C'est La Vie

One of my main reasons for starting this blog was to help myself budget. To keep track of what I was buying, how much I was spending, and how much wear I was actually getting out of my investments.

I'm a little fuzzy on exactly when that stopped, but it did. Not that I suddenly started buying $300 handbags every time I turned around, but I have been making a lot more impulse purchases (especially at the thrift store), and not keeping track of exactly how much I've been spending.

For this upcoming Fall and Winter, I've finally decided to join Jessica, Meg, and Rachelle in embracing the French Wardrobe Challenge. Hopefully I can start making smarter purchases and work towards curating my perfect closet. If you aren't familiar with the concept, you can purchase as many basic pieces as you need to fill gaps in your wardrobe, along with five standout pieces for the six month duration.

The Rules:

  • 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. 

The Basics*:

  • The perfect striped shirt (I like the one I have, but it's starting to look worn out)
  • Tank tops in black, grey and white (I'd like them in silk or something equally nice)
  • Sweaters in black, grey and white (Cotton and acrylic blends need to be replaced with merino wool or cashmere)
  • Winter coat (I don't have a black coat, or a down coat, so it's something to consider)
  • Black pumps 
  • Red pumps
  • Ankle boots  
  • Black ballet flats 
  • Sneakers (I should probably get actual athletic sneakers, since I don't have any, but I'd rather get some white Converse. My sister just got the 'dainty ox' and I love them, they don't make me feel like Bigfoot.)

*This is my own personal list, adapted from the 'official' one to remind me of the things I do need to purchase. Additions to the list are at my discretion as they arise. 

I'm also giving myself a budget of $500, and will be posting updates on my purchases and progress each month. Hopefully I can rise to the challenge, and in the meantime, savor what will likely be my last graphic tee purchase for the next six months, because no matter how fun they are, I know I will not be including one in my five!

c'est la vie tee, striped shorts-3.jpgc'est la vie tee, striped shorts-1.jpgc'est la vie tee, striped shorts-5.jpgc'est la vie tee, striped shorts-2.jpgc'est la vie tee, striped shorts-4.jpgc'est la vie tee, striped shorts.jpg
The Rundown
Graphic Tee Old Navy
Striped Shorts Old Navy similar
Sandals "Keira" Trask via in.d giveaway
Brown Leather Tote Hobo via ebay similar
Anchor Belt ASOS
Anchor Bracelet Knotical Knovelites
Shell Bracelet The Cavernous Jewelry Box similar
Gold Bracelets The Cavernous Jewelry Box
Thin Gold Rings Etsy via Sweet Olive Jewelry
Sunglasses "Bondi" c/o Hobie Polarized
Nail Color "Coral Bikini" Avon


  1. Such a cute tee! And I love the shorts!! A great weight.
    And yayy for joining the challenge! We're gonna have fun ;)

  2. I am loving that the majority of the bloggers I follow are trying to simplify and organize their wardrobes and refine their closets. It's inspiring to know that we're all working towards the same goals of dressing better and striving to quality over quantity. Also that we're not all doing the same challenge. I'm looking forward to seeing what you add and come up with!

  3. Love the nautical styling of this outfit! The shirt is super cute, I love graphic tees!

  4. Good for you for embracing a budget! I actually, for once, have not had a problem not shopping lately. Between pregnancy and still being 25lbs. over my original size post-pregnancy, nothing fits me right in my own closet and I don't want to buy anything not in my size either--be that motivational or denial. I am so glad that you are going to be taking this challenge. I think it will be great and I am excited to hear how it goes!

  5. Good for you! I can't wait to see what you buy. This shorts and t shirt outfit is right up my alley. It is really cute with your top know.

  6. I really can't wait to see what you do with this...I know it will be super stylish though!

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

  7. I should really check out this whole french dressing challenge. I have caught myself really focusing my attire back towards work wear. I even put a cargo style jacket back the other day in favour of a more elegant car coat. Sounds like a great challenge.

    Love the C'est la vie tee - I have the JCREW version.

  8. Great challenge. So easy to just buy more when we really only need some staple pieces! I love these shorts! Adorable

  9. I adore this look
    So fun and summery

  10. Great idea! I can't wait to see what you pick up. Super cute outfit.

  11. This is adorable. I don't need much this fall, so no list as of yet.

  12. Love this post, LOVE that you thrift. I totally understand you about being on a budget. It's actually how I got into thrifting -- to budget msyelf. My biggest rule about thrifting is that I don't buy unless I know for certain that I will wear within the next 30 days and I stop buying when I have no room in the closet. When room runs out, things leave the closet. I am anxious to see how you do with the curtailing this fall.

    Thrifting Diva

  13. LOVELOVELOVE this look-- French meets nautical = possibly the sweetest combo ever. And SO excited to hear your thoughts on the French Wardrobe Challenge... I have friends attempting to do a Fall Capsule Wardrobe and I'm contemplating it myself...
    xx, Emily
    shell chic'd

  14. I love that idea. I have been enjoying reading Rachelle's recaps. You will do great! And I love that tee!


  15. You do nautical so well! I adore those shorts! Good luck with your challenge! It sounds like a wonderful idea!

  16. This sounds like a great challenge. I'm starting Project 333, but I might borrow some of these ideas, too :)

  17. Love this nautical look! Just found your blog and I am loving your style!!! Do check out mine as well - www.canthelpbutstare.com :)

  18. Yay!!! I am so excited you are doing it. We all need to link to each other. Adding you now xoxo

  19. I love, love, love this look. Super casual yet chic!!!


  20. I did this challenge while I was in Paris and it actually worked quite well for me. At the time I was very focussed on blogging because I didn't have another job and the challenges really pushed my creative limits, while saving money that I needed for more practical things like groceries - and more fun ones, like more trips. Even if, ultimately, you colour outside the lines a little bit, I think it's a completely worthwhile experience and one I would probably embrace again, particularly if I were living in Europe and wanted a good way to save up for a few really amazing pieces in a season. Good luck!

  21. Very cute nautical outfit!


  22. Timeless, chic & classic pieces that won't date, love(also love your cute nautical look too;)! X

  23. I want the same tee for myself too :)


  24. Wow, I like the plan, I have a french friend who told me that Americans spend too much on the random trendy stuff that goes out of style and to spend my money on quality classics instead...I still only sometimes do that because I have too much fun with trendy purchases...but yes, this is the way to have the ultimate wardrobe. I'm excited to see this challenge! Should be fun!

    Aesthetic Lounge

  25. Te first three sentences of this post and the title scared me into thinking you were going to stop, haha. I'm happy that you aren't, and wish you good luck with the challenge!! xo

  26. I love your outfit, you look great! Awesome pictures!

  27. Good for you Lydia! Quality lasts longer too. HaHa Your shirt says it all!

  28. In love with that shirt!! And those blue stripes are so fun and classy!

    Fashion | Travel | Food
    Jo from http://www.Styleat30.com
    Let's follow each other: https://www.facebook.com/StyleAt30

  29. Well I love this graphic tee and striped shorts! I think the French wardrobe is a great idea--I've read a little about the concept before, and I'm definitely intrigued. I'm excited to hear and see your experience with it!

  30. Love the shorts and your shell bracelet is so cute!

  31. You can do it dear! You are also reminding me to find a striped shirt to love. I hope you have a good week!

    little luxury list formerly Chic 'n Cheap Living

  32. I have to say that I look forward to seeing you accomplish this. I have read about it, thought about it
    but I am not personally ready.
    You always knock it out of the ballpark with the sailor trend.

  33. I really like this idea! I definitely need to replace some of my items with higher quality fabrics. I just have trouble with the "quality vs. quantity" thing...haha.
    Jeans and a Teacup