How to start with the 5 piece French wardrobe

Even though I have only been blogging for a short time, my post on the 5 piece French wardrobe has been read quite a few times already. So I figured I should write a post on how to start with this approach, not in the least because of a comment by Colette who was wondering how I started it all. As I wrote in my other post I was introduced to the 5 piece French wardrobe through two internet forums. I then started to search for more information and finally committed to making this thing work after I convinced myself I could totally do this (and I desperately needed a pair of Acne Pistol boots). Before I started, I bought so many different clothes but never thought for one second about how I could make a purchase work with my existing wardrobe. Shopping was mainly a relaxing activity, definitely not a necessary one. God, I don’t even want to think about all the clothes I donated or threw away over the years, hardly worn or even brand-new with the price tag still attached. But let’s get to the point.

Define your personal style
If you still have a hard time figuring out your personal style, create a inspiration board on Pinterest to help you. Here’s mine. As you can see I’m leaning towards a mix of French and Scandinavian style. Nothing too feminine and mostly very relaxed. Try to find similarities between the images you selected and write down what drew you to these pictures in the first place. I know it can be hard to put these things into words, but I promise it will pay off!

Detox your wardrobe
I’m not going to tell you, you need to throw out your entire wardrobe just to start all over again. Because that would be ridiculous. Unless you really need to rid of your money. But in that case, let me know so I can send you my bank account number. Why not try to make this method work next to the wardrobe you already own? I mean, Rome wasn’t build in a day, right? So take your time. Sort out your clothes and create three piles: keep, maybe and throw. The maybe-pile probably consists of clothing you haven’t worn in a while but you’re not ready to get rid of them just yet. My solution? Put them in a box and store them for a couple of months. Did you miss anything? If not, you can definitely say your goodbyes. Most clothes can still be donated unless they’re all worn out (why would you keep that in your closet though?) or you could organise an evening with friends and trade clothes. The same goes for the throw-pile as well. And definitely get rid of stuff that doesn’t fit you anymore. Don’t buy or keep stuff for the body you want to have, but for the body you have right now.

Review what’s left
Now most people buy clothes they like. But not a lot of people are actually concerned about the fit of these items. I suggest you try on everything you decided to keep and take a good look in the mirror. Do you feel comfortable and confident? And most importantly, do you look your absolute best? What if the sleeves were a tiny bit shorter or your jeans a little less tight, would that improve your overall look? I know it’s hard, but try to be brutally honest with yourself. Also consider your current lifestyle and which colors look good on you. But don’t throw anything out just yet.

Create a list of basics and key pieces
Make a list of basics you need to replace or purchase and take your time with it. Chances are you won’t find that perfect pair of blue jeans in a day and you definitely don’t want to settle for less. Don’t forget, basics are different for everyone (see my list here). Your list should include clothes, shoes and accessories that are absolutely crucial in order to making your wardrobe work. Make sure these items allow you to mix and match. You can also start your list of key pieces that you would like to buy this upcoming season. Personally, my list is never long but if you’re just starting out, include anything that tickles your fancy and work from there. I’m sure if you give it some time, you’ll be able to cross some of the items of your list.

Research online and start shopping!
So, you’ve narrowed your list down to 5 key pieces you want to buy this season and your list of basics is complete? Start to research online. Lately I’ve been looking into the brand Everlane for example, because I’m very drawn to their transparency and ethics when it comes to manufacturing clothing etc. We’re planning a trip to the States in September and I have my eyes set on a few shirts and silk blouses. So Jamie-Lee’s review for instance was very helpful. When you’re done researching, it’s time to spend your hard earned cash.Good luck! And let me know if there’s anything I should add.PS. Excuse the old school Polyvore style collage with summer items. For some reason I’m already excited about spring/summer.

From left to right: Acne Studios Ash top (€170), Ace & Tate Lucy glasses (€98,00), Weekday Tuesday Instant Blue jeans (€45,00), Converse Jack Purcell leather sneakers ($70), Everlane Petra bag ($425)