Closet Refresh- Creating a French-inspired Minimal Wardrobe

Say "Oui" to clutter-free!

You know when you can barely walk into your closet and you're at the point of critical clothing mass where you just want to set things on fire?

Okay, you probably shouldn't actually do that, but you can wrangle your wardrobe down to something easier and more manageable, using a method the Internet has dubbed as the "French Five Piece Wardrobe."

Let me tell you, it's so utterly freeing to get rid of so many things you don't need or wear anymore. You'll be amazed when you can see wall space again and actually move around in your closet without tripping over those old worn out boots that are so scuffed you wonder if they were ever shiny to begin with.

 I can see the closet walls for once.  It's beautiful. 

I can see the closet walls for once. It's beautiful. 

The gist of the "French Five Piece Wardrobe" goes like this:

The guidelines are fairly simple: First, make sure you have quality basics across all categories of apparel, and eliminate clothing from your wardrobe that you don’t wear, love, and love to wear. Buy new basics to fill any gaps, and remember quality over quantity. Second, limit your new purchases to five nonbasic items per season (once in spring/summer and once in fall/winter) that add a bit of personality and make your wardrobe feel current and fresh.
— http://www.whowhatwear.com/how-to-five-piece-french-wardrobe/

So, to break it down more, here's a good idea of pieces you'd want in your wardrobe:

  • a few pairs of denim jeans, black pants, and khaki pants
  • a few black or neutral skirts, like pencil or A-line skirts
  • tee-shirts
  • 1-2 nice white blouses
  • a good fitting trench coat/coat
  • one or two well fitting blazers
  • a few sweaters

They key is simplicity and things that easily coordinate together. It may seem like it calls for a lot of basic, plain colors (or lack thereof), but remember- you can keep a few trendy and colorful pieces a season, and you can always add a pop of color through accessories like shoes, or jewelry, or even colorful makeup. And the nice thing about neutrals? Less worry on if the color isn't right for you. 

 Hello from the otter siiiiideeeee....of the tee-shirt drawer.

Hello from the otter siiiiideeeee....of the tee-shirt drawer.

Overall, it's a good experiment at seeing how creative and how well you can stretch a few key items to make up your style, and it can really make getting dressed that much more effortless. Another bonus? It's a good way to save some cash you'd normally spend towards clothes on other things, like travel or building a savings. 

It's worth giving the "French Five Piece Wardrobe"  a try if you find yourself drowning in a sea of unwanted clothes or have too much going on in your closet.

And hey, you can always replace stuff slowly if you find it's not for you.

What would be your idea minimal wardrobe if you were to do a massive clothing clear out? Let me know in the comments below!