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The ‘French Wardrobe': a Minimalist Approach to Style


What is the French Wardrobe? Simply put, it’s a philosophy to build and curate your style in a minimalist way. Different people will approach it in different ways, but most agree that, for yours to be a truly ‘french wardrobe’ or ‘capsule wardrobe’, you shouldn’t be buying more than five pieces of clothing a season. The goal is to approach fashion in a sensible way and to think of the clothes you buy as an investment, while working towards a cohesive and fashionable sense of style.

 The idea of a French Wardrobe revolves around having a few great basic pieces to mix and match with different accessories for a wide variety of looks. By buying just a few pieces of clothing every season, you can stay current in trends without falling for short-lived fads that will not only wreck your wallet, but will also make you question your fashion choices a few years down the road. With a French Wardrobe, you slowly and steadily expand your collection of clothing and develop a unique sense of style that matches who you are.

 So, how does it work? It’s very simple. You are allowed to buy up to five pieces of clothing every season (Spring-Summer and Fall-Winter), for a total of ten pieces of clothing maximum per year. Staples like white and black tees, underwear and socks don’t count towards your total. Accessories count, but only if they cost more than usual. So, a purse counts towards your total, but a small necklace doesn’t. Shoes count and so do dresses, jackets, pants and every other piece of clothing. The important thing to remember is that quality is more important than quantity, so you should choose carefully every item you buy. No impulse purchases are allowed and you should really think if that piece is worth one of your five allowed purchases.

 In order for a French Wardrobe to work, you’ll have to look at your current wardrobe and decide in which direction you want it to go. Buying clothes will become more than just falling for every cheap trend or hoarding every one-off, quirky piece you can get your hands on. You will develop strategy to shopping and will start looking at every piece of clothing as part of your whole look.

 Why should you do this? Even if you are still developing your style, this is a great way to slowly build your wardrobe in a way that looks concise and form a fashion identity and a look that will set you apart. This philosophy will force you to think about the way you want to present yourself to the world and how to achieve that. Another great advantage of the French Wardrobe is that, in the long run, it will save you money. Because quality is the most important thing to consider when buying clothes, you will probably spend a little bit more on that particular piece, but not only you’ll be able to wear it with most of your wardrobe, it will also last you for years.

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