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.

goodbye-loafers

Yes, I just quoted a James Blunt song and it’s totally appropriate as I just found a hole in the sole of one of my loafers. At first I was like: “nah, just something stuck to it.” But upon closer inspection I had to conclude that it was indeed a hole *insert Kim Kardashian West’s ugly cry*. I don’t think it can be fixed. And to be honest, they were starting to look a little worn out as well. Which comes as no surprise as I have been wearing them nonstop during spring, summer and the beginning of fall since 2015. Thankfully they lasted me a good two years despite not being very expensive. I initially bought a fairly cheap pair because I wasn’t sure they would become a wardrobe staple.

Needless to say, they have proven useful and they definitely need to be replaced. Which is easier said than done because I’m extremely picky when it comes to shoes. I’m not lying when I tell you I scrolled through pages and pages of simple black loafers just to find a few pairs that meet my requirements. But perhaps it’s wiser to stick with the classics? I’m still undecided and not entirely sure if I’m willing to spend a large amount of money on them but I feel as though their quality will eventually pay off. Also, recently I have been settling for cheaper options in regards to clothing and accessoires and it only leads to me buying more. I really want to go back to my original philosophy; quality over quantity. In the end, a much more satisfying way of purchasing.

If you have any experiences with the shoes below, please share!

black-loafers-daarboven

From left to right, top to bottom: G.H. Bass Weejun loafers, Gucci Jordaan loafers, Tod’s Gommino City loafers and Church’s Pembrey loafers

happy new year

Time flies by, even when you’re not having a lot of fun… Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone has had a few wonderful days with family and friends. Unfortunately I was not so lucky and I spent my Christmas and New Year’s Eve in my bed or on the couch with a nasty stomach flu. Story of my life, really. But I’m doing much better and look forward to start blogging again. It’s been a while due to all kinds of circumstances. Mostly because we lost some people in the second half of the year who were really important to us. So I had to push the pause button on this blog.

Thankfully, I also had some lovely experiences last year such as moving into our new house in March and starting my new job in April, in this house we were planning to add a granny house to rent, and to get the highest quality build, it was important for us to work with a designer to make our Granny Flat Designs become a reality. That was quite a stressful time but also very exciting. In the summer I met with Sovannary from Defarjenary. I realized once again how nice it is to be able to meet likeminded people through the internet (and my blog in particular).

I could have done better in the shopping department, to be honest. Let me know if you would like me to do an 2017 overview of my (favorite) purchases. My last purchase of the year was the A.P.C. striped t-shirt from my previous post that I found on sale with 30% off. I’ll be heading to London again this month and hope to try on that A.P.C. denim skirt that I also mentioned. But mostly of all, I hope to purchase Rihanna’s Fenty Stunna lipstick. I’ve heard so many good things about it. Any other products or stores that I need to check out while I’m there?

Thank you all for reading and for the lovely comments that I have received over the years. I really appreciate it. How was your holiday season?