19 Jun 2013

Wednesday’s Questions… Will You play along?

After yesterday’s idea to ‘shop the closet’ I was asked if I could put together a capsule wardrobe with ten pieces…

Could I live with ten articles of clothing in my wardrobe?

Physically… yes… Emotionally… Tough…

As a fashionista… ouch!

Catherine Deneuve - Google Images

What would my capsule contain?

Must it be weather sensitive? What about accessories?

Ten pieces tops… Can’t-live-without… That’s the question to ask… The deciding factor…

Where is the line drawn?

Catherine Deneuve - Google Images

Black Blazer

Black Pants

Skinny Jeans

White shirt, Man style

Tee – Shirt

Silk Blouse

Trench Coat

Large Square Silk Scarf

Pencil Skirt


Catherine Deneuve, Yves Saint Laurent - Google Images

This is tough… I am finding it impossible..

What about shoes? I have no accessories… What about the beach? Caftans… a summer staple.. yet they won’t fit in my ‘ten’ because I’m being practical…

What about the weekends… a casual jacket… a puffer in winter?

Dresses… evening dresses… spring dresses…?

Where are my handbags?


Tell me your ten?  Can you manage? I don’t think I can do it! xv

 images of catherine deneuve and yves saint laurent via google


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Recently I was traveling for 3 month with 1! luggage and was insurprise
how well it worked when you have the right basic. For me beige/white for the “not looking good” days and black or b/w for evening and the
murky weather days. I try to take over this positive habit in my daily wardrobe and become more conscious what I spend my money for…
perhaps an other 3 month holiday?

Anita Rivera

OH, I have already noticed a strange thing has happened on my sidebar with my favorite blogs; the new titles have disappeared, and I have NO IDEA what to do, but I seemed to have been able to see your new post come up in my email, so that’s good!

OK, down to business…..

My top ten? EASY. (Anyone who knows me, knows I am a minimalist!)

1. Black pencil skirt.
2. Any color turtleneck sweater (fall and winter weight)
3. Black hose.
4. Low heeled/calf-length boots, any color.
5. Short wool blazer/coat.
6. Boat neck summer dress in cotton or even in denim (à la Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina, for knocking around the country or city in style)
7. A LARGE BRIMMED STRAW HAT (gotta protect this peau claire of mine!)
8. Sunglasses again, à la Audrey from Breakfast at Tiffanys.
9. My diamond ring (and I’m sneaking in my diamond studs!)
10. Pair of skinny or boyfriend jeans…

THAT WAS HARD because I do need a pair of heels, a pair of sandals, a pair of……………



Your side bar seems to be working now Anita… :)

Great list… I will be barefoot, sunburnt and freezing in winter!!

Karen in CT

One year I went to Paris on the bare minimum, and it was great.

Black pants
Black blazer
Black skirt
Black trench
White tee – 2
White blouse – 2
Shoes – 2

… well, I did take 3 of my most precious scarves, because you can totally change a look with the right scarf …

it was such an easy trip …

Karen Albert

Vicki you are killing me! Okay however I cannot include accessories!
LBD,Black Pant, White Jeans,Blue Jeans, 3 T’s,white,turquoise,and Navy T’s, Striped turtleneck, Lightweight Cardigan, Darling Jacket!

There would be several scarves, a couple of pairs of sandals, as well as flats, Great bag, earrings, bracelets. I HAD to list these separately. PLUS this all would be for a long weekend!

Art by Karena
Novica Giveaway


Is this more than ten Karena… ;)
I think I should have had a ten capsule accessory wardrobe too!!

24/7 in France

I’m pondering the immense task of choosing ten basics, but jeans and black pants are definitely included and scarves to add color..as for the rest ????


It’s a tough one!
I really struggled… and ended up with a pretty sombre (elegant) wardrobe… ;)

cindy hattersley

How about 20? That I could do. Summer, black tee long sleeve and short, white tee long sleeve and short, White shirt,black shirt, black skinny capris, white skinny capris, long foldover waist skirt, leopard flats, black flats, black sandals,leopard scarf, black and white scarf, chunky horn neclace and bracelet. black dress…black trench, denim jacket.


Do you see this pattern already, many of us think the same way with basics like black and white. It works no matter what the season or weather.
After traveling to Greece 2 years ago for a three week trip and taking WAY to much, I vowed this will never happen again. Now I take the time to plan the packing better.
1. black pants ankle length to work for day or evening 2. black pencil skirt 3. black fitted T 4. slim white cotton shirt 5. black kitten sling backs 6. neutral/blush shade ballet flats 7. red cardigan {I’m a cardigan girl and this colour works all year long for me} 8. black blazer 9. white pashmina 10. double string of pearls.

I better fit my credit card in my pocket because there is no handbag in this grouping.

lisa thomson

I don’t know if I can. I’m with most of the ladies here in saying black pants, white blouse, t-shirts (I live in ’em), one skirt, one dress,sandals, converse, sweater, scarf, jacket. But it’s no fun, Vicki. What about all the extras? Sweats, cozy PJ’s, colorful sundresses? After yesterday’s post I went to shop my closet and hated it…not sure what I’m missing but I must correct it. The giveaway pile is getting bigger!


I’ve never tried this experiment but from what I’ve read from those who do it, I was under the impression that shoes, scarves, outerwear and even little tee shirts don’t count in the ten items. That’s the only way I could possibly manage.


OH MY…! This gives me a lot to think about for when I pack for an upcoming trip to Switzerland. I don’t have so much a problem with selecting the garments as I do the shoes. In fact I have been know to carry an extra suitcase for just shoes… because they can change the whole look of an outfit!

I have been told that Switzerland tends to be more “formal” in their attire… (perhaps the person meant that they dress less casual, as I tend to think of “formal” as evening gowns…?)… so if anyone has any suggestions I would certainly appreciate hearing them…!


Possibly they meant more of a classic style… conservative?
SHoes definitely are in a league of their own… :)


Yes, that is most likely what they meant… I know that this area where I will be has a lot of northern Italians that are very fashion conscience… I will, be for the most part, be staying with the versatile basics…

Carole Poirot

This is way too tough as I’m something of an “emotional dresser” as I like to call it. What I adore today sometimes feels completely wrong the next day and I’m not even thinking about the ever-changing weather here. The absolute basics I always go back to are jeans, black trousers, khaki trousers, black blazer, white oversized shirt, oversized marl grey cardigan, white t-shirt, brogues, kaftan, trench coat and parka… Already over 10! Still need accessories too! ;-) Great challenge though and thought provoking xo


My ten would be, black pants, black pencil skirt, white blouse, white tee, white light weight sweater, black light weight sweater, sandals, cute colorful flats, black dress, colorful shift dress, silk scarf, a strain of pearls! Of course, this COULD change, as my mind changes every day! It’s hot presently where I live so everyone wears a lot of white! Love the post and ideas!

Garden, Home and Party

I love your list. I do think life could be easier if I had less, especially in my clothes closet but I would have a difficult time living with just the 10 essential items. What about summer wear? :D


Trench, black pants, khaki pants,white shirt, white tee, black shoes, black bag, brown jacket, brown cashmere sweater, brown cashmere wrap.


Very concise… and well planned… i can’t believe i didn’t include cashmeres…. I am never without wearing them!


Ten, well wouldn’t that be nice if I could start limiting myself, pare things down without the torture of thinking “I can use that, somehow, someday.”
1. lightweight coat/jacket with removable lining.
2. navy cardigan
3. scarf – large in soft silk (my Oscar de la Renta)
4. leggings (please don’t scream) in black heavyish weight
5. striped blouse
6. white draped T
7. dark jeans
8. some kind of amazingly comfortable, beautiful walking shoes (they remain a mystery)
9. mock turtleneck knit
10. knit skirt


Of course… a belt!! How will we keep the jeans up… :)
10 is totally not possible… tomorrow I am writing about the excesses…
Everyone has inspired me!

Patricia Flournoy

every year when I pack for my three months in Burgundy…I take out my list of the 10 must-take things and it grows & grows…I do think ten is a good place to start but for summer white pants/jeans & possibly a white skirt(great with a tan & sandales) change the black blazer for a white one, and this year I added a Brittany striped sweater/blazer…plus as many Hermes scarves as I can keep track of….pearls, chains…wow Have I gotten to 30 yet? Merci, Vicki
a bientot, atty Flounoy

Patricia Flournoy

twenty would be a challenge…as is the airline luggage restrictions! Have a wonderful summer! Patty

Patricia Flournoy

FORGOT TO MENTION…RULE OF OUR HOUSE…YOU PACK IT … YOU TAKE IT…YOU WEAR IT…EVERYTHING IN THE SUITCASE MUST BE WORN…I made the rule and I stick by it…keeps me in check or changing clothes a lot on the last day of my trip!

I so enjoy your blog…always a lot of Food for thought! Merci, Vicki…a la prochaine, Patty


Interesting mental exercise:-

Dress for evening & occasions (would double as skirt if worn with buttoned cardigan)
Dark jeans
1 off white T shirt
1 accent colour T shirt for layering
Navy trousers
Navy cardigan
Navy/black flat shoes
Classic style jacket in flattering colour
Navy trench with removable lining
Large scarf in Navy/accent colour

Just realised this does not include handbag or jewellery! and forgot hats I love hats.


Nope. No way, no how…. Can’t do it… I’d feel half naked…


D. A. Wolf

When I was in my mid 20s, I moved to France for 3 months with one small suitcase. That was it. How I managed, I can’t imagine, but I did.

Now? The chaussures would be quite the conundrum. And yes, it’s the emotional aspects, but assuming that accessories don’t count (I have two cuff bracelets and three pairs of earrings that are MUSTs) – I dare say I would go with the following:

One gray pencil skirt, one black skirt (with judicious slits);
One Little Black Jacket
Two black fitted tops (scoop neck and plunging V);
One patterned scarf (with neutrals);
One little débardeur (either rose or purple for layering);
One pair of black fitted pants;
One red skirt (several to choose from);
One pair of red heels; One pair of black heels.

Oh dear. That’s eleven and I’m exhausted and traumatized. May we say the shoes don’t count, and I can add my favorite black boots and black booties, as well as my stunning purple stilettos?

D. A. Wolf

Mon Dieu. It had better be warm. I realize I haven’t a thing to keep me warm in my selections. (May I add a hot-blooded Frenchman to the list, to wrap me in his arms should the temperatures take a plunge?)


When I was still working I used the capsule method years ago, and I had several capsules going, not just one and that worked for me. Vicki you are right you have to have different items for the seasons! I will admit this…… when packing for a trip I do seem to take the same articles of clothing all the time, depending on the time of year!


Trip packing is easier… it’s not forever… because there is so much more to come home to..
i agree… I am always packing the same outfits…

Sarah S

Ahhh great post Vicki… Love the idea of a minimalist wardrobe but can’t quite get there.. Wish I could. I did fairly well recently after reading a book “Lessons from Madame Chic” The Madame in question (French, of course) had a core wardrobe of just 10 items but (and this is the best bit) the 10 items do not include outwear (coats and warm jackets etc.), occasionwear (cocktail and evening gowns and special day dresses), accessories (scarves, gloves, hats, wraps), shoes and also “under shirts” – i.e.. tee tank tops to wear as a layer underneath a sweater. And the 10 items are assessed each season. I did pretty well on this for around 4 months or so but I have to admit I then got bored and my eyes wandered to internet shopping sites etc. ! S x


That old temptress… online shopping… she makes a capsule wardrobe just about impossible!

Monique Gayst van Tulder

A problem I ponder often. Your list is so very nearly perfect for me, just a few tweaks;

Black trench with a slight sheen
Black skinny jeans
Black silk blouse
Black v neck cashmere knit, slightly slouchy
White cotton shirt
Silk scarf
Black ballet shoes
Low heel black pointy shoes
Fabulous sunglasses
Black skin belt


Chanel handbag – cheating to make 1 extra but I can’t leave it at home.
Wonderful thought provoking and challenging post! Thank you…

Sally Leonard

Obviously none of you girls live in Texas. We change clothes as least twice a day so how would
we make do with 10 items?

helen tilston

Oh Vicki

This is a tough one. Ten items.Couldn’t do it. If I did, I think I would look like one of those “flashers” one sees in pictures i.e. Trench coat and undies!!! hee he

Carolyn Bradford

IF we could have 20-30 items I might could play! But not at 10! If you knew me or saw my closet you would totally understand! I truly don’t think I’m capable of 10 items! I sure wish I was! It would make unpacking from any trip so much easier!


I will bet that Catherine Deneuve has more than ten items. She is incomparable, no? Unless we are talking about her sister, Francoise Dorleac, as well. Both real beauties.


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