In an attempt to consume less and use more, I'm using the French Wardrobemethod to help me manage my clothes shopping. First up, for those who are new to Someplace Strange, a reminder of the rules:
Only 5 new / second-hand items per season. A maximum of 10 items per season. Plus a joker. Three seasons a year. Season 2 is completed, Season 3 has started. (Other people use 2 seasons a year. And good luck to them!)
Basics, underwear, socks, accessories and second-hand clothes don't count.
Shoes, bags and coats do.
After a few disappointing eBay purchases, I'm wondering about limiting to items I've actually tried on in the shop.
This is some of what I bought:
New: Two dresses and three tunic tops from Seasalt and Mistral in Linen and Chambray. The Joker's been rolled over until next season. (One of the dresses and two of the tops are shown).
Second-hand: One dress and four tunic tops. Also from Seasalt and Mistral.
Basics: One pair of black trousers from Next, two pairs of blue trousers from Wallis and two pairs of leggings from M&S. (Rev T hates the leggings and hides them every so often, but I find them really useful for layering).
Gifted purchases: Two lovely handbags. One from Coach (shown) and the other from our holiday. (Separate post on holiday bag purchase to follow. It's that lovely it deserves a post to itself).
Sadly, there aren't pictures of everything. I deleted them by mistake and some of the clothes have already been packed away for winter. Sorry. I'll think of a better way to post about wardrobe purchases so this doesn't happen again. Maybe a things to wear post as and when I buy something. (Instant content. Win!)
Having done two seasons, I thought I'd share what I'd learned so far:
More awareness of what clothes I already owned. I purchased items to fill gaps, rather than endless variations of the same thing. (Apart from tunic tops. I love tunic tops. Blue tunic tops in particular).
Having a limited number of purchases made me more thoughtful and about shopping in general. Did I love it? Did it fit and was it comfortable? Would it be used? Did it go with other things? More aware of what could be deferred to later in the year. I need a new coat. Just not in Summer.
One shopping trip leads to another. Taking a break from shopping helped me make better buying choices and feel more content. In a weird way, buying less makes you want less. It also made me realise that the solution to a problem isn't always more stuff. Sometimes the first reaction to a problem is to add something to solve it. Disorganised? Buy some storage. But the answer might be to remove something instead. Instead of buying storage, I could get rid of things I don't need or use.
I bought fewer, better things. That I used. This is the heart of the French Wardrobe and it does work. I probably spent less money as well.
Uniforms are cool! Pictures of stylish women often show them wearing variants of the same things over and over. According to Kate Moss, all you need is a blouse, a jean, a blazer and a pair of heels. Better than the sky blue polo necks, grey jumper and skirt of my school days.
Well made clothing is really hard to find. The French wardrobe is about buying clothes that last and look good for a ages.
I'll need to keep myself trim. The five piece wardrobe relies having a core collection of clothes to build upon each season. Time to break out the Yogacise book and use the exercise bike for something other than drying clothes.
Mistakes happen.There are always going to be some items don't quite work.
It is an ongoing process. The wardrobe changes and evolves alongside life. There will never be a prefect wardrobe that covers all eventualities. At first, I thought that maybe in a year or so I'd be there, then I realised that it was never going to happen.
I've done okay for my first 6 months and look forward to what the next bring. I know it'll bring a new coat, some brown boots and, maybe a tunic top and a new dress for work ... Five items and 2 jokers. Here we go ...!
What are you planning to buy, if anything, for the Autumn and Winter?