Five Piece French Wardrobe: Update #2



Catch up with the rest of my five-piece french wardrobe posts here.

I was able to find another one of my five pieces just as winter is about to end. I had seen this T by Alexander Wang slip dress at Barney’s, and fell in love with it. It’s 100% silk, just below the knee, drapes beautifully and isn’t too skimpy or too frumpy. Unfortunately, once I finally made up my mind to buy it, I found out it was sold out in my size. Thankfully though, a quick search on Ebay turned up the slip dress in my size, NWOT, and for a much better price.

It’s currently at the tailors getting a few tweaks to the straps and waist, but I’m so excited to wear it out!

If you’ve been following along you probably have noticed that I only purchased three of my five pieces this fall and winter season. This was partially because I found myself replacing a lot of well-loved basics, so my budget was a little tighter than it usually is. The other reason is that, well, I just didn’t find a leopard coat or pair of ankle boots that I liked enough to purchase.

The point of this exercise isn’t just to check things off on a list. The five-piece french wardrobe is about shopping more mindfully and buying less so that we can buy pieces that we truly love.  So sometimes, as with dating, the chemistry just isn’t there and there’s no sense in forcing it.* They’ll probably be back on the list this fall, and I’ll have another chance at finding the perfect leopard coat and fun booties.

The good news is that a new season is coming up and I’m putting together my next list of five pieces. I’ve been scanning my favorite street-style blogs and catching up on the runway shows that I missed, and I think my list is just about finished.

*Yes, I’m sorry, I just compared shopping to dating. Perhaps it’s just the way that I shop and date, but they do have their similarities, no? 

What’s on your wish-list for spring? Would you give the five-piece french wardrobe method a shot? 

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6 Responses to Five Piece French Wardrobe: Update #2

  1. Kali says:

    I like the comparison with dating actually, for one reason – sometimes, making a list of clothes to buy like that can make us feel “forced” to pick the best option currently available right now to cross it off, rather than waiting for the right one to come along. A bit like dating, when single persons are “pressured” to find a significant one, and would pick the best option currently available, rather than remaining single for a while longer and date someone that truly feels right. Might be a bit of a clumsy demonstration, but point is, I agree with the comparison on that point 🙂 Good luck in finding your remaining pieces!

    • Erin says:

      Thank you, eventually I will find my leopard coat 🙂
      And that’s exactly how I see it too, no sense in settling down too soon.

  2. Love this post. Good luck finding your pieces.

  3. Rachel says:

    Hi Erin,
    Love your posts and the FPFW concept in general — thanks so much for sharing your process!

    I recently became a New Yorker myself, and I’m looking for a good tailor… Do you have any direct recommendations or tips on how to find one? I’m petite (5’3″) and have trouble finding clothes that accentuate my curves without being too baggy elsewhere.

    Also, here’s something I’ve been wondering about with the FPFW approach: What happens to the 5 pieces once the season is over? Do you retire/sell them? Do you roll them into your basics? Or do you store and reassess for next year? I’m confused how you’re supposed to keep your closet minimal year to year as pieces are accumulated.

    • Erin says:

      Hi Rachel, thanks so much I’m glad you like them!

      Mustafa at Laura and Melinda down in the LES is my go-to tailor. I’ve been going to him for over seven years and he’s reasonably priced, always does excellent work, and also gives great fashion advice.

      That’s a great question, is it okay if I use that for a post later? It’s a combo of both actually. I find that since I’m wearing my clothes more often with a smaller wardrobe, each of my pieces gets worn at least once a week (if not more) so after a year a lot of the delicate or fast fashion pieces are just completely worn out. Some of them turn out to be one-season wonders and I wind up consigning or donating them, though I try to keep this number low. Others make it into standard rotation and I just wear them until their lifespan is over, but I wouldn’t really count them as basic, just fun things that I love. I think it’s also important to find a number that feels right to you, since some seasons I only add two or three things, sometimes the full five, (for example this past season I was so busy that number was zero) but I find between the natural turnover from wearing out and weeding out ones that are no longer working, my closet stays pretty small and stable.

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