Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The little t guide to… French Style

During a visit to Paris in 2009, I was mistaken for a local by two separate French people within the space of a couple of hours.  It was, honestly, one of my proudest moments.  As everyone knows, it is the ultimate compliment from a French person to be considered one of their own.  It was also no accident-  although it is rare that I summon the energy to dress ‘French’ on a regular basis, I still consider myself to be a studied expert on French style.

Here are my tips for, at the very least, blending in:

1. Wear stripes.  Yes, it’s true! French people do wear stripes.  (They do not wear berets).

 breton stripes

2. Gym gear is for the gym onlyIf you see a French person in runners, chances are they will be running.

3.  Wear your trousers/ jeans one inch too short.

short trousers2

4.  Wear your hair up.

5.  Wear a scarf.  Remember Paris is the home of Hermès and Hermès invented scarves (I think).

6. Wear black.  Ignore any thinly disguised insults suggesting you should do otherwise.

black

7. Invest in good shoes.  Heels are preferable, but ballet flats are a good alternative.

8. The sexy detail.  Garance Doré (French fashion blogger and style icon extraordinaire) claims that even the most disorganised French girl never forgets the sexy detail:  red lipstick, a touch of lace, the t-shirt that falls off the shoulder…

alma

9. Tone down the make-up.  And the fake tan.  And the false lashes, highlights, gel nails… less is more.

10. Un certain je ne sais quoi.  That certain something so difficult to emulate.  I don’t know if I can help with this one… maybe try appearing bored by everything, then randomly getting passionately worked up over mundane conversation topics.  That should do it.

38 comments:

Samantha said...

Great post! Love the tips! :o)

Thanks for visiting my blog!

-Samantha

http://thisfashionista.blogspot.com

Gabriella {sensiblyluxe} said...

#10 would be tricky! I suppose that's what makes them so French.

Vanilla - notes from my closet said...

I wish I could enforce some of these rules on people I see... like no 9! I'm not a fan of a tango tans hee hee :) I think I will save this post so when I visit France next I can refer to it for packing purposes :)

Love, Vanilla

http://notesfrommycloset.blogspot.com/

Krystal said...

these are the best :)

Couture Carrie said...

Love this post!
Great tips, darling!

xoxox,
CC

Bonnie said...

The French have such an amazing, inspirational, unique sense of style. I'm jealous of the way they seem to pair anything together and look AWESOME.

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Closet Fashionista said...

Ooh I love all of those shots :D
http://www.closet-fashionista.com

Nikki said...

Okay, check..check...check. Taking my notes for my trip in September. I may look French, but the Husband will stick out like a sore thumb in his 'I heart soccer moms' tshirt ;)

ChiccaStyle said...

Love the tips and great post!!! I would say italian do it better ;), but totally agree with your words!
http://chiccastyle.blogspot.com/

Diana Mieczan said...

That is totally brilliant. I love all those tips! Happy Tuesday, darling

Sjaar said...

Your totally right haha! Nice post.

ivy's closet said...

This was great! I can only think of one extra thing..make love to a cigarette. Or watch a Louie Garrel movie or perhaps Gaspard U. to get inspired!

O V said...

that's so cool to be mistaken like that...Someone, thought I was French-Canadian once..Love the list.

molly said...

I must remember this. Great.

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

this is SUCH a cute post! i am all about paris and stripes...le sigh :)

audrey marie said...

lovely post - i think deep down any girl would love to have the confidence and aura of a french woman!

Corrine/Frock And Roll said...

Your tips are absolutely SUPERB!

Roxy Heart said...

Great post! I love it!
http://www.fashuhneestah.com/

{Selma} Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

Great post and very accurate tips! And believe it or not, Paris and Strasbourg seem to be my French cities I get asked all the time about a street, or a cafe or something. Love it! And yes, I always love to blend it when I travel. Cannot stand to look like a tourist - never have, and never will. :)

rebecca said...

i love french style, it just seems so... effortless. probably has a lot to do with you eighth point

http://itscohen.blogspot.com

Fashion Cappuccino said...

The girl in your last picture looks so...just amazingly put together! I love her hair and her confidence! She just seems so comfortable in her own skin! French style is so inspiring! xoxoxoo

Isabel said...

hehe i love this post. i read another book about how to be french. i cant remember the name but it was good! i want to be uber chic too. lol

Hazel said...

the last one looks very hard to do if you're in paris. i mean if i were there, i'd be amazed by everything i see, touch, smell, eat. HAHAHA :))

Sick by Trend said...

great guide honey!! :D Impatience to go to Paris next month!!

xx

have a nice weekend :D

www.sickbytrend.com

Elle Sees said...

love this! did you see my fave french beauty products post? it's under beauty

Dilan Dilir said...

have a wonderful weekend!

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

Haha, I think I have most of that down, but fail miserably with the je ne sais quoi. Je ne sais pourquoi!

sheila @ Elements said...

Wow...that is a huge compliment that you were mistaken for a local! I had no idea that wearing your pants/jeans a little too short was fashionable, but I'm glad to hear it because sometimes I do that.

I'm very short and sometimes when I wear capris they fall about an inch above my ankles. I can't believe that's fashionable! YAY! And I thought I had no fashion sense whatsoever! :)

styleforlife said...

Darling!!! Love your blog. Adding to daily reads and going to follow ya.
xxxxxx to you- Emily of EL Vintage

em.me.ma said...

so that why i love stripes so much haha.


emmema.com

Poppies and Sunshine said...

Great tips!! And I love the pictures :)

SoapyMermaid said...

I am french and i loved your guide. it made me smile. you are totally right with your "the less is more comment" for me, simplicity is french style.

Catita said...

I loved this post! great guide and number 10 made me laugh! Although you described it very well I think! Bravo ;)

Brittany H. said...

I'm not French, but this looks good. I love too-short pants. They're so 50s to me.

<3
You Are My Favorite

classiq said...

Great tips. One of my latest acquisitions is "Parisian Chic", by Ines de la Fressange, an excellent guide for style references. :) Ada

Katie*Belle said...

Oh, I absolutely love this! These tips are fantastic!

Julie Khuu said...

Love the nautical elements with the striped tee and graphic anchor in this post....tres chic indeed! Thanks for the tips, so awesome!

xo-Julie
Peace. Love. LOL!

Haute Khuuture Blog

pancakeSTACKER said...

Thanks for your comment! Gosh, those French are always so fashionable! Love all the photos you included in this post -- so very chic!

Stop by again soon! xoxo!
http://pancakeSTACKER.blogspot.com