5PFW - 5 Piece French Wardrobe

Mairaculi

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Sep 9, 2020
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537
[Sorry, long post]
My decluttering / curated wardrobe journey started over 7 years ago, I have tried quite a few concepts, like Project 333, One-In-One-Out Rule, the Konmari method, No Buy/Shop your own closet, but nothing really worked out in the long run, except 5PFW. It was popular a few years ago but now nobody really talks about it anymore. Please join in if you like! Anyway, here is my experience:

The concept:
1. Get your basics straight:
Make a small & curated list of basics - super versatile items you know work for you (plain t-shirts, straight jeans, ankleboots, you know how it goes) - and do some shopping if you currently do not own some of these items - of course this list can (slowly) change over time.

2. 5 seasonal pieces:
Every season (spring/summer or fall/winter) we select up to 5 items to add to our wardrobe. This means everything closet-related (including accessories and jewelry) except for underwear, gymclothes, home-&nightwear and things on our basics list. Unasked-for gifts don't count: My grandma likes to knit and I get gifted a few scarves every year, I won't count those towards my 5 items.

3. Replace items:
If you need to replace a basic or some gymclothes, it does not count towards the five pieces. But you need to get rid of the old one (=my take on the concept). If you want a new pair of yoga pants just because of the design, it definitely counts towards the 5 pieces - most articles say shop as much as you want in the basics category, but I don't agree. What then probably happens is that a) you buy way more basic white t-shirts than you need or b) the definition of “basic“ gets watered down and you try to justify things as basics that truly aren't. So I say figure out the right items and number and stick to replacements.

(4. Optional but very helpful: Declutter regularly:
After each season take a look into what you didn't enjoy wearing or didn't wear it at all - ask yourself why and maybe responsibly get rid of it, and make a note why it didn't work so you won't repeat the same mistake. This helps to keep your wardrobe at a resonable size that works for your life.)

Please share your thoughts! I'll post what I learned so far, my basics list and my 2020 journey here soon :smile:
 
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misstrine85

Bagaholic
O.G.
Sep 11, 2008
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Copenhagen, Denmark
I guess my wardrobe can sort of join :biggrin:
For spring, autumn and winter I have 6 dresses for everyday wear.
For summer I have 3 dresses for everyday wear.

And then I have a few different cardigans for each season (autumn-winter being counted as one season).

My part dresses (3 dresses) are the same for the entire year.
 

Mairaculi

Member
Sep 9, 2020
179
537
I guess my wardrobe can sort of join :biggrin:
For spring, autumn and winter I have 6 dresses for everyday wear.
For summer I have 3 dresses for everyday wear.

And then I have a few different cardigans for each season (autumn-winter being counted as one season).

My part dresses (3 dresses) are the same for the entire year.
Wow, I guess it's even easier if you wear dresses a lot, that's kind of a two-in-one solution compared to wearing tops and bottoms!
 

Mairaculi

Member
Sep 9, 2020
179
537
I only wear dresses (besides from working out or swimming :biggrin: ).
I started really curating my wardrobe 3 years ago and I think this works perfect for me.
Great that you found something that works this well for you! I have a few dresses, but I only really wear them in summer, when it's really hot and I can't be bothered to put something on my legs :biggrin: but I basically wear the same two pairs of jeans most of the time.
 

Mairaculi

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Sep 9, 2020
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537
For anyone who might be interested, here are some thoughts and things I learned so far, that might help understand the concept better and see it's advantages ;)
- Quality over quantity:
I naturally started gravitating towards more timeless & high quality items - once I limited how many things I bought instead of having just a monetary budget. I enjoy my items way more now!

- Works well with a sustainability mindset:
A lot of high quality items can last a long time and be repaired, also good quality pieces by popular brands can often be acquired second-hand (and easily resold if they don't work out as planned) - I try to buy 4 of my 5 pieces preowned or ethically & sustainably made (it's a journey of course, I don't always succeed).

- Responsible fashion is fun:
I enjoy selecting my items and purchasing them. I learned strict minimalism regarding my wardrobe is not for me, how I dress myself still needs to be fun, restricting myself too much (“buy nothing“, “only so many items“, “everything needs to go together“, “have a strict color palette/only neutrals“, “no special occasion pieces“)) didn't make me happy at all. But having a curated wardrobe with things I love, while adding a few thoughtfully selected new(-to-me) pieces every now and then, is such a great solution!

- Adapt the concept to your life:
As with any concept, it's here to make things better or easier for you, so if you already have a well curated wardrobe then 5 pieces is a bit much and you choose to limit it to 2-3, do it. Or maybe you are just starting out and want to only use it for certain categories like maybe shoes or bags?

- Don't feel pressured to shop:
This one is super simple but important. You don't need to buy 5 pieces (or whatever number you choose), that number is only the top limit, if you choose to not shop for a season or just buy one or two items, that is even better! Only buy if you really, really love the item and you'll see yourself putting it to good use for many seasons to come.
 
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Mairaculi

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Sep 9, 2020
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OMG I don't think I can do this as I own 30 pairs of jeans alone! :nuts::lol::lol::lol: I kind of went a little crazy this year with vintage Levi's!!
But I love the concept of keeping things simple....one of these days!!
If you're interested you could start by defining what your basics / versatile must-have items are (and if you currently have all of them in your closet). I believe that is something everyone can benefit from, eveb if you don't choose to pair down your closet or reduce your shopping ;)
 

mellecyn

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Feb 28, 2006
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Yes we usually buy the basics first. Like wardrobe staples.
that would be : a couple of sweaters in neutral colors, white button collar shirt, jeans, a trench coat, black dressy trousers, white T-shirt. A pair of derbies, pumps, and simple trainers.
Then what are you adding this year?
I’m mainly replacing or buying basics/staples. But im getting a bodysuit, Prada scarf, oversize shirt or shirt with tie.
 

Mairaculi

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Sep 9, 2020
179
537
Then what are you adding this year?
I’m mainly replacing or buying basics/staples. But im getting a bodysuit, Prada scarf, oversize shirt or shirt with tie.
This season I added a small silk scarf, a brown leather tote bag (only had one in black so far), and a white & blue cotton crochet sweater, all second-hand. The scarf and bag are Hermès, and I really took my time with researching this time. I have one black crossbody bag (a wardrobe staple), which is really old and slowly comes apart. I want to find a good quality replacement, so this is the next thing on my list.
 

880

30th anniversary cuff
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This season I added a small silk scarf, a brown leather tote bag (only had one in black so far), and a white & blue cotton crochet sweater, all second-hand. The scarf and bag are Hermès, and I really took my time with researching this time. I have one black crossbody bag (a wardrobe staple), which is really old and slowly comes apart. I want to find a good quality replacement, so this is the next thing on my list.
Which scarf and bag and why? Am always interested in thought process and choices made; color picks; styles ; whether to go fashion or sartorial; and, I am also really nosey :biggrin:

1. basics. In principle, this means shirts, pants, jackets, dresses. I keep my basics for literally decades and have RTW dating from my own purchases in the 1990s, but I also buy dead stock vintage from the 1940s- present; and, have handme downs from the closets of my mom, grandmother and three aunts. Aside from that I am addicted to blue boucle anything, but mainly jackets; grey and camel pants; black skirts; and patterned vintage dresses and coats. I used to love leopard, but for the past 25 years have adored gray, black and midnight blue camo. If I had to limit my categories: blue jacket; grey pants; black leggings; black Bias skirt; A line dress; camel coat.

2. seasonal- i rotate seasons and have gone up to eight years without purchasing bags or RTW. Part of this is I refuse to buy clothes when I feel heavy for my size and build. so buy other things. Some seasons, I love everything from a designer, so I binge. Other seasons, nothing. I have pieces I consider irreplaceable, like in 1992, Issey miyake boutique did a line of jackets that looked like bubble wrap but made in a soft twill like fabric lined in blue polar fleece That was actually cut in a flattering way.

3. replace - I try to rotate RTW so things I love really last. some pieces are not worn in ten or more years, but I know I will wear in the future.

4. edit- I edit by loaning things out to mom, aunts, cousins. Sometimes the loan is permanent, esp. In the case of my mom, who is hard on her things, so I tend not to want to take it back (This is how I had to replace my 30B black. Other times, if it’s a slight upgrade, my cousins or their kids get some things.
for super high cost items, like Hermes, I sometimes have placeholder bags (until I decide on a forever replacement). Sometimes I let go of things too quickly and have to replace them.

5. since today I wore a top (part of a three piece dress that I last wore in 1991), I think that if I don’t want to get rid of something right away, I should listen to my gut feeling. DH, who is a bigger clothes horse than I am, routinely let’s go of custom shirts, jackets and pants. (Our doorman’s dad is the same size and likes the stuff).

6. not sure I could do the Konmari thing. A lot of stuff gives me joy. But I love reading about other people doing it.
 
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Mairaculi

Member
Sep 9, 2020
179
537
Which scarf and bag and why? Am always interested in thought process and choices made; color picks; styles ; whether to go fashion or sartorial; and, I am also really nosey :biggrin:

1. basics. In principle, this means shirts, pants, jackets, dresses. I keep my basics for literally decades and have RTW dating from my own purchases in the 1990s, but I also buy dead stock vintage from the 1940s- present; and, have handme downs from the closets of my mom, grandmother and three aunts. Aside from that I am addicted to blue boucle anything, but mainly jackets; grey and camel pants; black skirts; and patterned vintage dresses and coats. I used to love leopard, but for the past 25 years have adored gray, black and midnight blue camo. If I had to limit my categories: blue jacket; grey pants; black leggings; black Bias skirt; A line dress; camel coat.

2. seasonal- i rotate seasons and have gone up to eight years without purchasing bags or RTW. Part of this is I refuse to buy clothes when I feel heavy for my size and build. so buy other things. Some seasons, I love everything from a designer, so I binge. Other seasons, nothing. I have pieces I consider irreplaceable, like in 1992, Issey miyake boutique did a line of jackets that looked like bubble wrap but made in a soft twill like fabric lined in blue polar fleece That was actually cut in a flattering way.

3. replace - I try to rotate RTW so things I love really last. some pieces are not worn in ten or more years, but I know I will wear in the future.

4. edit- I edit by loaning things out to mom, aunts, cousins. Sometimes the loan is permanent, esp. In the case of my mom, who is hard on her things, so I tend not to want to take it back (This is how I had to replace my 30B black. Other times, if it’s a slight upgrade, my cousins or their kids get some things.
for super high cost items, like Hermes, I sometimes have placeholder bags (until I decide on a forever replacement). Sometimes I let go of things too quickly and have to replace them.

5. since today I wore a top (part of a three piece dress that I last wore in 1991), I think that if I don’t want to get rid of something right away, I should listen to my gut feeling. DH, who is a bigger clothes horse than I am, routinely let’s go of custom shirts, jackets and pants. (Our doorman’s dad is the same size and likes the stuff).

6. not sure I could do the Konmari thing. A lot of stuff gives me joy. But I love reading about other people doing it.
Sure :biggrin:, the bag is an all-leather Garden Party 36 in gold, judging from how much I use my black tote (and a similar big brown leather bag I borrowed from my mum) it seems like the perfect choice to add to my wardrobe. I've been interested in Hermès for quite a bit now, but really when you talk their signature bags B & C would be too recognizable for me and the Kelly just wouldn't work for my current lifestyle and wouldn't get much use. The GP is very low-key and I was not really planning on adding it this fall, but I just found one at a price which I couldn't say no to. I'm happy with the bag, but I only wore it once, on my way to the boutique to bring it in for spa treatment, now it's gone for a couple of months so it doesn't really feel like an addition.
The scarf is a small neckscarf in the tourbillions design, it was reissued last I believe in the early 2000s. I did not plan for it to be a Hermès scarf, but I wanted to try out silk clothing. I bought a silk pillowcase a few months ago for my skin and now I'm sold on the material. I already had one small scarf that I like to wear 'flight attendant' style, but it's not good quality, so I wanted to upgrade. The design is very seasonal, but I was just so in love as soon as I saw it that I couldn't settle for anything else. And they go really well together, too! IMG_20200914_155109.jpg IMG_20200910_202753.png
And I love your notes, especially points 2&3, I also rotate my clothes and exchange some items that are seasonal and put others in storage. When I started out editing my clothes I donated a lot, but now I try to recognize if I really don't like it or if I'm just bored by it and it needs to disappear for a few seasons into storage and then I can wear it again and be happy with it. Or sometimes a small change can do so much, like better fitting sleeves or a slightely shorter hem for it to feel fresh again!
 

Mairaculi

Member
Sep 9, 2020
179
537
My basics:
I'm very particular in that I wear black only (edit: not true, there is this one summer dress...) in shoes and bags, but never in clothes or other accessories like hats or scarves. My neutral colors for clothes are light to midtone grey, beige and light to midtone blue.
Clothing (all neutral colors, I usually prefer to have 3 of each category, with every item being in a different color & slightly different in style): basics t-shirts, fine knit cardigans, fine knit sweaters, light-weight blouses/shirts, blazers, straight leg jeans, dress pants
Outerwear: trenchcoat, parka, wool coat, puffer jacket
Accessories (all black leather except the sneakers (grey fabric)): crossbody bag, tote bag, backpack, WOC, loafers, ankle-boots, knee-high boots, sneakers
 

880

30th anniversary cuff
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now I try to recognize if I really don't like it or if I'm just bored by it and it needs to disappear for a few seasons into storage and then I can wear it again and be happy with it. Or sometimes a small change can do so much, like better fitting sleeves or a slightely shorter hem for it to feel fresh again!
Love your thought process and the serendipity of finding the gold GP too! I think I commented on your beautiful GP in another thread. from the way you describe your wardrobe, the gold GP will act as a fabulous fresh pop of color against your neutral cool palette for clothing :biggrin: (I tend to think of gold color this way too) So excited for you!

tailoring Changes make all the difference :biggrin:
 
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