Aah Paris. The city of love, croissants and of course; fashion. All of which you can enjoy and experience together [NB: act confident if you're covered in croissant crumbs; no one will question you].

Full disclosure though, we would rather reach for the Vegemite and avocado on toast than a croissant, but the Parisian women's staple wardrobe we absolutely adore.

You may have heard of the 10 Item Wardrobe theory Parisian's live by, but in case you haven't we have drafted our own Ahimsa Collective version based on their chic AF minimalism. What we love most about these ten staple items is that they aren't separated by work and play, or even seasons. Thus making for a much more sustainable and longer lasting wardrobe, that doesn't come and go with the sun.

Justine Leconte, a French Fashion Designer, lists the ten staple wardrobe items as follows: 

1. A crisp tailored white shirt: this style shirt has never not been in style. We love how it can be styled with denim shorts for an Aussie summer lunch, or dressed up for a couple of glasses of rosé with like-mindeds at a networking event.


2.  An elegant blazer: think unique details, tailored or fitted, paired with jeans, boots and a loose fitted tee.


 3.  Loafers or lux flats: For the Parisian's, sneakers are a no no, but for us - they are an absolute go to. You'll be hard pressed to find us in anything else (unless of course we're barefooted and beachside, working on the sand).


4. Black dress: ditch the LBD idea and find a dress that fits your body type. The idea of this dress is that black is always chic and shows off your own silhouette.

Don't try and squeeze into something that suits another person or body type.

You do you, honey.


5. A loose fitting t-shirt: we're all about comforstyle [comfortable + stylish] here at AC.

Step one: choose either a Crew neck or V-neck based on your personal style and when you find the perfect tee - grab one in black, white and any other colour that suits you.


6. Turtleneck Sweater: Leconte suggests a darker colour option given this item will likely be worn in the winter when your natural sun-kissed tan has faded. We know the rest of the world thinks us Aussies complain about the cold when it's 20°, but it really does get cold over this way. We pair turtlenecks with everything; overalls, dresses.... everything and anything. Just make sure you buy a good quality sweater that will last for years.


7. Well fitted jeans: this is a no brainer right? The tip here is to go for a dark blue wash. This not only adds to the higher-end styling effect but also reduces the amount of water and toxins used to create the jeans [compared with lighter/bleached washes]


8. Oversized scarf: don't reserve your scarf styling to the cooler months, or even just around your neck. In the cooler months reach for a wool or cashmere scarf and style as you need to keep that neck warm. In summer it's all about light-weight cotton options to act as an accessory to your outfit - whether that be over the shoulders, around the neck, or for smaller scarves they can be tied around the handle of your handbag [like our Tote Modern for example 😉]



9. A Decent Bag/Purse: now that's talking our language. A bag/purse that everything can be thrown into but also easily found again. We're sure you go over the same internal checklist we do before leaving the house; makeup, snacks [emergency banana anyone?], heels for the night out or flats for those busy travel days, KeepCup, cloth bag [for more snacks on the way home]. A bag that can literally take you from day to night.


10. Black stilettos: it's a very typical Parisian styled shoe that does indeed go with any outfit. We do however like to mix it up the occasional ankle boot or two.

Think you have each of those items covered, or that your wardrobe is as chic as a Parisian women's? Leconte has a few final questions for you to ask yourself when purchasing a new item, or looking through your current wardrobe.

  1. Does that piece fit with at least half of what is already in your wardrobe?
  2. Will you want to wear it for the next ten or even twenty years, or is it just in fashion now?
  3. Is the quality high enough that the item can be washed over and over again for ten-twenty years, and still look good, or is it cheaply and poorly made?
  4. This one is more of a challenge - to not buy the new piece of clothing when you lay eyes on it. Wait 24 hours and if you still want it, then go get it. This helps to reduce impulse purchases on cheap and poorly made items and adding to the fast fashion industry
  5. How many items do you own already from the list above? Can you already use these items rather than going out and purchasing the same again?

You can watch Justine Leconte's full 10 Wardrobe Essentials for French Style here

If you have any other tips you have picked up along the way, be it styling or any key essentials, we'd love to hear what they are. 

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