It has been said that the reason many of us struggle to get dressed in the morning is that we have too many trend pieces, and we lack the basics. This was incredibly true of my closet before I started being more thoughtful about what I purchase.
Every morning I would stand in front of my clothing rack and say – “I have nothing to wear.” But I had a ton of clothes. Unfortunately, those pieces lacked a defined style or color palette, and were just a mish-mash of whatever was in J.Crew (or similar stores) at the moment.
I confused being trend-conscious with actually having style.
I could get dressed in my own clothes and not even look or feel like myself. I would buy whatever was cute or trendy in the moment without thinking about if it was something that really expressed my personality.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more comfortable with myself, and as a result, have become more aware of the types of clothing I feel most comfortable in and what works best for my lifestyle.
For example, while I love when other people wear bold patterns and bright colors, they seem to overwhelm my frame and just don’t look all that good on me.
As I mentioned a few posts back, I’ve been reading The Curated Closet and of course, follow along with a lot of style blogs.
One thing that essentially all of the resources have in common, when it comes to having more thoughtful closet, is to formulate a style statement which sums up, as best as possible, your personal style.
When I look at the types of clothing I gravitate toward, what looks best on me, and what I hope to achieve with my closet moving forward, my style statement is “Casual French minimalism.” It sounds sort of weird when you say it out loud – ha! – but I definitely gravitate toward stripes, black shift dresses, high-waisted pants and other “classic” silhouettes, and neutral colors – as well as minimal makeup and accessories. I may not always be able to apply all three of those words to an outfit I wear, but when I look at the collective whole of my closet, that is the vibe. I also checked this statement with a Parisian friend of mine, who validated this closet definition. 🙂
I like having a filter through which I can assess if a potential item fits into my closet before making a purchase.
With all that in mind, I wanted to round up my 10 “casual french minimalism” closet basics for you and share my favorites of each type of item!
White button downs: I swear by this shirt. It isn’t from an ethical brand but it is honestly the perfect white button down. I wore my first one practically to pieces and am on my second one. I find the material to be the most breathable of any white button down I’ve tried, which is important.
Cardigans: For a heavy cardigan, I love this one. I’m still looking for the perfect lightweight cardigan to replace my Zara one (it has a few holes but is still wearable for now). Any suggestions?
Black leggings: These are my go-to. They are pretty faded now, but they still work. I also love my Free Label cutout leggings, but I tend to wear them more on the weekends than for work (just because I’m always afraid if I move the wrong way the cutouts will show). Also, how cool is it that I can wear leggings to work?
Medium wash jeans: I have an older Ref pair similar to these. I love a high-waist, and I think a wash like this can be dressed up or down. I’m not someone who thinks evenings out necessarily call for dark denim.
Trench coats: I have a Burberry trench that I was gifted several years ago (!!!). I tried to round up an ethical trench here but couldn’t find one – any suggestions? Secondhand could also be the way to go here.
Carry-all totes: I love my Cuyana (for spring/summer) and Sezane (for fall/winter) totes. The Sezane one is sadly not currently available.
Do you have a style statement? What is it?