Friday, March 31, 2017

The 5 Piece French Wardrobe à la Bohemienne

Most capsule wardrobe are built on very classic style, and that's not me. I am not your "silk shirt and pencil skirt" kind of gal, I'm your eccentric forest fairy crazy Bohemian witch artisan kind of gal.

So, I created this Bohemian capsule wardrobe at Polyvore.
The colors are sort of peacock. As can be seen.
This is based on the "5 piece French wardrobe". There won't be leather pants or a trenchcoat on my list, nor loafers or Hermes bags. :-D

There's plenty more clothes than five pieces here, so why is it called "5 piece wardrobe"? The idea is that you have a basic wardrobe of neutral pieces that can be combined with everything else in your closet, so that you can invest in only five pieces - or less - to keep your wardrobe à jour. These basic pieces are to be of good quality and easy materials so that you don't need to take them to drycleaning, timeless, so that you can use the same pair of jeans in 20 years, when the fashion has moved from baggy 80s to retro 00s with bellbottoms :-D
 This capsule wardrobe is also based on my personal preferences and habits.

 The basics:

6 t-shirts or alike - 3 with short sleeves, 3 with long sleeves.
2 tank tops. (I am going to change these in the future. I don't use tanktops.)
1 white button down shirt. Mine is of soft linen and sort of shapeless, not meant to be buttoned at the neck, ever. White buttondowns are among the most versatile and useful pieces in any wardrobe. You could easily have several.
2 pairs of pants and 3 skirts, of which one is double-sided multiuse piece. I managed to find the exact right color of these recycled silk skirts, made of old saris. They are multiuse, like one of these "infinity dresses", one can use this skirt as a skirt, a dress, a top or a cape, and I am sure there are several other ways to use them :-D A bit like a pareo.
There is two large shawls that can be used in many ways as well, and a cardigan, that can be used as a top if need be, and another that is used just as a jacket, to replace the black suit jacket, which is a piece I have no use what so ever.
There is the "little black dress", except that mine is sort of navy.
There is a soft blazer, a lovely, vintage leather jacket and a long coat.
Then there are the accessories.
One pair of long boots and one pair of ankle boots (or moccasins). One pair of pretty heels. Sandals. (Now, there's another pair of ankle boots on the picture, I suppose they are replacing the sneakers. I think a pair of canvas shoes would work better. Or flats. Ballerinas. What ever rocks your boat.)
Then there are several bags, one for evening wear, and some jewelry.
Now, accessories, like scarves, don't count on the 5 piece wardrobe, so learn to accessorize!

Now, on a capsule wardrobe there are pieces missing.
- underwear and socks etc.
- sleepwear
- sportswear
- any other special occasion wear, like ball gowns and riding habits, because that depends on your needs. I don't need either, but I need a swimsuit to be able to go and swim and do pool exercises, and lounge-wear, because I spend a lot of my days bedridden.

As coats I will need one for summer, one for spring/autumn and one for winter.I would like one of those 70s "Indian" hippie fringed deer suede jackets.

Here's some good advice for you to help you create your capsule wardrobe.
1) Peggy Sagers 365 plan
2) The Vivienne Files
3) 333

My three events are
1) lounging home doing basically nothing (reading, writing, arts and crafts, housekeeping...)
2) going out doing "business" - meetings with doctors etc, shopping etc. Comfortable, casual but nice clothing. No need to make any impression on anyone.
3) spending time with friends and family

My "six patterns" would be simple tees from tanktops and short sleeved Ts to henleys and t-shirt dresses; easy pants and easy skirts. I like dresses.

My five accessories... I love shoes and handbags, so keeping these at five... er... two pairs of shoes for each season, a handbag and the rest depends on the season. In winter I must have gloves and shawl, perhaps even a tam, in summer a fan and parasol or wide brimmed hat and sunglasses are on the list. I love my fan and parasol, and so does my friends, because I bring my own shade and wind with me... it's always cool when needed with me :-D

There are many different color plans, like the seasonal color analysis and Zyla colors, but I am not quite sure those rules work for everyone. I think we all should wear colors we love, whether they fit any plans or lists. Whether you "find" your colors or not, I recommend you decide a color plan for your wardrobe. All the base pieces should be of a neutral you love.

But here's my Zyla colors:

Also, do a Konmari closet go-through.
Gather all - ALL - your clothes in one pile. All your clothes, those from laundry (wash them first, of course), those from storage, those currently borrowed by someone, those from that box you are saving all the "when I'm of different size" clothes, every piece.
Go through them, one by one. Keep the pieces in your hands and feel how they feel. Do you love that piece? Or do you keep it just because you don't have anything to replace it with or because they don't do the piece you desire in your size or country, or it was already sold out when you got to the store or what ever. Keep only the clothes you love, that make your heart sing, that make you happy to own and wear and see.
When you have gone through everything in the pile, look at what's in your "I F-ING LOVE THESE CLOTHES!!!" pile and if that is enough to keep you clothed. If not, go through the other pile and rescue the best pieces, FOR NOW. The goal is to replace even those pieces with "I F-ING LOVE THIS!!!" pieces in the future. Go through the other pile and put everything that can be given forward in a bag to be taken to goodwill, and what cannot in trashes. (You COULD save this pile for all those thousand recycling projects you pinned on Pinterest, but promise yourself that if you haven't done anything until next month, you throw it all away. Because there will be material for when you are inspired, because you won't be inspired before this crap is out of your hair. Be prepared that you are really, really, really inspired to do everything AFTER you come back in from throwing those things away. Resist the urge to run back and rescue your garbage. It really is just garbage. Good riddance.

NOW write a list of what you NEED in your capsule wardrobe and start hunting the pieces. It will take time, several years even, but before you know it, you will have the wardrobe you deserve, you dream of and that will keep you clothed in bliss. :-) It will be worth it, you'll see.


  1. I hope you keep writing this blog. I understand it must be difficult when you have pain.
    I especially enjoy your analysis of colour and style. I'm also an artist and I still have trouble deciding on what my best colours and styles are. I don't seem to fit into any of the systems but I find it interesting. Maybe I'm not objective about myself. Anyway, I found your posts from a few years ago helpful and encouraging. I appreciate the work you've done.

    1. I'm sorry I haven't seen your comment before now... so unfortunate that I practically stopped posting at that time.
      It's more because of the fact that I'm a seasonal animal, and I have the bad habit of posting a lot for three weeks, and then nothing for three years... *blush*

      But thank you for your words! :-) I'm glad if I manage to help :-)

      BTW, if you are an artist, use the colors on your clothes you like to use for your art. The Seasonal Color Theory is based on Joseph Itten's observation of that artists used the colors instinctively that suited them. :-)
      Also, you probably like those colors, and it's more important that YOU like the colors you wear than that you might look better wearing something else. Feeling good is the most becoming "accessory" :-)

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