10-Item Summer 2017 Wardrobe: Stripes & Coral

Woo! I finally have all the pics together for my 10-Item Summer Wardrobe (such as they are), and I am psyched to share this–and to wear this! (Hey, I’m a poet and I didn’t know it). As longtime readers know, I adopted the capsule wardrobe approach after reading Jennifer L. Scott’s Madame Chic books (be sure to check out her blog, The Daily Connoisseur, as well). The premise: collect 10 “core items” that either go together and complement each other, then augment it with “extras” such as T-shirts, outerwear, evening wear, etc.

Unfortunately, due to the light and the different times I took these photos, the colors aren’t just right (and my clothes look a little wrinkly–that’s totally my fault). But I swear these all go together, and I’m pretty happy!

Another note: you may notice a couple returns from a few years ago. While I do practice the 10-item wardrobe, I don’t always purge everything I’m not wearing in a particular season. For example, right after I had Sarah and I was in super-breastfeeding mode, I went down a size, and some of my shorts were too big. I saved them just in case, and guess what–I’m glad I did. Since most of last year’s summer wardrobe just plain wore out (after many years of service), I was glad I kept some pieces in reserve!

But without further ado, let’s . . . a-do this! (™ Hub Hubbard.)

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Pale pink Merona cotton sweater. I got this for free at my friend Melissa’s Naked Lady party and built a lot of this wardrobe around it! Love it, and it pairs well with coral and red.

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Thread & Supply blue “menswear” shirt.

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You think you’ve seen this shirt a million times, but guess what: it’s a new J Crew Factory striped boatneck shirt! After many years, I realized the underarms of my old one . . . turned black. Fortunately I was literally at J Crew Factory when I discovered this.

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J Crew Factory sunwashed slim chino. My husband got me these for Mother’s Day, and I love them. I would never have picked them, because they get dirty as f*ck every time I wear them, but they wash well and are more comfortable in the heat that jeans.

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J Crew Factory coral seersucker shorts. These are from at least four years ago!

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J Crew Factory 5″ chino shorts in aqua. These are kind of like a chambray? Very old. 

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J Crew Factory striped daybreak dress. I love this because it looks structured, but it’s made of stretch material. It looks like they’re out of this particular stripe, sad.

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LOFT striped dress. This dress is ancient (at least five years) and I think it was actually supposed to be a swimsuit coverup? It’s my favorite summer dress: it’s cute and doesn’t hug my body.

10-Item Wardrobe

Floral dress, made by me maybe five or six years ago? Pattern by Amy Butler.

So there are my 10 pieces! On to the extras: T-shirts!

10-Item Wardrobe

J Crew Factory “fruit salad” T-shirt. I’ve had this for years and it’s a little too sheer now, so I wear a camisole under it.

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J Crew Factory collector T-shirt–another gift from my husband. Looks like it’s out of stock online.

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J Crew studio T-shirt. A perfect basic!

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J Crew Factory perfect fit shell. These are my new favorites–they really do fit perfectly, and they’re a little more polished than a tank top.

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J Crew Factory striped boatneck short-sleeved T-shirt. I don’t think they have this on the site anymore (I picked it up last year) and it’s too bad, it wears well like the long-sleeved one!

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Novelty shirts! My sister Jessica gave me the Star Wars shirt, and I picked up the tank visiting Carmel this spring for a family reunion. Guest starring my toes.

Ahhh. I love using the 10-item wardrobe because it makes everything easier. My drawers are organized, I can see all my clothes, and it makes laundry a snap (and necessary). It’s also been really interesting to see which items hold up well (the dress I made, certain J Crew items) and which did not (most T-shirts).

What do you think? Is anyone else out there doing this? Post below!

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Winter 10-Item Wardobe–FINALLY

Look at this–two blog posts in one day? How do I do it all? Mostly it involves keeping my daughter busy with books and/or literally holding her while I took the photos. She had a lot of fun dancing on my clothes, too. But finally, yes, my awesome ivory wool fisherman’s sweater arrived, and it was the perfect piece to complete my 10-item wardrobe for the rest of the winter (especially with us visiting Massachusetts this month–brr!).

Well. I kinda cheated. This is actually an 11-item wardrobe. But since this also represents what I’m taking on our trip, I had to add a dress–even if I don’t wear it weekly–and I grouped my two favorite striped shirts as one.

If you haven’t heard of the concept before, the 10-item wardrobe is something I heard about when I first read Jennifer L. Scott’s Madame Chic books, and it hit a chord. I’ve always wanted the perfect, compact, packable wardrobe where all the pieces go together and I never have to think when I get dressed. Plus, being able to close my dresser drawers is always a bonus. The 10 (or 11) items are your core items. This doesn’t include extras like t-shirts and scarves, underwear, outwear, shoes, or evening wear.

I’ve done a couple 10-item wardrobes before, and what’s really struck me is I have a much better sense of my “style,” or what I really like and wear. Look at the pics below and it’s clear that I like red and navy. And stripes. And gray. And Spider-Man. I’ve got to add some comics somewhere!

So, without further ado, here is my 11-item wardrobe:

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J. Crew Factory long-sleeved striped boatneck t-shirts.

I love these shirts. I love these shirts so much. I’ve had the navy stripe for more than a year. The red, I bought two months ago. While the navy stripe is a little softer, they are otherwise indistinguishable, age-wise. This is partly because I hang them to dry, but partly because they are thick, well-made, awesome, and well-nigh indestructible. There are two additional colors available at J. Crew Factory and I am seriously considering buying them. Plus, they look great, fit well, and my black nursing bras don’t show through.

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Thread & Supply “menswear” blue shirt.

This is a new purchase, a birthday gift from my Mom and Dad (thank you!). It looks a little rumpled in the picture but it’s the perfect “menswear” type shirt, crisp and tailored, but it fits a lady. I mean me.

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Spider-Man sweatshirt, Forever 21.

I bought this sweatshirt two-and-a-half years ago and it’s still one of my favorites! I had to mend the waistband once, but otherwise, it’s stellar–and a good conversation piece.

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Halogen gray wool-blend sweater with embroidery.

Another new purchase (actually, I think most everything is). This Halogen sweater is cozy, but the embroidery makes it a little more polished.

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Red and gray J Crew Factory sweater with gold polka dots.

This would have been perfect for Christmas! The v-neck adds a little sex appeal.

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J Crew Factory jeans.

I admit–I literally took these off to take a picture of them. There’s a little enchilada sauce on the hip if you look closely. I was wary of buying light blue jeans (I was scarred by the ’80s and ’90s) but my Mom made me try them on and they’re awesome. Lesson: Moms are always right.

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J. Crew Factory red tailored stretch Lexie pant.

Fortunately, there’s enough red in my wardrobe that I had no qualms about including deep-red pants! I think everything except the red sweater goes with this. Wow, these pants are wrinkly. Sorry!

Another item my Mom encouraged me to try on, and bought me for my birthday. I was always suspicious about “ponte” pants. Do you mean tailored sweatpants? But while these are as stretchy and as comfy as pajamas, they look like nice tailored pants. My Mom was right again!

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APC sweater dress.

As I said, since we’ll be visiting family in Massachusetts, I needed to include a dress. I love this dress–bought on super clearance, because APC is pricey. It looks very . . . squat in this photo, but it’s actually cute on. The yarn is kind of a gray and navy marl.

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Fisherman’s sweater, vintage.

I saved the best for last! I love this sweater so much. It’s so big and cozy–it weighs two pounds. I found it on Etsy from a vintage seller. It’s wool and was clearly handmade. The quality is incredible. And I love, love all the cables and patterns. I bought all kinds of cedar inserts for my bureau to help protect it.

So what do you think? I think this is pretty much the perfect wardrobe. With a pair of tights, some t-shirts, and shoes and accessories, this will fit nicely in a suitcase (not the sweater, I’ll wear it), and I’ll feel well dressed at the in-laws’.

What are your go-to items? Post below!