Parisiennes in particular have, since the dawn of fashion, been admired for their chic, French look – a style that is effortless and sophisticated, a certain “je ne sais quoi” if you will. The look is hard to replicate and, so, is infamously unattainable for good reason. But, with these tips, you can strut down Les Champs-Élysées knowing you’re as close as it gets!
Creating the look
Let’s start with the outfit. Paris is a fashion capital but if we’re honest, the French are rather reserved when it comes to clothing—especially color! Everyday wear consists of black and white and, on a daring day, maybe gray! All right, I’m exaggerating, but…
the French are rather nervous about bright colors, they don’t trust them and so find it hard to take people seriously when they are wearing a bright yellow shift dress.
Stick to muted and earthy tones if you can’t bear the thought of a monochrome outfit. On the whole, the French are also fairly low key, discrèt, they don’t dress up the way expats tend to do. A quality pair of skinny jeans and a shirt with interesting details will be just fine. Finish off with a noteworthy jacket or coat, something in a timeless cut like a fitted blazer or men’s lapel coat.
Shoes and accessories
The rule of thumb in Paris is: when it’s cold, wear a scarf, and when it’s hot… wear a scarf! Parisiennes are obsessed with scarves, and I’m convinced they must have scarf origami classes in maternelle school. There are hundreds of ways to tie a scarf and the French know them all, from the sophisticated Madame on her way to the boulangerie to the 7 year-old on her way to the park — they’ve all got serious scarf game. Less is more when it comes to jewelry; and girls, give your feet a rest as high heels are reserved for a visit from the Queen only!
Honestly, you will never see more ballet pumps and shoe boots than in a Paris club.
Maybe it’s the flawless skin, the toner or the French-Women-Eat-Healthy diet but les françaises have impeccable complexions. Makeup is not seen so much as a necessity as it is an accessory. Skip the basics like foundation and concealer, add a slick of mascara, some dewy highlighter and a smear of lip balm et voilà! Keep the classic red lip for evening drinks and dinner dates.
French women know they can go far with a great haircut, a bottle of champagne and a divine perfume!
– Mireille Guiliano, Author of “French Women Don’t Get Fat”
Obtaining French hair is all in the cut. Routine, good quality haircuts allow the French to wake up with hair that just does what it is told. They also don’t fight their hair’s natural qualities, you won’t find a French girl straightening the life out of her bouncy curls. Work with what you’ve got and play it to your advantage.