1. Alexis Bittar, $345 // 2. Alexander Wang, $375 (It’s technically considered a makeup pouch, but I’d use the leather bag as a clutch.) // 3. Marchesa Voyage, $625 // 4. Chloe, $285 // 5. Rebecca Taylor, $325 // 6. Dior, $32 // 7. Tocca, $24 // 8. Gap, $40 // 9. DV by Dolce Vita, $80
My Instagram feed has become more colorful, which must mean spring is officially here. Here are a few of my favorite memories from April:
- Won an adorable pajama set from Sleepy Jones
- Enjoyed a colorful evening sky on our way back from Easter celebrations in Central Wisconsin
- Picked up yet another bouquet of tulips
- Booked a July trip to Belgium
- Enjoyed a margarita-filled evening with Dave
- Ate entirely too much candy
- Stopped by the Badgers’ spring game, which was just an excuse to get out and enjoy the warm weather
- Indulged in a few of my favorite things
- Wore that Gerard Yosca necklace with everything
Two of the three new items below were purchased on March 31, the day before my self-imposed shopping ban. For the next 30 days, I vowed to refrain from purchasing new clothing and accessories…and would have succeeded if it weren’t for the ASOS skirt I spotted on Pinterest. (A midi skirt! In white! With a sheer panel!) It was on sale at the time for around $50 and while I felt guilty pulling the trigger, I knew it’d be a piece I’d wear throughout the season to update my wardrobe. (I usually shy away from trends, but this piece is still ladylike enough to fit within my classic aesthetic.)
In retrospect, though, I wish I had stuck it out through the last week. It’s really difficult to break a habit of unconscious consumerism, especially in a culture that’s all about the newest, shiniest thing. That said, I eventually started appreciating what I already have instead of yearning for what I have yet to own. I have plenty of pieces in my wardrobe that could last a lifetime if I take care of them and I’m really grateful that I’ve made those selections.
Which brings me to my biggest sartorial observation (or maybe just annoyance): shopping for clothes shouldn’t be like grocery shopping. It shouldn’t be a weekly habit, it shouldn’t impulsive and it sure as hell shouldn’t be careless. It should be special. Every item that you bring into your wardrobe should be something you’ll love long after the initial shopping euphoria wears off. Don’t get me wrong, though, special pieces don’t have to be expensive. I’m enamored with that ASOS skirt because it’s a trendy piece that elevates my existing spring wardrobe. That makes it special regardless of the price tag. (Besides, I’m not really in a position to spend $550 on a Tibi version anyway.)
Taking a break from shopping also made me reevaluate the missing link in my wardrobe: more day dresses! I’m crazy about this Tory Burch dress, but I know DVF’s relaxed silk jersey dresses (like this one) will get more mileage. It’s something I’m keeping in mind for May. Until then, here’s the French Wardrobe Challenge recap for April:
- Just five standout pieces per season. (There are two “seasons” for this purpose: spring/summer and fall/winter.)
- Quality over quantity.
- Basics don’t count.
- Accessories don’t count, unless you’re spending a lot more than usual.
- Socks and underwear don’t count.
- Shoes do count. (I’m not counting shoes, though.)
Part of my five:
- J.Crew 5” chino shorts in navy
- J.Crew merino Tippi sweater in heather grey
- J.Crew fit and flare dress in haven blue
- J.Crew lightweight merino v-neck sweater in grey
- Banana Republic “Sloan” pants in turquoise
- NEW Banana Republic trench coat in navy: I ordered this on March 31, before my self-imposed shopping ban went into effect. The fabric has a waxy sheen that makes it feel more elevated than your standard-issue trench. I’m also a sucker for the striped lining and magenta piping inside. Great quality and well worth the purchase.
- NEW Banana Republic eyelet dress in white: I’m a little torn with calling this a basic since it’s a summery eyelet. However, I’ve wanted a white dress for three years. It’s a classic piece that I expect to wear again and again. (Interested in it? Go up a size. It runs tiny in the chest and I wear an A cup!)
- Eddie Borgo iridescent cone earrings (pre-ordered from Modi Operandi)
- Lele Sadoughi lotus bib necklace
- Vintage ring from Frippery Vintage
- Coach saffiano leather card case in peach rose
- Double pearl earrings via eBay
- Randolph Engineering rose gold aviators
- Gerard Yosca statement necklace
- Emma McKinstry long pendant necklace
- Meghna Designs druzy ring
- NEW Golden Thread arrowhead pendant: For some reason, this little arrowhead charm makes me want to go on a road trip! The gal behind the line is also pretty great. You’ll meet her in an upcoming “Behind the Baubles.”
- NEW Sammy dress double pearl choker: It retails for $4, so let’s just say you’d get what you pay for. However, it’s a fun, non-committal way to experiment with the pearl trend. I’ll post more about it in the coming weeks.
- NEW Lacee Alexandra ring: Fantastic quality. This little stacking ring has been on my index finger everyday since I received it. (It’s even in the photo above.)
- NEW Haydren Reis beach bag: I can’t wait to feature this. It’s a lightweight tote that folds flat for easy storage in a suitcase.
Recent items that I tried on:
- Banana Republic eyelet shift dress: I had my eye on this dress since BR’s spring preview last fall and I really wanted this to work. I tried my regular size 8, then sized up to a 10 and a 12. Each size was too tight around my hips. This is definitely for the ladies with straight figures.
- Bauble Bar pearl collar necklace: I posted this with last month’s roundup as a new purchase, but I was disappointed with it in person—not surprising, though, I’m not really a fan of Bauble Bar. As with many of their items, this was overpriced for the quality. Maybe I still have Gerard’s tips in mind. This isn’t the best I can afford and it’s not a piece I’m looking to build a collection with. If it’s your cup of tea, it was available at Jeweliq for less money. (I’m not sure if it’ll come back in stock, though.)
If you’re curious about The French Wardrobe Challenge, I encourage you to peruse the archived posts.
Are you taking part in The French Wardrobe Challenge this season? Let me know and I’ll link to your post below. (If you could also link back to Bedknobs & Baubles so we can build a little community of French Wardrobers, I’d appreciate it!)
Lately, I’m loving:
- Finally booking our trip to Belgium! We leave at the end of July for a 10-day stay in Brussels in the cutest hotel imaginable. I can’t wait to explore the EU’s capital and enjoy all of my favorite treats: chocolate, frites, beer, mussels and waffles. We haven’t starting planning too much of our itinerary, so let me know if you have suggestions! We’ll probably do a day trip to The Netherlands or France and a trip to Bruges or Ghent.
- This crazy cute pajama set I won from Sleepy Jones. I was able to mix and match a set that included their new Liberty print. Aren’t the shorts adorable with this oversize seersucker top?
- Tory Burch’s Friends & Family sale (25% off with code FRIENDLY). You have no idea how badly I want to buy this scarf. The print is so beautiful and now that Dave has a convertible, I obviously need something to tie back my hair, right? I also adore this little iPhone wristlet. (I’d buy it at Saks, though. They also have a 25% Friends and Family promotion now, but with free shipping.)