When it comes to buying new clothes, I typically follow a concept commonly referred to as the 5-piece French Wardrobe. The concept is a less is more approach which encourages you to invest wisely and take on a ‘quality over quantity’ way of thinking. So instead of shopping spontaneously throughout the year as most of us tend to do, you invest in 5 quality pieces per season and build a really versatile wardrobe as a result.

Here’s how it works – 

  • Stick with 5 pieces per season.
  • Basics don’t count.
  • Accessories don’t count.
  • Designer bags & shoes do count.

I’ll often suggest this concept to my clients as a trial for 6 months to see how they like it. The feedback is always really positive and when the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages, then you know you’re onto a good thing. A lot of the time, they’ll go ahead and continue to shop like this.

What are basics? The term ‘basics’ can be used very loosely and will undoubtedly change from one person to the next depending on their preferred style. In my opinion, a basic is a piece of clothing that finishes an outfit but doesn’t compete with the main items that contribute to your overall look. For example, an outfit which included your favourite blazer and jeans wouldn’t be complete without a basic t-shirt to keep you from walking around topless. This is why a t-shirt is often considered a basic. How simple or loud that t-shirt is however all comes down to preference and a persons defined style.

The benefits – 

  • By allowing yourself to choose only a few pieces each season, you are forced to really assess which items are going to make your wardrobe go that extra mile instead of choosing pieces simply because ‘you like the look of them’.
  • The 5-piece limit prevents you from spending your budget on lots of low quality items & bargains and encourages you to take time selecting pieces with quality, craftsmanship and fit in mind – all of which are easy to forget when a good bargain is in sight.
  • Limiting your wardrobe to fewer items of better quality will ensure that you continue to think outside the square when it comes to dressing. You’ll begin to experiment with mixing & matching your wardrobe to come up with exciting new outfits. This all helps to give you more ‘bang for your buck’.
  • Over time you’ll start to create a defined personal style which will make getting dressed each morning fuss-free, less time consuming and a more rewarding experience.
  • In the long run, your purse will thank you for it!

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