The 10 Outfit Wardrobe

I love fashion but I don’t always have time to think about what to wear. Truth be told, I’d rather use the extra 10 minutes to sleep.

There are people who plan a week’s wardrobe in advance on a Sunday but I can never seem to get into the habit. Instead, I tend to rush every day and base my outfit du jour on items that are currently not wrinkled. This in turn prevents me from wearing things lovely items made from fabrics of delicate nature (i.e. silk). I  always felt like I was in a rut, fashion-wise. Rushed, frazzled and uninspired.

Enter The 1o Item Wardrobe.  I’ve been a big fan of Jennifer L. Scott for some time now and her concept of the 10 item wardrobe.  The idea is that you have 10  core quality items that you wear every day (with extra items to supplement — evening dress, basic tees, etc.) until you wear it out. Your 10 items would get evaluated per season and you add or discard items on a needs basis. Of course it’s not strict. You don’t have to have just 10 items as you can customize the idea to suit what is right for you.

I am a tad lazier than the average person when it comes to getting ready in the morn so I’ve taken the 10 item wardrobe idea and tweaked it to a 10 outfit wardrobe which works really well for the 9-5 work life but is also applicable to anyone who needs to get dressed in the morning. It’s a wonderful no-brainer way of getting dressed. A lazy gal’s answer to the daily what-to-wear conundrum.

The idea is simple. Basically, I have 10 outfits (which crosses over seasons — think transitional dressing), that gets rotated every other week. Five outfits for week one, the second half for week two.  From time to time, I change things up but for most of the season, my work attire remains the same and I never have to worry about what to wear. 10 outfits complete with accessories.  10 outfits that I love and I never get bored because I feel great wearing them.

I have a clothes rack where I hang clothes that I will wear for the season and keep the out of season items in my closet. That way, I always see what I have available. Getting dressed in the morning has never been easier. Now I just have to figure out what to do with my hair!

Here are some tips to get you started and some helpful tips on how to manage:

– At the start of each season, choose your 10 work outfits. Make sure that they are quality items that you love so you will not get bored. Evaluate what needs to be replaced from the items that can still be worn.

– If you want to save more money, plan two seasons ahead for off-season deals. This really helps. I love shopping at independent boutiques that carry European-made or locally made fashion and some places are quite expensive so I always buy off-season and get really great deals.

– When shopping, choose pieces that can be worn for two seasons or more and in more ways than one. For example, I have a geometric patterned dress in navy and red that can be worn in the spring, summer and fall. All I need to do is wear tights when the weather is colder.

– Plan out what shoes, bags and jewellery that will go with each look.

–  Consider weather variations. I love dresses, but if it rains I have a pair of pants that I can switch up at a moment’s notice.

– Designate space for your outfits for the season. A section in your closet or a clothing rack.

– For clothing that requires more maintenance plan ahead if you decide to wear the items. I have this gorgeous grey silk tunic dress but it’s a bit of pain to wear because it wrinkles easily and it can only be steamed. I think that organic dry cleaning is too expensy so I hand wash and steam to remove the wrinkles. I don’t want to do this every week or even every other week (Yes, I am that lazy) so once a month I dedicate a couple of hours for steaming delicate clothes and I treat the tunic as an extra item that I have to vary the 10 outfit rotation.

My current 10 outfit summer wardrobe includes:

– Seven dresses (2 needs replacing)

– One skirt (paired with various options for tops — the tops are part of my extras)

– One pair of light coloured pants (not jeans, paired with various tops)

– One pair of dark coloured pants (paired with various tops)

And that is it.

I’ve noticed that all my clothes are rotated well. I don’t have a bulging wardrobe where things remain unworn (new and old items).

I now have a closet full of clothes with always something to wear. :-)

I hope that this helps you out and gives ideas on how to organize your wardrobe.

minimalist wardrobe clothes rack

7 Things: Hola Mexico!

T and I spent a glorious week at the beautiful Platinum Yucatan Princess on the Riviera Maya. This was our first time in Mexico and we are hooked to say the least. A beautiful place with lot’s of culture, warm people and great food. The Yucatan Princess is gorgeous and the staff are wonderful. The service and everything that we needed and wanted were covered. Oh and I have grown to love Mexican food even more. I am soooo looking forward to going back soon. We came somewhat having an idea of what to expect but they were surpassed. From the hotel to the tours, every thing was wonderful.  Thanks to LB for the recommendation. Here is an interesting read on how these mini paradises work.

I wish I had taken more pictures….I was too busy enjoying myself. :-) We kinda needed the time to unwind, relax and not really plan,think or do too much.

We booked 2 tours with Experiencas Xcaret, Xichen and Xenotes and we plan to do Xelha/Tulum when we return. The service and the guides were very good. David from the xichen tour is witty, passionate, knowledgeable and clearly loves what he does. He had Paolo (our land transportation engineer for the day) as his wing man and we were very lucky as a group to have them take care of us for the day.

 

Cenote Ik Kil Chichen Itza

Cenote Ik Kil

We visited many different cenotes (sink holes) with the Xenotes Oasis Maya tour. Xenote K’aak, Ha, Lu’um and Iik being the four. The water was either a deep blue or green and the air was so clean.  Xenote K’aak was my favourite as it was lovely to observe the surrounding natural greenery and life that flew about as you swam. I just wished that we had more time in each cenote. Xenote Lu’um (semi open) was very beautiful as well but I was a bit creeped out knowing that the Mayans threw human sacrifices down the deep cenotes. I am not sure if this particular cenote was a graveyard but it was a bit dark being semi open. Dark but beautiful.

 

casona de valladolid

Casona de Valladolid

 

For lunch we stopped at La Casona de Valladolid to sample Yucatecan food. The restaurant is located inside a 120 year old house with a beautiful courtyard in the colonial town of Valladolid. The buffet was delicious with many options. The lima soup and chicken pibil were yum! I am going to attempt to make these at home. Apologies for the lack of pictures. I was too busy eating and sampling the dishes. It was sooooo good. Sorry if I am repeating myself. I loooove Mexican food. Another place that we tried was Yaxche (jag-shey) in Playa del Carmen. A great Mayan cuisine restaurant that integrates environment-care and local community support into the food that they serve. I had the Mool O’Och sample plate. The dips that they served with the chips were classics with a twist. Will blog about this place soon on Yumgasmic Food.

Riviera maya coffee mayan coffee

Riviera Maya Coffee

 

To continue with the food orgy another thing that I discovered in Mexico is the really good coffee. So much better than the overpriced joe that we pay for at Starbucks. I bought a bag of grounded beans from the Chiapas region and I cannot wait to try it. They have a growing community of organic plantations in the region that supports the local Mayan community.

Wee flowers in my hair

Wee flowers in my hair

 

I got a massage at the spa and ended up with a braid and a bun. The flowers were my own doing and all that is missing are a few butterflies. :-)

pink table pink chair

Lovely pink table and chairs

This was taken at an ice cream place in Playa. I can’t remember the name. I got the iced chocolate drink while T got the horchata with cinnamon. I am sucker for all things pink and this was just lovely. I love seeing bright colours and it seems to be a common theme in resort towns. They are not afraid to be bold with using them. It beats the beige, black, grey and white of countries with colder climates. Chic and mysterious, yes but colour = life.

towel art

Towel art

We were treated towel art daily at the resort. It was such a lovely touch. I think that I will do the same thing for my next house guest.

el castillo piramide de kukulcan

Piramide de Kukulcan

And here I stand before the great “El Castillo”, dedicated to the god Kukulcan. We did an experiment with the sound by clapping which caused it to be magnified within the facade of the temple. I am not sure how to explain the science behind it but it allowed the king’s voice to be amplified whenever he addressed his subjects from the top of his tower.  We also learned a lot about the Mayan’s advanced discoveries in astronomy, their civilization and the drought that may have led to their demise. All to the tune of human beings being greedy without having any regard for the environment and the general population. Sound familiar? We can certainly learn a lot from the mistakes of the past and apply it to our current situation. David our guide shared lot’s of information with us that day. His paternal grandma is Mayan and faced challenges due to her ethnicity. That resonated with me because my grandfather faced the same thing and did not not encourage his children to learn his mother tongue. There is a silver lining though as schools are now teaching Mayan language and tradition in schools in order to preserve the culture. It is a rich and important aspect that contributes greatly as part of Mexico’s heritage and I am glad that something is being done. I would like future generations from around the world to be able to experience the historic culture of this great civilization.

It was really hot that day and yes I was sweating under my long sleeves and pants. I am glad that I was covered up though because I did not burn and I did not have to re-apply sticky sunblock. Although they provide cold bottled water as you start the trip, bring a thermos (filled with ice from your resort bar) to put the water in. I digress. We thoroughly enjoyed David’s “office” in Chichen Itza that day as he is passionate about what he does telling the group to, “do what you love and love what you do, or else it’s not worth it.” Wise words. Will apply and learn from them. Thank you David and gracias Mexico. Mi case es su casa. Hasta la vista, baby!

 

Some travel tips:

–  Bring eco-friendly sunblock. If you go to Xel-Ha it is required and recommended for the Xenotes. Sunblock is expensive there so it is better to buy it at home.

– Tip for good service. These people work hard to make your vacation safe and enjoyable.

–  When booking excursions, cabs and shuttles go with companies provided by your hotel/travel agency.

–  Bring meds such as Pepto Bismol, Imodium, Reactine, etc and a mini first aid kit.

–  Learn a few basic words in Spanish such as hello, bye, please, thank you, bathroom, cerveza :-)

–  Bring a thermos with ice for excursions, for use for drink refills (saves plastic cups from going into the landfill) and umbrella as a parasol (this is usually provided by the hotel).

– Water shoes and other swim equipment (water shirts etc.), boy swimming shorts for the ladies if you’re planning to do anything sporty.

– Laundry bar soap if you want to wash your clothes but not use the laundry service.

– Learn how to haggle when shopping. Take them down to 50% of the initial offer and meet halfway in between.

– Buy items made in Mexico. Authentic souvenirs made locally not things made in China as a lot of the cheap tourist items are. Support the local community. Also, when buying wood if it smells like gasoline it probably is termite infested. Real silver should not stick to a magnet unless it has other metals mixed in.

A Year in Provence TV Mini-Series

I haven’t read the book but decided to watch the series in advance. I am saving it for my trip and I hope that it inspires me to pen something similar. A short story perhaps?

The tv mini-series is centred around a British couple who moves to Provence. We get a glimpse of their day-to-day lives from fixing their 200 year old country home to their quirky neighbours. The series hasn’t gotten great reviews but the book has. To be honest, the show does come off a bit slow at times but it is quite funny. I am on the second episode and I am having a hard time watching it from beginning to the end. I’ve paused a few times to attend to other matters. Maybe it’s just my short attention span?

No matter as I am sure the book will be great.

A Year in Provence

A Year in Provence

Winter

Spring

Summer

Fall

Edit: I started enjoying the series towards the end. Events start to pick up as we get into the development of the characters and the local town. It’s too bad the story does not continue.
I’ve started to grow fond of the show.

Here is another video that i discovered entitled 80 Years in Provence. It’s an interview about 2 brothers who lived through WW2 where they talk about the life back then and how it has changed.