French women are famously chic. It starts with their self-confidence and the way they are always appropriately dressed for every occasion. They are effortlessly elegant, perfectly poised and always au courant. Their mannerisms are refined; their deportment is flawless. And, I find them inspiring. If they have a certain je ne sais quois, it’s because of the time and attention they pay to their appearances.
Having recently done a little research into the stylish French, here are some things I’ve learned:
- Quality matters. Always buy the best clothes you can afford. It’s better to have fewer clothes of higher quality, than an overload of cheap or poorly made clothes.
- Wear clothes appropriate to the event, and when in doubt, it’s generally better to be overdressed than underdressed. (Although black tie is only appropriate for black tie events.)
- Pull together your entire look thoughtfully: top, skirt/pants, shoes, hose, handbag, jewelry, belt. Always check a full length mirror before you leave the house.
- Dress ‘up.’ Never leave the house in yoga pants or sweats unless you’re on your way to work out. Throw out all your old, misshapen, oversized t-shirts. Even if you’re just going to the mailbox or corner store, wear jeans or trousers and a nice top. You never know who you’ll see.
- Be neat and clean. Throw out anything ripped, stained or damaged. Make sure your clothes are clean and pressed. Use a lint brush. Shine your shoes.
- Accessorize judiciously. A scarf or statement necklace can complete an outfit. Wear one or the other; not both. Balance is important. Resist the urge to wear too many pieces at once.
- Put your best foot forward: shoes complete your look. Pumps, booties, wedges, platforms or penny loafers… choose the right shoe for the right occasion. Never wear flip flops (even bejeweled ones) to work. Match your socks to your shoes, not your trousers. Wear hose with pumps, and bare legs and a cute pedi with strappy sandals. Match your shoes and your belt – but it’s not necessary to match your shoes and your handbag.
Find your personal fashion style – and own it!