Five Piece French Wardrobe – A challenge

mansur gavriel black red bucket bag
acne studios ivory velocite shearling jacket
lover the label wiccan lace dress tuula vintage

image source; one | two | three

I’ve reached a crossroads where I’m starting to feel like I’m at saturation point. I’ve bought enough tops, dresses, skirts and shoes to last a lifetime. Given that it’s hard to “drop” by the shops and not leave without wanting something, I know I can’t be alone (at least I hope I’m not!). So, with much trepidation, I’ve decided to embark on a new challenge, adhering to the rules of the five-piece French wardrobe. Yes, you read right. Five pieces, one season (I’m talking A/W here, for those wondering). This coming from the girl who would average that many new pieces to her wardrobe in one month. This is not going to be easy.

The rules are simple.
– Only five new pieces a season (this is a six-month season, ie. Autumn/Winter or Spring/Summer)
– Basics don’t count
– Accessories don’t count, unless they cost more than $200
– Bags and shoes do count

One minor caveat – basics do count, if they cost more than what you’d usually spend. This means if you decided to splurge and spend say $800 on a classic black blazer, you would be including it in your five, for sure. A $60 white button up shirt on the other hand would easily be classified as a basic and not be counted as one of your five.

I’ve spent the last couple of years stocking up on high-quality basics, so keeping that in mind, there truly isn’t too much more that I need to add to my wardrobe. I have a huge soft spot for shoes (as you probably all know), so it goes without saying that I’m a little nervous at the prospect of going cold turkey – I do love scouring the Net-a-Porter sales for a discounted pair of statement shoes, but, I’ll manage (I think…).

With the idea of a clean, streamlined, minimal wardrobe in mind, I’m anticipating that embarking on this challenge will keep me focused on adding simple, key pieces as opposed to a shiny new dress that I might only wear once. In addition to making it easier to get dressed in the morning, I’m hoping to have the added bonus of a little extra cash in the bank to stash away for a rainy day, or for a holiday overseas.

My wishlist for the next season currently looks like this:
1. Mansur Gavriel bucket bag
2. . Acne black velocite shearling leather jacket (and this is a pretty big wish – it’s probably more likely I’ll nab a pair of their skin 5 denim, at a tenth of the price)
3. . Nicholas Kirkwood low-heeled pumps (in black or nude, it’s proving difficult to choose between the two!)
4. . A little bit of Lover
5. . Still deciding on this last one..

I’m keeping the last item free, for a special little something. I’m thinking I might hold onto this one until the sale season to splurge on a new pair of shoes, or a well-cut blazer. I’ll be checking in regularly over the course of the season to reflect on my experience and let you all know how it’s going. If any of you have done this challenge in the past, I’d be grateful for any tips or tricks that you used to stay on the straight and narrow!

PS. If you want to know more about the challenge, then you can watch this video I’ve just popped up on my YouTube channel


  1. Jessica January 31, 2015 / 7:01 am

    That bucket bag is also on my wish list. So pretty! But I think I love the Saint Laurent Lulu bag more if I really want to buy a bag this year. And I’m also in love with the Valentino Tango pumps in black. That’s it for my list of possible purchases right now. Excited to read how you like the 5PFW.

    • jamie-lee January 31, 2015 / 7:49 am

      Ah the Lulu is GORGEOUS! I actually preordered the bucket bag back in September last year and I think it will be ready for delivery in March hence why I included it. I’m tempted to pick up the Chloe Drew bag as that’s kinda next on my wishlist, possibly in one of the blush/lipstick/coral tones?

      When I first started my list, the tango pumps were on it, coincidentally enough! Great minds think alike 🙂
      I’m looking forward to seeing what else pops up on your list for this season – as you’ve got such great taste x

  2. soph February 3, 2015 / 3:48 pm

    I tip my hat to you and your commitment to challenges. I would be terrible – the minute I set up even vague restrictions on shopping/spending I end up breaking them haha. Looking forward to seeing your thoughts (and purchases) at the end of the season!

    • Jamie-Lee February 9, 2015 / 7:18 pm

      Yeah.. I think I’m going to be a little liberal with what is a “basic” but hey, it’s still early days yet!

  3. steph / absolutelyfuzzy February 9, 2015 / 5:22 pm

    I just received my MG bucket last week, a black/ballerina mini. Which one did you get? Good luck with the 5PFW – I could never do this!

    • Jamie-Lee February 9, 2015 / 7:19 pm

      I won’t be getting mine until next month (cannot believe how long I’ve had to wait!) but I ordered the normal black/ballerina. Twinnies!

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