Whether you love or hate the fashion world’s obsession with everything français, you have to admit that French women are somewhat fascinating. Combine that with the current trend of reducing your closet, and you’ve got one compelling concept: the five-piece French wardrobe. Although the movement gained a lot of traction in 2014, we thought we’d revisit the concept, as it feels especially current at the time of capsule and uniform wardrobes, and because we thought you may find this interesting.
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 we 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.
This post has been updated by Lauren Eggertsen and Allyson Payer.