Thursday, 20 December 2012

The 10 Item Wardrobe - How French women create a chic and minimalist wardrobe

There are many approaches to creating a chic and minimalist wardrobe and one of my favourites was recently written about by one of my favourite fellow bloggers - Jennifer L Scott  on her blog "The Daily Connoisseur".

Jennifer is from California, USA, and in her early twenties, spent a year living in Paris as a student. She lived with a French family, in their chic apartment in one of the wealthiest parts of Paris - the 16th Arrondissement. Whilst there, she was able  to observe first hand how French people live and has recently published a book based on her observations - "Lessons from Madame Chic - 20 stylish secrets I learned while living in Paris".

One of the 20 secrets that she shares is an insight into how a French woman dresses and the type of clothes that she has in her wardrobe. Madame Chic, the mother of her host family, only had 10 items of clothing in her wardrobe at any one time.  She had a Winter wardrobe and a Summer wardrobe, both consisting of about 10 items.

For anyone looking to reduce their wardrobes and create a chic and minimalist wardrobe, I think the French 10 item wardrobe idea is a great place to start. Below are Jennifers YouTube clips in which she shows us how to create the 10 item wardrobe. She was also interviewed on TV recently and shows how she creates the 10 item wardrobe. I have included that clip too.

I think her idea is great and have adopted this approach myself. I now have 10 items in my wardrobe for everyday wear and find that I have plenty of clothes to wear.  Her idea is perfect if you are a stay at home mother, work from home or are retired.  If you work in an office full time, you could split your wardrobe into 7 items for work and 3 items for the week-end.

I have adapted Jennifers idea slightly and also have a small and separate wardrobe of special occassionwear, which are three complete outfits - an outfit for a summer wedding, a black outfit for a funeral, and an outfit for a party.

Here is the link to Jennifer's TV interview:

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/11/14/how-to-live-with-a-10-item-wardrobe-with-tips-from-author-jennifer-l-scott/

Here are Jennifers YouTube Clips:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK6hQ9HOwJ8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f9SW_E5qsM

I hope you have enjoyed reading about this approach to creating a minimalist wardrobe.

You may be interested to read my other articles, which are listed on my Home Page

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Minimalist Wardrobe for Fall / Autumn 2012

Minimalist Wardrobe Essentials for Fall / Autumn 2012

Here in the UK, Autumn has finally arrived and is one of my favourite seasons - a real treat for the senses, a time to pack away the lighter clothes of summer and bring out something more warm and snuggly.
Not only does Autumn give us the beautiful colours of the turning leaves to enjoy, it is a season that has its own unique smells - the damp smell of the earth as it absorbs the heavy rainfalls of autumn, the smell of smoke from garden bonfires recently lit to burn pruned branches and the smell of coal fires from homes lucky enough to still have an open fire. Autumn mornings are often misty and I enjoy watching the sunrise gradually burning the mist away.

For me Autumn / Fall clothing and accessories is all about keeping warm and dry and at this time of year, the following items are Minimalist Wardrobe Essentials:
  • A large golfing style umbrella - Small umbrellas aren't much use in torrential rain and strong winds, so a large golfing style is going to provide much better protection from the rain.
  • A long waterproof raincoat - The weather can still be warm at this time of year and a wool winter coat is often too warm, therefore, a long waterproof raincoat that comes to the knee, or even below, is ideal as it helps to keep most of your body and clothes dry and is still fairly warm.
  • Waterproof everyday shoes - The number of shoes you need depends on your lifestyle. You may need a smart pair for work, and a more casual pair for week-ends / running errands.
  • Waterproof Handbag.
  • Warm hosiery - socks, tights & stockings to keep your feet and legs warm and dry. (A spare pair in your hand-bag is handy incase you get splashed by cars or wet in the rain).
Minimalist Wardrobe Extras
  • A stylish or pretty scarf to jazz up your raincoat
  • A hat - An umbrella will help keep you dry, but hair usually suffers in the damp and rain. So to keep your hair looking great, invest in a hat such as a beret or beanie. These tend to stay put on your head, whereas hats with brims may get caught by the wind and blown off. A Square silk scarf is a good alternative if it suits you.  
I hope Autumn is beautiful where ever you are.

If you found this article useful, you may like to visit my home page, which lists all my other articles

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Home Page - A blog on how to create a minimalist wardrobe, how to be chic and how to live a simpler, more stylish lifestyle.

Dear Reader . . . . . . .

Welcome to my Blog - Chic and Minimalist Wardrobe.
  • Do you wish to live a simpler lifestyle?
  • Would you like to reduce the possessions in your life, including your clothing?
  • Would you like to own a small wardrobe of stylish clothes that meet your needs?
  • Would you like to know what type of clothes are basic wardrobe essentials? 
  • Would you like to know how to be chic and dress with flair?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, and need help in achieving your goals, this website is for you.

I hope you find it useful.

Below is a list of articles that I have written on this blog and on other websites.

So, if you would like to know how to be chic, how to create a minimalist wardrobe and how to live a simpler, more stylish lifestyle, please read on.................


With Best Wishes

"Simply Me" - Chic and Minimalist Wardrobe Blog

 

                                                       * * LIST OF ARTICLES & BLOG POSTS * *

* * Latest Articles * *

The 10- item wardrobe - How French women create a chic and minimalist wardrobe.
Summary:  Best selling author and one of my favourite fellow bloggers, Jennifer L Scott (The Daily Connoisseur), recently published a book "Secrets of Madame Chic: 20 stylish secrets I learnt while living in Paris." It is based on her year spent in Paris as a student, where she lived with her host family (Family Chic) in an apartment in the wealthy 16th Arrondissement. To Jennifer's suprise, the mother of the family, "Madame Chic", only had 10 items of clothing in her wardrobe, but always looked chic and well dressed whatever the occassion. 
I love this method of creating a minimalist wardrobe and have adopted it myself. It works!
To read my full post and learn how Madame Chic achieved this, click here.  I have also
included Jennifer's YouTube Clips, where she shows us how to create the chic 10 item wardrobe, as well as a clip of her interview on TV.  
Click here to read my full post.

  • Minimalist Wardrobe Essentials for Fall / Autumn 2012



  • * * Other Articles * *
    Parisian style wardrobes - tres chic and minimalist
    Minimalist Wardrobe Essentials
    How to be Chic - Tips on looking Chic, having a Chic home and Lifestyle


    Films that feature inspiring Chic and Minimalist wardrobes:
    Cure a wardrobe crisis with capsule wardrobes - Never again have to say "I have nothing to wear"
    How to update your wardrobe each season:




    Chic and Minimalist Accessories


    Parties
    My capsule wardrobes
    Article coming soon
    Chic and Minimalist Make-up
    Article coming soon
     Basic Wardrobe Essentials
    Article Coming Soon

    The film "A week with Marilyn" - a suprising source of inspiration for a chic and minimalist wardrobe.

    Last night I went to see the film  "A week with Marilyn". It is a true story about a week in the life of Marilyn Monroe, when during the mid 1950's, she was  in England acting in a film produced by Laurence Olivier.

    I highly recommend going to see the film for several reasons. Not only is it an interesting insight into her character,  an interesting story centred on a brief and  impossible romance and pure glamorous escapism, it is also suprisingly a great source of inspiration for a chic and minimalist wardrobe.
    I am not sure who the costume designer is for the film, but Marilyn's clothes were beautiful and suprisingly understated.

    Yes they were form fitting to show off her curvey figure, but they were also very simple, modest and classic in style. They are a great inspiration for anyone wishing to learn about basic wardrobe essentials. The clothes were made in subtly luxurious fabrics and soft femenine colours,  - everything  a chic amd minimalist wardrobe should be.



    .
    Her wardrobe contained many of the chic basic wardrobe essentials:

    • A simple little black dress that flowed over her curves - probably made in a silk crepe de chine.
    • A soft (silk?) fitted white shirt worn with a pair of  capri pants in a neutral colour - very 1950's.
    • A soft cashmere sweater in a light pearl grey. The neckline was high and round, but the style was fairly fitted which showed off her figure.
    • Several pencil skirts in neutral colours such as camel
    • Two coats - a beige trench-coat and a light camel wool coat.
    • Simple sweater dresses
    • A black turtleneck 
    • Black high heels and chic ballet flats
    • Wide waist emphasising belts.
    •  Her trademark red lipstick.

    I am sure there were other items that I have missed, but that is a good excuse for me to watch the film again.







    Thursday, 8 December 2011

    Recession Style - What to wear to the Downsized Office Christmas Party.

    Last week was the annual Christmas party for one of the companies I work for and due to the recession, the company slashed its budget from £25 a head to £7.50 a head.

    I work in a clothes shop and this new Downsized Christmas party proved a challenge for everyone. What were we going to do and more importantly, what were we going to wear?

    In previous years our Christmas parties took place in nice restaurants and we usually dress up and wear party dresses - see mine- here  (This photo  shows my "Formal / Social " capsule wardrobe)

    This reduced budget proved a real challenge to the team, but being a creative bunch, we came up with the perfect solution and decided to hold the Christmas Party in the store.

    We already had a few small tables, which we put up and by using some stools, deck-chairs and a few cardboard boxes, managed to provide seating for everyone. It was good fun and everyone brought along a bottle of wine each or some beer and the £7.50 a head budget was spent on dishes from the local Indian Take-away or the local Wagamamas. (Later in the evening Wagamamas kindly delivered some free desserts for us all.)

    It was a really challenge deciding what to wear. Party dresses were too over the top and jeans were to casual.Strangely enough, most of us dressed in a similar way - a smart / casual skirt or trousers with a casual evening top.

    I wore several of my basic minimalist wardrobe items - a black pencil skirt, again from my formal social capsule wardobe, a black vest top, and black ballerina pumps, jazzed up with a purple cardigan and a sparkly silver necklace. 

    A good time was had by all and was definately an unusual Christmas Party that I am sure will be remembered by us all for many years to come.

    How to Dress for parties and how to create a party capsule wardrobe

    Severe winter weather arrives - time to double check my basic winter wardrobe.

    Here in England, much of the country has been buffeted by severe winter storms,  heralding the start of  winter proper.

    At the begining of October I reviewed  my Autumn/Winter wardrobe to make sure I had the Basic Essential Items for a Winter Wardrobe 

    My wardrobe contained everything I needed, but there were a couple of items I felt were missing and so purchased:
    • A warm chunky knit cardigan to wear at home and work.  I also bought it as a way to cut  my ever increasing winter heating bills. For the first time ever I made it through October without putting the heating on, so it has paid for itself already.
    • Three pairs of black 40 denier tights to wear with my flat black ballet pumps and brown winter boots

    Now that the bad weather has well and truly arrived,  I quickly double checked my winter wardrobe to make sure I have all the basic winter wardrobe essentials. If you are trying to build up a basic winter wardrobe, you may find this list useful.

    • Warm Winter Coat? -  Yes.   My grey wool winter coat is now 10 years old but still looks ok. 
    • Woolies? - Yes.  Time to get out and wear my woollen scarf, gloves and hat. 
    • Umbrella? - Yes.  Time to put it  by the front door, ready to face the blustery winds and rain.
    • Footwear? - Yes. I am still wearing my black ballet flats but brought out  my two pairs of winter boots. One pair is practical, has good grips for the snow. The other pair are smart and fashionable and I wear them with my winter skirts.
    • Tops? - Yes.  In the Autumn, I like to wear long sleeve jersey tops. I continue to wear these, but have now brought out my knitwear to wear over the top. These include two polo neck jumpers, a sweater and my new chunky knit cardigan. I also have a chunky grey cable-knit waistcoat to add a third layer for extra warmth.
    • Bottoms? Yes -I have a pair of jeans for the week-end which go with both pairs of boots and three knee length skirts (denim, velvet and cable knit) which can be worn with the thick black tights and boots.
    • Make-up and accessories? Yes. I generally wear the same make-up all year round, a natural "no-make-up" look, but in winter prefer to wear a darker lipstick. I also have a couple of nail varnishes that are nice for winter, one is a dark minky brown and a deep wine/berry colour. 

    So, panick over, I have everything I need.

    I think carrying out a wardrobe review at least twice a year is the  the key to having a chic and minimalist wardrobe and to avoid a crisis situation where you don't have everything you need.

    So now I can relax and have  fun with my winter make-up and nail varnishes  and get used to wearing my hats, gloves and scarves in chic ways - so time to practise some new scarf tying techniques.

    My next post is "Recession Style - What to wear to your employers Downsized Christmas Party".
    Last week was the Christmas party at one of my jobs. It was very downsized and definately posed a sartorial challenge for everyone. We had a fun evening and I hope you will enjoy reading about it. 

    In the meantime, you may be interested in reading one of my Hubpages articles - How to update your Wardrobe for Autumn / Winter 2011/2012

    Tuesday, 1 November 2011

    Minimalist Wardrobe Essentials

    Many people are looking for the definitive list of Minimalist Wardrobe Essentials and whilst other blogs or  websites provide the same list of basic wardrobe essentials, such as the white shirt or black dress, I personally found that when trying to create a minimalist wardrobe for myself, these lists didn't work.

    The main reason that they don't work is because they don't take into account your complete lifestyle or the seasons.  So, I decided to use a different way to build my minimalist wardrobe.
    I now have a minimalist wardrobe that is based on my regular lifestyle activities as well as the social events that occassionally crop up such as an invitation to a party, wedding or having to attend a funeral. 

    So, whether you are young and looking to start creating a wardrobe or older and have accumulated a lot of clothes and are looking to declutter your wardrobe, I am confident that you will find this way of creating a wardrobe useful, minimalist and unique to you and your lifestyle.  

    To start, take a look at your lifestyle and break it down into activities. Then from your existing wardrobe, start to create smaller mini or capsule wardrobe for each activity. 
    To help get you started, take a look at my lifestyle and the mini / capsule wardrobes I have created.

    My lifestyle is as follows:
    • I work outside the home four days a week and my clothes are provided by my employer.
    • For holidays, I usually take clothes from my week-end wardrobe and active wardrobe.
    My complete wardrobe takes up half a rail, but that is all that I need.
    My complete wardrobe.

    You may have other "Lifestyle Activities" that aren't represented in my wardrobe. For example, you may want to create capsules along the following themes:
    • "Office Wear" - with a mini / capsule of office wear, such as suits, blouses,skirts and trousers. Plus accessories - briefcase or smart handbag, office shoes, smart watch & jewellry.
    • "Night Club Wear"
    • "Hobby Wear" - if you have hobbies that require specific items of clothing.

    You are probably going to find that there are gaps in your wardrobe. To solve that problem, create a list of the items that you need and put the list into priority order. Focus on buying your top priority items first.

    I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post and found it useful. You may also like to read my other blog posts.






    Monday, 5 September 2011

    Redefining your Style as a Minimalist

    For most people, their personal style can be found in the different outfits that they wear.

    A Minimalist has a different way of thinking about their own personal style.

    Their style revolves around the fact that they wear the same outfit all the time.

    Would you feel comfortable wearing the same outfit all the time?

                                                         *      *       *      *      *

    For my Degree, I studied Fashion Design. Although I graduated over 20 years ago, I can still clearly recall the entire wardrobe of one of my college friends.

    She basically wore the same outfit all the time and now looking back, I realise she was a minimalist.

    In her first year, all she owned was:

    A black cardigan for winter,  a white t-shirt for summer, a pair of jeans, a pair of Doc Martin shoes and a very expensive Winter coat.

    Although her wardrobe was sparse, just five items, her clothes were always clean and neatly pressed, (she washed her tops every night by hand, the jeans got washed every few days.) The only jewelry she wore was a simple watch with a black leather strap.

    She was also a true eccentric and had the most amazing personal style.

    Whilst her wardrobe was minimalist, she spent all her spare money on her hair. Each term she spent a small fortune on hair extensions - the most amazing long, white, corkscrew curls that came down to her waist.

    In the day, she wore no make-up, but for a night out, she spent ages on her make-up, the results were simple and stunning - a flawless pale complexion, bright red lipstick and black eyeliner.


    My friend was definately someone who was comfortable wearing the same outfit day in, day out.

    Would you feel comfortable wearing the same outfit all the time?








                            









    Thursday, 1 September 2011

    Minimalist Wardrobe for Women - a Basic Winter Wardrobe.

    Winter 2011 / 2012 is on the way and it's time to review and weed out the wardrobe. I have come up with a list of the basic wardrobe essentials for a winter wardrobe. I hope you will find it useful in putting together your Chic and Minimalist Winter Wardrobe.

    • A warm Winter Coat - plus accessories  (Hat, gloves and scarf).
    • A warm black jumper
    • Three long sleeve jersey tops to wear under the jumper for extra warmth. (These get washed after everywear, unlike the jumper, so you need a few).
    • Black wool trousers
    • A Dark Pair of Jeans
    • A flat pair of black shoes - to wear with the trousers and jeans.
    • Snow Boots if you get heavy snow.
    • A dress for the party season (Christmas) plus shoes.

    Colour - I have used the colour black for many of the items, so that it all goes together. If black isn't your colour, choose another neutral colour, such as navy, grey or chocolate brown, for your shoes, jumper and trousers.

    Additional items - Whilst this is the bare minimum, you could add the following items to extend your wardrobe:
    •  Another warm jumper
    • A black wool skirt
    • A pair of black knee-high boots to wear with the skirt- plus two to three  pairs of thick winter tights.



    Wednesday, 24 August 2011

    How to update your wardrobe for Autumn /Winter 2011

    Autumn /Winter will soon be on its way.

    Most fashion shops have now finished their summer sales and are starting to fill their shop floor with the new season's stock.

    Now is a great time to review and update your wardrobe for Autumn / Winter 2011.

    I have recently written and published an article on Hubpages giving ideas on how to update your wardrobe for Autumn /Winter 2011.

    If you would like to read it,  please click the link below:

    How to update your wardrobe for Autumn and Winter 2011

    Saturday, 20 August 2011

    Minimalist Wardrobe for Women - The No. 1 Top Tip.

    I consider the No.1 Top Tip to creating a chic and minimalist wardrobe for women is to Review and Edit your wardrobe Twice a year.

    I like to review my wardrobe twice a year, at the begining of spring and autumn.

    Because my wardrobe is organised by mini-wardrobes according to each activity area, it makes the job much easier.

    Mini-Wardrobes based on your lifestyle activities is the secret to creating a minimalist wardrobe. If you would like to find out why and learn how you can easily create them  Click Here

    I simply review each of my Mini-wardrobes, find the clothes for a particular activity and see if they still fit, and still in good condition.

    I then make sure I have enough clothes / outfits in this mini-wardrobe and if there are gaps, I put them on my shopping list.

    This is the system that I use to create and maintain my wardrobe. As my lifestyle changes, I add or subtract mini-wardrobes.

    It is imortant to make sure you have enough clothes in each of your mini-wardrobes. Any surplus can be discarded, leaving you with the bare minimum that you need. 

    That to me is the No.1 Top Tip to having a minimalist wardrobe, one where you have enough clothes to meet your chosen lifestyle activities and no more.

    As a result, each item in your wardrobe is there for a reason.

    Minimalist Wardrobe for Men

    Are you a man looking to declutter your own wardrobe or a woman looking to help your boyfriend or huband create a minimalist wardrobe? If so, I am sure that you will find what follows useful.


    There are many advantages to having a minimalist wardrobe and I will show you how to create one that ensures:
    • You have enough clothes for all your lifestyle activities
    • You spend less money on clothes and less time shopping
    • You have a tidy and organised wardrobe
    • You always have something to wear whatever the occassion
    Creating a minimalist wardrobe for men in three easy steps.
    Creating a minimalist wardrobe for men can be achieved by following these three basic steps.
    1. Identify your lifestyle activities.
    2. Make sure you have enough clothes for each of your lifestyle activities.
    3. Organising your wardrobe into mini-wardrobes

    Step one - identify your lifestyle activities
    The most important factor is to identify your lifestyle activities and the time that you spend on each activity.
    I have put together a list of Lifestyle activities to get you started on your own list. They include:
    Work, Running errands / Shopping, Smart-Casual Social events, Formal Social Events, Exercise, Leisure and Holidays.
    The aim is to create separate mini-wardrobes for each of these activities.

    Work

    For your work wardrobe, you need to take into account two main factors, the number of days during the week that you spend at work and how formal or casual your work dress code is. This should help you decide how many outfits you need and style of the clothes.
    For example:
    • If you work full-time in a formal office, you might need a couple of suits, five shirts, two to three ties and a couple of pairs of shoes.
    • If you work in a less formal environment, you could wear trousers and shirts, for colder months pull-overs and more casual style shoes.
    • For a more casual work environment, such as working from home, or dress-down Fridays you would need a selection of more casual outfits.


    Running Errands / Shopping

    Most people need to run errands, such as shopping for groceries, going to the post-office or bank etc. Whilst you can get away with wearing clothes from your casual wardrobe, I would recommend having a comfortable pair of shoes that you use just for this activity, as it usually involves a lot of walking.

    Formal Social Events

    Everyone usually attends the following Formal Social events at sometime in their life.
    • Weddings
    • Funerals
    • Formal Interviews
    For most men, one dark suit together with a white shirt and smart black shoes would be enough for formal social events such as weddings, a funeral and a formal interview.
    To adapt the suit to the event, you would also need three ties, a black tie for funerals, a tie suitable for an interview and a more colourful one suitable for a wedding.
    If you buy a white shirt, which are often quite see-through, I also recommend buying a white vest top to wear underneath so that if you remove your jacket, you can't see through the shirt.
    Also buy a smart pair of black socks.
    If  you choose a classic single-breasted style suit, it should last you for years. If you work in an office, try not to wear this suit or the shoes to work as this will wear it out.
    • Black tie
    If you regularly attend Black Tie events, such as a ball, you may like to own your own Black-Tie Tuxedo Suit, otherwise think about hiring one when you receive an invitation.

    Smart / Casual Social Events

    It is often in the smart / casual element of people's wardobes that people don't have enough of the right type of clothes, which usually leads to the cry of "I don't have anyting to wear".
    Events that come under this heading could include:
    • Eating out at an informal restaurant
    • Meeting friends after work for drinks
    • Going to the theatre
    • Going to someone's informal 40th birthday party.
    • Going to a nightclub
    I would recommend building a mini-wardrobe based around two types of outfits, the first consisting of a smart pair of dark denim jeans a smart/casual shirt and smart/casual jacket.
    The second outfit would be based around a neutral coloured pair of smart casual trousers, preferably that works with the shirt and jacket above.
    You also need to buy some smart casual shoes.
    To ring the changes and extend this wardrobe, you can add more shirts if you like.
    Don't forget to buy some nice belts and cufflinks for the shirts.

    Exercise

    • Do you exercise regularly? Would you like to but lack of clothing may be one of the factors stopping you.
    • Write down the exercises you do or would like to do
    • Write down the number of garments / outfits you need together with the type of shoes you need. 

    Hobbies, Leisure and Holidays

    You may have some hobbies that require a separate set of clothes, such as if you play golf.
    Write these down and work out what you need.
    For a Holiday Wardrobe you need to think about the type of holidays you go on. For example:
    • Beach holidays - for which you would need swimwear,sunhats, beachfootwear
    • Skiing Holdays - for which you would need ski-wear
    • Citybreaks and sighseeing holidays - for which you would need comfortable walking shoes
    • Action / Activity holidays - for which you might need more specialist clothes.

    How to organise your wardrobe

    I believe that it is a good idea to organise you wardrobe so that all elements of the mini-wardrobes a kept together.
    I keep clothes that I wear everyday to work in the main part of my wardrobe and on top of my wardrobe I keep the clothes that I don't wear very often. For example, your suit and it's accessories (for weddings, interviews and funerals) could go on the top of the wardrobe in a box, or hang the whole ensemble up in a clothes bag in the wardrobe.
    The benefit of organising your wardrobe in ths way is that when an event crops up, you instantly go to the relevant part of your wardrobe and everything for that particular activity such as a wedding should all be in one place.

    Review and Edit your wardrobe twice a year

    I like to review my wardrobe twice a year, at the begining of spring and autumn.
    Because my wardrobe is organised by mini-wardrobes according to each activity area, it makes the job much easier.
    I simply find the clothes for a particular activity and see if they still fit, and still in good condition.
    I then make sure I have enough clothes / outfits in this mini-wardrobe and if there are gaps, I put them on my shopping list.
    This is the system that I use to create and maintain my wardrobe. As my lifestyle changes, I add or subtract mini-wardrobes.
    It is imortant to make sure you have enough clothes in each of your mini-wardrobes. Any surplus can be discarded, leaving you with the bare minimum that you need. That to me is the essence of a minimalist wardrobe, one where you have enough clothes to meet your chosen lifestyle activities and no more.
    As a result, each item in your wardrobe is there for a reason.

    Sunday, 14 August 2011

    5 piece wardrobe - the French way to create a chic and minimalist wardrobe

    French women are  famous for their chic and minimalist wardrobes and here is their method of using just 5 pieces to create a core wardrobe. 

    Step 1

    Each season, decide what your 5 basic pieces will be. These form the core of your wardrobe and you will wear these day in, day out.

    They should be classic in style, of good quality, a neutral or basic colour and perfect fit. Over the years you should aim to build a wardrobe of basic staples.

    Here are a couple of ideas for both a Spring / Summer and Autumn/Winter Core Wardobe.

    Autumn/Winter
    • A warm Winter Coat
    • A warm black jumper
    • A Dark Pair of Jeans
    • A Black Wool Pencil Skirt
    • A pair of black knee-high boots

    Spring / Summer
    • A raincoat
    • A White T-Shirt / Top
    • A light-weight pair of Trousers in a light neutral colour
    • A light-weight Pencil Skirt in a light neutral colour
    • A pair of ballerina pumps or sandals

    Step 2

    Add just a handful of new items to keep it fresh. New items could include:
    • A new basic staple item - so you continue to build them up over the years.
    • Trendy / Interesting pieces
    • Accessories - basic and trendy.
    • One noticeable flirty item! - High heels, a leather skirt, a skim of black eyeline, red lipstick. The trick is to wear just one item, never two!
    • One expensive classic that will last a lifetime! - A Vuitton bag, a Hermes scarf, a pair of Charles Jourdan heels, diamond earrings.
    • Signature Item - Find what you love and make it your signature. It might be your long flowing hair,  a chic bob haircut, scarves, statement jewellry, mini-skirts or long boots.
    • Perfume

    Aim for less - Less clashing colours, less make-up, less costume jewellery, but one ravishing perfume.

    The result - A closet that although is minimalist, is fresh and high on style.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    If 5 items of clothing aren't enough for you, you may like to read one of my other articles:

    The 10- item wardrobe - How French women create a chic and minimalist wardrobe.

    Summary:  Best selling author and one of my favourite fellow bloggers, Jennifer L Scott (The Daily Connoisseur), recently published a book "Secrets of Madame Chic: 20 stylish secrets I learnt while living in Paris." It is based on her year spent in Paris as a student, where she lived with her host family (Family Chic) in an apartment in the wealthy 16th Arrondissement. To Jennifer's suprise, the mother of the family, "Madame Chic", only had 10 items of clothing in her wardrobe, but always looked chic and well dressed whatever the occassion. 
    I love this method of creating a minimalist wardrobe and have adopted it myself. It works!
    To read my full post and learn how Madame Chic achieved this, click here.  I have also
    included Jennifer's YouTube Clips, where she shows us how to create the chic 10 item wardrobe, as well as a clip of her interview on TV.  
    Click here to read my full post.

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    How Parisian women create a chic and minimalist wardrobe

    Monday, 8 August 2011

    Wardrobe Essentials for Women

    Many women would like to find out what the essential items are for a minimalist wardrobe and whilst many other blogs and websites provide a list of items, such as the white shirt or black dress, I found that when trying to create a minimalist wardrobe, these lists didn't work for me as it didn't take into account my complete lifestyle or the seasons.

    Instead I chose a different way to build my minimalist wardrobe based on my various lifestyle activities.

    As a result, I have five small capsule wardrobes, which contain enough clothes to meet my needs and I store my clothes according to the capsule it belongs to.

    If you are reading this blog with the hope of finding out what the wardrobe essentials for women are, I hope you will find my approach to creating a minimalist wardrobe for women useful.

    My five capsules are as follows:

    Please click on the links to see a photo of each capsule.
    • "Casual/Weekend" - based around two casual classics - a denim skirt and denim jeans.
      • "Formal Social"  - three outfits for a smart evening party, a wedding, a funeral
        • "Smart Casualwear" - two outfits, (summer and winter), worn when I meet friends for lunch or visit family and want to dress up a bit. 
          • "Outerwear" - a raincoat and warm wintercoat, together with a smart pair of boots and snow boots.
            • "Activewear" - for exercising, swimming, walking and hiking.

            My complete wardrobe takes up half a rail, but that is all that I need.
            My complete wardrobe.

            You may have other "Lifestyle Activities" that aren't represented in my wardrobe. For example, you may want to create capsules along the following themes:
            • "Office Wear"
            • "Night Club Wear"
            • "Hobby Wear" - if you have hobbies that require specific items of clothing.


            I hope you will find this approach useful whether you are young and looking to start creating a wardrobe or older and have accumulated a lot of clothes and are looking to declutter your wardrobe.


            Friday, 5 August 2011

            Wardrobe Essentials for Women - My minimalist wardrobe is made up of five capsule wardrobes that meet different activities. Pushed together the clothes only take up half a rail, but that is all that I need.

            Wardrobe Essentials for Women - A Formal Social Wardrobe. You may not wear these three outfits very often but they form an essential part of every womans wardrobe. They are a dress to wear to a wedding or garden party, an evening party dress and a black outfit for funerals.

            Wardrobe Essentials for Women - A Weekend/ Casualwear capsule wardrobe. Based around two great casualwear basics - a denim skirt and jeans, you can create a variety of outfits suitable for summer and winter. Add another summer top and winter top if needed.



            Wardrobe Essentials for Women - Smart Casualwear. I like to have a couple of more dressier casual outfits in my wardrobe, for occassions when jeans and a top aren't smart enough or I want to dress up a bit. I may wear these outfits on occassions such as meeting a friend for lunch, or visiting family. One outfit is for summer, the other for winter.

            Wardrobe Essentials for Women - Outerwear. If you live in a country with harsh winters and wet springs a core outerwear wardrobe consisting of a warm winter coat and boots to wear in snow, together with a classic raincoat is essential.

            Wardrobe Essentials for Women - Activewear. I enjoy hiking and swimming so my Activewear capsule wardrobe consists of a swimming costume (not shown) and hiking shoes and boots (not shown), shorts, a couple of tops, and a lightweight, packable waterproof jacket and trousers.