Fashion Friday: Lessons From Madame Chic

When I was visiting my publisher a few months ago, my editor gave me a copy of the book Lessons From Madame Chic after hearing how obsessed I was with Paris and all things French.  I devoured the book almost overnight and really loved some of the insight into how the French live, dress, eat and work.  I felt particularly inspired by the chapter about the “10 Item Wardrobe”.  Now, to be honest, I am not sure I could live on just 10 items of clothing (even if basics don’t count).  But I do currently want to throw a lit match into my closet and would delight in watching all my boring, old clothes burn to dust.  I hate everything in my closet.  Except maybe three things.  And those three things happen to be of varying price points- my leather pants (a gajillion dollars- still cannot believe I bought them), some old linen embroidered Indian tunics from J.Crew like 5 years ago that fit me perfectly ($98) and a DVF wrap dress (mid price).  While ten items seems so few, I wholeheartedly agree in buying less but buying BETTER.  So I tried making a collection of 10 things I’d add to spring into my wardrobe, along with another group of accessories and then what my must have basics are.  Lets see what you think…. I think I could probably live all spring in these things! Does that make me French? Oui?

Fashion Items: Some basic but luxurious, others statement.  A mix of dress up and dress down.


1. A boho cotton top 2. A silk tank you can dress up or down 3. A black and white stripe top (of course) 4. A gorgeous linen tunic 5. A flouncy summer dress (I tried this on, it’s SO flattering, must get! Also LOVE it in black!!) 6. A gorgeous, sexy jumpsuit (been dying for this for months) 7. A mint silk blouse (gorgeous with white denim) 8. LEOPARD PANTS! 9. A faux leather jacket in spring grey 10. A long cotton maxi dress (so versatile!)

For accessories:  These are what can MAKE your outfit.  The french are also big on delightful underpinnings, pajamas, scarves and shoes.


1. The perfect black bag 2. Long gold pendant (it dresses up everything) 3. Leopard McQueen scarf (I have this, I am obsessed) 4. Statement gold coin short necklace (totes getting…) 5. Some gorgeous underthings (because it improves your attitude!) 6. One chunky gold cuff (arm parties be damned) 7. A raffia clutch 8. Big classic sunnies 9. Proper PJ’s (must stop sleeping in old college T’s!) 10. Bright red pedicures 11. Gold and nude flats (obsessed) 12. A good eye cream (I love this one- natural too!) 13. HOW SICK ARE THESE BOOTS? 14. Perfect black wedge sandal 15. A good face oil (dying to try this on, but I use this one religiously)

The basics: Jeans, tees and coats. Can’t go wrong.


1. White jeans (this cut is the MOST flattering on earth- I have them in dark denim and love) 2. Destroyed skinnies (C/E has the best washes) 3. Skinny black pants (so Audrey) 4. Perfect grey tee 5. Comfy slouchy white tanks (lots of them)  6.  Perfectly cut black blazer 7. Trench. Duh. 8. Denim vest– kinda 80’s but looks great over dresses!


  1. Is it crazy that I literally want everything you’ve just shared?? Totally agree with you on buying less but better – something I need to put into practice. Def getting the book. Now, I just need to get away from the 11month old to read… Have a great weekend!

  2. Ugh, I hear you. “So boring I could cry” comes to mind for how I feel about my closet. It could be that I haven’t really curated it since high school (13 years ago?!)… Ya think. Anyway, I LOVE your picks here and it’s exactly what I’m trying to work towards – only things I adore wearing. Incidently, I live in Paris. Small wardrobes may have something to do with Parisian apartments having a catagorical lack of closet space, too. ;) T.G.I.F.

  3. I used to be a big fan of Josie Maran’s argan oil until I came across the EXACT same product (100% pure organic argan oil) by a brand called ACURE. It’s available at Whole Foods and costs less than $15. The results are just as great. Just thought I’d share!

  4. Hey hey, before you throw a match in your closet and become an arsonist, simmer down and donate them to me! ;) I love your style and whatever you ae wearing in all your photos. If only I had a botomless wallet to buy my wishes.
    happy friday

  5. I wish I could live by the 10 item wardrobe rule. Life would be so much easier! I love all of your selections – particularly the striped top, the tunic and the gold cuff. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend!

  6. Totally with you. Hate all of my things. All of them. I feel like I buy things but then I go to wear something and there is nothing. Have been putting off buying a trench for years but it is just completely ridiculous that I don’t have one so I am going to purchase one this weekend I think. Yes. Not that Burberry one though because then I’d have to sell my house. Also, don’t hate me but I am actually going to Paris in June and I can’t freaking wait.

  7. No, I disagree. I don’t think better quality is out there – or perhaps I just cannot afford it. There are classic basics and trendy basics. $187 for a striped tee? Never. If something happens to an expensive clothing item I am in tears. Plus, sometimes I just get tired of wearing the same old thing. If it is inexpensive I don’t feel guilty.

  8. I LOOOOOOOOOVE clothes… and I agree that investing in good quality, versatile pieces is wise…. you know what my problem is with clothes purchasing? my sweat glands. LoL, seriously, most of the items I am drawn to are fashioned (colour, cut, fabric) such that I couldn’t wear them because you’d see my sweat stains from pit to elbow. It drives me crazy!!! I want to wear a silk dress, or a basic LIGHT coloured tee, or a cream trench, or…and it goes on and on. And this is the problem that defines my wardrobe.

  9. It’d be so interesting to live with just 10 clothing items – don’t think I could personally do it, but I admire those who can and who do so stylishly!

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