Money & Style,  Wardrobe 101

Fall/Winter French 5

Simplify Shopping

Happy day, Reader Dear!

Every September, once we get past the back-to-school kerfluffle, my mind turns to simplifying.

I know I’m not the only one.

For many of us, September is as much a fresh start as January.

And with it comes the same simplify, organize and get it together inspiration.

One of the ways I (try to) keep my life more simple is by limiting when and how much wardrobe shopping I do. Because shopping can take over your life. And your space. Particularly if you are always looking for the perfect X.

Which is how I have come to settle on a French 5 Shopping Plan.

It simplifies my life by limiting the number of times I am looking for new wardrobe pieces. Twice.

It simplifies my life by limiting the number of style purchases I make in a year. Twice Five. Ten.

If you’re curious about the three other ways the French 5 has improved my life, you can read more about that, here!

I Could Never Do That!

If those limits seem drastic, they’re not. I don’t have to buy EVERYTHING I might need within those limits. I purchase replacement items during the year as old pieces wear out. Jeans spring a leak? I order a new pair. Black blouse had one too many encounters with eggplant parmigiana? I’ll look for a replacement.

Some items don’t need replacing. That trendy pair or shorts that ripped on our last bike ride? No need.

How Do You Know What to Buy?

That’s a whole ‘nother blog post, but the short answer? I keep a wish list and look at my inspiration boards in Pinterest to see where my style is headed. AND I look into my wardrobe to see how well the items will play with what I already own. It’s a process of collecting ideas and comparing them to see what makes the cut!

Someone asked me if this process takes a long time. Maybe? It certainly takes less time than trolling the stores and internet weekly or monthly, discovering items don’t work and returning them/mailing them back. It also saves on the frustration of an unproductive mall adventure. Who needs that?

I appreciate how creating these limits for myself has forced me to be more selective about what I purchase. Which makes me a better steward of our finances and of the planet. (Did you know that Americans buy, on average, 68 items of clothing per year? That’s more than one item a week! Different studies show anywhere from 61-68, depending on the year.)

Do You Ever Regret Your Choices?

Sometimes. See my dress overload adventures. But I see the benefits as far outweighing the few regrets. What happens when something FABULOUS shows up on my radar after I’ve bought my pieces? Sometimes I leave an open slot for a serendipity purchase–something unplanned that rocks my world. Other times, I’ll put them on my wish list for our anniversary, Christmas, birthday, Mother’s Day, etc.

Right now, my gift wish list has a denim trench from Talbots and a French Kande necklace. I found both after I’d bought my five. I won’t die without them!

What Did I Choose for F/W 2023/4?

How About You?

Do you know how often you shop? Do you track your purchases? If so, how? Do you create any limits or structures for yourself? Do you have more clothing in your wardrobe than you would like? Or do you need to expand your options? Have you heard that 68 item per year data previously? How does that sound to you? About right? Appalling? What wardrobe struggles are you having? Let me know in the comments below… You might just inspire a blog post!

Stylishly and colorfully yours,


  • m

    One problem for me has been winding up with things that don’t all work together and I’m getting better at that – I don’t want one of those capsule wardrobes where everything is white, black, taupe and maybe some light blue for excitement as that is not my style, but I am trying to make sure I don’t have too many “one trick pony” wardrobe items. Another issue is the desire for something new – not sure there’s a cure for that one other than “finding” things I forgot I had, finding a new way to wear something or being very intentional about buying something that will be as useful as possible while scratching the itch for something new, or new-to-me through thrifting.

    • Liz K

      I’m with you, Mary Jean… Those all neutral capsules with some light blue (or olive) thrown in as “color” depress me. I call those one-trick-pony pieces Wardrobe Orphans! (This week’s YouTube video is all about working those new purchases into your wardrobe: If I can’t make outfits with a new purchase, back it goes! Exception: Dresses-Since they are an outfit all in one, I don’t worry too much about how well they play with the rest of my wardrobe.

  • Gail Joan McKelvey

    I have limited myself . . .to not buying anything! I have too much of everything! So I shop my closet! I did breakdown and buy 2 new pairs of jeans, a white striped pair & a green pair, but I somewhere lost a green pair and lemony yellow top. Plus donated 2 pairs of practically brand-new jeans that were a mistake! High waisted pants look stupid on my “short rise” body! I feel like I don’t even need a top! My closet is jammed but it is so hard for me to get rid of clothes because of the $ I spent! Your ideas give me inspiration to give my closet a new look-see! Thank you!

    • Liz K

      Glad to help, Gail! I’m with you, I love shopping my closet (and out of season box). There’s no reason to buy when your closet is already stuffed. The spent money is gone. Keeping those pieces isn’t adding to your bank account, they are actually depreciating the value of your closet space. No reason to buy into (pun intended) the Sunk Cost Fallacy!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.