I apologize for the long break between posts this time- I’ve been focused on trying to make some big changes in my life : ) Thanks for continuing to read. I knew that as soon as I could write another post I wanted to focus on one of my new favorite fashion and lifestyle books. I seriously think every woman (but especially those who are trying to refine or refocus their personal style) should read this. The book is Lessons from Madame Chic by Jennifer Scott. My mom actually gave me a copy of this book and if you’ve had a chance to read it already I’m sure you can agree it’s a great read. Jennifer completely changed the way I thought about my own wardrobe.
My experience with the french lifestyle doesn’t go beyond a few years of college french but I admire all things french-chic. Jennifer (who’s now a stay at home mom and writer in California) gives an entertaining account of studying abroad in Paris, and the fashion and lifestyle tips she gained from her hosts. One of the biggest fashion lessons she learned was to downsize her wardrobe considerably, and only keep a few high-quality pieces each season. She calls it her 10 item wardrobe. If your closet is currently stuffed to the brim 10 items might sound impossible but less really is more in this case. As crazy as it might sound, a small capsule wardrobe consisting of nothing but nice, interchangeable items each season can actually inspire you to make better fashion choices. I tried it and it’s been great so far. You don’t have to stick to exactly 10 but a few nice blouses, pants, jeans, and a couple of dresses and skirts are all you need hanging in your closet to be a chic fashionista. Here are videos of Jennifer’s 10 item wardrobes for fall and spring. She makes it easier by counting items that you might need more of (like t-shirts, jackets, shoes, and special occasion wear) as extras that are not included in the capsule wardrobe.
The key to really accomplishing this is thinking about quality and fit. Is it a well made item that will last? Is it flattering? Does it fit into your wardrobe and work with other pieces? Because I’m in my mid twenties now I feel past the age that I can walk into Forever 21 and build a wardrobe with trendy items. Too many trends don’t work with my lifestyle anymore, and I just don’t have the time to stand in my closet thinking about how to work with a bunch of mismatched pieces. A classic capsule wardrobe works really well for me. I keep things fun and switch it up with my accessories- statement necklaces (I’m on the hunt for more of those), my favorite leather jacket, wayfarer sunglasses, scarves etc. And even though you might spend more money on a nice classic piece than a trendy piece, over time you’re spending much less money because you won’t feel the constant need to shop.
I’ve cleaned out my closet many times in the past, but after reading Lessons from Madame Chic I really downsized for the first time. I thought to myself if I had to present my entire wardrobe to an audience which items would I be proud of? Which items would I have to make excuses for? Then I got rid of everything that didn’t work with other pieces or that I didn’t feel was worthy of my capsule wardrobe. There are still some things I want to buy, but I know exactly what I need and don’t need and I’m happier with my wardrobe now than I’ve ever been. In the morning I don’t have to think hard about what to wear, I know exactly what my options are and I know they’ll be flattering on me. There’s so much freedom in that.
Until Next Post,
P.S.- Check out Jennifer’s Blog- The Daily Connoisseur here.
P.P.S.- Here are some things to look out for coming up soon- a post on the specific items in my capsule wardrobe, posts on the women from Suits (I believe it comes back on in just a few days!) and a new reader giveaway.