My Wardrobe



 
Two thrifted coats- one winter, one year-round.

    
Two year-round and two summer dresses; two thrifted, two purchased new.

 
Two bottoms, secondhand.

 
Three sweaters and two linen t-shirts, secondhand. Update: I sold the sweaters.

  
 
Five pairs of shoes

  
Accessories: One purse (thrifted), one pair of sunglasses, one wedding ring and watch. I have one pair thrifted gloves. My hair is my scarf.

  

I'm not one for selfies, but this is typically what I wear everyday. People see me in a coat a lot, so it makes sense to wear nice ones. See the Michelin Man in the last photo? It's the warmest thing I've ever worn, like snuggling the center of a roasted marshmallow.

I have one pair of leggings for under clothing- I was the first one in my middle school to wear them with skirts à la Claudia Kishi, and two girls in health class made fun of me. A year later, they weren't friends anymore and were wearing leggings with skirts like everybody else. But I was over it and on to wrap dresses or something. 

This isn't a capsule wardrobe (I hate that term). These are all the clothes I own. Nothing is in storage. I didn't mean to keep my closet small or 'curated,' but I keep only what I wear, and shop only when I need something. I don't feel hampered or constrained- I'm 25, live in a city with four seasons, travel to tropical and freezing climates, work, socialize with friends, volunteer, and attend formal events. Counting pajamas, intimates, socks, and exercise clothes, I have 40 items.

I'm sick of shopping and curious to see how long I can wear just the clothes I have now. It's more than plenty, and I revel in the private joy of infinitesimal cost per wear. To see my current spring wardrobe, click here.

Sources

Watch, ringdress sunglasses / pump / shirtdress / platforms / sneakers /  skirt / Coats, similar here and here / t-shirts / boots heels / bag jeans / Sweaters, similar here and here

Paris to Go

29 comments:

  1. Ahaha the legging part -so true, I had the same thing happen to me at my school.

    Oh and I admire how you can manage to avoid shopping - there's something very luxurious about owning so little and making it work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for this post - I have been wanting to take stock of my wardrobe for a while, and this is encouraging me to do it (such a mess).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure it's not! It's just become such a habit for me. Plus when you move or travel it makes things easier. Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  3. That celine cashmere coat is gorgeous! Love this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I've been visiting home and testing the coat against a Northeastern US winter. It's more practical than I thought it would be!

      Delete
  4. This is so inspiring. I love your outlook and approach.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your blog! The wardrobe editing chart was especially helpful to me. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  5. I am so in awe of your lifestyle I love your wardrobe so elegant and simple . it would be wonderful to limit shopping how long does it take you to find your perfect clothing choices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! It doesn't take long to find clothes- getting rid of clothes takes the most time. I've acquired these pieces over several years but there have always "perfect" items depending on what my shape or mood was at the time. Whittling away the unflattering pieces took the better part of two years and it's an ongoing process- I still end up with stuff that doesn't fit or doesn't look good, whether from ill-conceived thrift store purchases or donations from well meaning friends.

      Delete
  6. I wish you could sort my wardrobe out and impulse buys, I just don't know where to start, I get confused with clothes and just cant seem to streamline them, what is your secret Arianna? your wardrobe is beautiful

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I can try to help if you want :) What triggers the impulse buys? One reason I avoid disorganized, cluttered retail environments (which is almost every thrift store in Paris, and every American chain store in the mall) is because I can't think clearly in the chaos and end up buying things I wouldn't otherwise.

      Another trigger for impulse buying is loving shopping. I guess that's my big secret- I hate shopping! I wasn't always this way, but having a definite plan in mind for my wardrobe and failing to find the pieces that fit with that plan really turned me off to traditional retail. Once I got out of the habit of shopping (and stopped going to the mall, stopped browsing online retailers), the experience didn't appeal to me anymore.

      Delete
  7. thank you Ariana I am taking your advice on board, I feel I use shopping as a pastime always thinking there is something better outhere. I am going on a shopping abstinence in 2015,and reading your blog for inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jo, that is awesome! I want to hear how the shopping fast goes. I'll do it with you (except for the espadrilles later- I want to find a nice used pair). Keep me posted :)

      Delete
  8. what type of bag do you use Ariana? would you choose leather or a man made material, I am in the process of replacing ,and would welcome your advice. many thamks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My bag is a secondhand Longchamp. I bought it at a thrift store with the tags still on. If you're walking around Paris all day without a car, anything else is too heavy. It holds my shopping, looks professional, folds up into a little pouch, and doubled as an umbrella once when I was caught in an unexpected storm :)

      It seems weird but I would choose a good quality leather. It lasts longer than synthetics and, depending on the leather, is compostable and less likely to contain pthalates, petrochemicals, plastics, etc. This article (the comments are helpful too) might be interesting to you: http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/01/fake-leather-really-more-eco-friendly-real

      If you want something new, you'll have to do research into the production process and how the leather is sourced. Since I bought secondhand, I didn't care that it was nylon and leather. I was just happy it wouldn't hurt my shoulder after toting it from the Eiffel Tower to Saint Michel daily!

      If I had a car and place to put my bag down every day, I would choose a bag made entirely from compostable materials.

      Delete
  9. do you manage with one bag Ariana,does it take you from day to nights out and special occasions,how long do you expect your bag to last,and do you get fed up with using the same bag,this would be such helpful advice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I wear it day to night- Paris is more casual when going out at night- and even wore it to Le Meurice, Le Cinq Codet and Cercle interalliée without anybody judging me :)

      For most special occasions, I don't wear a bag at all, because I read a book once- Elegance by Madame Genevieve Antoine Dariaux- that advises against it. French (and even to some extent, British) society seems to still abide by that old rule of not carrying a handbag for formal affairs. I have pockets in my dresses and coats for things I absolutely need, and my husband puts my gloves in his pockets anyway.

      I'm not sick of it yet- it's two years old and I use it everyday but it still looks new, I think. It's very stain resistant. People say Longchamp bags last years and many of my friends carry bags their moms passed on to them. Maybe if I didn't live here, I would feel self conscious about the bag but literally every Parisian has one. Longchamp fixes and repairs bags so if it does fray, I'll take it in.

      I don't read fashion magazines or websites anymore, and that goes a long way to not being sick of my stuff.

      Hope this helps Anne! Bisous

      Delete
  10. Ariana could you write a post on how you stick to your clothing rules and how you avoid excess, and how you use your time other than shopping, you are an incredible inspiration on how to lead a sustainable lifestyle, many thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, sorry for the late reply! Look for the post coming up in the next two weeks... I'm on an extended visit with family and have less than half my wardrobe with me. I'll write it when I get back to Paris and take new pictures! Thanks for the great idea!

      Delete
  11. Hi Ariana,

    All I can say is wow! I just stumbled across your blog today. I found it through the Tiny Closet Challenge series that featured a blog post about your 20 item secondhand wardrobe and I'm so happy to have found your blog.

    I've been lightly practicing Project 333 for over a year now and have just seriously starting blogging about my own capsule wardrobe. I say lightly following because I haven't been including accessories, shoes, or outerwear in my capsules until now - I've included shoes and outerwear in my current capsule.

    I'm pretty sure I'm not ready to approach my wardrobe like you and only wear/own a single capsule, but cutting my capsules down to a smaller size has really been on my mind lately and you have truly inspired me to make the change to an even smaller wardrobe.

    I also so admire that you've built your entire capsule with secondhand clothing. A large amount of my capsule wardrobe was purchased secondhand as well. I struggle as a consumer as I truly feel that the best path to dressing sustainably is to wear secondhand clothing. I struggle because I'm still somewhat attached to the allure of purchasing something new. Continuing to work on that...

    To second Jo above, you are an incredible inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jodie! I read your blog and it's great what you're doing! Thank you for the kind words. Secondhand clothing really assuages some of the guilt I have about wearing certain fabrics- it drastically simplifies the research I had to do when searching for ethical clothes. I still have the urge to buy new for other things though- like my cats, for instance. Thank you for reading and I look forward to reading about your capsule wardrobes in the future!

      Delete
  12. Hello Ariana,
    I came across your blog when searching for information about keeping a zero waste home. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through your archives, especially the wardrobe and kitchen posts. There is something so helpful and inspiring about seeing all the nitty gritty details of your living space and wardrobe. Needless to say I have so many new ideas/information to implement in my closet and beyond. Thank you for that! On a side note I've been looking at used Longchamps because of their lightweight construction. After reading about your satisfaction with the tote, I think I'm ready to take the plunge. Could you tell me which size you own? I'm having a hard time decided between a large and a medium. Oh and so many colors...lol. I have a hard time making decisions...especially when it will be my only purse!

    Thanks again Ariana!

    Sincerely,
    Diana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Diana! I'm blown away by how nice you are, thank you so much :) I have the medium Pliage. It's still large enough for my laptop, books, iPad, and groceries. A few of my friends' moms told me they used it as a diaper bag- there's nothing lighter. What colors do you wear most often? I actually chose the color on an impulse and was pleasantly surprised by how well it coordinates with everything...

      Delete
    2. Oops, I was just told I have the small, not the medium. Sorry!

      Delete
  13. Your shoes make me laugh. I could never ever survive with those. I was thinking "where are her BASIC shoes?" (well, your boots look basic enough). Funny how we all are so different.

    LOVE your dresses!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Hannah! I agree- everybody's lifestyle is different and everybody has their own unique list of basics. I consider my basic shoes the sneakers and the ones with the bows, but I wear the latter more often (for work, social occasions, volunteering). I actually only wear the boots when it's really cold or wet out. When I was in college, my shoes were so different, and I never had to wear heels to work!

      Delete
  14. It's actually very intriguing dispatched remarks. All the comments are very cooperative and very good. Thanks for circulating.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Just discovered you.I buy second hand clothes most of the time.Do not mind, love the hunt:) question is..do you organise thrift store shoping tours also? I think it would be fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Adidia! I love the hunt too. My husband wants me to give shopping tours :) If there is enough interest I'd love to do them, I take my friends to all the shops and they usually love it but sometimes they don't, it depends on the person... I'm afraid people won't always like the thrift stores or won't find something!

      Delete