French style is effortless.
Compared to the Italians who are sophisticated and the english who are eccentric French women are not afraid to go out without make up, their hair not done and their nails not painted. This doesn’t mean that they look a mess when they go out, they just do it in a way which looks clean, elegant and chic. Coco Chanel once said, “before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” Do not over accessorize. Do not show too much cleavage or leg. French women love to be feminine without being overly sexy or entertaining excessive extras. It’s all about one fabulous piece and a dramatic red lip is also always appropriate.
French women love fashion but are not a slave to short-lived, high-frequency fads. I never met a French woman wearing anything super flashy or too tight/small/high to walk in. It is all about the timeless, well-cut, and classic look – snug jeans, tailored blazers, classic trench coat, cashmere sweaters and little black dresses. They obsess over fabric too—it has to feel expensive (even if it’s not)!
French women love black, white, navy, and nude, tonal colors. Not only are these very easy to wear regularly and mix-and-match with other neutrals, they are simple and versatile. One outfit my employer wore a lot over the summer were white, well-tailored cropped pants and an array of simple (but deceivingly expensive) navy and white blouses. With some fun changes in jewelry, sunglasses, and ballet flats, this look is multipurpose, functional, and almost always appropriate no matter the occasion.
“Foreigners say French women are grey and beige. They forget the details, and the nuances within the details. The allure of french women lies in simplicity, shown through a well-chosen handbag or a perfect pair of shoes. Americans tend to follow trends. Italians are more Sophisticated. To me, Kate moss in the Saint Laurent ad epitomizes Parisian elegance, with her slightly askew chignon; she’s a chic woman, completely unstudied. that’s my way of working; I like hair that shifts and moves. it dent have to be perfect to convey emotion”, – Sylvain Le Hen (Hairdresser, founder of Hair DesignAccess)
It’s all about polish! Not just nail polish (but that too, on short, well-manicured nails). I loved observing how women do not wear anything with creases, flaws, or chips. They focus on the finer details and as a result the whole appears seamless and effortlessly sophisticated.
“Paris Street Style. A guide to effortless chic.” By Isabelle Thomas and Frederique Veysset.
You can find it on Amazon or Urban Outfitters.