I first read about the 5 piece French wardrobe several years ago. The concept is that French women only buy five new items each season. These are items that will add some trendiness and fun to their wardrobes. They only purchase in Spring and Fall which gives them a total of ten new items a year.
For a shopping addict like me, it seemed a little restrictive. But committing to no shopping for the month of August made me rethink the idea, and I decided to give it a try.
Here is what I determined that the 5 piece French wardrobe is and is not for me and my wardrobe.
What the 5 piece French wardrobe is
It includes new items that aren’t necessary to but will compliment my current wardrobe. Before I purchase something, I need to know that it will go with items that I already own. The common rule is that you should be able to think of three outfits that you can make using your new piece and items that you already own. For my Fall pieces, I knew I wanted some tops that I could wear with the olive, and maroon skinny jeans that I already owned.
It includes most shoes. I don’t include work shoes, Chucks, flip flops, or my favorite pair of grey slip ons. These are my basics. All other shoes are included.
It includes graphic t-shirts. I’m a t-shirt girl. So, I can go overboard on the graphic tees. Including them in my five items, curbs the desire to purchase a ton of them when I have way more than I need already.
It includes accessories. Any new jewelry, purses, or scarves are included in my five items.
What the 5 piece French wardrobe is not
It doesn’t include socks, underwear, bras, or pajamas. Thankfully, or there would go all of your five items in one shopping trip. These items are things that you need, and the five piece French wardrobe items are suppose to be fun but not completely necessary.
It doesn’t include basics. Everyone probably has a different definition of what their basics are. My basics are plain t-shirts, jeans, and Chucks. So, if I’m in need of those things, they don’t count against my five items.
It doesn’t include work clothes. I just had to purchase four new pair of pants for work, and new work shoes. If work clothes were included in the 5 piece French wardrobe, I would’ve used it all for them. That wouldn’t have been any fun at all.
It doesn’t include replacing worn out basic items. I accidentally bleached my Roxy Flats. They were my favorite pair of shoes and I wore them practically everyday. So, when I found a replacement pair, I didn’t hesitate in buying them. I also didn’t include them in my five items, because for me they were basic and necessary.
What I bought for my 5 piece French wardrobe
1. A color-blocked sweater
2. A flannel shirt
3. A tweed motorcycle style jacket from Loft*
4. A blanket scarf
5. A silver tassel necklace
Only allowing myself five items made me a lot more particular about what I bought. It had to have more requirements than just being cute and fitting me. I made sure that I truly loved an item, and was excited about wearing it before I kept it. That alone made this experiment worth it.
So, how do you shop? Have you ever tried the 5 piece French wardrobe? What are the basics for your wardrobe?
*I do consider jackets to be a basic, but at this time I didn’t need a new one, so this purchase fell under my five items.