Interesting how the internet knows exactly the sort of articles to push my way, when I plan a trip abroad. But as we know it, it does happen to the best of us – in this case, since choosing my hotel in Paris, the article about How to Dress Like a French Woman popped up. And of course, I clicked on it 🙂 like a good American girl, aspiring to be all things Parisian. And I realize after reading the article, I am more French than I could have ever imagined.
Less Is More…
No saying could be truer when it comes to Parisian dressing. Focus on interesting shapes and textures (preferably in muted colors) and you’ll be fine—a stop at COS and & Other Stories is a must if you want to pick up a few tips about young and cool Parisian dressing. Stay away from too many embellishments and short dresses—basically anything that can be perceived as tacky.
Black is the in color – Thank you Chanel
It might seem boring, but French women do wear a lot of black. And gray. And maybe a little bit of white. If you’re more comfortable in patterns and bright colors, you should definitely stick with that; but to look truly Parisian, something black should probably find its way into your suitcase. If not, you’ll have no problem finding something new in the French shops during your visit.
Dress To Impress – Yourself
It seems like tourists in Paris can be spotted from miles away. Why? Because they often trot around in their finest high heels and sparkly dresses, or they take the opposite route and wander around in their tracksuits and gym shoes—something a Parisian would never do. Leave that sparkly dress at home (unless you’re planning to visit during New Year’s Eve) and save the tracksuit for the gym or lounging at your hotel. Instead, go with a pair of nicely fitting pants. They are comfortable, stylish, and function very well with all the activities you’ll want to do while out and about.
Flats – In Terms of Shoes
Many people might think that you need to be wearing high heels to resemble stylish Parisians, but the truth is that few women wear them for everyday occasions (fancy dinners, clubbing, special events, and workplaces excluded, of course). Flat shoes are a Parisienne’s best friend. Opt for in-style boots, trendy sneakers, a classic ballet flat, or stylish brogues. Not only will you blend in harmoniously with French women, but you’ll also last a lot longer after walking around for a whole day—after all, Paris is a walking city.
Scarfs and Jackets
On colder days, a jacket is an absolute must. When it comes to Parisian weather, you never know if the sun will be shining, a hailstorm is coming on, or if it’ll be raining the entire day. That’s why layering is key, as is having an umbrella close by. Parisian women have embraced the leather jacket wholeheartedly; denim jackets have also made a huge comeback; and the trench coat will always be a safe classic. And as everyone knows by now, you can’t pass for a Parisian without a scarf wrapped around your neck. This also helps protect against the cold winds during autumn and spring, when the weather is unpredictable.
Parisian beauty rituals seem to be quite simple as well—although how French women have such impeccable skin without wearing too much make-up will forever be an unsolvable mystery to me. Simplicity rules here, too; a clean face will make you look more Parisian. Add a red lip if you want something more fun, but don’t stuff your luggage with too many beauty products. You’ll need to save some room after a visit to the French pharmacy, where you’ll find brands like Avène, Darphin, La Roche-Posay, and many more.
Feel free to accessorize, but in a very thoughtful way (as Tim Gunn would say). Dainty chains, bracelets, and necklaces are extremely popular at the moment, and they go perfectly with the laid-back Parisian look.