I just came back from a week’s vacation in Paris with my family. I love Paris and especially enjoy the people watching whether I’m having lunch on the Louvre terrace at Cafe Marly or watching my girls run around the Jardins de Luxembourg. Not every French woman is the epitome of chic, but many are and they all seem to share the same formula for everyday dressing. It’s also a formula that is rather casual and very modern, but trendy? not so much. While New York women dress similarly, there are some subtle, refined differences that made me rethink what’s in my closet and how I want to put myself together everyday.
Everyday French Formula: skinny jeans/pants (black, usually, but cargos and other dark colors), a blazer or wool jacket, boots with walkable heels (no four-inch stumblers), an understated, often cross-body bag (occasionally Chanel, but most of the time, not a designer I can pinpoint), and a scarf.
Black predominates but it is often black with brown or black with navy, or other neutral combos such as army green and brown, burgundy and gray. And the occasional red scarf. There are no pastels in Paris.
French women wear makeup. Not a lot of makeup, but grown-up makeup. Either a kohl-rimmed eye and bare lips or a red mouth and mascara. Beyond that, their faces look bare of any heavy foundation or powder. No hot pink lips, or even beigey/nude combos.
French women NEVER wear anything related to sport or exercise clothes unless they are on their way to Pilates class. No fleece. Ever. Only cool sneakers as in ones you cannot excercise in such as Converse or Isabel Marant.
At the same time a woman in her 50s will be in the same Converse sneakers and skinny jeans as her younger counterpart. French women don’t care about “age rules” but at the same time, they aren’t afraid to be womanly. Cool is always ok, but girly doesn’t fly.
What is my take-away lesson here? I will invest in more dark denim (luckily my new Rag & Bone zip jeans I posted on previously just arrived and I’m in love), I am considering another pair of mid-heel ankle boots in brown (I have black), I will wear a pea-coat even it’s just to the playground and use the new Chanel gray eyeliner I bought at Bon Marche with regularity.
Topics: Chanel, French women, Isabel Marant, Rag & Bone