The '10 Year Rule' - Rev. for 2010

For a very very VERY long time, I had a rule. I tried to follow it pretty hard and fast, and I was relatively successful. My rule was based on the idea that each and every time I purchased an item of clothing, I thought to myself, 'will I be able to wear this 10 years from now?' The principle, I think, was that I was trying to stick to purchases that were classics...stay away from items that were too trendy. I am sure it was for both practical (I don't have an endless supply of money so I am trying to get as much bang for my buck as I can) and aesthetic (I have always liked a few quality pieces over a million poorly made pieces). Over the years, I've been relatively successful with this rule...there are many things in my closet I've had well beyond 10 years and I love them as much today as I ever did. But then, I have things that I bought which violated the 'rule', that I really didnt' think I would have for many years that, surprisingly, I have! Of course there are also the things that I swore I would keep for a life time that didn't last a season. So what to do.

Well, here's the thing...the 10 year rule is no longer a rule...it's just an idea I keep in the back of my head. I think, at my age, I can trust that when I buy something, it is for the right reasons. If I followed my rule to the letter, then some of my favorite Target or H&M purchases might not have been. The fun of shopping and fashion is that while your style and taste evolve...that you have fun. Rules are hardly ever fun...and if I shop with the 10 year concept in my head at least part of the time, I think I am doing pretty well.

What do you think? Do you have a style rule? How has it evolved. Love to know :)


  1. first off, can i have the rolex?!? :)

    i have to begin by saying i am in no way as disciplined as you. i don't take care of all of my more treasured items (like my LVs, watches, cashmere, etc...)as well as i should. I've seen your closet(from the old days) and i always admired how well kept it was. If you go into mine you'd be horrified. most of my clothing is hanging but i also have a lot of folded sweaters that could use a little more TLC.

    i've always remembered your 10 yr rule and it's a darn good one...but again...i'm so not disciplined. i'm basically a "buy it if you love it" kind of gal. for big purchases (anything over a few hundred dollars) i always have to REALLY love it to actually buy it and i almost always keep these items forever. but for more of the inexpensive stuff i just go by my "enthusiasm" level! how scientific is that???
    for me, it's all about how much i get excited about something. if i'm SUPER excited that means i really must love that item.... if i'm just "i like it" (lukewarm) i'll usually pass.

    as i've aged, i've noticed i don't do as much of the impulsive buying as before..but on occasion i have bought things quite of-the-moment...but i still have to really like it/love it to do this.

    not sure if any of what i've just said makes any sense...but i guess what i'm trying to say is that my shopping philosophy has never been too rigid....
    of course i hope (as i get older and hopefully just a tad bit wiser!) i know which pieces are really the "classics" and i don't have to waste time or money on things that aren't going to stick around for a very long time.

  2. Well, see this is the thing...the reason for the revision is of the influence from you, or Laura or say, my friend Adriane. I admire your style so much so your philosophy has seeped into mine creating something far better (at least I think) than when I started. I appreciate that you think I am being so disciplined ... I don't know if I deserve that much credit. I do know that I treasure my stuff (just like you do) and can be a real wacko when it comes to caring for my things. But I love now, that I feel comfortable going to a Target, or whatever and buying things...knowing full well that they might be 'of the moment' but in that time, I sure am going to enjoy them.

    Actually Target has changed my philosophy a lot as well. It's just so endlessly awesome.