I said last year that I was going to try the 5-Piece French Wardrobe thing that shedev has been doing. You know, the one that's neither French nor five pieces? It's a fairly sensible wardrobe building plan where you refresh your wardrobe with 5 statement pieces (or pricier than average essentials) a season, whilst maintaining a selection of reasonable building blocks to complement them.

This summer, I added these six "statements" (yeah, I was over by one):

  1. straw tassel bag
  2. plaid dress
  3. leather sandals
  4. straw hat
  5. silk kimono
  6. striped split-sleeve sweater*

Most of these were fairly inexpensive (unlike my fall choices, so far), with the sandals being the only item over what I set as my limit for essentials that aren't part of the five. I put all six of these in Finds.

I do feel like I cheated the system a bit by buying a lot of less expensive essentials (or what 5PF calls 'basics') and gear. I'm probably using creative math to count some of the following in that category, but these things are all building blocks, and I was sorely lacking that sort of thing in my summer wardrobe.

  1. black skinnies
  2. blue bf crops
  3. olive joggers
  4. black sleeveless top
  5. cream sleeveless top*
  6. striped long-sleeve tee
  7. graphic tee
  8. sneakers
  9. swimsuit (gear)
  10. swim coverup (sure, let's call it gear)
  11. black midi skirt
  12. black maxi dress
  13. layering tanks x4

The only two purchases I'd consider mistakes were the items marked with a *, both tops, and both for quality reasons. Each was in the $20-30 range and is looking worn after fewer than 10 wears.

This represents everything I bought from March-August, and it feels like a lot of buying, still, but I think each season where I add quality essentials, it'll mean I need fewer fast fashion fillers to get me through. I can't afford to upgrade my wardrobe all at once, but I'm learning my lessons about longevity and careful choices.