Ever wondered how Parisian women look so chic even in a simplest outfit? It’s because style is integrated in their DNA, without even being aware of it. As Coco Chanel herself once said: “La mode se démode, le style jamais“, means that fashion goes out of fashion, style never does. Visiting Paris often taught me a lot about Parisian style, and the number one rule of Parisian style can be described in one simple word: effortless.
Parisian women are able to simply throw an outfit together, without taking so much time and effort. Wearing almost no makeup and create the ‘make-up no, make-up look’ from dusk till dawn.
Here are the five main Parisian style rules:
1. Individuality, Sensuality, Elegance, Simplicity: Learn from most iconic of all like Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, Jacqueline de Ribes, Françoise Hardy, or Caroline de Maigret. Their style incarnates the epitome of french chic, that is to say simplicity mixed with a kind of natural sexiness, effortless understatement, femininity with a hint of rebel girl by breaking the rules.
2. Be discrete about labels & never follow the trends: Parisian chic means, always mix your outfit and never wear a whole trendy outfit. You have to create your own unique style and to look different, so it’s not chic to wear clothes with the brand name shown “in your face”. Labels don’t define your style, but how you wear your clothes. Focus on developing your personal style, and forget the trends. What’s in today, will be out tomorrow.
3. Be unique & create your timeless style: Create your own style, what suits you the best. Find unique timeless vintage pieces and combine them with trendy accessories. Always choose smart looks over girly outfits, combine flat shoes with flirty dresses, wear red lipstick with a simple white shirt, and of course elegant accessories like black or red berets, men’s watches, bags that are more timeless than fashionable. A huge no-gos are: heavy make-up, long plastic nails, over styled hairdos, push-up bras and everything else that is unnatural.
4. Less is more – Just like Parisian Mademoiselle Coco Chanel, once said “before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” Never wear more than three delicate jewellery pieces, less is more. If you want to wear a statement piece, choose only one like statement earrings, a scarf, a hat, or a great pair of statement shoes and pair it with the best Parisian accessory: simplicity.
5. Try to look “intellectual” instead of “sexy.” – French women attract attention without showing too much skin, so they don’t like to be over-sexy. The sexiness comes from the way they talk, walk and hold themselves. It all comes from what is left to the imagination and is more about how you carry yourself than what skin is showing. Parisian style is more than skin-deep.
The effort to create your own unique style is made when you are buying the clothes. It’s when you need to invest the time to find items that are ideal for you, timeless and that can be combined in different ways. To create my French effortless chic, I wore a trench coat combined with 3/4 jeans with puffed sleeve blouse.
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Photography (c) Anya Sandul
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