30 April 2019

5 Basics Later, and You're Practically French

Whether you love or hate the fashion world’s obsession with everything fran├žais, you have to admit that French women are somewhat fascinating. They ooze effortlessness and elegance. Combine that with the current trend of reducing your closet, and you’ve got one compelling concept: the five-piece French wardrobe.
The guidelines are fairly simple: First, make sure you have quality basics across all categories of apparel, and eliminate clothing from your wardrobe that you don’t wear, love, and love to wear. Buy new basics to fill any gaps, and remember quality over quantity. Second, limit your new purchases to five nonbasic items per season (once in spring/summer and once in fall/winter) that add a bit of personality and make your wardrobe feel current and fresh.
If you’re wondering why it’s called a “French” wardrobe, from what I could gather, the idea originated from a “French Style” thread on The Fashion Spot that discusses how the French wardrobe philosophy focuses on the concept of curating the direction of your wardrobe.
As for its life-changing promises, the five-piece French wardrobe is said to help you cultivate a wardrobe that feels true to your aesthetic and stand the test of passing fads and seasons. The result is less money spent on items you don’t really need, less frustrating time spent trying to figure out what to wear, and a newfound feeling of deep satisfaction with your wardrobe.

A basic is something that…

  • I can wear over and over and over again until it falls apart.
  • goes with everything I already own.
  • I pretty much can’t live without it.
  • is the glue that helps me keep the rest of my wardrobe together.
  • is made of a good material that will last for a very long time.

My basic essentials are…

I live in Toronto, so my basic items differ from keeping me warm in -30c to keeping me cool in 40c. I try to focus on pieces I can layer to last me year round.
Below is a list of basics to help guide your five-piece French wardrobe endeavor. If you find you might add or take away some things from this list, do it! Consider this a jumping-off point for finding what’s right for your wardrobe.
Go on to shop every item you’ll need to complete the five-piece French wardrobe.

Wool Coats

Trench Coats

Related: Coats for F/W

White Shirts

Turtlenecks (I’m obsessed)

Chunky Sweaters


White Sneakers

Black Heels


After you have your closet narrowed down to essential basics, thoughtfully consider which five pieces you want to add to your closet each season. Below is what I am currently eyeing-down for this up and coming season.

1 comment

  1. I so enjoyed your post, and all the details you went into, great job! While I can't say I keep my wardrobe just that tight, I do consistently curate it with the change of seasons- just to make sure I'm not keeping anything I don't wear.


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