The Five Piece French Wardrobe

When I think of fashion, I think of Paris, France and Coco Chanel.  Parisians are known for their smart dressing and style; the women have that “Je ne sais quoi” mystery about them.  They drink gallons of wine, and eat truck loads of baguettes paired with the most delectable cheeses, yet remain svelte and healthy.  I like to think the red wine must impact the metabolism in some miraculous way.

Audrey Leighton Rogers in Paris
Audrey Leighton Rogers in Paris

Having been to Paris, I can attest that the women and men are beautiful, and although nothing extraordinary about their wardrobes they seem to always be able to pull off an up to date look.  How do they do it?  The French have a method to their fabulous ability to stay on trend and not break the bank; simply think quality rather than quantity.

So French!
So French!

The Five Piece French Wardrobe requires one to have a basic wardrobe.  What are the basics?

There are rules to follow:

  1. You can buy five pieces of clothing which reflect or build on your style each season.  There are two seasons per year (not four!).  January to June and July to December, so that is 10 pieces of new clothing per year.
  2. Basics do not count towards the five pieces; after all you are building around your basics.  This precludes high costing basics (you decide what is high cost – I am going with $100)
  3. Accessories do not count.  Go wild on the scarves, sunnies, belts and et cetera; again accessories over $100 should count.
  4. Socks and under garments do not count
  5. Shoes do count (sorry!)

So, what are the basics you will be working with?  I think this is open to interpretation, but here is the list:

  1. The crisp white tailored blouse
  2. The classic trench coat
  3. Ballerina flats
  4. Jeans – a pair in black & a pair in blue
  5. The cashmere sweater
  6. The little black dress (LBD)
  7. Black heels
  8. The fitted black blazer
  9. The black smoking pant
  10. T-shirt/Tank Top (Black, white and grey)
Parisian actor Audrey Tautou wearing classic crisp white blouse
Parisian actor Audrey Tautou wearing classic crisp white blouse
Classic Trench Coat by Burberry
Classic Trench Coat by Burberry
Repetto Ballet Flats
Repetto Ballet Flats
French Connection Regina Skinny
French Connection Regina Skinny
LBD by French Connection
LBD by French Connection
Imperative chapeau!  Badgley Mischka Women's Fedora
Imperative chapeau! Badgley Mischka Women’s Fedora

I do believe it is up to the individual to define what a basic is for them, some may wear a lot of brown or navy blue, but black, white and grey tend to work with most colours.

A few more points for dressing like a Parisian:

French women stick to the neutrals; they may add a splash of color, but not too much!  French women avoid sky high heels, and when heels are worn, they are never worn with anything above the knee.  You won’t see a lot of patterned fabrics worn, but subtle stripes or colour blocks.  French women do not spend their hard earned money on cheap trends; Parisians prefer to invest in timeless pieces made with quality fabric.  The Parisians wear fitted clothing, and say “Mon Dieu, Non!!!!” to oversized and bulky look.  Nevermind the famous beret depicted as a French stereotype, the fedora is a staple in every French woman’s wardrobe.

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You Know Jacques!

Living in beautiful Halifax, Nova Scotia. BA in Political Science, bailed on pursuing law school, some how wound up in the wonderful world of HR. Blogging about everything under the sun from social injustices, minimalism & the corruption of over consumerism, mental health issues, diet, dating, book/restaurant/product reviews (only if I truly like them), and social issues. I hope to encourage and inspire being as authentic as I can be. I hope you enjoy what I have to share and please feel free to drop me a line.

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