10 Items 10 Ways! (Actually just 9 items, 10 outfits – even better!)

Written by Wendy Mak

Turns out, I can’t count. In today’s post I wanted to talk about how you don’t need a lot of items to have a lot of outfits, once you know how to mix-and-match (one of my favourite topics!). How cool would it be (I thought) to show you “10 items 10 ways”? So catchy, this stylist thinks…

Until I realised I couldn’t count and had created the 10 looks from NINE items not ten!!!!

So – forgive my inability to count up to ten, BUT bonus for you – even less items to buy and more looks from it!

In truth there are lots more outfits that you can create from these 9 items, so don’t hold back from creating more and more outfits. You’ll also see that with the clever use of some accessories (and the accessories shown in the pictures are not expensive at all) you can easily add some interest and colour to the outfits – fast.

The key is to ensure your 9 items are simple enough to go with lots of things, and don’t have a “defined” occasion.

Those of you familiar with my book The Terrific Thirty will know that in the book I describe and ask you to look for very specific details (such as texture, colour, fabric, cut) in all the items to allow you to take that piece (whether it’s a skirt, shorts or trousers) and wear it with something casual for daytime, something tailored for work and something elegant for going out. Knowing what to look for is key in ensuring that you can truly make fewer items work in lots of different ways – and reduces fashion mistakes.

So, let’s take a look at the 9 items and the 10 looks…



13 01 15 10 Items Individual Small

1. Tailored shorts
2. Cream / taupe trousers
3. Black trousers
4. Coloured blouse
5. White tank
6. Black tank
7. Casual blazer
8.White / taupe blazer
9. Black blazer

All items featured above are from the book The Terrific Thirty

(with BIG thanks to my gallant friend Lil for modelling the outfits for us)

13 01 15 10 Items 10 Ways Outfits Small

Happy Styling xx

By | 2017-09-05T07:14:25+10:00 January 15th, 2013|Fabulous Fashion, How to fashion|19 Comments


  1. Kim January 15, 2013 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Has to be my sportscraft black blazer. I wear it with jeans and casual skirts on weekends, dresses and skirts and contrasting pants to work and also out at night. It is my go to jacket to dress up any item without going over the top.

    • Anonymous January 15, 2013 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      Oh you are a lady after my own heart Kim, I LOVE a great, versatile black blazer!! Definitely hear you!

    • Anonymous January 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm - Reply

      CONGRATULATIONS Kim – your comment has won the $25 Coles Myer gift card!! Thanks for connecting and hope to see you on the blog again soon!

  2. Kaliopi January 15, 2013 at 8:54 pm - Reply

    My 3/4 sleeved denim shirt from Temt is always on high rotation. It’s fitted enough to wear as a lightweight jacket. I often team it with a range of coloured singlets or t-shirts, black skinny jeans, casual pants, skirts and shorts, and my favourite way to wear it is rolling up the sleeves and tying it up at the waist over my dresses – either knee length, maxi, dressy or casual. It’s not as bulky as a denim jacket and gives a dress just that little bit extra edge than a cardigan does.

    • Anonymous January 15, 2013 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      What a great idea – a denim shirt – love it! Thank you for sharing!

  3. fiona January 17, 2013 at 9:40 am - Reply

    I couldn’t live without a black knee length pencil skirt in a fabric with some stretch. Dress up or down, day to night. Mine are worn all year round!

    • Anonymous January 17, 2013 at 10:26 am - Reply

      Yes indeed Fiona – a black pencil skirt is a must I think, and definitely in the fabric you described so it’s comfy and not so “office-y”!!

  4. Sharon Hall January 17, 2013 at 11:12 am - Reply

    My handy black cardigan is always in my handbags, Summer or winter. Goes with everything and comes out whenever it gets too chilly. Be it a summer breeze, cold night or overly air conditioned cinema. Love it.

    • Anonymous January 17, 2013 at 11:29 am - Reply

      So true – even on the hottest days you can never tell how chilly it can get when the sun goes down and the winds pick up!! Nice choice Sharon!

  5. Cindy January 17, 2013 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    I have a wraparound stretch black dress that has been a staple for 6 years now! It’s flattering, doesn’t crease (and therefore travels well) and the three quarter sleeves means it is trans-seasonal. I dress it up with some jewelry for nights out or wear a camisole under to heighten the neckline for work.

    • admin January 17, 2013 at 9:52 pm - Reply

      Nice pick Cindy! And all great suggestions to make it go the distance, love it!

  6. Tamara Bridge January 18, 2013 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Black maxi dress. Can be worn as a dress or a skirt. Add a cardigan for winter and a pair off boots. Add sandals and a bright necklace for summer. Add high heels and a blazer for evening wear. Add thongs and a singlet for casual wear. The choices are endless!

    • Anonymous January 19, 2013 at 8:58 am - Reply

      Got to love a great maxi dress Tamara!! Definitely as you say goes from dressy to casual in a flash!

  7. admin January 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    And a big congratulations to Kim who has won the $25 Coles Myer gift card for her comment. Thanks to all who commented, and please continue to stay connected with the blog and me as there are still another 4 x $25 gift cards for comments over the next four blog posts! ~ Wendy

    • Kim January 21, 2013 at 5:11 pm - Reply

      Thanks Wendy. What a great surprise. This has made my day!

  8. Janna January 31, 2013 at 4:51 am - Reply

    Wendy, I have a question about the casual taupe or cream trousers. At the moment there are Chinos everywhere. I find it difficult to judge whether they fit well, but if I find one, could I pick a Chino or is that not a good choice for the terrific thirty?

    • admin February 4, 2013 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      Hi Janna, apologies for the delay but yes absolutely a chino would be fine. Just as long as it’s a simple chino, nothing with external pockets etc or too wide / baggy because that can make it too casual and a bit hard to dress up. Hope that helps! ~ Wendy

  9. Ingrid Ambrose April 2, 2013 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    My Marc’s white fitted shirt with some stretch and the button up sleeve option. I can wear this with jeans, black tailored pants, casual pants, pencil skirts, flared skirts, left out or tucked in; with the sleeves rolled up to 3/4 or as a short sleeve buttoned up. Being fitted, it even looks good over a dress or swimmers on a hot day. It can be worn all seasons and can look anything from casual to very smart depending on the accessories added such as a scarf, necklace or collar. It can be worn under a casual or dressy jacket or on its own.
    I’d like to try it under that faux fur from Forever New!!
    Add heels and go!

    • admin April 2, 2013 at 2:36 pm - Reply

      There’s just nothing quite like a classic white shirt Ingrid, totally agree!!! And yes try the Forever New vest, I love it!!!!!! Thanks for connecting and hope you are well!! ~ Wendy

Leave A Comment