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?