If there’s one thing the French know, it’s style. And food, and wine, and opulently decorated castles, but we digress. Many of the world’s top fashion houses and icons (classic and modern) are French. Paris is one of the world’s biggest fashion capitals and home of the final Fashion Week of the big four, and the only Couture Week. French women are known around the globe for their effortless style and je ne sais quoi. It’s no wonder that women of other nationalities have been playing copycat for decades. Below we reveal the style secrets of the French so you can take a leaf out of their book, no matter where you’re from.
Rule Number 1: Dress For Yourself
French model and Karl Lagerfeld muse Ines de la Fressange once said, “You should dress to feel good, not show off.” If you look at French style, and we mean really examine past the obvious details like colors and cuts, you’ll notice that they tend to go to items that look elegant yet comfortable. French women always look at ease in their clothes, and beyond that, in their own skin. It may take a while for you to reach this point, but once you get there you’ll be golden.
Rule Number 2: Choose Style Over Trends
Everyone has probably heard the famous Coco Chanel quote, “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” French women are not very trendy, yet they are incredibly stylish. They choose timeless pieces that never go out of fashion. They develop a signature style that sticks with them for life. Stock up on items that you know you’ll get a lot of life out of like crisp white shirts, clean denim, breton striped t-shirts, trench coats, and of course LBDs. French women prefer to invest in a few quality pieces that they can use for years and years instead of constantly shopping for disposable items.
Rule Number 3: Learn The Art Of High-Low Dressing
Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t always mean mixing high end designer pieces with more affordable brands. French women love finding the perfect balance between casual and dressy, and almost never completely dress one way or the other. For example, if a French woman is wearing sneakers, she’ll pair them with a blouse and trousers. If she’s wearing jeans and a t-shirt, she’ll dress up the look with red lipstick and a blazer. If she’s wearing a feminine dress, she’ll accessorize with masculine loafers and a trench coat. It’s always quite subtle yet really sets the tone of the look.
|BLACK BLAZER||GREY BLAZER||BLUE BLAZER|
Rule Number 4: Embrace Neutrals
French women aren’t very flashy. This pertains to colors and details. Stick to easy colors like white, beige, brown, grey, navy, and black. Avoid obvious logos and over the top embellishments to capture the perfect French elegance. This doesn’t mean you have to be boring. You can add a pop of color or print in the form of a small accessory, like a scarf or bag. Sticking to a neutral color palette has its perks - it makes shopping, putting together outfits, and organizing your closet much easier. And again, it goes back to rule number 2: your closet will be full of stylish pieces for life.
|GREEN SUIT||BLUE SUIT||GREY SUIT|
Rule Number 5: Find Clothes That Truly Fit
French women know that quality is more important than quantity. Having a smaller amount of good quality clothes that properly fit is much better than having a closet bursting with ill-fitting items. Clothes that are properly tailored for your body will make you feel and look good, and you’ll want to wear them again and again. They show the world that you know the art of tailoring, and will look amazing on you. At Sumissura, every garment is customizable and made-to-measure to your body so you can achieve that flawless French fit.
Rule Number 6: Don’t Try Too Hard (Or Pretend That You Didn’t)
One of the most common words to describe French style is effortless. French women are never too done up. They have that perfect high-low dressing and minimal hair and makeup that always seems to say, ‘oh this old thing? I just threw it on.’ Spending hours in front of the mirror to contour their faces and give themselves perfectly bouncy curls? Forget about it. French women prefer natural beauty and simplicity. A swipe of mascara, a tousle of the hair, and maybe a dab of red lipstick, and they’re out the door no matter the occasion. Ok, so you may need to add a bit of sea salt or surf spray to your hair to achieve that breezy beachy tousle but we won’t tell anyone. Confidence is key here, but once you’ve got it you’ll be loving all your newfound free time. Apéritifs at the corner café, anyone?
Rule Number 7: Sexiness Is Subtle
You don’t need stilettos or a skintight dress with a dangerously low neckline and high hemline to be sexy. In fact, according to the French combining all of these elements is a major faux pas. Choose one traditionally sexy element and go from there. For example, if you have a fitted or top, wear it with wide leg trousers. A mini skirt should be paired with an oversized blouse or sweater. You can also pay homage to Yves Saint Laurent by choosing a menswear-inspired suit instead of going the traditional feminine dress-or-skirt route. A woman in a smoking tuxedo oozes confidence and sex appeal.
|GREEN TUXEDO||WHITE TUXEDO||FLORAL TUXEDO|
You don’t have to be French to capture the essence of French style. All you need are some good wardrobe staples, a relaxed attitude, and self-confidence. Bonne chance!