If you need a break from heavy contouring, or spending money on fast trendy fashion and instead want to be the most comfortable and still pull off an unbelievably chic and stylish attitude, French fashion is for you. In this article, we will try to reverse engineer the basics of what makes an outfit classically French and break it down into simpler elements that help to frame the whole design.
French Fashion Guide: How To Dress Like A French Woman
French women have been depicted in so many movies, as the ultimate bombshells who steal men away with just a look. Brigitte Bardot, Vanessa Paradis, Eva Green to name a few have stolen our hearts with their iconic French style. Jane Birkin, who is actually English is also an icon who embraced the French way of fashion and flood Pinterest pages with pins of inspiration and influence. Movies like “French Kiss” starring Meg Ryan and “Amélie” promote the femininity that French women can pull off so effortlessly. And that’s basically how it all starts.
Effortless, Casual, Chic, Confident!
French fashion is all about being yourself. If you have a flaw it’s better to own it than to eliminate it which is what we see other countries. We cover up – and this “mask” is just not the French way. French women always dress for themselves, so automatically they don’t have to do favors for anybody. No need to squeeze into something you hate, only wear what makes you look and feel comfortable.
Looking like you tried very hard is a big no. Again, this is very opposite to most countries especially India where we want ALL of our efforts to shine. Instead what French women do, is they stick to looking really natural. An extremely natural makeup look, paired with clothes that fit your body well makes you confident enough to pull it off. There is no need to hide anything, which makes you look even more feminine. This approach requires you to spend time looking after your skin and, with food to nourish it which calls for very minimal makeup. It is a lie to believe that French women wear zero makeup, in reality, they do and they highlight the parts they love, and so they look like they did nothing yet there is something. They embrace their imperfections and avoid the American or Asian culture that promotes plastic surgery.
If you could look comfortable and confident 24 hours, wouldn’t you? French women do tend to walk a lot, so they prefer to switch their high heels for flats or ankle boots with a little bit of a heel. After all, how you feel inside mimics your beauty on the outside!
French Women Know Their Bodies
1. Know Your Body: When you want to look stylish, you need to know your figure. French fashion is figure oriented, so knowing what type of body shape and size you have will guarantee elegance. So, wear clothes that suit your body figure. Not every clothing can match every body shape. So if you want to look well put together then figure out what style, cut, length and colors suits and flatters your body the best.
2. Know Your Underwear Size: It is recommended to go shopping for undergarments every once in a year because what you wear beneath your clothes can make a huge difference to your style. It can look awkward and stick out if you don’t buy the proper size. Our bodies are always changing, so this is very important. When you get dressed, it’s especially important to also pick the underwear for the dress you have chosen.
3. Dress For Your Age: If you try to wear clothes that are meant for someone much younger, you will end up looking much older.
4. Find Your Size: So many people wear sizes that are far too big or too small. You will never find a French woman doing this because they pick the clothes that aren’t too tight or too loose. At the end of the day, a size is just a number and there’s no need to feel pressured. The best way to look good is to wear things that are made to look good for your size.
5. They Know Their Personality: If you try to wear clothes that contradict your personality, it never works out. Once you take ownership of your personality, it becomes easier for you to take control of how you want to look and what you want to show the world. Social media French influencers are all great examples of this. The reason some feel comfortable to show their body in specific ways is a direct relation to their personalities and quirks. This will help attract other personalities that match your kind of thinking and style.
Minimalistic Fashion with an Edge:
French fashion very minimalistic because the women don’t change their style per season or every year. They know what fits them and they know their cuts, length, colors and stick to it. They chose their wardrobe very carefully knowing that they will wear it over and over again so the importance is purely quality driven. This means that even though they might spend a bit more, their closet is small.
And because French women believe that less is more, jewelry is also minimalistic. If there are large earrings there is no necklace being worn to distract the focus.
French fashion is world famous for having the most neutral color palettes. For instance, they rely on Khaki Green, Beige, Camel, Coniac, Champaign, Navy Blue, Grey, Black, and White. These colors help to give very clean and very sleek lines.
The overall French style vibe can be described as:
And with a touch of Edge
This edge can come from breaking up the neutral colors with an accent color. This accent color can break up the monotone and this is done using maybe a non-neutral colorful hat, scarf, statement jewelry or a nice red lip- but that’s it. For people that find this boring, they also invest in texture. The texture of garments can lift the very common French neutral palette and heighten the style. For example, a print is a nice way to break up solid colors, or leather in a neutral color can look elegant.
Quality versus Quantity:
The values of a French woman is that she puts quality over quantity. As you know this is because they like to invest in quality pieces or timeless pieces that can last a very very long time AND adds a key statement to their look. Now, this statement is always purchased at any cost, knowing that their wardrobe is small and this expensive item can be versatile enough to mix and match with the rest of the wardrobe. That’s a smart investment!
These investments usually go towards quality bags, shoes and jewelry and as long as the quality is good it doesn’t even have to be a designer item. A lot of attention is given to high-quality material and functionality.
But, this doesn’t mean that French fashion is one minded. In fact, the style is a lot about attitude, personality, and mentality. So for someone to mix and match low end and high-end products is actually very common. This way the people that want to be expressive can be really expressive (for example a thrifted item can be paired with designer shoes or bags) and the people that want to own just one key piece of fashion can do as well. For instance, a classic timeless watch that goes with almost every outfit, day and night, for any occasion.
In the end, French Fashion is more about expressing your authentic self and your authentic body through artistic clothing, sizes, and shapes that compliment your proportions. There’s also the emphasis on being very balanced- a statement necklace will not be competing for other valued or luxury items because if you’ve spent all that money it makes sense for that to be the key feature on your body. The confidence of a French woman comes from knowing her assets and embracing or highlighting that and just being natural and cool about everything- that’s the perfect French style.