It occurred to me that I have not yet told everyone what my Frugal Femme motto is and it really is the basis for this entire blog. The Frugal Femme motto is: quality over quantity. This belief includes knowing when to spend the extra dollar on something and when to say no and buy the bargain brand. Nothing could point this out more than the closet of the Frugal Femme. A closet does not have to be bulging with clothes to work for a Frugal Femme, in fact the opposite may be more true. The fewer options that you have, the more likely you are to make certain that what you have is of good quality, looks good on you, fits your personal style, and works on the multiple levels that you need it to in your life.
I once read that the great designer Donna Karan said that a woman only needs seven essential items in her wardrobe. These items are: the body suit, the pant, the legging, the sweater, the leather jacket, the dress and the scarf.
|I realized as I was making this that Donna Karan's colors are black, beige and white. Not the most colorful, I'll admit.|
Although I do not disagree with Donna Karan and her choices, I don't believe that it gives a girl enough pieces to make it a workable wardrobe. So, I have put together my Frugal Femme List of what, I believe, are the absolute musts that a girl must have to be stylish every time that she dresses. These are the pieces that you will use over and over again, so you can spend more money on them. The thing is, YOU DON'T HAVE TO!!!! I like my closet basics to be the best quality, but I don't like to spend "best quality" money on them. These are the pieces that I am constantly scoping thrift stores, Goodwill and eBay for to get the best quality for the budget that I am willing to spend.
Remember, if you do buy clothes second hand that you can save a lot of money---often on designer names. But please remember to look at the garment and make certain that it is worth even the thrift store prices. Look for stains, pulled threads, worn fabric, stretching and fading. Though your clothes may be items that another woman did not want, you don't want them to look like they were something that you found in the ragbin. And ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, wash them or have them dry cleaned before your wear them.
The Frugal Femme Closet Essential Pieces:
(Please keep in mind the black items do not have to be black. If black is not your color substitute any neutral color. Just keep in mind, that you will be making several different outfits out of these pieces, so you want them to work together as best as possible.)
1 white oxford shirt
1 black blazer
1 black cardigan
1 pair of dark trouser or straight leg jeans (dress jeans)
1 pair skinny/slim fit jeans
1 black dress (knee length)
3 white t-shirts (I love to go to the boys sections for mine, they're cheaper and not as thin)
1 pair black pants
1 pair khaki pants
1 knee length skirt in a neutral color
1 black leather belt
1 brown leather belt
1 trench coat
1 pair of Chuck Taylors (grey or black)
1 pair of black ballet flats (You can also go with a metallic if you don't want to do black)
1 pair brown leather oxfords/loafers
1 pair black leather high heel shoes
1 silk scarf (in a flattering color)
1 pashmina scarf (in a flattering color)
1 plain sweater (meaning one solid color in the color of your choice and preferably cashmere)
1 large sweater that comes past your hips (in the color of your choice)
1 pair small hoop earrings, diamond studs, or pearl studs ( No they don't have to be real, but if you can do real, that is preferable.)
1 man's watch
1 evening clutch
1 day bag/purse (in a neutral color)
1 travel bag
With these items, you can clothe yourself for an entire month and then some. Don't believe me? keep checking my posts and I will give you outfits for the whole month from just these items.
The above list is my "basics" list. If you have many of these items you can start looking for the items on your Lagniappe list. For those of you not from Louisiana, Lagniappe means a little something extra and that's exactly what these pieces are for your closet.
1 denim blazer/jean jacket (depending on your personal style)
1 corduroy blazer (in the color of your choice, I like khaki with elbow patches)
1 summer dress
1 pair of dressy shorts (color is your choice, but white is always nice)
1 colored oxford shirt/chambray (I love me a chambray, but you might want to get an oxford in butter cup yellow)
1 pair tweed or plaid pants
1 evening shawl (black is always good but gold, silver or any metallic are also stunning)
1 statement necklace
3 black t-shirts
3 skin tone camis
1 statement scarf (You can bold or not with this, but it should reflect your personal taste and you should love it)
1 pair of sandals (I love a leather metallic, but black or brown is nice too)
1 gold or silver leather belt (depending on the color of your metallic shoes)
1 tuxedo suit (this is a real splurge, but you will be amazed how many times you will find to wear it)
Well, that is it for this post on the Frugal Femme Closet. My next post, I will put together a week of outfits using these essential items, and will even have outfits for different styles for women. Whether your style is casual, retro, modern, classic, punk or eclectic, I will show you how to make these items work for you and will also tell you some items that would be good for your closet based on your own personal style! Also, I will be putting up a new Two Week Frugal Femme menu, so get your kitchens ready!!!!