Closet Raid: How to Create A Month’s Worth of Outfits {Using Just 10 Items}

January 22, 2013

{Michael Kors Trench Dress, J. Crew Ruffled Blouse, Forever 21 Sweater w/ Detachable Collar, Old Navy Argyle Cardigan, Rugby Cabled Sweater, Dolce & Gabbana Blouse, Forever 21 Ankle Zip Jeans, H&M Pleated Skirt, Zara A-Line Skirt, LOFT Pleated Skirt}

As you may have guessed, I have A LOT of clothes.  And to be honest, it can sometimes get overwhelming staring into a closet full of stuff when I’m trying to find something to wear.  Over the past few months, I’ve been on a mission to pare down my wardrobe by either selling or donating the things I don’t love.  I decided to take things a step further by clearing out my closet completely (don’t worry, it was just for the weekend) and seeing what I could do with only 10 items.  It took me about 45 minutes or so to narrow down my selection, but once I did it was pretty easy to come up with different combinations (I had at least another week’s worth of outfits that didn’t make the cut!).

The final verdict: It was almost therapeutic only having to consider a few items at a time.  Looking at a near-empty closet was also strangely appealing.  While I won’t be tossing out the rest of my duds any time soon,  I have been adopting a more minimalistic approach to  shopping (although shoes will always remain a vice).  And I will definitely put my 10-item wardrobe to good use when packing for my next vacation!

Detailed outfit shots and step-by-step instructions for creating your own 10-item capsule wardrobe after the jump!


  1. Start off with your favorite pair of jeans.  Mine are a pair of dark skinnies with ankle zips that I purchased from Forever 21 a few years ago and have served me very well.
  2. Choose a color theme.  You’ll notice that I pretty much stuck to neutrals and threw in a few bright colors (pink, purple and yellow) that all work well together.
  3. Pick 3 additional bottoms (at least 2 should be in a neutral color like black, grey or beige).  I’m partial to skirts over pants (although my much-loved pair of black skinny cords almost made the cut), but choose whatever’s most comfortable for you.
  4. Pick out a fabulous dress that can be worn different ways.  I went with a trench dress that turned out to be extremely versatile, but a button-front shirt dress could work well or perhaps even a lightweight knit dress that can be worn with a sweater and/or blouse on top.
  5. Choose whatever combo of cardigans and blazers (1 of each, or 2 of one) that floats your boat.  I bent my own rule a little bit here by only choosing 1 cardigan (and no blazer), but that’s because my trench dress also served dual-purpose as a topper.
  6. For your 3 tops (or 4, if you’re a rule-breaker like me) choose items that can easily pair with all of your bottoms.  It’s your call, but I highly recommend a white button-up blouse (or even a chambray if you prefer a more casual look).
Side note: I’ll leave shoes and accessories up to you at this point.  But in keeping with the spirit of this challenge, I tried to keep my shoes and accessories to a minimum.  Here’s a look at what I was working with:
As you can see, I kept it pretty simple: 3 pairs of shoes and just a handful of my favorite baubles.
And now, the outfits up close and personal:

10 Items :: 30 Outfits (1/5)

10 Items :: 30 Outfits (2/5)

10 Items :: 30 Outfits (3/5)

10 Items :: 30 Outfits (4/5)

10 Items :: 30 Outfits (5/5) <

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  • Anonymous

    CUTE!!! Great job.

    • ClosetConfections


  • Alyssa White


  • ClosetConfections

    Glad you found my blog. Thanks for stopping by.

  • ClosetConfections

    I’ve done the 30 for 30 twice before and know exactly what you mean. :-)

  • Carsedra Glass

    I found your blog via It’s My Taste (Corie) and I have to say I love your style!!

    Now this post is something I needed to see because putting together outfits for work is always a challenge! I have alot of clothes but I still struggle with putting together looks. I wear the same stuff over and over and I hate it because I am thinking people are work are like didn’t she just wear that!?!?! But then again I work in IT so they probably really don’t notice much, but I do so I still hate it. This will help me to be able to mix up use some of the stuff I wear often to create new looks!!

    Carsedra of:

    • ClosetConfections

      Thanks for stopping by! If your co-workers are anything like mine, I guarantee they will NOT notice if you wear the same things repeatedly, lol. Trust me, I used to feel the same way.

  • Cindie P

    This is great! I love that there is enough for casual and for work-appropriate wear too. I would love to do this, and it makes me really think about the quality of the clothes I buy. I should ask myself every time I want to buy something “would this make the 10-piece month” list?

    • ClosetConfections

      Absolutely! That’s a great rule of thumb to keep in mind when shopping. I always think along those lines when buying shoes, especially.

  • Kandy O.

    I love this!

  • Yasmeen

    Love this post! :) I think this is something all fashion bloggers are tackling this year. Our consumption habits are really so out of whack. I’m going to try this 10 item thingy!

    • ClosetConfections

      I couldn’t agree more. These days it’s all about condensing my wardrobe and focusing on the things I love!

  • Ashley Lorraine

    I love this post!! You are so creative. I love that you took a small amount of items and created different looks :)

    With Love,

  • Socialist

    I absolutely love that pink pleated skirt!
    Thanks for such an informative post. I am sure I can put these tips to great use.

  • ShenDove

    Love your tips. This is great winter wardrobe inspiration!

  • Jill Lansky

    this is awesome!! so creative and all the outfits are chic!

  • Anonymous

    Wow, and here I thought I was good at remixing items. You are great!

  • Teena O’Brian

    Where did you get those tan sneakers??!?! I’m in love!!! Thanks!

  • Karen Miriam

    This is such a fabulous idea Kendra. I will make an effort and utilise my 10 items too

  • Style Bits & Bobs of ME

    This is awesome! I love when you can use a small amount of clothing items and make multiple outfits. I’m a new subscriber and I am enjoying your blog!

    • ClosetConfections

      Thanks. And yes, sometimes less is definitely more when it comes to clothes.

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