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

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.

2016 style resolutions

Better late than never, right? I almost finished this post a couple of days ago actually but then I had a momentary America’s Next Topmodel make-over breakdown because my hairdresser decided to cut my hair extremely short without my permission. So for the next few weeks I’ll be walking around looking like a Beatles member. But I do have to say: my new straight fringe looks really nice. So let’s forget about the hair drama and move on to more pressing matters such as my style resolutions for this year.

1) Be more conscious

Did you know that fast fashion ranks second in the worldwide production of pollution, behind big oil? Even though a lot of people seem to become more aware of the impact of fast fashion on the world through documentaries such as The True Cost and Sweat Shop, it hasn’t slowed down. In fact, H&M opened over 200 stores last fall alone. This year I plan on buying even less from stores such as H&M, Zara etc. which is going to be hard now that I have discovered & Other Stories but it feels like the right thing to do.

2) Spend/focus more on basics
Over the years I’ve bought so many basic t-shirts but the ones that are still with me today after countless times of wear are my two Isabel Marant t-shirts. Expensive yes, but worth the money. So this year I would like to invest more in quality basics. Especially jeans and t-shirts as I find myself reaching for these items on a daily basis.

3) Step out of my comfort zone and stop taking the easy way out.
In hindsight, I played it extremely safe last year as you can probably tell from my previous post. Lots of basic garments in black, grey and white. This year I would like to add a few statement pieces. Additionally, I need to stop wearing my sneakers on a daily basis and start enjoying the other shoes that I already own more often. Otherwise I might as well sell them.

4) Rethink the 5 piece wardrobe system.
This way of shopping has taught me a lot the past couple of years but it has occasionally become an excuse to buy things I didn’t need just because I was allowed to purchase five things every season. It’s a great way to start changing your consumerist habits but at this very moment there’s no point in adding a lot of new pieces. So I might change the rules a little along the way this year.

What are your shopping/style resolutions for this year?

looking back on last year's purchases

To be honest, I wish I could show you guys more colorful purchases than the ones above but I’m afraid this will have to do. I think you’ve seen all of them already except for the black Everlane turtleneck on the left. Overall, 2015 was the year I started to incorporate more black into my outfits and managed to have a small wardrobe crisis halfway through despite a closet filled with clothes. Summer has never been and never will be my favourite season wardrobe-wise. So it won’t come as a surprise that most of my favourite pieces of last year are fall and winter items.


Now onto the purchases. Apart from the Weekday trousers, these acquisitions have gotten a lot of wear. The Uniqlo trousers, cashmere turtleneck and coat are on heavy rotation at the moment. I’m also still very happy with both of the bags. The A.P.C. bag is my current go-to bag when I don’t need to carry a lot. The Mansur Gavriel bucket bag however needs to be worn more often (too afraid to scratch it). Finally the blouses are just okay for what they are. The striped blouse doesn’t look so great anymore after I wore it several times a week last summer, but what did I expect for €20? The silk blouse is lovely, but I regret not buying a silk blouse with pockets.

5 piece purchases
A.P.C. half moon bag
Mansur Gavriel bucket bag
Uniqlo x Lemaire cashmere trousers
& Other Stories silk blouse
Everlane cashmere turtleneck
Filippa K Dean coat
Weekday cotton trousers
H&M striped blouse
Mango leather sandals


The heels were a gift and bought for special occasions. Even though I don’t plan on wearing them on a regular basis, I did add them to my basics as I do feel that everyone could use a basic pair of black heels. I opted for a suede shoe with a sturdy, not too thin heel for comfort. Speaking from experience, Isabel Marant’s t-shirts are of excellent quality, so I decided to purchase an extra t-shirt on sale.

H&M sandals
Pier One loafers
& Other Stories black heels (gift)
Isabel Marant Wenji t-shirt

The items below all needed to be replaced. I no longer fit my old blue jeans and they’re a welcome change from my usual black attire. The black jeans were bought quite unexpectedly but it turns out H&M no longer produces the high-waisted jeans I used to purchase so I figured I should probably have a backup just in case they stop producing them altogether. As I’m going to try to ignore fast fashion as much as I can this year, I need to start looking into other brands for jeans (more on that in my next post about style resolutions).

Adidas Stan Smiths
& Other Stories wool long-sleeve
& Other Stories blue jeans
H&M black jeans
H&M white and black t-shirt

That’s it! As I kept track of my purchases throughout the year, I was able to make a fairly accurate estimation of what I spent in total over 2015 on clothes and accessories. I won’t bore you with the numbers, but trust me when I say it can be confronting. That said, I was able to afford it all and do not regret investing in more expensive pieces that I know are of exceptional quality. But I should cut down on the purchases in general because at this point I have enough to wear.

What do you guys think? Is my list of purchases over the course of 2015 reasonable? And how did you do yourself?