Functional wardrobe & Shopping tips
Photo of my Parisian closet made by my friend Morgan Schemel for Apartment Therapy
Here a little personal post about what's in my closet and how I decide what to buy.
I've always loved arranging my clothes by colours and seasons but moving to London helped my going toward a more basic and functional wardrobe that I really love (plus, are there real seasons here anyway lol ?).
Living in a big city with irregular incomes and no job security leaded me toward a simpler and well-curated life. I have always been interested by the minimalist movement and I realised that living with less helps me to be focused on the important things.
Now that we are slowly transitioning from winter to spring, I would love to share with you what’s in my closet and the rules I try to follow when I go shopping outside of work (it actually doesn’t happen very often !)
I don’t do impulsive shopping anymore and I always try to answer these questions before buying anything :
Does it fit well ?
I don’t really want to spend much time / money on alterations especially if the garment is cheap. I don’t want to feel pressured to lose weight or wear high-heels so the most important rule is to not buy anything that doesn't make me feel good about my body.
Is it comfortable ?
I want to be able to spend +12 hours in the same pair of trousers without feeling uncomfortable (I ditched all my wired bras a while ago too). I also want to be able to wear all my clothes even when I’m bloated or tired.
What is it made of ?
Each fabric has its own characteristics and functions. I don’t buy acrylic or cotton sweaters in winter because I know they won’t be warm enough. I don’t buy polyester or synthetic tops because they won’t let my skin breathe properly. Everything I'm wearing has to feel soft and breathable.
Does it bring me joy ?
Does it make me happy to buy a garment made in China while I'm aware of the reality of the fast fashion industry ? Does it worth spending X amount of money for this instead of spending more time with the people I love doing what I like the most ? Do I need to reward myself for something and is it the best way to do it ?
Is it practical ?
I love collar shirts but I mostly buy knitted tops because I don’t like spending time ironing at home (ironic, right ?). I try to buy basic easy-care t-shirts and underwear because I want to be able to ditch them in the laundry every night without worrying much.
I don’t like being self-conscious of how I move because of the clothes I wear so I think it’s important to consider the practicality of what I’m wearing.
Does it fit in my wardrobe ?
There are certain colours I would never wear (red for example) and some shape that doesn't suit me. For my wardrobe to be functional, I need to be able to pair most of my tops with most of my bottoms.
Do I need this ?
Probably not, but it’s ok to buy things you don’t need sometimes as long as you know it.
What does it express about me ?
Does this make me look younger, older, professional, active, loud, too french ? (Hello sexism ! Do men think about that when they get dressed in the morning ?)
Without being over self-conscious about what I’m wearing, I try not to wear stuffs that would make me look younger or unflexible (when I was an assistant, I would have had remarks if I was not wearing comfortable and flexible clothes on set so I kept this habit). I try to avoid clichés so I’m also conscious about not looking too french (definitely avoid wearing marinière here). I like plain clothes and mid-tones colours so it's softer to the eyes.
Is it versatile ?
I prefer to buy basics or classic clothes because they would not age as fast as the last trend. I avoid logos, strong patterns and any kind of slogan on my clothes (hard for trainers though).
So are you ready to have a look inside my closet ?
(If you want to know the brand and the year, click on the image.)
My winter wardrobe is all about functionality and comfort. It's almost like an uniform now cause I always wear knitted jumpers on top of black Uniqlo heattech shirts.
FALL / SPRING
This is a bit variable as I would also wear some of my winter sweaters if it's cold or summer tops if it's late spring (since I've been living in London I always keep my winter wardrobe reachable...)
I guess I feel more liberated during summer so I wear lots of patterned flowy dresses and not as much black as in winter/mid-season.
So that's almost all for my closet!
I didn't take pictures of :
- the black jeans I'm wearing now
- basics black/white t-shirts and tank tops (heattech from Uniqlo or American Vintage)
- the same pair of black Uniqlo trousers (I have it in triple)
- tights (2 pairs of black Heist) and socks (I love socks but I try to minimize)
- my gym clothes (2 leggings, 3 tops, socks, trainers)
- loungwear (basic leggings, shorts and a cashmere robe)
- my wedding dresses (x2) + shoes
- 1 long black dress for special occasions and a shiny pleated playsuit
- snow boots
- jewels (I wear my Apple watch and wedding ring everyday + sometimes earrings)
- bags (2 handbags Satchel, COS and 1 backpack Fjallraven)
- hats, sunglasses, gloves and a few scarves
- my costume kit of course ! (this is another story.........)
Hope this was useful to help you think about getting rid of clothes that drag your wardrobe down. It was fun to take pictures of all my things because it made me realise again that I have more than enough. The only thing that could be missing is another pair of black jeans cause the ones I'm wearing now are quite old and saggy (but I'm not a big fan of jeans anyway...).
Let me know if this was helpful in the comments below and also tell me about the questions you ask yourself when you go shopping !