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It has been a full eight months since I last blogged. I have been working part-time for a landscaping company, nannying for a two-year-old occasionally (a job which I am happily now through with), designing and sewing bags when I can, and simply trying to keep up with the daily duties of mothering my own two children. Blogging fell to the wayside, but I would love to get back into it, as my girls are both attending school full-time this fall, for the first time. It feels a bit silly to be posting on fall/winter 2017, when it is nearly fall 2018, but if I do not complete this series, which I started, I’ll feel like I can never post on my blog again! Therefore, in this post, I will share a simple list of what items made up my fall/winter 2017 ten-item wardrobe, outline my final budget total, and, finally, share what was most useful to me and what I let go of, when I donated and sold clothing at the end of the season.

I’m not going to divide this list into ten core items and extras. Instead, I will divide them into Bottoms, Tops, and Dresses. I had sixteen clothing items total and most of my shirts were casual, long-sleeve tees. In the Madame Chic outline for a ten-item wardrobe, five or six of my seven shirts, as well as my three sweatshirts, would count as extras, rather than core items, but they didn’t feel like extras to me, because they are what I wore all the time!

Bottoms:

  1. Imogene + Willie Imogene Slim Indigo Jeans. SS16.
  2. Imogene + Willie Imogene Slim Black Jeans. FW16.
  3. Handmade Florence Pant in Black Linen (Made by me and my mom, with secondhand fabric, after drafting a pattern from my Elizabeth Suzann pair that I wore through). FW17.
  4. Handmade Florence Pant in Olive Green Linen Blend (Made by me and my mom, with secondhand fabric). FW17.

Tops:

  1. Everlane Crew Sweatshirt in Light Grey Marled. SS16.
  2. Everlane Crew Sweatshirt in Black. FW17.
  3. Baserange Basic Sweat in Nude. SS17.
  4. Everlane Silk Long-Sleeve Tee in Black. FW16.
  5. Everlane Grey Turtleneck. FW17.
  6. Everlane Pima Long-Sleeve in Black. FW17. 
  7. Secondhand Light-Brown Long-Sleeve Tee. FW17.
  8. Secondhand, from my mom, Teal Long-Sleeve Tee. FW17.
  9. Secondhand, from my mom, Turquoise Long-Sleeve Tee. FW17.
  10. Secondhand Cream & Black Collared Button-Up Shirt. SS16.

Dresses:

  1. Secondhand, gift from my mom, Vince Black Linen Shirt Dress (Similar). FW17.

Shoes:

  1. Sam Edelman Petty Ankle Boots. FW17.
  2. ECCO Touch 15 Buckle Boot in Black. SS15.
  3. Sam Edelman Black Ballerina Flats. (Similar). SS14.
  4. Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Boot. SS17.
  5. Secondhand Born Lace-Up Shearling Boots. FW14.

Socks, Unders, and Workout Clothes:

  1. 2 pairs Smartwool Secret Sleuth Socks
  2. 6 pairs Smartwool Women’s Hike Medium Crew Socks
  3. 2 old pairs of socks, for my gardening job
  4. 1 Hanro Cotton Seamless V-Neck Tank
  5. 7 pairs Natori Bliss Briefs (also available from Nordstrom)
  6. 2 Third Love 24/7 Classic T-Shirt Bras
  7. 1 backup bra
  8. 1 pair Girlfriend Collective Compressive High-Rise Leggings
  9. 1 sports bra

My primary goal for my ten-item wardrobe this season was to adhere to my budget of $300. In addition to what I spent as outlined in my budget post here, I spent $70 on the grey Everlane turtleneck ($30) and the black Everlane sweatshirt ($40). I was able to stick to my budget, for a total of $294.06 spent for the 2017 fall/winter season. I felt this was a fairly tight budget and I really had to keep up with laundry, to make this simple wardrobe work.

With such a limited selection, with many pieces that I had worn many times the previous year, I wore through a lot of these items by the end of spring. I find that things do tend to wear out within a couple of years with the ten-item wardrobe, but I don’t think of that as a bad thing. An item of clothing will wear out with a certain number of wears and washes and if you are condensing the time-frame of those wears, because you are only wearing a few things, it will just happen faster, but with the same amount of use. If a shirt is going to wear out in fifty wears, it will be spent in fifty wears whether those fifty wears are worn in one year or spread out over five years. Better to wear out an item than to only wear it a couple of times, while it just sits in your closet, taking up space.

These are the things I let go of when I did my spring purge and notes on how they wore and why I donated or sold them:

Sold:

  1. Imogene + Willie Imogene Slim Indigo Jeans. SS16. I sold both of my pairs of jeans on Ebay, together for $45. I was amazed that they sold for that much, as they both were faded and had holes in the knees! I really loved the silhouette of these jeans, which I wore for two years, but the size I had in the non-stretch, 100% cotton was just not comfortable in the end. I would love to have this silhouette again, with some stretch in it. And maybe a size up, too!
  2. Imogene + Willie Imogene Slim Black Jeans. FW16.

Donated/Gave Away:

  1. Handmade Florence Pant in Black Linen (Made by me and my mom, after drafting a pattern from my pair that I wore through). FW17. Once again, I wore through my Florence Pants. I guess my black pair was getting worn and, after a friend borrowed them for work, they came out of the wash with a huge hole in them.
  2. Handmade Florence Pant in Olive Green Linen Blend (Made by me and my mom). FW17. The olive green fabric did not wear well and I ended up wearing them for gardening, for my landscaping job this summer. Finally, when the crotch started coming apart, I donated them for textile recycling. I really enjoyed the comfortable, artsy style of the Florence Pant and would like to make more—maybe a fancier black silk pair, like these!
  3. Secondhand, from my mom, Turquoise Long-Sleeve Tee. FW17. I donated this because it was getting worn, I felt I had enough long-sleeve tees, and the color was too bright!
  4. Secondhand, gift from my mom, Vince Black Linen Shirt Dress (Similar). FW17. I got some good use out of this dress through the season, but it always felt a little too short to me, so I am giving it to my sister-in-law, who is a bit shorter than me.
  5. Everlane Silk Long-Sleeve Tee in Black. FW16. This was what I considered my fancy shirt, which dressed up my Florence Pants and jeans. It was a favorite and I wore it a couple of times a week for two fall/winter seasons. It began to come apart at the seams and was very faded and likely a little stained, too, so I donated it. I would love another black silk shirt, eventually.
  6. Secondhand Cream & Black Collared Button-Up Shirt. SS16. This was nearly worn through at a collar seam and I hardly wore it during this season, so it was donated.
  7. Sam Edelman Black Ballerina Flats. (Similar). SS14. After four years of use, these ballet flats were in very ragged condition and I retired them. The ones I had were so soft and I would love to find a similar pair. Specifically, they were these, but black, and they were perfect. Kindly let me know if you have any favorite ballet flat recommendations! I’m tempted to replace them with these, but they are not in the budget for this fall.

Keeping for Fall/Winter 2018:

  1. Everlane Crew Sweatshirt in Light Grey Marled. SS16. All three of my sweatshirts are quite worn; two of them have holes around the wristbands. I find that I really love sweatshirts in the winter, for comfort and ease of washing. I am keeping all of them for two reasons: 1) My budget is very tight for the upcoming fall/winter 2018 season and 2) I am going to be working for the landscaping company nearly full-time through December, so they will be useful for that. Not necessarily presentable, not necessarily sparking joy, but very useful. Actually, they do spark a little joy, because they are comfortable and I like the outdoor work I do in them.
  2. Everlane Crew Sweatshirt in Black. FW17.
  3. Baserange Basic Sweat in Nude. SS17.
  4. Everlane Grey Turtleneck. FW17. Lightweight, soft and comfortable.
  5. Everlane Pima Long-Sleeve in Black. FW17. Same as above!
  6. Secondhand Light-Brown Long-Sleeve Tee. FW17. This is too worn to wear on its own, but I’m keeping it to wear under a couple of sweaters that I purchased this spring.
  7. Secondhand, from my mom, Teal Long-Sleeve Tee. FW17. Useful, mostly as a pajama shirt.
  8. Sam Edelman Petty Ankle Boots. FW17. I really loved these, as I felt they could give a simple outfit a style lift. I managed to keep the suede clean and I’m looking forward to wearing them all fall.
  9. ECCO Touch 15 Buckle Boot in Black. SS15. After three winters, these are a little scratched, but in my opinion, still neat enough and very useable. They are so comfortable and I’m glad that I will have them for a fourth winter.
  10. Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Boot. SS17. I purchased these for my gardening job last year and they were very useful for foraging for firewood this winter. They are like hugs on your feet.
  11. Secondhand, from my mom, Born Lace-Up Shearling Boots. FW14. Bulky, but useful for playing in the snow.

I do not have any shopping plans for my Fall/Winter 2018 Ten-Item Wardrobe, though I was able to purchase a couple of lovely sweaters and linen dresses, in spring and summer (bringing some much-desired elegance and femininity back into my wardrobe), that I will be incorporating into my fall/winter wardrobe. If I can make the time, I would love to do a proper post for Fall/Winter 2018, with outfit photos, like my first ten-item wardrobe post. Most likely, though, most of the fall and winter I will be seen in my old sweatshirts and a thrifted pair of jeans, as I work my outdoor job!

Friends, it has been a long time! I would love to hear how you are currently approaching your small wardrobes and if you have a post on yours, please share in the comments below! 

Note: If you sign up for an Everlane account and make a purchase through this Everlane link or purchase an item through an Amazon or Third Love link, I may get a credit for the referral. Thank you for supporting my writing on Cedar & Bloom.

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