School has been in session for a week here, and I bought the first item* for my winter wardrobe at NAS, so I'm ready to start planning in earnest for my fall/winter 2017 wardrobe. This post is mostly for my own gratification, but maybe the insight into my process will help others, or your thoughts and advice will help with my process in the future.

For the past few years, I've been shopping with a modified version of the (neither five piece nor French) "5-Piece French Wardrobe" system. For those not familiar, each season (spring/summer and fall/winter) I plan to purchase up to five pieces that are either wardrobe statements or over a certain price threshold. At the same time, I replace any less expensive items on my essentials list as necessary. This season, my price threshold for essentials that aren't part of the five is $125.

Here's what I bought last year. My list so far this year (items already bought in bold):


  1. EF cashmere long cardigan
  2. silk and lace cami - I layer black tanks under sweaters regularly in the winter and would like to add a little feminine lace to my collection of black layering pieces
  3. black Chuck Taylors - I have enjoyed my cognac leather Chucks this summer--they're already at 40 wears--but I miss having plain black ones in my closet.
  4. wool slouchy pants - I would like some slouchy wool trousers. These may be over the $ limit for the quality I'd prefer, so that might require some rejiggering of priorities or sale shopping to get them or one of the other upgraded essentials below the limit.

Five statement pieces (or essentials over $125):

  1. EF asymmetrical pullover - I've had an oversize sweater on my list for a few years, so I'm happy to have this unique one cued up and ready after NAS.
  2. snow boots (upgraded essential) - going to try the Sorel ones in the Finds
  3. cognac booties (upgraded essential) - These were on my list last year, and I never got any. I like the Bed Stu ones in the Finds, but haven't tried them on yet.
  4. a winter floral - I am picky about fabrics and still haven't found the elusive combination of a floral I like in a fabric that I enjoy wearing, so I'm looking
  5. a December luxury - I always have some extra money and some extra stress in December and I love the rich, holiday items (velvet! embroidery!) that come into stores at this time, so I'm leaving a slot open to spoil myself when that inevitable temptation comes around.

This list, of course, is subject to change, as we enter the season, but it's a starting point to focus my shopping. Has anyone else started thinking about fall and winter yet?

*Yes, I also purchased a trench coat at NAS, but I hadn't hit my full complement of spring/summer purchases yet, so I counted that as part of my spring five.