Do you balk at the idea of having to open your wardrobe, lest a deluge of once-worn seasonal fads erupts from the shelves and swallows you whole? Fleeting flings with fashion are a lot of fun, and sometimes a trend comes along to stay for good. But it’s also easy to go overboard, make impulse choices and end up with a wardrobe that looks more like winter’s clearance bin than a true reflection of your personal style.
This is the kind of clutter you can avoid if you make like fashion bloggers of the past few years and deploy a five-piece French capsule wardrobe strategy. The aim is to have a solid set of high quality basics that can be updated each season (Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter) with the addition of five trend-driven pieces of your choice. Think of it as ‘spring cleaning’ your closet like a French girl. Or going on a fashion diet with the occasional splurge.
What you’re left with is a thoughtfully composed selection of clothes that are classic yet current; that are interchangeable and therefore maximise the number of outfits you can make with minimal investment. So in the spirit of starting afresh for spring, here’s what you need to do to create a cleaner, leaner closet!
Out with the old
Turf anything you don’t wear and don’t love. Carefully reconsider anything that doesn’t fit and doesn’t suit you. Make a game of it over wine with friends, ala Carrie Bradshaw and Co. Aside from taking the bore out of the chore, you might need an impartial observer to impose gentle honesty on some of your more questionable purchases of the past, and some liquid courage for the brutal ‘letting go’ process.
Back to basics
Basics are the backbone of a French capsule wardrobe. Basics should be: a great fit, good quality, versatile and timeless so you can wear them until there’s nothing left of them. Include jeans, tailored pants, skirts, coats, jackets, blazers, wool or cashmere sweaters, silk shirts, tees, tanks, shorts, bags, sandals, heels and sneakers – anything that doesn’t fall into the ‘fad’ category.
Black and white are your best friends when it comes to scaling back your wardrobe. Navy, charcoal, grey, denim and other neutrals are also great colours to base your capsule wardrobe around because they go with everything and are therefore interchangeable. When the time comes to introduce your allowance of five seasonal must-haves, theoretically they should mix and match easily with your existing basics.
Or as we prefer to call it, the FUN part. The rules of the French capsule wardrobe dictate that Spring/Summer means you can shop for five trend-driven pieces to keep your capsule wardrobe current. Some of the runway trends we’re lusting after this season include: stripes, paper bag waists, slip-style dresses and tops, fringing, feathers and lace, and sorbet shades. The best part? Some of these are so wearable, you could even cheat a little and include some of them as an addition to your basics! Hey, rules are made for bending, are they not?