Steal French Woman’s Fashion Secrets

Let’s just accept it—when it comes to style, the French do it better. Find yourself staring at photos of Parisian “it” girls like singer Lou Doillon or actress Clémence Poésy and wondering how they look so utterly perfect all the time? You aren’t alone. We wonder too!

Break down the wardrobes of these women, and the style rules they live begin to crystallize. Invest in a few classic luxury items, like a Hermès Kelly, knowing it will ultimately be a value spread over time. And above all, work to perfect a unique style of your own, because half the battle is won when it comes to dressing well is feeling good in what you are wearing.

So here we’ve compiled the 10 fashion rules that the most stylish Parisian women live by. Just because you aren’t French doesn’t mean you can’t dress like one.


# Say no to most trends, and develop a signature look

Yes, France may have Zaras and H&Ms selling fast fashion at every corner too, but the cornerstone of French style still rests in the classics.

Parisian fashionistas develop a signature look and stick with it. They might update their wardrobe with a few trends, but they always stick to a similar aesthetic. This also makes shopping a heck of a lot easier. “Please don’t ask me about trends,” style setter Julia Roitfeld told Vogue. “I’m into buying clothes that make me feel pretty, that flatter me, but I have never cared about having the latest thing.”

French women are not fashion slaves but rather style followers. They carefully review the new season’s trends and select one or two items to update their look, giving the basics from their wardrobe a new twist.

Building a wardrobe à la francaise prefers saving the money where you might spend on that fluted sleeve/off shoulder (insert current trend here) top you saw in Mango last week and going hunting for one well-cut piece that will stick by you for more than one season.

Use the bi-annual sales to make the most of updating your basic wardrobe with the best you can afford Or find that one-off designer piece you fall in love with.


#Perfect tousled, sexy bed-head look and light makeup

Ever notice how French women never seem to have hair that looks fussy? When fashion editor Carine Roitfeld shows up on the red carpet in an evening gown she always wears her hair down, it barely seems brushed, yet it looks utterly perfect and sexy. Get the look yourself with Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, which will add a sexy wind-blown look to your hair, or try your luck simply waking up and not going to the trouble of styling your hair. If Carine can do it, why can’t you? Just try to wake that French Woman in you! So, start from this very moment.

French ladies tend to get very dressy and then skip or go light on the makeup and hair. The balance creates this effortless look

But let’s be honest this is not effortless and only looks like it is.

It’s important to distinguish between an “effortless” look, and not putting any effort in.

It’s just an illusion

A quick update that French women have mastered to take their look from day to evening by the perfect red lip. No need to bring a change of clothes to work, lipstick is all it takes to add a little evening glamour to your outfit.

# You can’t go wrong with a Breton striped shirt

A French woman in a Breton striped shirt is a bit of a stereotype, but with good reason—nothing looks quite as effortlessly cool. Pair one with a pair of skinny dark washed jeans and a pair of flats for a weekend of errands or with a print skirt for a more dressed up bohemian look. This could never go wrong giving you a classic French woman look.

#Live in a wear-with-anything trench coat

Parisian women have made the trench coat into their BFF. Wear it on the weekends with jeans, over gowns to formal events, layered with a fur stole when the weather gets colder, over your shoulders during the spring—the possibilities are endless. It’s no wonder that French style icons like Brigitte Bardot and Françoise Hardy were rarely photographed out of a trench.

# It’s all about the fit and highlighting few body parts sometimes

French women wear clothes that flatter their bodies, regardless of trends. Step one is buying clothes that fit your body well. Step two is finding a great tailor to make sure that everything in your closet fits a T—from your everyday black pants to your go-to black-tie gown.

The French are also fans of loose fitting comfy shirts and tops. Part of the effortless cool seems to come from not caring if every single item of clothing shows off your best features, but thinking about how the overall look works.

For example, low-rise loose jeans and a baggy shirt might make your waist disappear and do nothing for your bum, but this outfit will highlight the wrists, ankles, and collarbone, and just looks cooler than a tight-fitting dress.

# Think in a neutral palette

For the most part, French women dress in a grown-up neutral palette of black, white, beige, and brown, and add pops of color to their look with accessories—say a red handbag or a brightly patterned scarf. It makes mixing and matching from within your closet pretty effortless, not to mention sticking within this palette makes it hard to make a fashion mistake.


#Have a signature pair of shoe

Actress Catherine Deneuve wore a single pair of Roger Vivier buckled low-heeled pumps throughout her 1967 classic “Belle de Jour,” which got us thinking—you don’t need a thousand pairs of shoes to look fabulous, you just need one or two great pairs to get the job done. Karl Lagerfeld muse Inès de la Fressange is carrying on the tradition today, regularly wearing Roger Vivier Gommette patent-leather ballerinas with just about everything. In the words of Coco Chanel: “A woman with good shoes is never ugly!” It’s a sentiment that’s hard to argue with.

# Investment shop when building your closet

A big part of why French women get it so right, so often, is that they tend to investment shop rather than buying into trends. Save up for the pieces that you know you’ll have for life—that Hermès scarf, a Chanel bouclé jacket, or a string of Mikimoto pearls if that’s your style. It might seem like a big investment, but divided over a lifetime of wear, a big-ticket purchase that you love can turn out to be a value when compared with an endless string of disposable purchases.

# Wear a menswear-inspired tuxedo for evening

In 1966 Yves Saint Laurent invented his famous Le Smoking tuxedo suit for women. It is a style that has been in fashion ever since. So do as Parisian girls like Lou Doillon continue to do, and swap your gown for a tuxedo for your next evening event. Sexy and sleek, you’ll definitely stand out in a crowd of over-the-top evening-wear.

# Dress for yourself, and yourself only

It’s a rule that not just stylish French women, but pretty much all stylish women have mastered—great style is about dressing for yourself and yourself only. “You should dress to feel good, not show off,” Inès de la Fressange says. “It takes life to learn that.


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Khushboo Malhotra

Khushboo Malhotra

Fashion stylist, blogger at Kakcho
Hi there, I am a fashion designer, stylist, and a blogger, fashion to me is putting my emotions and myself into art and presenting myself through that, want to get yourself style contact me kakcho app. Stay fun, Stay stylish
Khushboo Malhotra

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