NYU Paris: Making the Most of a Minimal Wardrobe, à la Française!

In case you haven’t heard, minimalism is all the rage, especially when it comes to your closet. While the idea of restraining yourself from running into every Zara sale might seem daunting, a capsule wardrobe isn’t impossible to achieve; after all, the French woman has famously been doing it for decades! 

If you were to Google “five piece French wardrobe” or “capsule closet” you would instantly be bombarded with tens of thousands of links telling you everything you’re doing wrong in attempting to minimize your wardrobe. However, each link will tell you something completely different! Hopefully, I can make some sense of things for you:

The traditional rules for the true five-piece French wardrobe dictate that per season you may have no more than five statement pieces. However, these five key garments can accompany a slew of basics such as the classic white t-shirt or the little black dress. Alternatively, the capsule closet takes into account the whole wardrobe, allowing for twelve to thirty-three pieces. 

The key to any minimalist closet is curation as to avoid the “I have nothing to wear!” dilemma that so frequently plagues even those with the most maximal assortment of attire. Rather than thinking of your wardrobe as a disarray of pieces, think of it as a whole collection. It’s easy to find yourself bored with your clothes when nothing is compatible, so start by selecting items based on how well they pair together. 

Creating outfits is a guaranteed way to keep yourself from falling into a fashion rut. If you find yourself channeling your inner Camille Rowe and relying a bit too much on T-shirts and blue jeans, accessorizing is a surefire approach to sprucing things up. Add a silk scarf, sunglasses or a colorful bag and voilà: classic chic.

Minimizing your clothing consumption and simultaneously maintaining your stylish allure may be overwhelming, but as the French woman proves time and time again, it is totally possible! 


Written by: Corinne Worthington

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