9.24.2009

Wardrobe- Comme les Français Part Deux


I recently did a post on Wardrobe- Comme les Francais- where I discuss the merits of having a minimalistic closet- not filled to the brim with unrelated pieces, but sleek and coherent. I had so many interesting comments and loved reading about what your closets look like and how you curb (or don’t curb) the filling of your wardrobes.

Below I have listed my all time classic must haves for a chic, minimalistic wardrobe. I have thought about these items and figure that I could probably live with only these and get away with having a little space left in my closet for special additions every now and then.

Voila my list:

- Classic trench coat (Mine, pictured above, is by A.P.C.)

- One pair of great fitting dark denim jeans

- One pair of black skinny jeans

- 3 or 4 classic Tees in white, grey or black, (maybe striped). I like Michael Stars, Vince and James Perse.

- One great blazer (I have a confession to make. I am addicted to blazers and am loath to admit how many I actually have. I felt justified in this addiction, however, when I saw Tim Gunn say on cnn.com that his number one essential item for men and women is a good blazer. Phew!)

- Polos in white, navy and black (I love Lacoste and J. Crew)

- 3 or 4 dresses- with at least one LBD, at least one cocktail dress (I feel you can never have too many of those).

- A great black skirt (A-line for me… J. Crew has a great one right now- wool, a-line and shirred).

- Silk blouses (I feel you can never have too many of these too and they don’t take up too much space. I love ones by Diane von Furstenberg and Nanette Lepore).

- 2 good cashmere sweaters (I love Vince for cashmere).

- A good winter coat (I have one in a dark plaid by BCBG that I love but am looking for the perfect black coat… must be tailored and not be bulky- haven’t found it yet).

- High quality heels (Ferragamo are the most comfy), ballet flats (London Sole) and boots.

- Two good day handbags (although right now I only am using one- a black leather satchel by Monserrat de Lucca).

- A clutch for evening

- Black pashmina

There you have my list of essential items. I have been building this essentials wardrobe for the past eight years- saving up and buying the highest quality I can afford. When I don't waste my hard earned dollars on lesser quality items and really save up the results pay off- I find the high quality items are beautiful and last much longer.

Also as far as space goes, note that almost half of the things on this list do not require valuable hanging space in your closet (sweaters, jeans and tees can be folded) hopefully leaving room for lots of unexpected wardrobe additions.

I would love to know… what are your essentials?


Websites: www.apc.fr, www.lacoste.com, www.jcrew.com, www.dvf.com, www.bcbg.com, www.londonsole.com, www.vince.com, www.jamesperse.com

20 comments:

Michael Rivers said...

I'm always amazed at people who can do the minimalist wardrobe. I don't do so well with this.

Is it harder for a guy? For example, can we mix and match dress clothes as easily? For me, dress pants are always black and grey. And I like having about 3 weeks worth of dress shirts (Monday thru Friday). That way it doesn't seem like I'm always wearing the same thing.

Casual clothes I tend to buy a lot of t-shirts but very few jeans (2 pair right now) and shorts (maybe 4 pair right now).

Maybe I'm not doing too bad?

Rebecca said...

Great list. I would only add a tailored, crisp white shirt.

I would love to have your wardrobe though! ;)

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Michael- That is a good question... In some ways I believe that it is harder for a guy because you have to have so many shirts (not very minimalistic) but then again you don't have to worry about as many articles of clothing that we do (dresses, skirts, rompers etc.) It sounds like you have a very well-though out wardrobe... Not too bad indeed! :)

Rebecca- A crisp white shirt is an absolute must. You are right- a total essential! I've been building this wardrobe over the past 8 or so years- trying to be the best I can afford (and saving up for certain things... a Dian von Furstenberg blouse for example) and trying not to buy too many "less quality" items. I think anyone can have a wardrobe like this if they save, plan and shop strategically...

The Daily Connoisseur said...

And now for my inevitable corrections...

Michael- you have a well thought out wardrobe (not well though)

and

Rebecca- I have been trying to buy the best I can afford (not be the best I can afford).

One of these days I'll learn to proofread my comments before posting! ;)

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

I'm loving these posts!

Linda H said...

Seriously, 5 bags to consignment and 4 bags to Goodwill. thanks for the inspiration to clean it out. I agree with you list of essential but you forgot great white tee shirt (unless I missed it). I will suggest 100% cashmere black coat. Mine is 10 years old and looks brand new, it was very expensive and is worth every dime!

Rose said...

great essentials. I think a trench coat is number one for me. A good winter coat- perhaps in an interesting colour actually- is also essential (the colour can be wild because the coat normally covers what else you are wearing!). Good flats definitely. Plain essential dresses, tops and jeans and then a couple of amazing bits of costume jewellery or scarves to transform outfits.

I would love to be a minimalist but I'm not- I try though- and will keep trying.

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Jennifer, I would love you to come and make over my wardrobe! My essentials are flats, great summery sandals, a LBD, interesting bags and vintage style skirts. I only have one pair of jeans:) People are always shocked when I wear them. Enjoy your weekend. xx

ScentScelf said...

groan I've been searching for a good replacement for my trench coat for a few years now. I'm holding out for Just Right, because apparently at times I can be a Goldilocks. :)

Rebecca already covered the crisp white shirt...that's one thing I'll try to get one of a year, because they are in heavy rotation, and worth

Skinny jeans are a no-can-do for me. Substitute versatile black [boot cut jeans/slacks/yoga pants] for me. Skinny anything are a no-no, actually...no pencil skirts.

Your polos are probably my turtlenecks & lightweight boatneck or v-neck sweaters. I can't do a collar with a knit, no idea why. And I get cool or cold weather a lot of the year around here.

I am all over an awesome pair of boots. I only keep the heels because I have to. (Now you know more about me.)

What with the music in my life, and lots of black going on anyway (sweaters, blouses), my pashmina would probably be colorful. But yes, a good wrap.

I usually don't play fashion games...thanks for the fun!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Thanks Tessa!

Linda- you are so right with the classic white tee. I have it listed as the fourth item but lumped in with grey, black and striped tees (I do live in L.A. after all- land of the hip t- shirt) I would love to get a 100% cashmere black coat... oh I can dream! But I might be saving up for that one for a while... the ones I want in wool already cost an arm and a leg! You are really lucky to have one...

Rose- I have debated between needing a black winter coat or a colorful one. On one hand a black winter coat can be very chic (and practical) but it's not a fun idea to get lost in the sea of black coats- which is why a red one would be fun. I guess I am compromising by looking for a black winter coat with "detail"- a dramatic collar or ruffles or something!

Josephine- I would love to see your wardrobe! I love peeking in other people's closets ;) I LOVE that you rarely wear jeans. I have always aspired to be like that- that's why I love Lady Gaga so much even though her fashion is outrageous- she is never in jeans! But alas, living in L.A. it's almost blasphemous if you do not wear jeans at least twice a week :)

Scentscelf- I am like Goldilocks too when it comes to coats! I was looking for my trench coat forever and oddly enough I ordered mine online from A.P.C. It's extremely high quality and I love it but I think I'm going to take it to the tailor because it's a little bulky on me. Sometimes I feel like Macgyver when I wear it! I love reading your essential list. Even though we change and tweak slight things for our own needs it's fun to see that most of our lists are fundamentally the same xo

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Hmmm. I'll take a crack at a starting wardrobe.

One navy suit.
One grey suit.
One dinner jacket.
One dozen shirts, assorted. At least one white, spread collar, French (double) cuffs. At least one pink buttondown.
One formal, soft turndown collar.
1/2 dozen ties in classic patterns. At least one knit. At least one bowtie with spots. One black formal bowtie.
Cummerbund. Black. One.
One great scarf.
One topcoat. Either camelhair or black cashmere.
Three pairs of shoes: Black captoe or plain toe Oxford. One brown punched captoe (may be suede.) One loafer/slip on.
One pair of foul weather shoes or boots.
Two cashmere sweaters. One lightweight. One two-ply. Grey and black.
One navy blazer.
One pair of grey flannel trousers.
One pair of white linen trousers.
One pair brown or olive corduroy trousers. 8 wale?
Four polo shirts. White, one black, two in colours.
One crocodile/alligator belt in brown.
One black belt.
One pair Thurston's braces.
One Barbour Jacket.
One pair perfect khakis or jeans.
One pair of chinos/lightweight khakis. Plain front.
One pair white shorts. Cotton chino, plain front.
One non-elastic band swimsuit. 6-9" inseam.
One pair running shorts.
Two pair technical fabric running shirts.
One pair running shoes
Three pair athletic socks.
A dozen pair of socks. One black, merino formal. All over the calf.
One pair pyjamas.
One bathrobe/dressing gown.
One hat.
One umbrella.
One pair of leather gloves to match hat colour and topcoat.
But my wardrobe gives the lie to that (dozen suits, fifteen sportcoats, 300 ties, 50 pair shoes, three topcoats, three overcoats, two raincoats, four dinner jackets a number of casual jackets, sweaters and hats and scarves, etc. I've been at it for awhile.)

Easy and Elegant Life said...

I've added you to my blogroll. Keep fighting the good fight!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Easy and Elegant- Hallelujah for good taste! Reading your list brought the biggest smile to my face. Minimalistic? Non. Necessary? Oui! I am very impressed by sharp dressers and it is clear that you exude style from your pores...

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Also Easy and Elegant- we clearly subscribe to the notion that one can NEVER have too many cocktail dresses or top hats :)

BigLittleWolf said...

Essentials? Christian Louboutin ! (in my dreams...)

A well-fitted pencil skirt (grey or black), black hose, several pair of dark boots and stilettos, crisp white blouse that you can... mmm... unbutton as needed. Cinched belt, light jacket.

Personally, I love silver art jewelry (modern), or classic pearls.

A touch of Chanel, and red.

New to your blog. Génial !

La Belette Rouge said...

Fantastic list. I am always looking for a trench and have yet to find the *one*. I have most items on your list. I don't have many silk blouses and I could use a few more great LBDs. I happen to like merino sweaters better than cashmere( I know, I'm weird;-). I think they hold there shape better. And I have never tried Ferrigomos heels. I am all for a comfortable high heel. Great post!

Easy and Elegant Life said...

TDC (how odd, my father's initials...) you are too kind. And frighteningly, that is my minimum. When Mrs. E. and I decamped for the South of France, we had nine suitcases. Two were hers.... A year later I we came back with a few more....

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Big Little Wolf- I like the way you think! I *wish* Christian Louboutin was an essential. I think it would be an admirable goal to make his shoes essentials in my wardrobe one day! I checked out your website and it is really fabulous. Thank you for commenting and what a joy to find you!

Belette Rouge- Thank you! Good luck on finding the *one* (trench coat, that is). Like I said- I love mine by A.P.C.- it's really high quality and isn't as expensive as Burberry (which I would like to have one day). A.P.C. does one every season - they have a shop in West Hollywood!

Easy and Elegant- It's a good thing we're not married- you might persuade me to give up my minimalistic wardrobe and go crazy on clothes! Although I must say your wife is very lucky to be married to someone that appreciates the art of dressing :)

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Mrs. E. thinks I'm nuts...

casual jackets said...

Very interesting read. My wardrobe consists of just a few shirt, casual jackets and 1 pair of jeans. No quite on your level :)

 
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