Shine bright like a diamond

I have never been a fan of statement pieces when it comes to jewelry. Well, maybe except for those few years when I was a teenager and stacking up rings on each finger was all the rage. Until I got stuck behind a door handle in a hurry and almost tore my finger off. That was the end of it LOL. After that I didn’t wear jewelry for years.

Geraldine Saglio of French Vogue sparked my interested for dainty, delicate jewelry. Or bracelets, to be more exact. I spotted a street style picture of her online in 2011 and loved the fine silver bracelet in combination with the knitted sweater she was wearing. I was able to find out that it was from Tifanny & Co, Elsa Peretti’s Diamonds by the Yard collection. I’ve mentioned that I bought it in 2011 to celebrate my first job and how happy it made me. And then, I lost it. It’s been two years and I’m still upset about it. I know, it’s just a simple silver bracelet with a small diamond. But I loved how delicate and understated it was. It was also such a nice reminder of my accomplishments thus far. I own the necklace as well, but it’s not the same.

I had several moments the past couple of years where I was already at the counter but couldn’t bite the bullet. The current pricing is ridiculous. And yet, I won’t settle for anything else. I’m not opposed to buying things second hand but in the case of this bracelet, it doesn’t make a big difference, in terms of pricing. So I’d rather have the experience of buying in store. If only I could make up my mind…

Do you think I’m crazy for considering this bracelet once again? Have you ever purchased the same thing twice after you lost it the first time?

Oldies But Goodies Part I

I thought it would be nice to write more about my wardrobe. Not the new purchases but the old tried and loved items that I have had for years. This jacket is one of them. I bought it through Ebay in 2010, just before the Isabel Marant craze started. At the time, the brand was hard to find here in the Netherlands so I had to try my luck in other countries or on Ebay. They probably sell for less than €100 on Vestiaire Collective right now but I bought it for a good price anyway. It was as good as new.

Back in 2010 I used to be a museum docent and felt so awkward whenever a student was wearing the same garment. So my mission was to find clothing that looked sharp but not overdone and also not so common. It turned out more versatile than I expected and it’s a great alternative for the traditional blazer. I suppose it’s a hybrid between a blazer and a cardigan? I’m able to dress it up and/or down, for day and night. I’m pretty sure I even went to a hardcore punk show in this jacket once LOL.

As I hate doing outfits photos, here’s an old picture of me wearing it. The strong shoulders are something I look for in any jacket or blazer. My hips are a little wider than my shoulders (yep, I’m a pear), so this balances everything out. What I especially like though, is the length of the sleeves. Usually they’re much too long on me but these fit perfectly. I know I have written before that you should buy and keep clothes for the body that you have right now but I’m happy that I held onto this jacket when I gained some weight. It took me a while to lose it but I can finally wear it again.

Isabel Marant jacket, Topshop straight jeans, H&M t-shirt, G.H. Bass Weejun loafers, Balenciaga City bag

It’s funny that I mostly wear it the same way as I did when I first received it 8 years ago. With a pair of black jeans and a white t-shirt to keep it somewhat casual. Otherwise it feels too formal for my taste. I’m quite particular about which t-shirt I wear underneath because of the neckline of the jacket. It shouldn’t be visible if I wear the jacket closed. Also, it’s needs to be a solid white. The jacket already has structure and different hues so the rest of the outfit needs to stay simple. On trend? Probably not. But it makes me feel put together and comfortable and that’s all I need.

What’s the oldest piece of clothing in your wardrobe?


I was getting tired of writing about new purchases and wish lists all the time so I wanted to try something different and focus more on the things that I already own and appreciate. I hope you enjoy reading about this as well.

A classic: the breton shirt

Will we ever get enough of the breton shirt? I sincerely doubt it as it has been a classic for decades. Think, Picasso, Audrey Hepburn etc. I admit, I took me a while to finally appreciate this timeless piece. My first striped top was a cheap black/white shirt years ago. It didn’t get the wear it deserved. Mostly because my closet was filled to the brim and also because it looked awful after just a few washes. Quality brands such as Saint James and Petit Bateau were still unknown to me.

After that, I decided to save up for a Comme des Garçons shirt which I bought at Dover Street Market in London. I’m usually not one to go for visible logos but I couldn’t resist that tiny red heart. As of recently, I’m now the owner of two Comme des Garçons shirts, an old H&M blouse and an A.P.C. t-shirt (my latest addition). All striped but still different enough to warrant the purchase. Which brings to mind the question: how many striped shirts is enough?

Do you own any striped tops? What is your favourite brand?

5 piece french wardrobe overview 2017

Another year, another overview of my purchases. Albeit an extremely late one. My apologies! There is a lot to catch up on. Although I didn’t write about my acquisitions throughout the year, I still keep a list on my phone which I update on a regular basis. The document also shows lists from previous years so that’s a pretty good reality check whenever I need one. I haven’t been as strict as I used to be and that definitely reflects in my purchases. But let’s see what I bought first before I tell you about my findings and plans for this year. Be warned though, it’s a long post!

5 piece french wardrobe overview 20175 piece french wardrobe overview 2017

The first six months

The beginning of 2017 went by fairly quick and easy. The only thing that I bought was a checkered oversized blazer. I wore it to my first day at my new job with black skinny jeans and a pair of chelsea boots.  It wasn’t until spring that I started to think about work appropriate clothes for summer. Mind you, my work environment is pretty casual but tanktops or camisoles without a blazer or cardigan are not an option. A white linen blouse (similar here) seemed like a good idea. I actually had that on my list last year as well but I couldn’t find the particular cut that I was looking for. Most of them felt too tight on the hips. But this one was a steal for only €10.

The olive green trousers were another addition to my summer wardrobe. I enjoyed wearing the white linen trousers that I bought last year and figured I could rotate between these and the new green ones. Both are clearly a much better option than my usual pair of jeans on hot summer days. I got some many compliments. A woman even stopped me in the streets to ask me where they were from. They looked especially nice with the Castañer espadrilles. Initially, I bought those in navy but returned them and opted for a black pair instead.

As you can see, I mostly splurged on shoes. I tried to be a wise and ethical consumer for a change and traded in my old worn out Stan Smits for a pair of Veja sneakers. I usually don’t pay that amount of money for sneakers but hooray for discount codes (I rarely buy anything full price). The black strappy sandals seemed like a good idea at the time. I wanted something similar as the Maryam Nassir Zadeh Sophie sandals but I couldn’t get them to work. I’m going to give it another try this summer and if it doesn’t work out, I’ll sell them. Tip: buying items that are ‘inspired by’ when you’re actually eyeing the real deal is rarely satisfying. Go for the real deal if you can afford it.

And finally,  I bought three new simple white t-shirts. I go through those so quickly but I wear them pretty much on a daily basis. I get cold all the time so I need to layer up. This one is always tricky; do I buy more expensive, better quality t-shirts for a higher price or a cheaper high street brand? I own a few Isabel Marant t-shirts that are wonderful but they shouldn’t go unseen underneath a sweater. So now I have a pile of ‘nicer’ t-shirts and a few that are cheap but good enough to wear under other pieces of clothing. It works but I would much rather downsize my wardrobe altogether in the near future.

5 piece french wardrobe overview 2017 products

The last six months

To be honest, I can’t recall whether I bought those blue jeans in the last six months or not. I think it was around July, maybe August. Topshop remains my go to brand for jeans. I love that they sell them at different lengths and they fit me so well in the waist. The only downside is that they don’t last as long as I would like them too. Given that I wear black jeans almost every day during fall and winter, I need replacements too often for my liking.

I have a weak spot for coats. Especially when they’re on sale. The black coat looks more expensive than it is and has also gotten me a few compliments. But after I bought it, that long pile coat came online. It’s a bit over the top but I have never worn a coat that warm. I need to transfer three times on my commute to work and the last thing I want, is to be freezing cold. I feel kind of bad for adding two coats to my existing wardrobe even though I got rid of two older ones. There’s simply no excuse other than that I really like them. Might as well be honest about it.

The grey wool H&M Studio blazer is my most worn item of the year. It is simply perfect. I was a bit hesitant at first because it wasn’t exactly cheap, for H&M anyway. But I’m happy that I bought it. It’s a nice touch to my daily work outfits that mostly consist of jeans and sneakers and excellent for layering. I often pair it with the A.P.C. striped t-shirt which I got on sale. Another sale find were the suede foldable flats. Painful or wet feet (it rains a lot here, what can I say), got that covered. Speaking of shoes again, I was also gifted a pair of Reebok sneakers in december.

Findings and conclusion

2017 was definitely the year where I slacked the most ever since I started the 5PFW. My mind was occupied with a new job, a new house, sick pets and the passing of dear family members. I didn’t make a list for each season (6 months) and just bought a few things on a whim. Luckily, most of them were purchases that I still enjoy. But to be honest, I miss the times where I would carefully plan each and every purchase. I’m sure that sounds boring to some of you but it was my way of acquiring things which were normally out of reach, budget-wise. If I look back on the last couple of years, those are the items that I still treasure the most.

On the other hand, as I discussed with Ellya last Saturday, growing older comes with more responsibilities. And those responsibilities cost money. It’s not all fun and games anymore. I would rather invest in my house, do more traveling or put the money directly in my savings account for unforeseen expenses (and the occasional splurge). I also don’t have the time anymore to scour Ebay or Vestiaire Collective for that one illusive, perfect item. Maybe that’s just how it is and your priorities change over time. It would be nice to find a balance though as I still enjoy fashion.

I still stand behind the idea of the 5 Piece French Wardrobe. It has saved me a lot of money and I have made less regrettable purchases than I used to. So I’m not giving up and I will try to find that balance. I will start with an assessment and purge of my wardrobe soon. I would love to see what makes the cut and if it will create any holes that need to be filled and how I will go about that. Because even though we like to fool ourselves into believing that something as the perfect wardrobe exists, it’s really an ongoing process which is never finished.