Somehow French women and their fashion statements have been thrown forcefully into our ideal of chic — a lilly pad to be worshiped if you will. Women like Clemence Poesy, Marion Cotillard, and Emmanuelle Alt have an irrevocable mix bag of cool that seems to require little effort on their part.
However, let’s all stop obsessing over the idea that French women are “born with it.” I call BS on that. While I think there is something to the French madness that deserves style kudos and emulation, saying they don’t try hard to be stylish or cool is like claiming you just came from the beach with perfect Blake Lively waves. World of no to those claims — I see you watching a youtube video for 45 minutes and using a BB salt spray technique…. and I’ll tell you what, no one cares! Not even Blake Lively “woke up like that.” Own it!
And that my friend, is the true beauty to the French allure. They are going to break all the rules they want and not give a single F, but they do so with dignity, integrity, and confidence. They love style, and consistently push themselves to embody it just like the rest of us. They just don’t care what the rest of us think.
So lets channel that “French” attitude and break some rules (while following a few keys ones), throw in some interesting yet casual combos, scruff up our hair and stop giving a damn if an outfit is daring. Here is how to dress like a Parisian.
Parisian women and I do have one major thing in common. We both LOVE neutrals. They look good on everyone and allow you to do fun things like play with silhouettes and textures while remaining casual, cool, and confident. The art of not giving an F, to a Parisian, means you need to strip away all those high maintenance colors and master your neutral layering game.
Always have a good blazer
The blazer proudly hangs in every French women’s closet as their everyday secret style weapon. While most working American women hope to burn their blazers the second they come home from 9-5 shifts, Parisians in contrast, like to balance out casual daily wear with this structured piece.
They wear their blazers dressed down by pairing them with washed denim, a belt, and some killer flats (parisian women never wear heals if they can help it). This item shows a certain level of sophistication and self-worthiness while visually cleaning up your jeans-and-T Saturday look into a styled outfit. Our blazer shown above comes with a belt — Voila!
I know… real original. Stripes are a classic though! The French understand this as sure as I understand that just because my favorite food is avocado toast that doesn’t make me “basic.” My parents will always think I’m special…
Dress in stripes in an obvious way and you’re telling the world you are trying to hard to be a French mime stereotype. You may as well have a baguette and the words “deep thoughts” written on your journal. However, pair this classic and timeless pattern with modern statement pants and casual flowy lines and you are a Parisian.
Also, I put cream with white because no rules suckers!… Except not really — the butter cream necklace had to be thrown in to make the visual obtrusion purposeful and styled.
Leather and a classic white blouse
Leather has and always will be cool and edgy. It is a proven historical fact and don’t ask me why. Parisians will usually pair something this edgy with a clean and sophisticated blouse — they like to put white blouses with everything possible and you should too.
With such a sleek and polished outfit, here is where you want to throw in a themed color for accessories. Note — never be too matchy matchy though! Ex.: Choose varieties of purple rather than the same color purple throughout.
I told you style rules are out the window! You be your bad self and go show the world you own it. On the style side of things, the leather dress has brighter colors to keep it from reading too biker chic and the jacket has knit sleeves to keep it casual. This is our Parisian nod to fashion week.
This is what I imagine a Parisian would wear to a wedding, A simple off the shoulder LBD with a casual but luxurious shrug. This off the shoulder LBD isn’t trying too hard in its simplicity, but isn’t style savvy enough on its own. The furry shrug adds texture, warmth (with color and temperature), and, most importantly, easy and understated glamour.
As Carine Roitfeld said, “Do what you’re not supposed to do.”
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