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The Five-Piece French Wardrobe, Explained

Have you heard of the 5-Piece French wardrobe

This is not just any wardrobe. It’s the secret to attaining that effortlessly chic Paris style we all swoon over. Plus, it’s the best way to build a capsule wardrobe that is both fun and functional, and helps you get the most out of every piece you purchase. 

Have you ever woken up in the morning, stared at a huge closet packed with clothes, and thought, “I’ve got nothing to wear?!”

Do you keep buying more stuff each season, and need a way to curb those bank-draining spending habits?

If you find yourself nodding your head, this French wardrobe philosophy might be a match made in heaven for you. 

Organized closet with Eifel tower on shelf

Don’t panic over the whole “five-piece” scenario. It’s not a wardrobe built of just five pieces—that would be crazy. 

 

All will be revealed in this article.

The ins and outs of a five-piece French wardrobe

Minimalist French style is all about investing in fewer pieces that are higher in quality, and will hopefully last you a long time. It’s focused on longevity rather than trends. And this is exactly where this French wardrobe philosophy stems from. 

There isn’t a set number of pieces or a timetable to follow. 

To start, you build a solid collection of basic pieces. Things like plain t-shirts, black tailored pants, and a classic white shirt—simple items that can be mixed and matched with everything in your wardrobe. If you find any gaps, fill these in with new staples. 

Tidy closet with clothes nicely folded

Each season (four times per year), you’re allowed to purchase 5 new investment pieces to help you build your collection. These should be non-basic pieces. You can take as much time as you like choosing these—there’s no rush!

The point of this is to refresh your look with each passing season, but to also focus on investing in pieces you truly love and will wear for years to come. 

Five might not sound like much, but trust us on this one; coupled with your trusty basics, this will give you endless outfit combos that will embody that French I-just-woke-up-like-this look.

The rules:

The 5-piece French wardrobe can be a little tricky to understand at first. So, here are some of the rules you need to know before you get started.

  • Basics don’t count towards your five pieces, and can always be replaced.
  • Makeup doesn’t count.
  • Accessories, socks, and underwear don’t count (unless they’re particularly pricey purchases.)
  • Shoes do count.

And everything else that’s not mentioned above counts. 

How to get started creating your 5-piece French wardrobe

The secret to rolling out of bed and looking like one of those impeccably dressed French women you see on Instagram is focusing on fit. 

The reason these women look so good in simple clothing like jeans and a plain white tee is because of the fit. They wear flattering cuts and silhouettes. Instead of following the trends, they stick to what works for their unique shape. 

Young woman in a white T-shirt and jeans

So the message is, it’s not what you buy, it’s how it fits you.

Remember, you’ll only be purchasing 20 new non-basic items each year, so choose wisely. 

Out with the old

Get started by clearing out your wardrobe. Donate anything that no longer fits you, or that you haven’t worn in the past year. Chances are if you haven’t worn it by now, you never will!

Hold on to any basics that fit you well, and part ways with the rest. Be ruthless through this process. 

If you notice any gaps, make a list of what you need and start shopping. Don’t rush to buy everything at once. Take your time, be considerate, and choose quality items that feel good against your skin. Because when you feel good, you will look good.  

Back to basics

We touched on basic pieces a little earlier, but what exactly is a “basic” item of clothing? 

Generally, it’s a functional piece of clothing that you don’t need to spend a ton of money on.

Basics will generally be plain or block colored, practical, and go with those fancier, statement pieces in your wardrobe. 

French outfit essentials: Items every woman should have in her wardrobe

Here are some of the pieces you should think about stocking up on to make sure your wardrobe game is on fire. 

  • Tops: block colored t-shirts, button-up white shirts, silk camis.
  • Pants: well-fitting straight-leg jeans, tailored pants
  • Skirts: pencil skirt, white linen skirt, block colored mini skirts
  • Dresses: a little black dress
  • Shorts: jean shorts, linen shorts
  • Sweaters: cashmere sweaters, oversized wool sweaters, cozy cardigans
  • Outerwear: a trench coat, a classic blazer, a leather jacket
  • Shoes: ballet pumps, brown/black heeled boots, sandals, court shoes.

Make your shopping list for this season.

The great thing about the 5-piece French wardrobe is that each season you get to make a wish list of things you want to add to your collection.

What have you had your eye on for a while?

What are you noticeably missing right now that would take your wardrobe to the next level?

Set yourself a reasonable budget each season for your 5 pieces. It’s okay to spend more on these items than you usually would, because the focus is on quality pieces that last longer. So don’t scrimp, but don’t blow more than you can afford.

 Black sweater and silk skirt with polka dots on a white linen sheet

And that’s how to create a 5-piece French wardrobe!

The only other rule is to have fun creating your capsule collection. It won’t be long before you have a beautifully sustainable and ethical wardrobe that makes getting dressed each morning a joy.

Why not use these principles and apply them to your other purchases too? 

For example, focus on investing in good makeup: a quality mascara, a classic red lipstick, and the perfect shade and texture of foundation for your skin. 

Follow these steps, and you’ll be Paris-ready in no time.

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Lily Collins’ Beauty Routine Uncovered
May 14, 2021
Lily Collins’ Beauty Routine Uncovered

If you haven’t yet caught a glimpse of Netflix’s hit show, Emily In Paris, where have you been?! We are obsessed with the French-girl beauty that storms our screens as Emily (British-American actress Lily Collins) settles into Parisian living.  Actress Lily Collins steals the show with her low-key, simple yet chic beauty and fashion looks. There isn’t a scene where we’re not taking notes. Think fresh, clear skin, bold brows, voluminous lashes, and understated lips.  Less is definitely more In France, and we’re loving it!  But there’s one thing we want to know more about, and that’s Lily’s real-life beauty routine.  How does she keep her skin looking so immaculate? What are her makeup must-haves? And how does she keep her beautiful brows in check? Don’t worry, we’re bringing you Lily Collins’ beauty routine in full detail here, no filter.  This is what Lily Collins’ everyday beauty routine looks like.  Morning skincare What does Lily’s AM skincare routine look like? Well, you’ll be surprised how low-key it is. She begins with a splash of cold water on her face to wake herself up.  To kick-start her skincare routine, she uses a facial wash, toner gel, and moisturizing cream.  Next up? Lily always applies a layer of sunscreen (her go-to is Kiehl’s), whether it’s summer or winter. We recommend at least an SPF 20 if possible. Look for a light-weight, non-greasy sunscreen that feels like a second skin.  Lily has spoken out about embracing her natural, ivory skin, so you won’t find any tanning products in her house!  She also loves rubbing some mint or spearmint oil on her temples and the back of her neck to wake herself up and feel invigorated inside and out. One of her favorites is Peppermint Halo by Saje, which comes in a handy roller ball. And, did you know Lily is obsessed with hand cream? Yes! You’ll find her re-applying it throughout the day to keep her skin feeling soft and silky, just the way her Grandma used to do.  Her favorite scent? Rose wins out every time—Crabtree & Evelyn have a rosewater one she is crushing on.  The perfect base Lily Collins is famous for channeling that French-girl beauty by keeping her makeup minimal and natural all the time, apart from on special occasions.  When she’s at home, she wears very little; her motto being “the less there is on you, the less there is to go wrong!” But what about when she is wearing makeup? Lily loves to go for a foundation that is light enough to allow her natural freckles to shine through but just enough to give a nice base.  She steers clear of heavy, coated products to avoid her pores getting clogged.  For days when she wants something a little different, she mixes a small drop of light foundation with her favorite serum, then dabs it into her forehead, chin, and cheeks. To blend, she uses a sponge, then tops with a powder to set it, and a bit of blush for contouring.  It’s all about the brows The next step on Lily Collins’ beauty routine is tending to her bold and beautiful brows. The question on all of our minds while watching Emily In Paris has been, what’s the secret to her brow game?  Tell us all Lily! When asked what her favorite part of her beauty regimen is, she aptly said “It’s all about the brows.” She swipes a highlighter over her eyelid and under the brow to make her brows pop even more. She brushes her eyebrows up and over to slightly tame them.  And that is IT. Seriously. On the odd occasion when they need a little more taming, she uses some mascara to lend a helping hand. To draw extra attention to her eyes, she applies a few flicks of liquid liner at the outer edges. She then adds a coat of volumizing mascara to bring fullness and life to her lush lashes. Nothing says French beauty quite like fluttery lashes does. If there’s one thing every French woman includes in her beauty routine, it’s a swoosh of black mascara.   Lush lips When it comes to her lips, Lily begins by gently exfoliating them with a delicious, tropical coconut scrub. Once her lips are prepped, she coats them with lip balm–and you’ll find her reapplying it throughout the day to keep those lips looking lush. For an everyday look, Lily tops her lip salve with a swipe of nude lipstick and her favorite gloss.  But what about those red-carpet occasions? Lily has perfected the shades that compliment her pale skin and dark hair and opts for softened red lipstick shades and deep plums.  If you’re looking for some lipstick inspo, check out our long-lasting matte lipstick, which is available in four fabulous color combos. There’s guaranteed to be a shade that was made for you.  Fabulous fragrance When it comes to fragrance, there are a few favorites that Lily loves.  Rose makes the cut once again, then bergamot and oud. She’s usually drawn to deeper scents rather than feminine ones.  But if she had to pick a scent of choice?  La Vie Est Belle. That means “life is beautiful” in French. The scent swoops her back to her Paris-days and has her longing to be reunited with the most romantic city in the world. We can’t wait for that either, Lily! Messy hair, don’t care French women are loved (and envied) worldwide for perfecting that I-just-woke-up-like-this hair. It’s chic, but it’s not perfect. Think wind-swept runway romance.  How do they do it?!  Well, Lily seems to have perfected that Paris-hair, and guess what her secret is? She lets her hair do whatever it wants. Really. Her hair goes through a lot as an actress, constantly being colored and curled while on set. So when she’s off-duty, she keeps things super simple.  She loves Kérastase for repairing her hair, and often goes for a volumizing hair gel when she desires some extra volume.  She’s also a big fan of dry shampoo (could this woman be any cooler?). Oribe hair sprays are her favorite when she hasn’t washed her hair in a few days and needs a quick pick-me-up.  Evening rituals Lily’s evening beauty routine echoes her morning ritual. She’ll shower, get cozy on the sofa, and remove all her makeup using face wipes. Later, she rinses her face with the same gel she used in the morning and applies some face cream. When her skin feels extra dry, she opts for a quick face mask and rubs natural coconut oil into her body. Then it’s off to bed for some much-needed beauty sleep.

Why You Should Always Wet Your Makeup Sponge
May 06, 2021
Why You Should Always Wet Your Makeup Sponge

When the Beauty Blender was first released, it shook the makeup world from top to bottom. Before it came around, we were using flat brushes and dry, triangle-shaped sponges. These tools worked, but applying foundation would take ages.  Nowadays, these egg-shaped makeup blenders are the ideal tool for applying a natural-looking layer of foundation or blending out concealer. Reusable makeup sponges give the skin a natural finish, and they’re oh so simple to use.  There are a few key tricks to making a Beauty Blender work, which we’ll explain in this post. The most important amongst them? You have to use your makeup sponge wet. Keep reading to learn why!  Why should you wet makeup sponges?    Using a wet makeup sponge makes a major difference, so here are the reasons why we recommend it so strongly.  Less product waste First of all, using a damp makeup sponge can save you a lot of time and money in the long term, because it wastes less product. When your sponge is dry, it absorbs a ton of foundation right into its center. If you’ve ever found yourself dispensing more and more foundation, but getting no coverage, that’s the reason why.  On the other hand, when the sponge is damp, the water takes up all of the space in the sponge, and there’s no room for the foundation to soak in. Instead, it stays on the surface, so you can stipple it over your skin with no product waste.  Flawless finish  The second reason to use a damp makeup sponge is that it makes your foundation or concealer look so much better. Some of the water in the sponge infuses with the foundation, which gives the skin a more luminous and healthy finish. Because the sponge is expanded, it also leaves less of an imprint on the skin, which leads to a much smoother and more blended finish.  How to use a wet makeup sponge  Whether you’re using a wet makeup sponge to apply or blend your foundation, here’s the most fool-proof way to prep and then use it.    First, run the tap and place your reusable makeup sponge under the stream.  Let the sponge get saturated with water, and then squeeze it a few times. As the sponge takes in the water, it’ll expand to twice or triple its original size.  Turn off the tap, and squeeze the sponge to remove excess water. It should be damp rather than soaking wet.  Then, you can use the sponge to either apply or blend your foundation. Applying your foundation directly with the sponge will give a more sheer application.  If you like full coverage, apply your foundation with a brush or fingers, and then use the sponge to blend it out.  Whether you’re blending or applying, the main trick is to bounce the sponge over your skin. The bouncing motion helps the foundation glide over pores and it blurs away any brush streaks.  Use the tip of the sponge for blending out or applying concealer under the eyes or along the side of the nose. Stick to the same bouncing motions as you apply it to those smaller areas.  Once your foundation is perfected, you can finish off the rest of your makeup!  More tips for using a makeup blender  Using a Beauty Blender the classic way is great, but we have a few more hacks that will allow you to get the most out of your reusable makeup sponge!  If you don’t like getting your hands dirty, you can use your Beauty Blender to apply moisturizer and primer before you do your makeup.  If your skin is especially dehydrated, you can saturate your Beauty Blender with a moisturizing toner, which will hydrate the skin even more dramatically.  For days when you really need your makeup to last, saturate your reusable makeup sponge with a setting spray, instead. It’ll help lock your foundation in place as you apply it.  If your skin is oily or you’d like to waterproof your makeup, you can use a damp makeup blender to press translucent powder into your skin to set your base. While this technique can make dry skin look drier, it works well for those with oily skin, helping to make your foundation incredibly budge-proof.  If you make any mistakes winging out your eyeliner or you want your eye makeup to have a sharper line, put a bit of foundation along the side of the pointy end of your sponge. Then use it to clean up the lines along the outer corner of the eye.  A Beauty Blender is perfect for applying and blending out cream blush, highlighter, or contour! Use the pointy end to add those contour lines, or blend out your blush with the rounded end for a very natural flush of color.   Don’t forget to wash it  Finally, once you finish your makeup, always remember to wash your sponge with soap and water! Otherwise, Beauty Blenders can harbor bacteria if they’re left dirty or damp.  To clean your sponge, hold it under the running tap, and then add some soap. Squeeze it a few times so it foams up well, and finally, rinse it clean. Squeeze it to get as much of the water out, and then place it somewhere clean and safe to air dry. This will keep your reusable makeup sponge in top shape for up to 6 months.  Flawless foundation every time Considering how simple of a trick it is, using a wet makeup sponge has an amazing impact! There is no better way to guarantee a seamless and natural-looking foundation application. Give this trick a try to stop wasting foundation and to perfect your base. 

How to Have the Perfect Bath
April 25, 2021
How to Have the Perfect Bath

The best way to show yourself love is to take time out of your day and do something that is wholly and completely for you. A bath certainly counts! It feels divine as it relaxes the muscles and helps you unwind. It’s also a wonderful chance to pamper yourself with skin treatments, bath salts, and scented oils.  We’ve put together this guide to help you learn how to take a luxurious bath like no other. We’ll help you set up a relaxing bath routine, with tips on how to run the perfect bath temperature and advice as to what kind of accessories you’ll need to have a great time.  Even if you don’t have a bath, give this a read, ‘cause we cap things off with some relaxing shower tips. Dive in!  Set the scene Ambiance is everything, darling. Turn your bathroom into an environment where you can unwind. Instead of harsh electric light, opt for some scented candles, and queue up the dreamiest playlist. Any music or soundscape that helps you relax will do; you can try tree.fm’s forest soundscapes, some guided meditation, or even a spa playlist on Spotify. Perfect the temperature The question of how to run the perfect bath temperature is a tough one. On the one hand, you want the water to stay hot for as long as possible, but on the other hand, you still want it to be pleasant right from the start.  Filling up the bathtub can take a while, so turn on the tap early. Twist the tap to a position where it’s just a little hotter than you would normally shower or bathe in, but not cranked all the way up.  There is some debate as to what the ideal bath temperature is, but most of us don’t keep thermometers on hand to check the precise temperature, anyway. You’ll know you’ve landed on the correct temperature when you can dip your foot in the water and leave it in for 5 seconds without any issues.  Waterproof your entertainment A book or a TV-show can be pleasant bathtub companions, but bringing paper or tech devices into the water with you requires some planning. You can choose a cheap paperback, so it won’t be a great loss if it falls in, or simply waterproof your devices.  For the best luxury bubble baths, consider buying a waterproof case or even a waterproof device.  Consider a beverage  The next little treat for your relaxing bath routine is a beverage. Wine is the classic choice for a luxury bath, but don’t feel constrained. Tea, hot chocolate, and even juice are equally suitable companions.  If you do opt for an alcoholic beverage, make sure to also have some water on hand. It’s easy to get dehydrated or overheated in the bath, and alcohol will compound that, so staying hydrated is essential.  Start with a pre-bath rinse Before getting into the bath, rinse yourself off, especially if you’ve had a long and grueling day. If you have both a shower and a bath, you can do this while the bath is filling up! Otherwise, you can do this before starting to fill up the tub. Keep the water lukewarm, and soap yourself up quickly—there’s no need to go overboard.  A bath pillow is essential  Unfortunately, even the most luxurious bathtubs are designed out of rock-hard porcelain, so resting your head on the lip of the tub isn’t the most comfortable. You can fold-up a small towel to cushion your head as you lie back, but if you really want to take your bathing experience to the next level, purchase a dedicated waterproof bath pillow.  Consider your bath additives There are a few lovely options for additives that you can add to your bathtub. Luxury bubble baths can be a lot of fun, but the detergent-laden blends aren’t great for the skin, so here’s what we recommend.  Natural bath bombs are amazing because they fizz, sparkle, and smell gorgeous. It’s even better if you learn how to make your own! Epsom salts can be a simple, affordable addition that’ll help your muscles unwind.  To nourish your skin, pour in some bath oil or even just a spoonful of coconut oil. Just remember that oil will make the bathtub a little slippery when it’s time to get out.  Finally, a few drops of your favorite essential oil will turn the entire bath into an excellent aromatherapy experience. Be sure to always be mindful of what oils you allow to come in contact with your skin and always test on a small area of your body before putting anything in the tub.  Enjoy a skin treatment  How can you take a luxurious bath without adding in some face treatments? We don’t think it’s possible. Steamy bath time is ideal for face treatments! You’ll have time to lie back while the added steam helps nourishing ingredients penetrate into the skin. Try a purifying clay mask, apply a Korean sheet mask, or go with your favorite facial skincare treatment! Guarantee a cozy finish  Eventually, even if you’ve run the perfect bath temperature or put on your favorite soundtrack, you’ll still need to get out of the bathtub. Don’t let the luxurious experience end in disappointment with a scratchy, threadbare towel. Instead, prepare your fluffiest towel or bathrobe well in advance, so you can feel pampered right up until the end.  What if you don’t have a bathtub? Unfortunately, not every home is fitted with a bathtub, especially if you live in a big city apartment. We’ve gathered some tips so you can have a relaxing shower, instead.  While it might be hard to enjoy candles through the shower curtain, you can still dim the lights for a calming environment.  Waterproof Bluetooth speakers will allow you to enjoy some music despite the noise of the showerhead.  It’s harder to relax when you’re standing upright, so consider placing a plastic stool in your shower, so you can sit back under the warm spray.  While bath oils or salts won’t work in the shower, you can pamper your skin with an exfoliating salt and oil scrub.  Placing a bath bomb by the shower drain will create just as dramatic an aromatherapy experience as it does in the bath. As the warm water melts it away, it will release the fragrance, enveloping you in relaxation.  And off to bed  After a relaxing shower or a luxury bubble bath, you’ll be ready for bed! The bath routine is designed to promote calmness and relaxation. It’s ideal to save the pampering for the end of the day when you need to unwind. By the time your bath is over, you’ll want nothing more than to sleep deeply and soundly. Bonne nuit!