What is it about a French woman’s style that makes her appear so chic?
It might be cliché, but French women do indeed have a j’ne se quois or
“a quality that cannot be described or named easily”.
They seem to look fantastic…always.
It all began with Coco Chanel. Mademoiselle Chanel took risks and broke rules. She caused a revolution by incorporating menswear into women’s fashion. She mixed menswear fabrics and cuts with feminine details like pearls, red lipstick and perfume. Coco Chanel was a pioneer. She changed women’s fashion forever.
Can we duplicate this sense of effortless style?
Oui! C'est possible.
5 ways bring a bit of French Chic to our closets:
1. Change our attitude- French women are confident in their wardrobe choices…or they fake it. Unlike most American women, the French don’t seem to care what others think of their outfits. They are comfortable in their own skin and in their clothing. That confidence is attractive and part of the reason we notice them in the first place. Confidence is beautiful.
2. Buy good quality classics- French women (and many of their European sisters) only purchase high-quality garments. They don’t do fast fashion. Their wardrobes are not filled with disposable, poorly made pieces. They hold themselves to a higher standard. They feel they deserve better. I find this is an issue for many of my clients. They don’t believe they are worth an item that is considered expensive even if they love it and can afford it. It is honestly so much better to save for an item that you absolutely love and then wear it for years…than to spend less on a piece that doesn’t thrill you and will barely last the season.
3. Choose solid, neutral colors- French girls dream in navy, black, camel and grey. These colors always play well together (yes, even navy and black). Rely on them for the foundation for your outfit. Invest in a few quality basics…a school-boy blazer, a simple cardigan, a leather jacket. Add interest with a printed scarf or a striped t-shirt.
4. Invest in a great pair of shoes- French women rock some incredible footwear. Again, they buy quality and it shows. They believe in adding
only well-made items to their intentionally curated wardrobes. Shoes are no exception. No cheap imitation brands. Why would they buy shoes that don’t feel great while strolling through Paris? They wouldn’t and neither should you! Stay away from crazy trends and choose comfortable, yet stylish shoes or boots.
5. Limit accessories- French girls wear very little jewelry. The pieces
they do wear are usually simple, delicate and real. In addition, they follow Chanel's rule: "Before you leave the house, take a look in the mirror and take one thing off." This helps to maintain a sense of understated style
that is très chic.
Want to try it?
Here’s a recipe for that
‘Oh, I just threw this together’ French look…
Your favorite jeans- rolled at the ankle
A classic white shirt –half tucked
Ballet flats or sexy heels
A red lip or a smoky eye
Finish the outfit with a blazer or cardigan and a scarf. Get ready to be mistaken for a French girl :-)
I’m forever trying to finesse my look to make it more French. I’m currently practicing my conversational French daily with the hope that if I can speak it fluently, I will also be fluent in French chic. We'll see...
When in doubt, ask yourself what a modern Coco Chanel would wear?
Any style Francophiles out there? I’d love to hear how you channel your inner French girl. Comment below or send me an email- firstname.lastname@example.org
Merci d'avoir lu.
Hello, I'm Kristen.
As a personal stylist,