but resort wear is now in the stores, and it might be time to starting planning this Spring/Summer's "French 5-Piece Wardrobe." Don't freak out completely, quite yet. I fully acknowledge that the weather is still winter in the Northern Hemisphere, with much of the worst of cold weather yet to come in Chicago. But excellent personal style is the purview of those who plan ahead, and who aren't stuck on the first warm day trying to find a pair of sandals. By mid-April, a lot of the excellent stuff is sold out, or only available in limited and eccentric sizes... But most of all, if you have a plan, and you start looking now, you can know EXACTLY what you're going to buy when you finally get around to shopping. The weird new styles will ... View the Post
French 5-Piece Wardrobe Archives - Page 4 of 4
Everywhere you look, there's a "number" wardrobe that's recommended to make life easier! I am as guilty of that as anyone, because I like nice, tidy, finite wardrobes, and I'm crazy about numbers.
But what do all of these number ideas teach us?
The French 10 Piece Wardrobe
To me, this idea translates into a core wardrobe with lots of versatility that is the canvas upon which you demonstrate your personal preferences, whimsy, and style. Ten pieces of clothing is a pretty excellent number for those of us who are out in public 5 days a week, in that it provides a week of "tops" and a week of "bottoms".
By the way, I'm linking to similar items to mine, because in some cases my particular garment is long off the ... View the Post
This is a plan for someone who has the Common Capsule Wardrobe in grey and off-white, with a camel sweater, because they're moving away from wearing black. (more on this idea another day). This someone has a special occasion coming up, and they want to expend their ENTIRE French 5-Piece Wardrobe on a new dress and some accessories:
These purchases aren't "single-use", of course; the scarf and jewelry could be worn with almost any of the outfits in The Common Wardrobe. The pumps will go nicely with our grey skirt (or with the jeans, if that's a preference). And the dress is simple enough that it can be worn more casually, after the special occasion. Dark tights and flats or ankle boots will look really nice with this ... View the Post
Let's say you have A Common Capsule Wardrobe in black and grey, and you're happy with it. But you're concerned that you're going to get bored by wearing so many neutrals all of the time... So one day you're browsing through the internet, and you find a whole LOT of lovely, bright, good-quality blouses, shirts and sweaters at a good price. You might have always wanted to try these brands, but always been reluctant to purchase their items at the full retail price. (the site is The Outnet - lots of pretties at prices that still aren't small, but which are a ton better than the original retail!).
After a bit of thought, you choose to, for one season, indulge your affection for every bright color...
Remember, this ... View the Post
We looked at using a variety of shades of pink as an accent in a capsule wardrobe (post here), and it was something that everybody either seemed to love or hate. So I'm going to see what response is to shades of blue - that very particular muted blue that you see in blue onyx.
A note about this scarf - it's from Hermes, and it's in their usual amazingly lustrous silk twill, but it isn't a square - it's a very long rectangle with mitered ends. Per square inch of silk, these scarves are MUCH less expensive than the squares, and for many people, they're a lot more versatile style. If you've never been interested in a square scarf, then these (called Maxi Twilly), are at least worth seeing, just to admire their ... View the Post
The French 5-Piece Wardrobe is a great way to experiment with new color palettes, but it can also be used as a way to build upon The Common Capsule Wardrobe in your chosen neutrals. Adding in a neutral item or two can really expand the versatility of your core garments, while a new color or two keeps the boredom at bay.
Let's see what these five items do for A Common Capsule Wardrobe:
Remember, this is A Common Wardrobe, in navy and grey, with which we're working:
First off, the beautiful green sweater actually would give you eight new possibilities (I only show four) - it can be worn with any of your pants, jeans, or skirt, and it can be worn with or without the scarf.
Secondly, The blue tee shirt goes under any of your ... View the Post
While the French 5-Piece Capsule Wardrobe is great for experimenting with new colors or trendy items, it can also be an opportunity to build your wardrobe around your favorite colors. If you like pink - all shades of pink - then indulge in a combination of beautiful items for the long-term and a few more spontaneously fun things for a season or two.
There are lots of possibilities here, from bright and cheery ensembles to more subtle and low-key ones.
Just a reminder that this is A Common Capsule Wardrobe upon which we are building. ... View the Post
Very popular colors - I often get requests for capsule wardrobes in these! And this year, this wine color is quite popular and readily available - if it's a color that you love, this is a good season to pick up a piece or two.
This is an long-term sweater, a blouse that should last you a couple of seasons at least, and a cardigan that you can count on for a few years. Most scarves hold up well and can be counted on for the long term. But I think the stand-out item here is the great wool shopping bag - how clever is it to make a wool bag? I can just imagine how nice this feels...
In order to give you a fuller view of just how useful these few items can be, I've found two dozen different combinations that work ... View the Post
There's a lot of talk in books and on the internet about the "French 5-Piece Wardrobe", which is a misnomer if there ever was one! The wardrobe isn't really five pieces; the concept is that you have a core of basic, neutral garments, and you then add FIVE pieces per season. I'm sure some people define a season as every 3 months, but it would certainly also make sense to just do this every 6 months. Whatever makes you happy, right?
But when I read descriptions about the "core" of neutral garments, I kept thinking that it sounded a lot like The Common Wardrobe... And that this philosophy might be an option for helping us build our wardrobes of basics, while at the same time introducing accent colors, long-term investment items, or ... View the Post