5-piece-french-wardrobe-acne

I started my 5 piece French wardrobe adventure a couple of years ago and it changed my life. Sounds dramatic, right? But it did. For years I spend a lot of my hard earned cash at fast fashion clothing stores like H&M and became somewhat of a compulsive shopper. But then I was introduced to the 5 piece French wardrobe shopping method through two of my favorite internet forums. I had seen pictures of the Acne Pistol boot floating around the internet and developed a major crush but quickly moved on since I thought I could never afford such a purchase, let alone justify it, as a student. Until I clicked on those particular topics. In case you have never heard of this method, let me talk you through it, starting with this quote from one of the topics:

“It is said” that many French women spend more money on each individual garment, but purchase fewer garments overall. Thus, French women are able to wear high quality, brand name clothing while spending the same or a lesser amount of money as someone who buys more clothes at cheaper prices. According to many, this is why the French are so chic: they have small wardrobes comprising completely of high quality garments, which they wear year over year.

Interesting, non? So how does this thing work? When following the 5 piece French wardrobe method, you need to make sure you build up a solid wardrobe consisting of well-chosen basics (think: white shirt, black jeans etc.) Then every season you are allowed to buy 5 higher quality garments to update your look. Mind you, we’re talking fashion seasons here (spring/summer, fall/winter), not weather seasons. The end goal is a small wardrobe filled with pieces you truly love and want to wear over and over again. Thus, making it easier to get dressed in the morning without the I-have-a-full-closet-but-nothing-to-wear-experience.Now you might not save a lot of money doing this, since we’re going for quality pieces. But, because you’re only allowing yourself to buy 5 items, you need to plan your purchases carefully. So while this may take some time, think of all the bad buys you’ll avoid this way! At the beginning of every season I like to create a list of most-wanted pieces while keeping in mind that:

  • Basics that you’re missing or that need to be replaced don’t count
  • Accessories like jewelry do count
  • Socks and underwear don’t count
  • Bags and shoes do count

These rules aren’t set in stone though. Everyone is free to make some minor adjustments. So, did I end up with those Pistol boots? Well I guess the picture kinda spoiled it. It took me a couple of months to get used to this idea of ‘shopping’. But they ended up being my first expensive designer purchase and I paid for them with trembling hands. After that, I never looked back (okay, except for that one time I bought my Balenciaga bag and almost cried when the sales guy charged my credit card, but let’s not talk about that). It does get hard every once in a while, so that’s one of the reasons why I started this blog. It’s a good way of keeping myself on track and maybe I’ll meet some lovely like-minded people along the way.

Would you ever consider the 5 piece French wardrobe way of life?

isabelmarantprefall2014

isabel_marant_prefall_2014Move over Adidas, Isabel Marant’s Bart sneaker is now available here and here. For a minute I actually thought she used Stan Smiths in the pre-fall 2014 lookbook, but who can blame her for being inspired by these classic shoes now that everyone and their mother is wearing them. They’ll probably sell out like hotcakes. But me personally, I’m just going to stick with the originals.

Speaking of the pre-fall 2014 collection, this might be the first time, since I stopped buying Isabel Marant two years ago, that I’m actually a little excited about one of her collections. The neutral colors, (slightly) oversized casual looks and the coats. Her fall/winter coats are always so good. Too bad prices have gone up the last few years. I should be able to survive this fall and winter with my IM coats though. Yes, I confess, more than one.
They just last forever.

acne-cardigan

I apologize if you just had a traumatic flashback to your teenage years when you read the word acne in that title. But let’s talk about the brand. I’m a huge Acne fan when it comes to their knitwear. I bought my first cardigan several years ago on sale in Antwerp. I couldn’t believe I bought something so expensive, even though I got it at 30% off. But 4 years later and it still looks like new, so needless to say it was a good investment. Over the years I bought a couple of wool sweaters and a cardigan, but I never managed to get my hands on the Raya cardigan.

I was determined to buy a grey version this year. At least, until I ran into a similar knit by H&M Trend (see detail above). Although the H&M version feels a bit thicker and heavier, the fit is almost identical (you probably can’t tell from the product pictures, but I tried them both) and if you’re careful enough, it will surely last you a couple of winters. Not to mention I saved €230, hello! I recommend washing it by hand or using the wool program on your machine, both with a laundry detergent for delicate garments and clothes. Always dry it flat, no hangers or clothes pegs because it will loose it’s shape.

Edit: Oops, it’s sold out already. But knowing H&M, they’ll probably re-stock soon.

shopping-outfit

One of the most important things regarding shopping is wearing comfortable clothes and shoes you are able to get in and out off quickly. This is an outfit I would wear when going shopping during fall/winter.

1. A.P.C. Jody sweater. Comfortable and warm. Easy to throw on.
2. Monki skinny jeans. So I can immediately see how a top or a pair of shoes will look with my daily jeans.
3. A.P.C. cross body bag. To keep your hands free at all time.
4. Givenchy boots. No laces or zippers. So no falling out of the dressing room while trying to keep your balance.
5. H&M white t-shirt. A great neutral basic when you want to try on blazers or cardigans.

PS. Writing this post made me think of all the make up stains I’ve encountered while shopping. Definitely adding this to my endless list of frustrations.