Tuesday, March 29, 2011

5 Piece French Wardrobe

It is no secret. I love all things French. In high school, I chose to take French, instead of the oh so practical Spanish. My college dorm room was decorated in a French theme. I've been to Paris 3 times. I read all kinds of books on the subject from the "I'm American/British and lived in France for a year" books to the "How to be/eat/dress French" books.

Above all, my fascination is with French girl style. So seemingly effortless. I love the way a French girl can make a simple outfit elegant and stylish. The exact same outfit, piece for piece, would look boring on me. It's really no great secret that what French style comes down to, aside from matching underwear, is quality over quantity.

Several bloggers have recently written about the 5 Piece French Wardrobe. Research or consensus or whatever basically says that French women only add 5 new pieces to their wardrobe each season. This is fashion seasons (two) not weather seasons (four), so 10 new pieces a year. From what I can understand these 5 pieces are signature, investment pieces. Basics don't count. So a new killer pair of heels would count as one of the pieces, but a new white t-shirt would not.

I scoff at buying a $310 blazer, but if you took all the money I spend on clothes in a year and divide it by 10... Well, it wouldn't be $310 (hopefully) but it would be a decent amount. The 5 Piece French Wardrobe is really in line with the goals of NNNY and my never ending quest to reduce my clothing consumption.

In order for this to work, you need a good base wardrobe. Sabrina at afterDRK has already made a good list of basic pieces. Once you have a good base to work from (and I do) you only add 5 pieces each season. When you limit your shopping in such a way, you definitely have to carefully consider what you are going to buy. If you are only going to buy 5 things, you better make sure that you really love them.

So how is this going to work in Unusual Form land:

1. I will only buy 5 new pieces for Spring.

2. I may fill in a few gaps in my basics, or update a few items, but I won't abuse this.

3. I'm still going to allow myself limited secondhand shopping.

4. I won't count anything I make for myself.

I've been working on my list of items for Spring. Here are some possible candidates for my Spring 5 Piece French Wardrobe:

  • Wide-Leg, High-Waist Jeans
  • Paperbag Waist Shorts in Khaki
  • Classic Trench (Technically a basic, but likely to be pricey)
  • Light Weight Cropped Utility Jacket in Olive

My list will likely change, but I'll keep you updated as it progresses. I'm going to keep a running list in the right hand column of my blog. Expect Polyvore sets soon. I love a good visual.

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