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How to dress like a French woman this autumn

Looking this effortless takes a lot of effort, but we’ve cracked the French fashion formula

WHEN WE CONJURE up an image in our mind of what the quintessential French It-girl looks like, many words come to mind: effortless, classic, nonchalant, disheveled and, above all, cool AF.

Of course, their minimalist style and colour palette of mostly blacks, whites, camel and grey can be seen as really boring to some. But if if gallic sophistication is what you’re after, how does one emulate it without being très obvious in a Breton top and beret?

Here’s six simple tips to break down the formula for embodying classic French style. 

1. Invest in classic pieces that flatter you

This first tip is a key piece of advice for any Irish gal who aspires to exude an aura of French chic.

Simply: firstly, don’t buy cheap; and secondly, do not follow fast fashion fads.

As influencer, model and art director (and the daughter of ex-Vogue Paris editor-in-chief, Carine Roitfeld) Julia Roitfeld said:

Please don’t ask me about trends. I’m into buying clothes that make me feel pretty, that flatter me, but I have never cared about having the latest thing. 

Of course, Julia is pretty blessed in the genes department so finding pieces to suit her body probably doesn’t require serious effort. 

But her advice is a solid framework to work from.

For example, spend some money on buying one pair of jeans that flatters your shape instead of buying the trendiest pair every season. Chances are that the trendier the jean, the more it will make you cringe looking back. 

Jordan Fighting Temptations Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Contemplating buying a pair of jeans more expensive than the standard €50 from TopShop might give you anxiety, but cheaper items are more likely to lose their shape and to get ripped. 

As the old adage goes: buy cheap, buy twice.

So buying well-made items that will survive years of outings and washings will actually be cheaper in the long-run.   

2. Get a Trench coat

What could be more classically chic than a trench coat?

This wear-with-literally-anything item is extremely versatile for whatever social situation you’re in. For proof of its versatility, just look to Meghan Markle who recently wore the iconic coat to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo and then to a beach on Melbourne.

BeFunky-collage Source: PA Images

Here’s a beautiful camel trench coat from Asos for €74. 

trench Source: Asos

3. Don’t wear heels you can’t walk in

Be it that we think it makes our legs look longer, or that we think we’re emulating the sultry strides of Gigi Hadid, we Irish are mad for a bit of extra height. 

The Daily Front Row 6th Annual Fashion Media Awards - New York Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

You might feel that chunky heeled shoes aren’t as sexy as stilettos, but it’s nigh impossible to embody sexiness when your feet feeling like the fiery pits of hell causes you to totter madly around like some newborn antelope.

Ultimately, unless you have a chauffeur like Serena Van Der Woodsen, you should buy shoes that are comfortable to walk and dance in, and not buy them based on how they’ll look on an Instagram pic.

20386150319_1 Source: Boucage

These black leather ankle boots are €135 from French shoe brand Bocage.

sling-back-liliane Source: Musier-Paris

These sling-back heels in classic leopard print are €165.00 from the It-Girl French brand Musier.
P.S. research says that wearing high heels can cause a woman’s pelvis to contract, meaning that orgasms are less intense. Has there ever been a more unsexy fact than that?

4. Follow these Instagram Accounts

Take inspiration direct from the women themselves who epitomise the ineffable French insouciance. 

  • Jeanne Damas

  •  Camille Charriere

  •  Anne-Marie Mais

This is by no means an an exhaustive list, but just three accounts to get some French gal inspiration onto your Instagram feed.

5. Buy coats and jumpers one size too big 

Don’t trust me? Then trust Jeanne Damas, the founder of French fashion brand Rouje, who says

I absolutely always buy in a bigger size. This is true for coats and also sweaters – I always take a bigger size because I think it looks far more chic if it’s loose fitted, rather than tight.

PFW - Street Style Source: Bertrand-Hillion Marie-Paola/ABACA

6. Mix feminine pieces with masculine ones

If you have a looser, more baggy style of jean on, pair with heeled shoes and either a shirt tucked in or a feminine top.

Likewise if you’re wearing a short skirt, wear flats and an oversized sweater or jacket to balance out. 

DailyEdge is on Instagram!



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