How to Create a 5-Piece French Wardrobe and Change Your Life
Whether you love or hate the fashion world’s obsession with everything français, you have to admit that French women are somewhat fascinating. Combine that with the current trend of reducing your closet, and you’ve got one compelling concept: the five-piece French wardrobe. Although the movement gained a lot of traction in 2014, we thought we’d revisit the concept, as it feels especially current in the time of capsule and uniform wardrobes and because we thought you, dear reader, may find this interesting.
The guidelines are fairly simple: First, make sure you have quality basics across all categories of apparel, and eliminate clothing from your wardrobe that you don’t wear, love, and love to wear. Buy new basics to fill any gaps, and remember quality over quantity. Second, limit your new purchases to five nonbasic items per season (once in spring/summer and once in fall/winter) that add a bit of personality and make your wardrobe feel current and fresh.
If you're wondering why it's called a “French” wardrobe, from what we could gather, the idea originated from a “French Style” thread on The Fashion Spot that discusses how the French wardrobe philosophy focuses on the concept of curating the direction of your wardrobe.
As for its life-changing promises, the five-piece French wardrobe is said to help you cultivate a wardrobe that feels true to your aesthetic and stand the test of passing fads and seasons. The result is less money spent on items you don’t really need, less frustrating time spent trying to figure out what to wear, and a newfound feeling of deep satisfaction with your wardrobe.
Intrigued? Scroll down to find out more!
Below is a basics list that’s popular on Pinterest to help guide your five-piece French wardrobe endeavor. We found we might add or take away some things from this list, and you might too! Consider it a jumping-off point for finding what’s right for your wardrobe. As for what counts as a basic, the blogger behind AfterDrk listed out these helpful guidelines:
A basic is something that…
1. I can wear this over and over and over again, until it falls apart
2. Goes with everything I already own
3. I pretty much can’t live without it
4. Is the glue that helps me keep the rest of my wardrobe together
5. Is made of a good material that will last for a very long time
Suit: Topshop Ultimate Tuxe Jacket by Boutique and Ultimate Tuxe Trousers by Boutique ($410)
Trench Coat: Alasdair Summer Trench Flax ($849)
Seasonal Coat: Apiece Apart Aletha Cropped Trench ($495)
Leather Jacket: Zara Leather Jacket With Zips ($279)
White Button-Up: Joe Fresh Oxford Shirt ($39)
Silk Blouse: Equipment Henri Washed-Silk Shirt ($220)
Cashmere Sweater: Equipment Asher Wool-Blend Sweater ($230)
Tees: J.Crew Vintage Cotton Tank Top ($25)
Tanks: J.Crew Vintage Cotton Scoopneck Tee ($30)
Boyfriend Blazer: Topshop Long Tuxe Blazer ($125)
Black Dress: T by Alexander Wang Stretch-Modal Jersey Dress ($145)
Trouser Jeans: Topshop Moto Clean-Cut Flared Jeans ($75)
Skinny Jeans: Frame Denim Le Garcon Slouch Jeans ($209)
Leather Pants: Alexandre Vauthier Cropped Leather Trousers ($2870)
Black Pants: COS Slim Side-Zip Trousers ($99)
Boyfriend Jeans: Madewell The Perfect Summer Jeans ($115)
Black Skirt: Topshop Flippy Panel Skirt ($45)
Black Shorts: 3.1 Phillip Lim Broderie Anglaise Cotton Shorts ($395)
Silk Scarf: Valentino Printed Silk Scarf ($237)
Leather Bag: meli melo Thela Large Classic Bag ($865)
Clutch: Clare V. Flat Clutch ($210)
Diamond Studs: blanca monrós gómez Asymmetrical Seed Stud Earrings ($375)
Gold Watch: Michael Kors Skylar Black and Gold-Tone Bracelet Watch ($193)
Everyday Ring: Gabriela Artigas Infinite Tusk Ring ($132)
After you have your closet narrowed to essential basics, thoughtfully consider which five pieces you want to add to your closet each season. Below is what we would buy for this season.