I made a few French notes last weekend.
They are not new observations merely a reinforcement of what I already know.
French style is not so extraordinary when you break it down. It is beautifully clever in its simplicity. Their women are lauded all over the world as style makers and leaders in elegance and chic. It is a generalisation because of course many are elegant, many are chic and some like every other country are not. The French woman and particularly the Parisian women I admire know their look and stay true to it. Why do I forget that very important #1 in signature style?
What French style teaches us are the basics.
Where French style is clever is in understanding what works and sticking with it. The Parisian woman plays safe with her fashion choices and she leaves the eccentric and exotic to the runway. There are plenty of wild floral and rainbow colours in the store windows but I never see them walking the boulevards.
What I see is a simple uniform of three pieces. A look to be worn by any age and a style to guarantee the sophistication French women feel comfortable in. Many French women in Paris, despite their age, chose to wear simple and straightforward pieces that work towards a refined and classic form. It is not too clever nor fashion forward and yet this look, these three pieces, never fail to draw me in.
When I am in Paris I so often ask myself why I don’t stick to these three pieces. I usually win 2/3 but often deviate with the third, a waste of time. When something works and it looks fabulous don’t try and reinvent. I believe in learning from others, interpreting not copying and with these three pieces we cannot go wrong.
If you want to feel fashion in the French way look no further than these three pieces as a starting point.
3 Easy Pieces
- 1. The White Shirt
- It is so obvious I feel silly even writing it down but sometimes we need a reminder; I did.
- A white button down shirt in crisp cotton, style determined by body proportions and your comfort, never, ever fails.
- Note to self: I need a new wardrobe of white shirts.
2. The Black Pants
We can never have too many and never underestimate the power of a well fitting black pant.
The white shirt worn over or tucked into the black pants means you can be dressed for anywhere at any time. Add sneakers or espadrilles as we already mentioned or a pair of heels for the evening. This is a no-brainer, tried and tested outfit.
Note to self: Next weekend pack nothing else.
3. The Sunglasses
You are thinking sunglasses are a strange choice for 3/3. I promise, the right sunglasses are game changers.
Parisian women tend to wear the latest sunglasses (and reading glasses) regardless of age. The glasses frame the face and if the right style is worn flatter more than anything else. Why do so many famous French women wear big black specs for photographs? The answer is simple; they take years off their age. Sunglasses elevate the simple black and white pieces to the next level. They give an up to date feel to very basic pieces.
The same applies to reading glasses and solves the problem of dull days.
Note To Self: Update with these.
Sometimes it is staring you right in the face and all it takes is 3 easy pieces. xv
best white shirts
most flattering black pants
images juliette binoche
Thank you Nordstrom for Partnering with, “French Notes: 3 Easy Pieces”