The 10-Item Wardrobe and Jennifer L. Scott

Winter 2014 I was recovering from a head injury and feeling fairly helpless up against the mountain of housework and tidying that needed done in our apartment. We had a lot of stuff we didn’t need everywhere you could look cluttering walkways, closets, desk space, cabinets, countertops, and shelves. All that stuff brought a lot of stress and a feeling of claustrophobia. I was searching online for organization tools and methods, because at the time I didn’t think we needed to get rid of anything, when I came across a TedX talk by Jennifer L. Scott on the 10-Item Wardrobe. I clicked, watched, then made Trevor watch it with me; it was a lecture that would start a ripple in our lives, and we would never be the same. Almost immediately after hearing her speech, we went through all of our clothes and donated the things that didn’t fit and we no longer needed, we embarked on the path towards a minimalist life.

Madame Chic

Scott is the author of the Madame Chic self-help books, which I have yet to read (but have been on my back-catalog for two years now), in which she details life-changing lessons she learned while living as an exchange student in Paris. She discusses:

  • The less choice, the more thought and organization you put into your wardrobe, the easier it will be to get ready in the morning.
  • Her experiences in Paris and her impressions of the people living there, especially her host family.
  • How to create a 10-Item wardrobe (ask yourself for every item: does this fit? Is this age appropriate? Does this reflect my true style? Do I love this? Do I wear this? Is this seasonally appropriate?) Find your 10 “core” items that you’ll wear daily. “Extras” will round out your wardrobe.
  • Benefits of a 10-item wardrobe: knowing true style and wearing it daily, knowing what to wear
  • Inspiring readers to look presentable always.

The Daily Connoisseur

Wither Scott’s TedX Talk being so influential and life-changing, I went one step further and checked out her YouTube channel. Needless to say, it’s full of awesome content that further explores the 10-Item Wardrobe and shows viewers how to put it into practice. Scott additionally talks about living well with themes from her other books by sharing seasonal capsule wardrobe prep, her picks for her seasonal capsule wardrobes, clothing storage and care, discussions on clothing appropriateness and dressing well, along with etiquette talks, and beauty and hair tutorials.

Scott readily shares the things that she’s learned, and further explores topics from her book, in such a gentle and relatable way. The community she’s created surrounding her YouTube channel is full of polite and like-minded people; its a positive and happy place on the internet.

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