Coco Chanel, the woman who revolutionized fashion and made it the way we know it now, said that a girl should be two things: classy and fabulous, and this quote explains it all. If you want to have a Parisian style, stay classy and fabulous, and with these 15 tips, you will manage to achieve the eternal chic of a French girl.
It is always better to be slightly underdressed (Coco Chanel).
The most famous fashion designer is always right and even though these words have been said more than half a century ago, they make sense nowadays more than ever. Before going out, have a look at yourself in the mirror and take off one (or more) item. Parisian girls always wonder why Americans wear so much of everything when they dress up, since when a girl is overdressed, it is difficult to see the girl herself behind all the décor she wears. A simple outfit consisting of a pair of cigarette pants and a white shirt with an unusual design paired with flats is all you need to stand out according to Audrey Tautou- a woman whose whole image speaks French.
Boyish slouchy silhouettes.
Put on your boyfriend’s outfit, pair it with heavy shoes and a wide brim hat and your perfect Parisian outfit is ready to go. Oversized coats, pants that are too tight or too big, suspenders, oxford shoes… These items from a man’s closet will help you look like a true Parisian and are perfect for skinny girls. And do not worry, going boyish will not make you look masculine, au contraire- it will give your look a playful touch which is so sexy and appealing.
Caroline de Maigret
French are the masters of street casual. Caroline de Maigret, for example, looks like she didn’t even try when she got dressed in the morning, and nevertheless, her look is quite impressive. It might look like she didn’t try, but the perfect matching of different shades of blue and a big bright red purse prove the opposite. The rule here is to not button your shirt all the way up and to roll up the sleeves or the pants (or both) for the ultimate laissez-faire look.
Minimalism and simplicity.
This rule interrelates with all the rules above. However, it is not quite the same as the previous ones. Contrary to the popular stereotypes, French look is not about embellishing yourself, it is about wearing simple clothes that are not that simple and that will let you stand out and emphasize your personality. Clothes for the true French girls is a way to become visible in a subtle way and is only a means of achieving it, not the final goal.
Out of bed hair (bangs).
If you want to look like a Parisian fashionista, forget about overdoing and overbrushing your hair. You won’t see a girl with a perfect hair on the streets of Paris and interestingly enough, this imperfection is what makes the girls stand out. French girls have this out of bed hair which gives the impression that they never heard of hairdryers and styling products, and that they cut their own bangs. Yes, bangs is another thing you might get if you want to have a Parisian look. Anyway, in order to achieve the perfectly imperfect out of bed look, you need some practice and some styling products made exclusively for this purpose. Lea Seydoux’s hair looks so chic and so French!
Some French say that if a woman has no lipstick, she is half naked. Yes, all this minimalism and nonchalance and boyish looks and out of bed hair require final touch, something that makes the image complete and distinguishes you from the rest of the crowd. Red lips are among French favorites of all time, and they go well with anything from an evening gown to a simple office outfit. Do not say that red lipstick does not fit you, if it does not, it just means that you haven’t found your tone yet. Once you find it, it will become your loyal ally in looking all Parisian.
A woman who doesn’t wear perfume, has not future…
…said Coco Chanel. There is not much to add to this straight-out statement. Find your signature perfume which will remind everyone of your presence even if you have left the room and which will define your personality and say more about yourself than a thousand words. One rule to remember: use a drop of it to leave a mysterious aura around yourself, and never put on too much perfume.
Luxury should be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.
To pull off a true Parisian look forget about all the expensive items that made you walk awkwardly but for some reason you were still convinced you looked nice in those. Being uncomfortable does not flatter anyone no matter how much those shoes and that dress are, so ditch everything that was painful to wear for something as fabulous and fancy but more wearable. Luxury does not mean you should suffer, and being dressed stylish should not turn you into a mermaid and hurt every step you make. Real Parisian luxurious clothing is comfortable and easy to wear.
Create a shape.
If boyish sex appeal is not really for you and you would like to take pride in your curves but still have a certain French chic, then all you need to do is create a shape. Ditch all the shapeless shirts and t-shirts and boyfriend jeans and go for a nice dress, which will emphasize your curves and make you stand out and be the center of attention. Choose knee-length and cover your shoulders to avoid looking vulgar. Pair your style with endless heels for a distinct Parisian look achieved by Laetitia Casta.
Stay dressed, say no to skimpy tops.
I think from the first nine points you already managed to make a certain conclusion about how to dress in order to achieve that evasive Parisian look. All the items discussed above have one rule in common- avoid vulgarity. Wear things that fit (or are a bit loose) and avoid by all means tight revealing tops and dresses. Real French girls do not wear spaghetti strips or muffin tops, their whole image is a mystery that can be solved only by some chosen ones. They will never reveal it to everyone on the street by wearing skimpy tops that show half of the body.
Ines de la Fressange
Natural fabrics bring anyone to the next level of elegance and style and make even a simple outfit look undeniably chic. Cotton, silk, wool, flax, velvet- the variety is great and will fit any style and any needs of yours. Always pay attention to the quality of fabrics and the timeless cut, and the item will serve long time.
A few trusted basics mixed with a beautiful scarf or jewelry.
Everyone probably heard of capsule wardrobe, well, Parisian women are the queens of it, in fact, they invented capsule wardrobe. The core of your wardrobe should consist of a few basics, which fit you perfectly and are timeless. Add a scarf or a nice trendy piece of jewelry for more up-to-date look. Yes, remember: Parisians love scarfs! Scarfs and pashminas twisted and wrapped make half of your French outfit. Get a few of those for all weather conditions and you will have a new look every day of the year!
Fashion fades, only style remains the same.
Nine de la Fressange
You know what distinguishes a French woman from the rest of the world- she has definite style. She might be wearing the same clothes as everyone else but there will be one thing different, something unique. This is called style. Create your own style and have your signature clothes. Most items in your closet should not depend on current trends, they should be timeless. A white crispy shirt, a pair of perfect pants, a black cashmere sweater- there is no rule what your core should be, since it depends on your overall style and activities, but you get the idea. Ines de la Fressange’s 17 year old daughter, Nine, managed to combine a simple dress with a cardigan and big cross-shoulder bag in such a way that it’s perfectly unique while being so simple. Maybe the key is the way she rolled the sleeves, who knows!
Get a few typically French items .
If you want to look like a Parisian girl, get Parisian clothes. A Classic trenchcoat, a little black dress, a striped shirt, a neck scarf, and cigarette pants are all considered French so start with those and it will be a good investment into timeless Parisian classics.
Enjoy life (joie de vivre)!
This is one of the most important points. Enjoy life, smile, laugh, take it easy, buy an ice-cream, have a cup of coffee on the street, carry flowers, and be happy! Joie de vivre is innate for the French but you can learn it by doing. This is the ultimate Parisian girl quality!
Follow these tips and you will look magnifique and oh so Parisian!
(all images sourced via pinterest)