How to Dress a Little French

Posted on 13 April 2016

How to Dress French

Fashionistas everywhere have long had an obsession with French style and many books, blogs and magazine articles have been published on said subject. Pulling off that ‘effortless’ Parisian look actually does require a bit of effort; much like the no make-up make-up look! Whilst I don’t believe women in France necessarily have better style than women elsewhere they do have a formula that gives them that certain je ne sais quoi that many women aspire to. France is a country long associated with all things fashion; after all they brought us Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, and Yves St Laurent and that’s good enough for me! Yes French women are chic but do they really own the secret to style?  Read on for a few tips on how to add a little French style to your look…

Keep it Simple

The real allure of dressing French is in its simplicity. French women love neutrals and they invest in black, grey, camel and navy with a little white thrown in. When you have these staple colours forming the basis of your wardrobe it makes pulling together an outfit so much easier! You’ll want to look like you haven’t spent more than 5 minutes getting ready even if that isn’t the reality!

Black is Always in Fashion

Black is such a chic and easy option for women everywhere and it’s unlikely it will ever go out of style. The good news is it is ok to wear all black as long as you mix your textures to keep it interesting.

Build your Basics

Don’t be a slave to trends and learn to know the shapes that flatter your best bits. Find your perfect black ankle skimming trousers and when you do buy two pairs! If your lucky enough to find the same trousers in navy and grey it's worth stocking up as perfect trousers are hard to find! Spend time finding a great white shirt, the perfect blazer, simple but well cut t-shirts, dark skinny jeans and the iconic little black dress. 

Cut is Everything!

French women obsess over cut. No ill-fitting jackets or trousers here. Always dress for your body type and alter things to fit perfectly when you need to.

Less is More

Coco Chanel once said, "before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory." Do not over accessorise (I struggle with this one as I do love my jewellery)! Never have your cleavage and legs on show at the same time!  French women love to be feminine without being overly sexy. It's all about one fabulous piece and a dramatic red lip is also always appropriate. But spend some time finding your perfect red.

Details Matter

It’s all about polish! Not just nail polish (but that too, on short, always well-manicured nails). French women focus on the finer details and as a result the whole look appears seamless and effortlessly sophisticated.

Don’t Scrimp on the Basics

Buy the best you can afford. This is in tune with less is more rule. French women own less but better quality clothing and this actually makes it easier to get dressed each day. Focus on filling your wardrobe with great quality basics that you can enjoy (and depend on) year after year. Always invest as much as you can in a great coat, handbag and shoes. If you get those pieces right you can mix and match with less expensive items but your look will be really pulled together!

In With the Flats

French women love flat shoes, but then Paris is a walking city with many cobbled streets so needs must! Sneakers (in muted colours) ballet flats, ankle boots and brogues are all staple shoes. I must say I am not a ballet flat kind of girl – even the Chanel ones fail to inspire me and I am still on the lookout for the perfect flats.

Embrace the Leather Jacket

Layering is key and the leather moto jacket is the perfect go to piece. A great leather jacket with a beautiful scarf will see you through many seasons. I LOVE a leather biker jacket and I own them in several colours. The best bit is that the more battered and old they become the better they look!

Dainty Rules

When it comes to jewellery dainty rules for Parisian women. Delicate jewellery makes a subtle statement and it’s perfect for layering.

Finally if you’ve been inspired to add a little je ne sais quoi to your wardrobe have a look at these great high street French brands…Maje, Comptoir Des Cottoniers, Gerard Darel, Sandro and Claudie Pierlot.


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