Writing on, and about, an island

The French Five (aka The Island Five)

In Island Life, Minimalism, Tasmania on January 30, 2012 at 11:39 am

This post could easily be called ‘The French Fashion Diet… Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a thing for clothes. I worked as a fashion editor, stylist and writer for a long time; to me, beautifully made clothes are art. Which makes it hard for me to get rid of them…

Repeat: I have A LOT OF CLOTHES.

But, my move to an island means reassessing my style. I’ve written about how I didn’t buy any new clothes for more than a year after arriving here, due to debt reduction… (tip: shop your own wardrobe before buying anything new).

It’s not just about cutting spending however, as I’ve never really spent much money on clothes (lots of freebies in the magazine world!). No, it turns out that my Sydney clothes are also now somewhat obsolete in Tasmania.

Sydney style vs Island style

In Sydney, I actually did wear everything I owned, so there was no guilty or wasteful ‘excess’. However, since moving to Tasmania, there’s no getting away from the fact that, for whatever reason (weather, work… whatever…), I am only wearing about 5% of my wardrobe. And the rest is clutter which I seem to spend way too much time ‘managing’ (ie moving from one chair to another; from bedroom to spare room).

I made a concerted effort to get rid of stuff last year (all donated to charity), in order to clear some space. But it’s obvious I need to do more in 2012. I want more time and space for me. And less clothes = more time + space.

So, I’m taking inspiration from the French on this one. (Well, the cobbled streets and pretty parks of Hobart do have a Parisian flavour, especially during spring and autumn.)

Obviously, I’m not going to be living with a mere 5 items of clothing, but I consider the following to be the basis of any decent minimalist wardrobe.

My French Five (accessories not included*)

  1. Black blazer
  2. White t-shirt
  3. ‘Cigarette’ pants (ie skinny)
  4. LBD
  5. Pencil skirt

*It almost goes without saying… ballet flats, silk scarves, leather shoulder bag

My Island Five (accessories not included*)

  1. Leather jacket
  2. White tank
  3. Skinny jeans
  4. Shift dress
  5. Denim skirt

*Ankle boots, Havaianas, Indian shawl…

On top of this French/Island Five, you should really only buy 5 additional items per fashion season (ie 10 items per year). And make sure you get rid of something each time you buy something new.

Finally – I do not (and never will) fall for fashion trends and cheap copies. Work your own style and make more space for yourself in doing so!

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