Zut alors! French women are so tré¨s chic that it can send fashion lovers into an epileptic shock. These females, especially ones who hail from Paris, are instilled with the fashion gene from the moment of conception. Their ability to look effortlessly stylish in any situation has spawned countless books to explain this “je ne sais quoi” style, such as Ines de la Fressange’s Parisian Chic: A Style Guide and Jennifer L. Scott’s Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris.
How do the Parisians do it? Well, it’s not what they’re wearing but how they’re wearing it and since sharing is caring here are five simple and easy style rules they live by, plus we’ve found several splurge-worthy pieces to help you on your way dress like a French woman.
Basic But Brilliant Black
The popular saying “black goes with everything” is no joke. Black is a color staple in a Parisian woman’s wardrobe and they have it in multiple pieces allowing them to easily transition from day to nightwear. When Parisians wear black they don it in different textures, shapes and silhouettes. Try mixing Danier’s Annika dress with a matte-looking cashmere cardigan and French Sole tassel slipper. For a multi-purposes athletic look, try-on MISBHV’s varsity jacket which mixes leather and wool.
Danier Annika Lamb Leather Dress, $299; French Sole Penelope Tassel Slipper, £190 (approx. $352 CAD); MISBHV 'Trouble Maker' Varsity Jacket, $328.95 USD.
Stripes Shirts Are A French Fashion Staple
To add visual interest to an outfit the Parisians don’t need to deck themselves in loud graphics prints from head to toe. One striped shirt paired with trousers in any cut, from skinny to flare leg, will do the trick. The idea here is to make the striped shirt the focal point of your outfit and keep anything else you wear to a bare minimum.
Gap Fitted Boyfriend Stripe Shirt, $59.95; Joe Fresh Stripe Ponte Tee, $39.
Loose Fitting Fashions
Wearing skin-tight shirts, skirts and pants can be sexy but to wear it 24/7 can get a little uncomfortable, especially if you want to eat a whole French baguette fresh from the bakery! Looking and being sexy is all about attitude and for the French oftentimes when clothing is less revealing it is when you’re at your most attractive, looking effortlessly confident. Acne Studios’ wide-leg pant would match perfectly with your favorite striped shirt and to keep you warm throw on Zara’s loose fitting trench coat.
Acne Studios Shady Wide-Leg Pant, $370 USD; Zara Studio Loose Fit Trench Coat With Buckles, $159.
Never Forget Your Accessories
Hats, gloves, a chic handbag, jewelry and a scarf can propel an outfit for yawn to a yes! The French never forget to add key accessories which complement their wardrobe and not overpower. Make sure to select pieces designed in subtle shapes or monochromatic designs; we found you the perfect summer hat from J.Crew and messenger bag from River Island.
J.Crew Panama Hat, $68 USD; River Island Navy Woven Panel Messenger Bag, $80.
Flats Are Your French Friend
Donning a pair of stilettos heels for the day may seem like a good idea at first, but your feet will hate you by noon. The Parisians do a lot of walking in and around their city and we suggest you follow their lead and slip your feet into a pair of chic and, most importantly, comfortable flats. The Michael Kors Jeslyn loafer and Pollini slingback shoe are perfect to wear to and from work and when you’re exploring the streets of the City of Love.
Michael Kors Jeslyn Suede Loafer, $275; Pollini Slingback Flat, $838 USD.