wear, I'll attempt to keep the list updated!


  1. Thanks for sharing these. 10 is difficult. I say 10 is difficult as I have 10 pairs of jeans as it is and I couldn't pick one pair over another as all are different and used for different looks.

    Skirts have featured more for me as well this year although all the skirts (all two of them) have been denim ones. It's my way of getting a denim fix without sweating in a pair of jeans. Definitely attributable to the weather.

    1. 'Tis easy really with my skewed logic (she says, blithely overlooking fact that also has about 10 pair of skinny trousers about the place).... You have the fabled 10 items in your wardrobe. The rest you place in a very large Ikea blue bag on the floor. When you are lost for inspiration, rifle through blue bag. Usually results either in 2nd (and more furious) rejection of chosen item (in which case it moves to a separate 'definitely chuck' pile... or it gets re-welcomed into the fold, and 10 becomes 11... und so weiter.


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