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True French Style

Having spent 10 days in Paris, I obeiffel towerserved a lot of very stylish women. And men. And kids. Style, it seems, is in the French DNA.

Or is it?

Or is it just that it’s part of the French culture to pay attention to what they wear. To get dressed “on purpose,” which is also my mission statement.

Despite all the books you read about the mysterious French je ne sais quois, my observation is that the French follow a few simple guidelines.

Here’s what I saw:

  • Women wear scarvesclassic burberry scarf
  • Men wear scarves
  • Kids wear scarves
  • Major fashion labels are in France, but Parisiens don’t seem to wear them. Not a lot of Chanel, Hermes or others flaunted – except some Burberry scarves. Michael Kors was the most obvious handbag. Many carried handbags without labels.
  • Contrary to the books, French women do get fat. Not in the same numbers as North Americans, but there are some.
  • Contrary to style books, French women do wear running shoes.
  • French women don’t wear makeup. And look stunning.

Here is a snapshot of the real street style in Paris:

Street style – women: Typically monochromatic with a pop of colour, usually in a scarf or shoes. Everyone wears scarves – they complete a look. Not always dressed to the nines, but always dressed in an “outfit.” Low heeled boots or shoes are common. Black tights with skirts and dresses. Occasionally a hat, not often. Handbags carried at the elbow in a very ladylike manner. Not a lot of designer labels, but always well put together.

Street style – men: suits with skinny pants, scarves over suits/ties. Older men carry traditional briefcases, as do younger men “on the rise.” Others carry backpacks. Trench coats very popular.

What style tips can you take from this? I’d love to hear from you

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Easy summer style

Many women wonder how to stay cool and stylish during hot summer months. There are some great options that don’t involve oversized Ts and cargo shorts. Try these looks for afternoons at the Farmer’s Market, a family backyard bbq or strolling City streets window shopping.

striped dressThis cute sundress is perfect for sunny afternoons on the patio (yours or a local pub). The bright colours are perfect for summer and it’s fashionably easy to wear. It’s also suitable for office if paired with a blazer (which will also help keep cold A/C off your neck and shoulders).

Many women like to wear shorts, especially outside of work. The French believe that no one over Chicos linen shortsthe age of 12 should be caught dead in shorts, especially women. If you do like to wear shorts, be sure to choose those with natural fabrics, such as these great linen shorts. Please do not wear cargo shorts or athletic wear! Neither is flattering nor suitable for daytime events. To be chic and stylish, never wear shorts with athletic shoes, sun visors or fanny packs. Instead, pair shorts with a light tank top or blouse. Don’t forget to accessorize with a chunky necklace and sleek sunnies.

The other look I like for summer is a cool maxi dress. Many people Chicos paisley maxi dressmight think that maxi dresses are too warm, but they are surprisingly light and flow-y. Again, choose natural fabrics that breathe and move with you.

There are many great looks – find your own style and have a chic summer!