The 10-Piece Closet Edit: Why It Works!

With trends moving in and out faster than you can say “overalls,” it’s important to look inside your closet to ensure your main squeezes staples still have prime real estate. Sifting through an overflowing one, though, can be a daunting task, but don’t be overwhelmed. We got the lowdown from top style consultants on how to edit down your wardrobe to 10, yes 10, essentials.
Clos-ette founder and wardrobe consultant Melanie Charlton suggests finding a partner. “Work with either a professional or someone who has an admirable fashion sense and will be 100% honest with you.”
Once your helper's inside your closet, Melanie insists on taking inventory. “I encourage all clients, even ones with small wardrobes, to create an Excel sheet with an itemized list. This provides an easy way to add and subtract as pieces come and go.”
After laying out each piece, New York-based Style for Hire stylist Stefany Mohebban suggests trying on the ones you're unsure about. “Ask yourself these two questions: first, 'When was the last time I wore this?’ and second, ‘Would I buy this today?’ If the answer is no, and you haven't worn this item in a year, then it's time to let it go.”
But, what about the special sweatshirt you wore on the first date with your husband? Melanie points out that people often sentimentalize an unhealthy amount over their clothing. It can also be difficult to toss out numerous pieces that add up to a decent sum of money, so Rachel Wirkus, celebrity stylist and founder of closet-reorganization company RRW+Co, suggests streamlining. "When it’s just the basics left," she says, "you will actually be able to see what is in your closet."
Okay, sold. But, now we have to edit down to 10 pieces. What should we look for? Mohebban advises her clients to build back their wardrobes on essentials like the perfect bootie, a silk blouse, and a great-fitting dress. We took this advice to heart and compiled a list of the 10 must-have essentials. Trust us, less actually is more.

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Investing in a keepsake handbag will allow you to pull together even the most hurried outfits.

Loeffler Randall Work Tote in Black Haircalf/Black Leather, $695, available at Loeffler Randall.
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Coach Mini Legacy Tanner Crossbody in Black, $298, available at Coach.
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A go-to silk blouse will transition seamlessly from the office to your dinner plans time and time again.

Equipment Signature Blouse in Nature White, $208 available at Equipment.
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Madewell Silk Cargo Shirt, $88, available at Madewell.
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Keep a statement jewelry piece on your dresser, whether it’s a collar necklace or a pair of costume earrings, to add flare to your basics (and decor to your home).

Dannijo Geneva Necklace, $525 available at Dannijo.
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H&M Gold Short Necklace, $12.95, available at H&M.
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Invest in a pair of live-in jeans to dress up with heels or to run around in wearing flats. A good pair will serve you well, multiple days a week.

Rag & bone Skinny Jeans in Oil Stain, $198, available at rag & bone.
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Gap 1969 Always Skinny Black Jeans in Salinas, $69.95, available at Gap.
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Find the perfect crew-neck sweater for layering on chilly days and to add a classic silhouette to any outfit.

A.P.C. Sailor Sweatshirt, $190, available at A.P.C..
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River Island Crew Neck Sweater, $88.99, available at ASOS.
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A chic blazer is your versatile best friend. You can throw it on over a dress for your midyear review and then over a V-neck tee for your midweek date.

Theory Gabe B 2 Blazer in Urban Stretch Wool, $395, available at Theory.
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Zara Single Button Blazer, $89.90, available at Zara.
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Swap out 6-inch stilettos for a pair of transitional heels or booties that are comfortable enough to wear from 9-to-5 and then carry you straight to happy hour.

Tory Burch Livingston Leather Ankle Boot, $475, available at Neiman Marcus.
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Dolce Vita Hilary Bootie, $188, available at Nordstrom.
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Buy a pair of power flats to boost your confidence. With a resurgence of menswear-inspired trends, there are plenty of classic loafers and oxfords to choose from.

Elizabeth and James Aly Patent Pointed Toe Loafer in Red, $298, available at Neiman Marcus.
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Nine West Leather Smoking Flat, $37.49, available at Lord & Taylor.
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Every girl needs a throw-on-and-walk-out-the-door dress. There is nothing more stress-relieving than having a single clothing item that is a completed look in itself.

Tibi Leather Asymmetrical Wrap Dress, $575, available at Tibi.
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Topshop Short Elfin Shift Dress, $80, available at Topshop.
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Always have a multiseasonal jacket on hand to add a finishing touch and extra dimension to your everyday looks.

A.P.C Camo Jacket, $415, available at Barneys New York.
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J.Crew Boyfriend Fatigue Jacket in Camo, $178, available at J.Crew.

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