Spring-cleaning means getting rid of everything you don’t need and it always makes your life simpler and better.

As the new season approaches many people are taking note of a challenge that’s been circulating around style blogs – to wear only 10 items for 10 days. But how easy is it to shop sparingly for life, not just the new season?

Wouldn’t it be a comforting thought if there really was a definitive answer to the question of how many items to have in your wardrobe – a magic amount meaning you were neither bored silly nor utterly overwhelmed when looking for something to wear?

Donna Karan caused a sensation in 1985 with her Seven Easy Pieces idea, which included a bodysuit, tights, a skirt, relaxed trousers, a tailored jacket, a cashmere sweater and a white shirt.

“So many women find assembling the right clothes bewildering today,” she said at the time. “They’ve discovered fast ways to put food on the table, but they don’t know how to get their wardrobes together easily.”

Recent research has found that most of us don’t wear 60% of the clothes in our wardrobes, so perhaps we could all learn a lesson in making sure the purchases we do make will be the ones we go to when faced with what to wear.

“Never shop by trends, only what suits you and your lifestyle; be honest, not aspirational,” advises Anna Berkeley, a stylist.

One strategy both fashion insiders and advocates of the minimalist wardrobe alike agree on is to only settle for pieces you either love or can’t get out of your head.

“Initially go on a buying ban, then accept that some gems are going to wheedle their way into your heart,” says fashion editor Katherine Ormerod.

“Ultimately, it’s a waiting game – if you can’t stop thinking about something, it’s meant to be yours. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and it’s always because I’ve felt under pressure to impulse-buy.”


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