hm-trend-blazer-daarboven

I just noticed how most of the items I photographed for this particular subject were bought around 2010. That was about the time I started with the 5 Piece French Wardrobe and decided to invest in quality clothing and accessories. Surprisingly enough though, this blazer isn’t from some fancy, expensive designer brand but from good old H&M. I don’t buy a lot of stuff at H&M, for obvious reasons. The only exception is the Trend collection, recognizable by its pink label. Like the name suggests, it’s more trend driven but also made from higher quality materials (think silk, cashmere etc.) and usually has a much nicer fit. If you’re lucky, you’ll find the occassional timeless piece of clothing there as well.

What attracted me to this blazer were the long narrow lapels and the skinny sleeves. I’m sure we all know that I can be extremely picky so it will come as no surprise that wide sleeves are a deal breaker for me. I don’t know, it instantly ruins the whole look. But anyway, this blazer is awesome. For the past 8 years people have come up to me to ask me where it’s from. Clearly, you can still stand out with a simple black blazer if the design and fit are just right.

The only downside to this blazer? It’s 8 years old and I wear it too often. Not that I mind, on the contrary, but any garment will only last so long when worn on a regular basis. I don’t want to start looking for a replacement just yet but I definitely need one when the time comes to say goodbye (the drama, LOL). For me, it is one of my most important and most worn wardrobe staples. I even considered bringing it to a tailor and ask them if it’s possible to replicate it but I fear it just won’t be the same. Does anyone have any experiences with such a request?

For now, I will enjoy it as much as I can. The cost per wear must be down to 5 cents per wear or maybe even less. Without a doubt one of my best purchases of the last 10 years.


To read more about my old and well-loved wardrobe staples:
Oldies but Goodies Part I

Life is so much easier when you’re not worrying about taking the perfect picture. This applies not only to Instagram, which probably comes to mind first, but also this blog. I can be too much of a perfectionist at times and I’m sure a year ago I wouldn’t have posted mirror pictures. But I’ve been trying to let it go a little especially when it comes to outfit shots. I hope that’s okay.

All items worn are purchases from the last couple of weeks. Truth be told, I’ve been buying to many clothes. Most of the time I can hardly find anything that caters to my taste in the summer but this year is definitely an exception. We had a few really hot days and I suspect there will be many more to come. So at the moment I’m opting for wide legged trousers and airy tops when temperatures rise above 25 degrees Celsius. Very much out of my comfort zone but so much more comfortable than skinny jeans.

I tried the cropped wide jeans last year in London but the model seemed a bit weird. I guess it took a bit of getting used to the silhouette as I’m now loving it. Paired with my striped shirt and classic loafers it still feels timeless. Oh, remember my post about choosing another pair of loafers? I ended up with the G.H. Bass ones and they do not disappoint! The second outfit is perhaps a little chicer than my usual attire. Probably because of the twill trousers. I like the combination with the linen blouse, which makes me especially happy. Linen shirts are excellent for warmer weather and I’m a sucker for everything with tortoise buttons.

Unfortunately I will only wear the slippers when I’m not at work. Granted, we are allowed to wear them but I just don’t feel comfortable and/or professional with open toed shoes. I stood in line for these for 20 minutes because my size is so hard to come by (EU 36). Standing in line at Zara for 20 minutes feels like a lifetime. Awful! But in the end it beats paying over $500 for a pair of slides from Hèrmes of YSL. As I said on my Instagram story; I actually prefer these. But of course I’d be happy to do a comparison if one of the two brands would accidentally stumble upon this blog 😉

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.

Ah yes, if you have been reading this blog for a while you must know that spring and summer are my most dreaded seasons when it comes to wardrobe planning. However, last year I think I did a good job in regards to planning and purchasing new clothes. My list consisted of three potential purchases but I only ended up with two; a black camisole and a pair of high-waisted white trousers. The latter made me realise that I don’t have to wear jeans all summer, solely out of habit, and that they’re a great alternative for skirts and dresses which I rarely wear.

I did succumb to fast fashion once again (will I ever learn?). I’ve come to realise that I very much prefer to invest in clothes and accessories that I can wear all year round instead of just one season. So summery trousers are not something I’m willing to spend a lot of money on. But, as always, they do need to meet all of my requirements; natural fabrics, machine washable, high-waisted for the illusion of longer legs and preferable wide-legged. We all have our problem areas (even if they’re only visible to ourselves) and mine are my thighs or better said, those darn saddlebags. So I try not to emphasise them when I wear something tucked into my trousers. Straight or wide trousers are my best option.

I tried several options such as these and these but I finally fell for the green trousers below. I have to admit though, I left the tags on because they’re a bit trendy and out there for me personally (you can see me wearing them here) and we have only been blessed with two warm days so far. But if I do keep them, I have my summer wardrobe sorted. I have compiled a few collages of how I would wear them with garments and accessories that I already own. What do you think? Yay or nay?


From left to right, top to bottom: Byredo Black Saffron perfume (€110) , H&M trousers (€50), Straw hat (similar here), black loafers (similar here), Samsoe & Samsoe camisole (old)

From left to right, top to bottom: Yoisho straw bag (€30), H&M trousers (€50), Escentric Molecules, Molecule 01 perfume (€90), &Other Stories sandals (sold out), Adam Lippes t-shirt (€100)