French chic do’s and don’ts
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The Secret of French Chic do’s and don’ts…
Dear Sharon: I recently returned from my first trip to Paris and was amazed at how the French women really do have that certain something that you always hear about. I felt that my wardrobe obviously looked different and my clothing style didn’t do justice by comparison. My husband says I’m nuts and not to worry, but looking at those women in Paris made me realize that my style can use some improving. The thing I can’t quite put my finger on is why the French look so good, they just do to me. Help me make myself look more French chic. –Step Up My Style, (Ft Lauderdale, FL)
Dear Step Up My Style:I hate to be a poodle with a bone in his mouth about this however it’s not what the Parisians wear but more of what they don’t wear to get that certain city street French chic look. Every area both in the United States and abroad has a definite uniqueness in its overall style— albeit for the good, overdone, or horribly wrong. What’s hot in one city may never make the grade in another but on observation, French chic always has that extra special, polished something that is universally elegant and timeless. There is a distinct undone, offhanded attitude that is very planned and perfectly executed without ever appearing as if it took more than a moment to “naturally” put together.
>> READ FRENCH CHIC, WHAT TO WEAR IN PARIS
If you look closely at their style, the Parisians are not necessarily wearing something amazing; it’s that they innately know how to put the entire ‘ensemble” together in a way which makes you believe that every single piece is incredible! It’s about the whole outfit working in unison rather than tossing on random garments like a train wreck from the clothing factory and then leaving the house.
>> READ: HOW TO DRESS FRENCH WHEN YOU ARE NOT
Perhaps, since most Paris apartments don’t offer a vast amount of closet space that their personal style is very well-honed and edited to include only the best pieces to work together in an essential, core wardrobe from head to toe.
Understanding the Style of French Chic…
proportion. Every element of the outfit is put together to work as a whole. You don’t see women running around in lumpy parkas which hit their hip at the wrong place and do nothing for the rest of their outfit— it’s a very meticulous way that each shape or layer adds on to create the perfect silhouette.
Outerwear is not an afterthought to stay warm but an essential part of the outfit, therefore coats are well-shaped, tailored, and at a length that works with the cut of pants, length of skirt, and shoes. Coats and jackets also tend to be more polished and city chic rather than sporty casual which lends an immediate air of sophistication to the overall look. As are a scarf, hat, gloves, and a handbag that are all coordinated but never matchy-matchy— they are not afraid to add a quick pop of a bold color like crimson, emerald, neon pink, electric blue, or canary worn with an otherwise neutral palette to add that special dash of distinction.
There is a certain understanding and respect for the surroundings and the French dress for that appropriateness; therefore athletic clothes that are “comfortable” are simply not an option for city day wear unless going to or from the gym. It’s more French Chic to be comfortable wearing time-honored clothing that doesn’t give off a sloppy or lazy appearance.
On a trip to Paris during its Metro strike the level of street style never flinched because of a transportation adversity. Instead of seeing women roaming the streets in athletic sneakers and tube socks with their business suits to compensate for the extra blocks they had to walk, the French looked just as attractive as ever with no need to cave in to yucky footwear because they actually had to saunter or ride a bike more than usual! French do wear sneakers, but they are sneakers that are stylish rather than designed for working out at a sport. For that matter, you don’t see sheepskin boots either unless you’re in the country. You can never underestimate the style power of proper shoes!
French Chic beauty has a less is more attitude that is not self-conscious but instead very at ease in their skin.
That means no long, garish fake fingernails, no heavy powdery makeup, no overwaxed eyebrows, no overbleached yellow blonde hair, no crispy hair gel, and no orange fake suntans—although sadly, there is a trace of LaLaLand inspired carroty tans loitering around Paris.
What you do see in terms of French Chic beauty are plenty of gorgeous brunettes with simple, stylishly undone hair, natural eyebrows, minimal appearing makeup with a “no make-up” feel, smoldering kohl lined eyes, natural lip color or a bold crimson lipstain all creating the facade of better than natural, but still very approachable, confident, and unfussed.
Here’s the cheapest and easiest French Chic beauty secret that you can steal, stand straight! There is not a better way to show off self-confidence in your appearance than having perfect, erect posture and presenting yourself with pride. Magnifique!
Required Reading for Instant French Chic:
- Join my FREE newsletter and download “Passport to French Chic,” now!
- The French Chic at a Certain Age Series
- French Chic Fashion Tips
- How to Dress French When You Are Not
- Stylist Advice: Should I Revamp My Wardrobe From The Ground Up For French Chic Style?
- The French Chic Formula for Everyday Style a la Emmanuelle Alt
- French Chic Style
- Paris Street Style- How to wear IT!
- Cannes Do Chic Series
- French Chic Shoe Lesson 101: Red shoes pops a simple LBD, a la Berenice Bejo
- More French Chic posts
–December 13, 2007