5-piece-wardrobe-basics

Before I present to you my wish list of five for this season, let’s discuss basics first. Last week I wrote about the 5 piece French wardrobe and how a high quality, well-chosen selection of basics is key to making this work. Over the years I’ve read a lot about this shopping method and some people seem to wonder what qualifies as a basic. For instance, I hardly ever wear skirts or dresses, so I don’t consider them basics but they might be for you. What’s important to keep in mind is that your basics are the items that hold your wardrobe together and make it easy to mix and match with your investment pieces (aka those 5 items you’re spending your money on).

So here is my list of wardrobe essentials:

Tops
– T-shirts in black, grey and white
– A white and black long sleeve
– A cashmere sweater or cardigan
– A white (preferably silk) shirt

Bottoms

– Black skinny jeans
– Grey skinny jeans
– Blue skinny jeans
– A pair of black trousers

Shoes

– Black ankle boots
– A pair of black flats or loafers
– Sandals
– Converse sneakers

Jackets/coats
– A trenchcoat
– Black leather jacket
– Oversized winter coat
– A black blazer

Accessories

– Medium sized black bag
– Small black/navy bag
– A delicate bracelet or necklace
– Silver watch

Pretty basic right? I could throw some of these items on and be done for the day. Admittedly, it wouldn’t be the most exciting outfit, but since I made sure I bought the best basics suited for my body, I would feel 100% comfortable, put together and myself. And to me, knowing that I look my best and not having to worry about anything, is the most important thing. Now tell me, what would your list of wardrobe basics look like? Would it be very different from mine?

makeup essentials

You know those bloggers with the gorgeous beauty and makeup stashes? I’m not one of them. When it comes to makeup, this is as good as it gets. Although I just noticed I forgot my eye pencil and MAC’s Ruby Woo (my all time favorite), but I’m sure we will all survive. Truth is, as much as I love to read about it (and watch Lisa Eldridge’s videos), I don’t know a whole lot about makeup, just what works for me. I like to keep it minimal and barely-there, but will occasionally opt for a bright lip to spice things up a little.

Rouge Coco Rivoli by Chanel
Price $35 I Swatch by Tinted Red I Get it here
A super chic burgundy shade. I wear this whenever I feel like dressing up. It’s slightly transparent, not too shiny and almost feels like a lip balm. During the day I usually wear it as a lip stain, but in the evenings just as a regular lipstick. Now I only need the same lipstick in Mademoiselle for a more natural everyday lip color. 

Pink Truffle for lips and cheeks by Bobbi Brown
Not available
Such a pretty color, but apparently no longer available. I have no clue why they discontinued it. Oh wait, Google tells me it’s from the Desert Twilight Collection from 2012. So that explains it. You can still get other colors as a pot rouge though. Speaking of Twilight and just to make this post a little more personal; I watched all 5 movies in the cinema and have no regrets. Moving on…

Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder by MAC
Price $26 I Get it here
I use this powder on top of my Mineralize Skinfinish. It’s great for oily skin and because it’s a pressed powder, you can take it everywhere. It looks white but has a transparent finish and also works on my olive skin. Just a small warning though, applying too much may result to this, when someone uses a flash because it reflects light. So no, not selfie-proof in bad lighting conditions.

Le Volume de Chanel
Price $30 I Swatch by Miss Lipgloss I Get it here
I’m blessed with short Asian eyelashes, so when it comes to mascara, I need both length and thickness (and preferably a little curl). From all the mascara’s I tried over the years, this one works best for me. I love the brush, it’s easy to apply and no clumps whatsoever. The only downside? It’s pretty expensive for mascara. But Ici Paris sometimes offers a 40% discount!

Mineralize Skinfinish Natural by MAC
Price $32 I Get it here
The best thing about this powder is that it makes your skin look flawless and doesn’t feel or look powdery at all. I just apply a tiny bit to even out my skin, but it’s very build able if you’re looking for more coverage. I absolutely love it, but only use it in the evening or during a night out. I have very easy skin so in the daytime I prefer my Origins moisturizer.

VitaZing SPF 15 Energy-boosting moisturizer by Origins
Price $36 I Get it here
Have you noticed that I seem to love expensive makeup? It’s just that whenever I go to a drugstore, I can’t figure out which powders, foundations or tinted moisturizers are best for me. I always need a little help. But back to this moisturizer which is described as follows: Slip it on first thing tomorrow—you’ll look like you eat right, sleep tight, and don’t have a worry in sight. I have nothing to add here.

What are your top 3 essential makeup products? Anything that I should try?

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.