Parisian women are consistently lauded for their seemingly innate sense of style, with books, blogs and copious articles devoted to dissecting their wardrobes. We went to Paris last year to shoot our Spring clothing campaign, and picked up more than a few tips. It’s not all down to that illusive je ne sais quoi, rather a few key wardrobe commandments can have you channeling gamine, Gallic chic in a flash.
Rule one: Less is more
Coco Chanel once said: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” Never is this concept truer than in the way Parisian women dress. It can be tempting to over-accessorise a simple look, but the French know that successful execution lies in doing more with less. Think just-so tailored trousers with a casual tee and smart blazer, buffed nude nails and stylish flats, instead of teetering heels.
Rule two: Keep silhouettes relaxed, but well cut
One thing all well-dressed women have in common is confidence. It will shine through the most when you not only love what you wear, but also feel completely at ease in it – whether it’s trousers and trainers or a little black dress. Only choosing things that are cut well for you (or having things tailored to fit you perfectly) will enable you to feel good in your outfit throughout the day, channelling that signature Parisian self-assurance in the process.
Rule three: Stripes are always a good idea
As synonymous with France as black cabs and red double-deckers are with London, Breton stripes have long-been associated with all-things Gallic. For fuss-free, day-to-day looks, you really can’t go wrong with some Parisian parallels in your wardrobe. We believe you can never have too many striped tops, so go forth and stockpile.
Rule four: Keep it classic
Trenches, blazers, tailored trousers, silk shirts and great denim form the core of many-a-successful wardrobe and they’ve all been worn by chic Parisians for decades. If in doubt, adding a selection of these in high-quality cuts and fabrics will add instant style points to your look. You can afford to spend more on these staples because you’ll be wearing them for years to come.
Rule five: Rules are there to be broken
Part of the reason Parisian style is so hard to successfully imitate is the fact it’s never as predictable as it seems. While the rules above are simple ways to distil down the formula to achievable basics, the real art lies in breaking from expectation and wearing something a little different with confidence. Whether that’s a silk scarf in a statement print or down-dressing a feminine look with mannish loafers, the key is to know when to break the formula.
Discover more Parisian must-haves in our romantic Spring clothing collection.