3 outfit faux-pas that French women don’t make
Darlings, want to master the essence of effortless French style? Check out my 3 outfitting secrets that will instantly give you ce petit je ne sais quoi! Here’s a hint: it’s more about being uniquely you than it is about copying women in Paris...
What is it about French women and their sense of style? Why does the whole world seem to be in agreement that French women have an effortless chic, generally referred to as le style à la française?
I’ll tell you why.
Because they do!
With their nonchalant air, French women just nail the subtle art of not taking themselves too seriously. And that, mes biches (that’s French for "my dears" before you read anything else into that...), that is simply irresistible!
But before I go on, an important sidenote: this story is very similar to the story of French fries. Everybody knows fries are not really French, or at least not exclusively (nope, they are Belgian and you better believe it!), but we still call them French fries. So too is French style more a concept than it is a geographical denomination. It is something women do similarly in Paris, London, Milan, Antwerp, Barcelona, and Lisbon (just to name a few places). You could argue we’d better call it a European-urban style, but it’s a lost battle: nothing will ever beat the allure of the word French...
Geography aside though, the real question is: What does it take to dress French?
Eh ben, c’est pas compliqué ! All it takes is mastery: a sense of confidence and playfulness that comes along with knowing a couple of solid styling rules, and sticking to them only when you feel like it. C’est tout:)
As Style Coach and Personal Shopper, inspiring mastery just so happens to be my entire raison d’être. I take women (and men) on a journey into the essence of good taste. Part of that journey is about outfitting: bringing wardrobe pieces together into unique top-to-toe outfits.
In my experience, that’s where most people struggle. We are really good at buying fabulous statement pieces, but we don’t always know how to wear them.
That is why today I’m sharing 3 outfitting faux-pas that "French" women don’t make. Avoid those, add un petit peu of French to your vocabulary, et voilà!
1. "French" women don’t stick to boxes
A lot of women find it difficult to break free from style boxes when creating outfits. They tend to dress all office-like, all sporty, all chic, all romantic, all rock chic etc, like in this first line of pictures:
“French” women don’t like to get stuck in a box like that. They do this:
They "cross-dress", mixing a fancy Chanel jacket with a black pair of jeans, classy pumps with a denim jacket, a fur coat with trendy sneakers, eccentric 70s pants with a 90s t-shirt, or a silk pleated skirt with an edgy leather jacket.
That is how every outfit turns out one-of-a-kind, unique, unconventional, and interesting. Never a dull moment in Paris!
2. "French" women don’t try too hard
There is something outdated about outfits that look extremely put-together and thought-through from the hairdo all the way down to the shoes, like in these exaples:
Playing matchy-matchy with colours and styles from top to toe can quickly add up to a conservative, unimaginative, Fox-news-anchor sort of style.
Another risk of spending too much time thinking it through, is that you don’t know when to stop. Adding layer after layer of hairspray, jewellery, scarves, accessories, and make-up quickly leads to overload. It can even end up looking a little a fancy-dressy, like in these pictures:
"French" women don't run that risk. They tend to do the opposite. They may put effort in one thing, but will purposely tone down the rest:
Their goal is effortless, and less is more. They will give the eye one thing to focus on, and that’s it. They will make up lips or eyes, but not both; wear statement earrings, or a fabulous necklace, but not both; style their hair, or style their outfit, but not both.
They will also steer clear of too many bright colours in a single outfit, and matching shoes, belt and bag is simply a no-go.
3. "French" women don't bring on the big guns
Some women seem to think that seduction is a matter of showing tons of skin and hugging every single curve, like these ladies here:
More skin and curves = more sassy, sultry and sexy, they seem to believe.
French women know better. They are sexy par hasard:
They naturally know how to walk the subtle line between looking seductive and looking desperate. Seduction is delicate, never in your face, never too full-on, and always a bit mysterious. French women will show some décolleté or some leg, but not both. They know how to maintain that sound 50/50 proportion.
That is also why French women love the oversized trend. Just a hint of feminine underneath an oversized coat, a boyfriend's white shirt, or a cosy sweater, now that's a whole different level of chaud!
Ça suffit pour aujourd’hui (That’s it for today)
Voilà les filles, I hope my outfitting ideas will inspire you to start embracing your uniqueness.
And remember, if you can't figure out how to make your wardrobe work for you, I can help! I can be your Style Coach and Personal Shopper in Brussels.
I offer a whole range of hands-on styling sessions to help you explore, test new grounds, and surprise yourself. Because confidence and mastery inspire courage and playfulness!