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How to dress "à la française"? 5 tips to look like a Parisienne

Effortless elegance, casual chic... I think that best describes the French style of dress! The Parisian woman is classic and sober, but wears elegant clothes with a modern, trendy touch. Want to look like French icons like Jane Birkin or, more recently, Anne-Laure Mais or Jeanne Damas? Follow our 5 tips for looking like a Parisienne!

Opt for classic, timeless pieces

To look like a Parisienne, you need to opt for sober colors (black, navy blue, gray...), classic but good-quality models, few accessories... And that's it! That's all you need! In your wardrobe, you'll need basics like blue jeans, a white shirt, a wool sweater, a black dress, a gray t-shirt, a trench coat, a sailboat, a leather jacket... And if your budget allows: a designer bag is also a Parisienne must-have! A luxury bag is seen as an investment. It's a piece that's expensive but won't lose its value, will always be in fashion and will last a lifetime! It can even be handed down from generation to generation.

The Parisian woman's look is classic but never boring, as she adds modern touches with strong pieces, for example: a designer jacket or bag, a color that energizes the outfit, classic loafers but with studs, a silk scarf but with modern patterns, a hat...

Speaking of shoes, French women wear high heels, like pumps, but not only. They are also often seen in sneakers, even with dresses or chic evening wear, sometimes to break the codes.

Save your gym clothes... for the gym!

In the U.S., many people go out in jogging pants or leggings, but in France there are rules! Pyjamas are worn only to sleep, and sportswear is reserved... for sports! You don't go to work in tracksuits, for example (unless you're a sports teacher, of course).

We also avoid flip-flops, which we wear only at the beach!

Don't overload your outfit

Coco Chanel used to say, "Before you leave home, look in the mirror and take off one accessory."

To look like a Parisienne, you need to give the impression that your style isn't worked on, and that you're "effortlessly" elegant:

- make-up is sober and natural, and doesn't attract attention. The complexion is flawless, without the impression that you're wearing make-up,

- accessories are subtle and not too numerous: choose a few light jewels to complement and dress up your outfit, such as earrings or a pretty watch!

- clothing is not too sexy (avoid, for example, a dress that's too short or tight, or visible undergarments).

- not too many patterns or flashy, garish colors.

Wear tights and pretty underwear

In autumn and winter, it's normal to see French women wearing tights under their skirts and dresses. Choose them according to the temperature (the thickness - and therefore the warmth - of tights is measured in "deniers". The greater the number of deniers, the thicker and more opaque the tights). Plain, woolen, patterned, lined, colored... You'll find them everywhere, and every model is available to add a sexy or cosy touch to your outfit!

When it comes to underwear, there are plenty of French brands to choose from too: Princesse Tam Tam, Chantal Thomass, Agent Provocateur, Aubade... French women wear comfortable lingerie, but also pretty, sexy lingerie, even without a special occasion. In general, they don't wear bras with padding.

s'habiller à la française, une femme porte de la lingerie et des bas

Avoid large logos

The Parisienne wears designer clothes, but doesn't need to show it off with flashy logos: the cut and material are enough to show that the pieces in your look are of good quality. So choose clothes that fit perfectly (not too small or tight, nor too big) and noble materials. Avoid synthetics in favor of natural materials such as cotton, linen or leather.

The same goes for handbags: no imitation leather! And there's no need to choose the biggest bag with the biggest logo - on the contrary.

A few French brands to complete your wardrobe:

  • Maje

  • Rouje

  • Ba&sh

  • Zadig & Voltaire

  • Sandro

  • Claudie Pierlot

  • Sézane

  • Rosaé

  • Comptoir des Cotonniers

  • The Kooples

  • Isabelle Marant

  • Gérard Darel

  • Polène

  • Jonak

  • Repetto

  • Nat & Nin

  • Les Tropéziennes par M. Belarbi

And for men?

The idea is the same: neutral colors, well-tailored quality clothes (no shirt too small, for example), pretty pieces like leather moccasins... The Parisian man is just as effortlessly natural and elegant as the Parisian woman: his hair is falsely tousled, he lets his beard grow for a few days and -- in general -- doesn't wax!

Need some inspiration? Click here for inspiration.

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