10 Piece Spring Wardrobe



This spring, I didn't do much wardrobe editing. I used to stress about each upcoming season, worrying about the "must-have" pieces I needed to fill some imaginary wardrobe gap. Now, my closet is ready with a few quick and painless adjustments- no planning, no harried shopping trips. I sold two synthetic sweaters that made me look like a flight attendant, and added a secondhand red dress, trading my silk-wool sweater for a beige cardigan. Everything else is old and still beautiful to me.

10 Piece Spring Wardrobe

Tops

  1. Petit Bateau pink linen t-shirt
  2. Petit Bateau white linen t-shirt
  3. Beige cardigan

Bottoms

  1. J Brand jeans
  2. Wool skirt

Dresses

  1. Pink dress
  2. Dior dress
  3. Dior dress
  4. Shirtdress

Outerwear

  1. Trench coat

Accessories (not counted as part of total)

  1. Bag, Longchamp
  2. Watch
  3. Wedding ring
  4. Sunglasses
  5. Heels
  6. Pumps
  7. Sneakers
Weekday uniform: Dress and cardigan or skirt / t-shirt / cardigan
Weekend uniform: t-shirt / jeans
This isn't to say everyone should wear ten items per season. It's just an example of what I wear without feeling deprived or sacrificing my lifestyle. Don't take this as a guide for your next trip to Paris! Ninety-nine percent of Parisians will be wearing coats- nay, doudounes- boots, and scarves until mid-July. I included my raincoat here- a waterproof cotton mac with camo lining, which peeks out when I roll my sleeves- but haven't worn it much this spring. It's too hot. Where I come from, 40°F / 4.4°C is bikini weather.

Parisian style is about sharply tailored blazers, pants cropped just so, and layers, but I'm more comfortable in dresses, a cardigan, and little heels. Still, I never feel out of place. My outfits are almost always appropriate. The pieces are simple- their visual interest comes from color, texture and cut- so they don't detract from my work. They are versatile, so I enjoy variety in my wardrobe. I may not have many clothes (relatively speaking), but what I do have, I love more with every passing year.

Paris to Go

20 comments:

  1. Love your blog! Just wondering whether you have a preferred/favorite brand of t-shirt?

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    1. Hi Jane! I love your blog- I wish I was as talented as you! I read Claire Shaeffer's Couture Sewing Techniques and vowed to make my own clothes from then on... that never happened :(

      I don't have any preferred brands, these two happen to be Petit Bateau. I liked that they were made of linen and secondhand. They hold up really well!

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  2. Your blog quickly became my addiction and endless source of inspiration. I enjoy every single post :)
    You help me edit my closet big time, and re-think every single purchase. Thank you!

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    1. Hi Katarina! Wow, I'm so honored! Your photos are beautiful (especially the shoot with the me&m dress, amazing). Your work inspires me!

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  3. You have inspired me again!
    Elissa

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  4. I'm also trying linen t-shirts this year (Banana Republic has some nice ones, but don't pay full price. BR has so many sales you don't need to). My one gripe is the lack of plain V-neck cotton sweaters (please designers bring them back!). My old ones are wearing out, and I love to wear them with soft sheer floaty blouses underneath in the spring. I like your red dress, and your black skirt with the flirty detailing on the bottom (will look good with dressy heels). :-)
    - Patricia

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    1. Hi Patricia! Thank you! I have the worst time finding decent sweaters. Quality cardigans especially. We have one Banana Republic here, and it is so expensive! The Champs Elysees looks like an American mall now... Banana Republic, Abercrombie and Fitch, now a J Crew not so very far away...

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  5. As always very inspirational. Over the years I have decreased my wardrobe and fine tuned it. Being retired, I don't do dresses as much but have more jeans and tops. I bought a linen t shirt with lace detail that I already love even more than cotton.

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I love linen t-shirts. What a game changer. I think they are very feminine, especially with the lace detail, they must be beautiful.

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  6. Love your wardrobe! I have already pared down mine very significantly, from 2 closets stuffed full to 1 with room to spare. Funny enough, I didn't appreciate the simplicity and ease of a much smaller wardrobe until I was pregnant and too cheap to buy many maternity clothes. I now really enjoy having a few beautiful yet functional pieces that I can wear everywhere, even to a professional office, over closets full of cheap clothing. And love having more time to spend on other things besides deciding what to wear. Now that the baby has arrived, I am planning to cut even more. I'll look forward to using yours as inspiration. :)

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    1. Aw, congratulations! How exciting! I would love to hear about what you cut and how you decided, and what pieces you've chosen, being a mom and a professional. I find that very few 'minimalist' blogs are written by people who work in a professional setting, and the ones that do are from childless people like me. If you'd be willing to share your tips I'm sure many working parents would be eager to have them!

      As for maternity clothes, when my mom was pregnant with my brother 16 years ago I remember how pricey just a maternity t-shirt or pair of jeans was. She made just two suits, modified my dad's shirts, and wore a cape the whole time and still looked professional and pretty to meet clients, file briefings at the court, work in the office, etc. One of my friends is pregnant right now, and she always looks so elegant. Before, she wanted to streamline her closet, but didn't know how. Now pregnancy kind of forced her to do it- I was shocked to find out she only had three maternity dresses and one pair of maternity pants, she always looks amazing and so put-together. I never noticed! She wears two open jackets and stretchy tops over the dresses to add variety, brilliant.

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  7. When I was 35 and pregnant with my first child, I was like your friend and wore the same 3 outfits the entire 10 months. I think it really depends on how much your body changes during pregnancy. For me, I was all belly and the rest of my body remained the same. None of my maternity clothes were specifically for pregnancy. I had a great black mid-length dress that had a twist knot at the lower chest/upper abdominal area and I lived in that dress. It was a cotton jersey fabric so it was super comfortable and accommodated my growing belly very nicely. I did have one pair of maternity leggings that I wore in the fall under the dress. My other dress was an empire waist maxi dress that I still wore after the pregnancy. With so many styles out there now-a-days, it really isn't necessary to buy maternity specific clothing.

    Regarding a minimalist wardrobe for professional mother's, I read the blog Design for Mankind by a lovely woman named Erin. Here's the link to her wardrobe post.

    http://www.designformankind.com/2015/01/wardrobe-25/

    Love your blog Ariana and all the wonderful information you have about living a zero-waste life. My wardrobe is well on it's way to being like yours in terms of quantity. I currently have 75 items including shoes, bags and winter accessories but NOT undergarments and socks. I am a stay-at-home mom so I definitely can pare down further. If a working professional like you that lives in a cosmopolitan city like Paris can live on 40 items including undergarments, I can definitely live with much less than what I currently have. You are a great source of inspiration!

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    1. Hi Wendy, I LOVE this wardrobe, thanks for sharing. And thank you for everything else you said :) How funny, yesterday I was with my friend and she was wearing a dress exactly like what you describe. Knotted, and stretch jersey. She also corrected me, none of her dresses are maternity, they just come in at the chest and stretch enough to accommodate the baby. You are right, maternity specific isn't necessary anymore, which is great because maternity clothes are so expensive in Paris. Did you have a boy? When my mom had a boy it was just like she swallowed a basketball and was skinny everywhere else :) She said boys are good for your body and that me and my sister... well we were more difficult pregnancies haha.

      I was wondering though, do moms need more clothes than working professionals? Because I figure with chasing kids, caring for babies, doing craft projects and playing sports with them you would have to do more laundry than me maybe? And less time to do laundry. I would be interested in seeing how you pare down and what criteria you use to decide what stays. I do notice that my colleagues seem to wear the same outfits over and over again even when they have massive closets, I think because those are the clothes that work for meetings, speaking engagements, etc. and they know they look good in them and can commute easily in them.

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  8. What do you do with your other clothes? Isn't it wasteful to just leave perfectly good clothes unworn in storage, instead of getting the use out of them? You already paid for it.

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    1. Hi, my only other clothes are seasonal- my winter coat, one pair each boots and gloves, two summer dresses, high heel sandals, and a pair of leggings I wear under clothes in the winter. They're all in the closet waiting to be worn again. Because it's not that much, I don't mind them being there and they don't clutter my closet.

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  9. I loved this article. While it can sound hardcore the first seconds, I realized I probably wear 10/15 pieces as well, even if I still have more. Honestly I'm impressed by your clothes condition (I'm horrified by a jean I bought last year. Would it because of elastane?), and more by the fact that you're still true to your style, even years later.

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    1. Thank you so much Pauline! It means a lot that you say this :) I am in awe of how thoughtful and ethical you are with your clothes though. The things you've posted on Instagram are lovely.

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  10. I have the hardest time finding clothes because I am a plus size lady. Finding good quality clothing is very difficult. Any suggestions on how to build my minimal wardrobe!

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    1. Hello! What is your style? Like what sort of pieces are you looking for? And what is your lifestyle like- what occasions do you frequent the most? Sorry these questions are so personal. I think avoiding flimsy fabrics and sticking to more structured pieces is flattering for all bodies in general. I love fitted pieces that skim and hug curves, I think they're much nicer than baggy clothes! Also, I think avoiding empire waistlines is key. A nice neckline, something fitted at the smallest part of the waist, and something to show off your legs is important :) If you like dresses, a nice minimal wardrobe can be built with a few dresses, and then just a few pairs of jeans with fitted tops. All the jewel tones mix well together and look nice on everyone.

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