FASHION | The Five Piece French Wardrobe

This year I've definitely discovered my own style, and it was almost by accident. You see I made a resolution last January to sort out my wardrobe...that quote above was me! I had that terrible, spoilt problem of having nothing to wear despite having two wardrobes stuffed to the max with clothes. Shameful right? Nearly everything I had was bought because it was cheap or on sale, a trend for about five minutes or an impulse buy bought as a quick pick me up, all worn only a handful of times because of the terrible quality or because I simply felt like I was trying to be someone else. I decided it was time to go back to basics and throughout the year have built up a solid collection of simple staples that have, as it turns out, ended up becoming my perfect wardrobe. I was careful in picking things only in the fabrics and cuts that I like and suit me and it was definitely worth giving up on the fast fashion for a while because they've all proved to be worthy investment pieces (and by 'investment' pieces I don't mean expensive...I've found some wicked gems on the high street through trial and error, I was thinking about doing posts on my favourite places to get the essentials if anyone would be interested?) Some people can get away with crazy outfits or look super trendy without looking try-hard but I just can't...for me, simple and classic is best and I actually love it!

However this isn't to say I haven't made shopping errors this year...there are definitely a few regrets hanging up in my closet! I have a plan to combat this, a rather extreme one for a shopaholic like me, but I definitely want to give it a go. A little while ago I read about 'The Five Piece French Wardrobe' concept on afterDRK and have found Sabrina's posts on shopping this way really inspiring. Basically, you buy 5 pieces each season (so 5 for A/W and 5 for S/S.) I don't know if French ladies actually shop this way but it sounds good! Now that I've got most of the basics sorted I really want to try this...I'm hoping that it'll mean I play around with what I've already got, I just chuck on some denim and a grey knit far too often. Hopefully it'll mean less wardrobe mistakes too, as I'll have to think more carefully about what I'm buying. Finally, and most importantly, I'm hoping to save a bit of money as my driving lessons ain't gonna pay for themselves! Sabrina has her rules, here are mine:

  • Instead of 5 pieces I'm going to up it to 6, mainly because I'm a weirdo and have problems with odd numbers and also it equals one piece a month (uh oh, I fear upping my limit so early in the game isn't a good idea...I'm worried by March I'll have upped it to 10 haha!)
  • For most people basics don't count but I've decided to include them unless they need replacing or I don't own them in the first place. For example, I currently have 7 grey, 6 black and 6 navy sweaters hanging in my wardrobe which is maybe a teeny bit excessive. Even I have to admit there are only so many grey sweaters one needs. 
  • Shoes count, wahhh!
  • Also coats, wahhh again!
  • But I've decided that accessories do not count, yeahhh boi. But by accessories I mean a hat from ASOS, something like a Mulberry bag (yep, already got my sights set on a Lily!) definitely is included as one piece, in fact it could even count as two. I am unfortunately not made of money :'(

So I guess we'll see how it goes! I'm quite looking forward to setting myself a challenge to be honest. Although obviously I had to squeeze in a bit of sale shopping before we hit the 1st of January, I didn't buy much but what I did get was laaaaavely....I'll be showing you soon!

What do you think of this concept? Do you reckon you could do it?

Josie x



  1. i made the change to buy more quality clothes and ditch the fast fashion a little while back and i think it's a great idea! i know i'm surrounded by nice clothes at work, but the quality (especially the denim) is so much better and makes me want to save up and get nice pieces that'll last!
    good luck only buying so few pieces, i'm sure you'll be able to do it! though i think coats and shoes don't count as they're too important to restrict ;)

    helen xo

  2. I really struggle with my style. I know what I want but everything I want is costing $$$!
    I feel like once I can achieve my own style and afford it my self confidence will become higher.
    I want to build my wardrobe this year.
    E | Beauty/Skincare | Cocoamourr

  3. Wow, love this concept Josie! Can't wait to hear more about it!

    I definitely fall into the 'wardrobe crammed yet nothing to wear' category; I've got about five pairs of heels I can't walk in yet hardly anything suitable to wear for work! Also I buy lots of jeans that never see the light of day. And don't let me near a Primark, I've still got items not even worn yet... oops!

    Looking forward to hearing more about your sales picks too! <3

    Sophie | soinspo xx

  4. I loved reading this post. My latest rule that I'm actually sticking to is 'don't buy it unless you'll never want to part with it' meaning I'm buying a lot more staples as opposed to things that are in trend for a few months. It also means I'm paying a lot more attention to the quality as I can't have it falling apart.

    Jazzie x

  5. I'm really looking forward to seeing how you get on with this! In a way, my style has changed a lot too this year. I spent far too long covering up in hoodies and baggy clothes but last year, as I recovered, I began to play with style. Now, I LOVE fashion (who'd have thought it?) and you have definitely helped with my confidence! If this works for you, then I might even dabble in this challenge myself xxx

  6. Wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear seems to be the story of my life! I think I definitely need to give this a go myself xx

  7. Ohh this is such a good idea. I absolutely love your style and I'm looking forward to seeing which pieces really catch your eye and count as one of your 6!

    Jennie xo |

  8. Love this idea. I am definitely guilty of buying things and never wearing them! x

  9. Ahh good luck! I definitiely agree that basics are absolutely perfect for you :) I think that my style is like a mix of both fast fashion and staples.

  10. Agree with the comments above. This is a great goal, and good luck, Josie. I don't know if I could do it coz I go through phases where I don't buy anything for a long time, then go crazy in one go. Let us know for sure how the whole thing goes for yah.

  11. I really love this idea!! I know I've said it before but you inspire me to buy classic pieces. I should totally give it a go but I don't think I'm strong enough this year. Bahahahahaha. Saying that, I need to add to my 'send Tara to Vegas' fund. Hmmm... I want to focus on buying quality over quantity. I should probably get a Mulberry bag at some point because it's an investment piece which will last FOREVER and I always swoon over yours. Maybe if I win big on the slots when I hit Vegas. ;)

    Tara xo

  12. This is a wonderful idea and pretty inspiring! I love your style so I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how you go :)

  13. I think you can do this! You already have all the best coats so you'll be set on that front ;) I think this is a great idea, and you have an amazing wardrobe. I try and buy things which I know I'll get lots of wear out of, and that hopefully I won't get bored of too quickly. It will be fun to play around with accessories and see how they can change an outfit up! xxx

  14. This is a really good idea! Would definitely be interested in a post about the best places to get basics :) xx

  15. I'm the exact same - I have 2 wardrobes packed full and about 1 and a half of these wardrobes is filled with sale buys or things I've bought thinking "well if I ever get invited to a ball I can wear this" hehe or something along those lines. :) I've already went a bit crazy in the sales but this time it was things I wanted to buy when they were full priced and then thankfully they went down in price.
    I can't wait to see how you get on with this and I'd also love to see a post on where to get the basics as I normally tend to get all my basics in H&M and would quite like to branch out from the same styles etc.

  16. This is a great concept and I would love to have a more minimal wardrobe but I know that there is no way to be able to stick to it. I'm trying to have a new year wardrobe clear out today and it has just resulted in piles all over my room and me giving up and reading blogs instead. I'm such a hoarder when it comes to clothes. Good luck with it though Josie :) xx

  17. Very great post and I love the quote, it´s so true!

  18. This is really interesting I'm excited to see how you get on!

  19. This is such a good idea, can't wait to see how you get on! :) I might have to give it a go too..

    Julia xxx

  20. Best of luck! I always see something that I like and it's almost always an impulse buy!
    I justify it to myself by saying that it's cheap but honestly, I've got wayyyy too much things!
    Will be trying to cut it down to essentials only now (:

    Yuen @ The Craziest Paradigm - a 'lil bit of rust & stardust

  21. This is something I've come across before and loved the idea of. For a while now I've been trying to work on a similar basis - only buying things that I know are a good investment and will last me well. It's hard sometimes but definitely worth it! I've still a long way to go with my wardrobe, I hope by this time next year I'll be as happy with mine as you with yours :) mine is in need of another good clear out! xxx

  22. I really look forward to seeing how you do on the 5 Piece French Wardrobe challenge! I am also worried about going overboard and buying too much... we will have to hold each other accountable!

  23. Woot! Another member in the tribe. Can't wait to follow your journey. The more cohorts the merrier ;)

  24. I think that this is such a cool idea. Sometimes people get so caught up with having so much stuff we fail to see the potential of things right in front of us. I'll have to try this approach out.

    - Liz
    Vogued Out


Thank you! Tweet me @asickchickchic ♥

© What Josie Did Next. All rights reserved.