After doing the capsule wardrobe experiment last year, I was looking for something new to try with my wardrobe. While I did love the simplicity of only having a few bits in my wardrobe, I also found it to be quite limiting at times. So when I ran into the idea of a 5 piece French wardrobe, it sounded just perfect. (I mean, starting with the name).
The idea behind the 5 Piece French Wardrobe is that you have a wardrobe stocked with good quality essentials that you love. So first up, you go through your wardrobe and get rid of anything that doesn’t make you feel amazing. Then replace any staples that might have gotten a little ratty. For me the best thing about the French wardrobe approach is that while you can keep it as minimal as you want, you also don’t have to limit the number (or shopping) of your basics. And finally, every season you get to buy five new trendy things, to add some personality to your wardrobe.
Since I’m just getting started with my wardrobe, I thought that I should start with the basics. A basic is something that you can wear with anything, that fits you perfectly and makes you feel great every time you wear it. Basically, something you absolutely love. So what constitutes a basic will depend on the person, and these are just my basics. For me a basic is monochrome, classic and comfortable, and made from good natural materials that will last me ages.
5 Piece French Wardrobe | The Basics
Silky Button Up
Button up shirts are a classic wardrobe essential that I simply couldn’t live without. I prefer mine with a more casual loose fit, so that I can roll up the sleeves if I feel like it. I also opt for natural materials like silk or organic cotton.
Black & White Tops
The three basic tops I always need to have in my wardrobe are a black t-shirt, white t-shirt and a black silky camisole. I also happen to be partial to slogan tees with French text in them.
A well structured coat can save any outfit, and I always rely on these three depending on the season. A classic wool coat for the winter, a flowy trench for spring & autumn and a lovely light blazer for summer and special occasions.
If there’s one thing in my wardrobe that I couldn’t live without, it’s my black cashmere jumper. (But I also own a couple of grey ones, and I’m searching for a navy). Cashmere is a brilliant material since it keeps you warm and snuggly, without feeling sweaty or scratchy. And if you treat it well, it will last you years.
Possibly 90 percent of the things in my wardrobe are striped. While having one classic breton might be included in other people’s basics, for me it’s basically anything striped. From tees to jumpers and dresses, if it has stripes I’m almost guaranteed to wear it.
Every now and then I’ll try something more formal or fun in the pants department, but I always come back to dark denim. Dark washed, high-waisted skinny jeans can look casual with a white tee and ballet flats, or dressed up with a silky blouse and heels.
What would be in your 5 piece French wardrobe?