Parisian Chic Style Guide

I, like so many others, have always been inspired by the idea of the french woman. She’s stylish and beautiful without much effort. She eats what she wants (butter, pastries, and cheese included). She drinks wine everyday and she stays slim and fresh. She makes no apologies for living a life of decadence and yet she glows with good health. The allure of the french woman has spawned hundreds of books and articles and it doesn’t seem to be fading away. And for good reason! After all, don’t we all want to wake up with glowing skin and perfectly mussed up hair, maintain our health and still indulge in everything good life has to offer? Unfortunately, as someone who has never lived in France, I don’t have the secrets to mastering this paradox. I do, however, have a pretty decent grip on french style (if I do say so myself) and in this blog post, I’m focusing entirely on the main principles of it. From the must-have spring accessories to the beauty essentials that will give you that oh-so-alluring je ne said quoi, here are my tips and picks that encapsulate French style.


A C C E S S O R I E S

The french approach to fashion is all about the classically elegant capsule wardrobe that is punctuated by luxe extras. Tie a silk scarf around your neck and slip into a beautifully crafted pair of velvet loafers and watch your neutral cashmere sweater and cigarette pants ensemble go from zero to a hundred, just like that. When it comes to accessories (and everything really), buy fewer pieces but make them count. Sure, that designer bag may seem like a ridiculous amount of money now, but if it’s taken care of, it will last and look beautiful from season to season, year after year. Like a fine wine, a Chanel 2.55 flap bag only gets better with time.

1 // Barneys New York – Small Straw Tote Bag

2 // Tiffany & Co. – Sterling Silver Elsa Peretti Bean Necklace

3 // Nine West – Huff Women’s Smoking Slipper

4 // Polo Ralph Lauren – Callie Raffia Smoking Mule

5 // The Cambridge Satchel Company – Cloud Shoulder Bag

6 // The Met – Monet Sunflowers Bangle

7 // Mulberry – Square Silk Scarf

O U T E R W E A R

When it comes to your coats and jackets, look for timeless silhouettes and high-quality fabrics. Once you’ve got a flattering style in mind, keep your eyes peeled for eclectic details and unexpected colours to breathe new life into basics. The mainstays of your spring/summer outerwear arsenal? A lightweight linen trench, a buttery soft cashmere cardigan, a waist-cinching leather jacket and a weekend-casual denim jacket.

1 // Vero Moda – Cool Trench Jacket in Pink

2 // Iro Luiga – Cropped Leather Jacket

3 // (Pre-Owned) Chanel – Striped Knit Cardigan

4 // Rebecca Taylor – La Vie Floral Embroidered Jacket

T O P S

The essence of french-girl chic is looking like you rolled out of bed in a striped Chanel boat neck and Dries Van Noten trousers, swiped on some lipstick and finger combed your hair before strutting outside with all of the confidence in the world. It’s effortless yet stunning. It’s put-together but not too polished. So how does one achieve this tricky balance when shirt-shopping? Look for well-made tops in beautiful, natural fabrics. Subtly sexy, unexpected details are oh-so-French as well. A deep, cleavage-baring v-neck? Non. But a plunging back in your linen sweater or an off the shoulder ruffled cotton tee? Oui. P.S. never underestimate the versatility of a silk t-shirt. It will take you from day to night with ease.

1 // H&M – Ruffled Open-Shoulder Blouse

2 // WtR – Sonnet Belted Silk Wrap Top in Emerald

3 // River Island – Petite Pink Striped Crop Shirt

4 // Chicwish – Focus On Lace-Up Back Sweater

5 // Patrizia Pepe – Silk Blouse in Fuchsia

6 // Mango – Floral Embroidered Striped Shirt

7 // Banana Republic – Cropped Ponte Shell

8 // Galvan London – V Neck Camisole in Black

B O T T O M S

Creating a well-rounded, french-inspired capsule wardrobe definitely requires a few essential pieces. For example, a perfectly worn-in pair of blue jeans for casual-wear is a must – I mean, how many of us live in denim? Also, a pair of dressier trousers that you can wear to work or to a fancier event. Don’t limit yourself to plain black – a classic print like stripes or houndstooth is a little more interesting but still goes with everything. Finally, make sure to have a collection of skirts that can take you from work to play. A lace or silk number is a sexy choice for a night out, while a fluttery knee-length piece can take you anywhere, from a wedding shower to a Sunday brunch. Like with everything else, never skimp on quality and pick pieces that are unique but not trendy – for example, a wide-legged pair of high-waisted blue jeans is ultra-modern but also timelessly flattering.

1 // Dries Van Noten – Velvet Culottes in Mint

2 // Weekday – Ace Wow Blue Jeans

3 // Daily Look – Lily Lace Trim High Waist Shorts

4 // River Island – Beige Paperbag Button Front Pencil Skirt

5 // J. Crew – Okinawa Striped Wide-Leg Silk-Twill Wrap Pants

6 // TOPSHOP – Heart Ruffle Toe Mini Skirt

B E A U T Y

French women are renowned for their simple yet extremely effective approach to beauty that centres far more around skin and hair care than makeup. Forget contouring or gluing on false lashes. French beauty is all about embracing your uniqueness and enhancing your natural beauty, while also taking excellent care of your complexion. Invest in top-shelf skincare and hair care items and stick to your regime everyday. Treat yourself to a bit of pampering as well – a monthly or bi-monthly facial and massage will keep your skin glowing, while also allowing you to gain professional insight on how to keep your face looking it’s best. Also, never forget to wear a bit of perfume. Find a scent you love and wear it until people associate it with you. Finally, go easy with the makeup. A bit of red lipstick and a smudge of eyeliner is all you need to make your beauty look really pop.

1 // Yves Saint Laurent – Rouge Pur Couture The Mat

2 // Byredo – Velvet Haze Eau De Parfum

3 // French Girl – Lumière Huile Pour Le Corps in Moonlight

4 // Avène – XeraCalm A. D Cleansing Oil

5 // Bobbi Brown- Long-Wear Liquid Liner in Carbon Black

6 // Peter Thomas Roth – 24K Gold Pure Luxury Hair Mask Treatment

I hope you enjoyed this post! What does french-style mean to you? Let me know your thoughts!

xoxo,

Alicia

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Sweet Mint

Maybe it’s the dessert fiend in me, but I’ve always had a soft spot for sugary sweet pastels. Though I love periwinkle blue, soft peach and cotton candy pink, soft and creamy mint is a particular favourite of mine and instantly reminds me of my favourite flavour of ice-cream – mint chocolate chip. Aside from giving me a sweet tooth, mint is just a gorgeous, effortlessly flattering hue and captures the light-hearted playfulness of spring. However you wear it, whether on your body, on your face, or on your nails, it instantly breathes new life into a subdued winter palette of dark hues and pared down neutrals. I don’t know about you, but come February, my eyes are starving for a little bit of colour. So go ahead – put down that black and slip into something a little sweeter.

sweet-mint-green-fashion-style-shopping-list

MY MINT PICKS

1 // John Allan’s – Women’s Mint Invigorating Hydrating Conditioner

2 // Kate Spade – Peacock Metro Watch

3 // Sail to Sable – Mint Green Stretch Cotton Sweater

4 // Chicwish – Creamy Pleated Midi Skirt in Mint

5 // Ruby Rocks Accessories – Aqua Rose & Gem Stretch Bracelet Set

6 // Manu Atelier – Mini Mint Pristine Cross Body Bag

7 // Steve Madden – Saunders Sandals

8 // Piloh – Bryophyta Mint Vase

9 // ALC – Scherning Arrow Mint & Gold Stud Earrings

10 // French Girl Organics – Menthe & Romarin Sea Polish Scrub

xoxo,

Alicia

My Favorite Accessory For Fall

The easiest way to dress up any outfit is with the addition of a silk scarf. The classic knot around the neck is always stylish, but it’s also fun to get creative with other options. Tie your scarf around your bag, wear it as a belt or wrap it around your hair for an Old-Hollywood-inspired retro look. I love to collect vintage scarves and I find that even if I’m wearing a hum-drum jeans and t-shirt combo, a scarf lends an elegance and je ne sais quoi that feels very french and oh-so-chic. Here are a few gorgeous printed scarves that I would love to wear with everything this fall! Some are pricey, some are a bargain, but all of them are delightful AF.

MY SCARF PICKS

silk-scarf-trend-shopping-guide

1 // Asprey – Venetian Silk Square Scarf

2 // Laura Ashley – Geo Print Silk Scarf

3 // J.Crew – Fall Floral Silk Scarf

4 // Peter Pilotto – Multicolour Pastel Scarf

5 // Karen Mabon – Breakfast At Tiffany’s Print Silk Scarf

6 // Moschino – Teddy Printed Silk-Satin Scarf

7 // Banana Republic x Olivia Palermo – Foulard Skinny Silk Scarf

8 // Tory Burch – Dancer’s Silk Square Scarf

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | Cold Picnic

Brooklyn-based indie label Cold Picnic is striving to make everyone’s home, wardrobe and life just a little bit cooler. Launched in 2010 by husband and wife power duo Phoebe Sung and Peter Buer (both of whom were already equipped with mad skills and training in both design and business), they quickly took the New York style scene by storm with their playful collection of home wares, handbags and jewelry – talk about #relationshipgoals! And #careergoals for that matter. Cold Picnic offers an amazing selection that ranges from cheeky rugs (the boob range is my fave), bath mats and wall hangings, to bedding, plant holders and accessories. Phoebe and Peter draw inspiration from cultural expectations, movies, art, interior design and national parks, and all of these motifs are visibly woven into each piece. If your space or wardrobe is in need of refreshing, check out this indie label for stylish treasures that will make all of your friends say ‘where did you get that and where can I get one?!’.

Check them out.

COLD PICNIC PICKS


1 // Old Fort Ring


2 // C is for Canyon Cuff


3 // Hi-Lo Earrings


4 // Cracked Bronze Metallic Backpack


5 // Tonal Boob Bathmat


6 // Talking Rocks Bathmat


7 // Sailor Knot Plant Hangers


8 // Hallsands Wall Hanging


9 // The Kiss Knit Blanket


10 // Objects From Home Rug

xoxo,

Alicia

6 Stylish Backpacks For Back To School

There’s something about getting prepped for back to school that I’ve always loved. January 1st may be the official beginning of the new year but I always feel like September is a fresh start. A time when everyone’s slates are wiped clean and we can start fresh – new clothes, new classes, new goals. One of my new goals is to be more organized. As someone who works full time and is working on a bachelors degree in marketing, I’m pretty freakin’ busy and keeping my life scheduled and my stuff organized is pretty crucial to my sanity. One small step I’m taking is swapping my overly stuffed, messy handbag for a practical yet stylish backpack. Unless I’m on a hike or camping trip, I’m never going to tote around a canvas rucksack, but these backpacks check all of my requirements – sleek, chic, roomy, and on-trend without being overly trendy. Let me know which one you like best!

Back-to-school-backpacks-shopping-picks
BACKPACK BUYS


1 // Proenza Schouler – Pebbled Courier Backpack in Acid Yellow

I love the combination of minimalist lines with the punky acid yellow hue. I know it would add a shot of flair to even the laziest of student outfits. 


2 // Charlotte Russe – Velvet Lattice-Front Backpack

As I mentioned before, velvet is HUGE this fall. This backpack may just be my favorite. The burgundy velvet is oh-so luxe and the corset-inspired lacing references the 90s, which is obviously ridiculously on-trend right now. 


3 // Marc Jacobs – Denim Patchwork Biker Backpack

Denim. Patchwork. Marc Jacobs. Need I say more? This biker backpack definitely makes a statement and is roomy enough to fit your textbooks, MacBook and all of your other essentials.


4 // Jessica Simpson – Camille Backpack in Blush

I have to hand it to her, Jessica Simpson’s line of clothing and accessories is actually pretty fabulous. I love the nude/blush hue and the gold hardware adds just the right amount of edge.


5 // Coach – Billie Textured Leather Backpack in Tan

My style has always been a little more on the classic side and so this streamlined cognac backpack instantly caught my eye. It has a slightly masculine vibe that I love and the front two pockets are perfect for storing my always hard to find essentials – my keys and phone. 


6 // TOMS – Suede Embroidered Poet Backpack in Dusty Rose

This slouchy suede bag is feminine and sweet without being too precious. The beaded tassel is also such a cute touch. Cute, chic with room to spare. What more could a girl want?

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | Dusen Dusen

If wild prints, bold colours, and monochromatic PJ outfits are key components of your style MO, then prepare to fall head over doc martens for Dusen Dusen, a cool girl clothing and home decor brand based in Brooklyn. Designer and founder Ellen Van Dusen launched her first collection in 2010 and in the seven years since it burst onto the scene, it has expanded to include accessories and home furnishings, all with her signature eclectic aesthetic. Ellen draws inspiration from the typical sources – art, graphic design, culture – but she also creates each collection while considering how the human brain reacts to colour and contrast. Her artful (and somewhat scientific) approach translates into sleek and sharply cut silhouettes, bright hues (often primary colours), and geometric prints. It’s a magic formula that has earned this indie brand a cult following and Dusen Dusen shows no signs of slowing down. My usual style is pretty classic – think sleek cuts, lots of lace, feminine details, and lots of pastels with the odd bright here and there – so Dusen Dusen is not my usual cup of tea. That being said, there’s something about its unapolegtically in-your-face feel that pulls me in. While I’m not quite ready to don their head-to-toe printed panama suits, I am in love with their summery day dresses, cuddly (but with an edge) sweaters, and playful home furnishings line (I NEED the fruit bedding set). If you refuse to remain under the radar and love the ease of matching sets (and who doesn’t?), then allow me to introduce you to your style soulmate. Wallflowers need not apply.

DUSEN DUSEN PICKS


1 // Wrap Dress Lock Stripe


2 // Blue Key Tiered Tank Dress


3 // Floral Tile Jane Dress


4 // Rose Tile Mask Tee

5 // Floral Tile Level Tank


6 // Gray Curl High Waisted Pants


7 // Lilac Key Elastic Waist Pants


8 // Clip Throw


9 // Fruit Bedding


10 // Ladder Pillow

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | Loeffler Randall 

Not to get all cliché, but I’ve kinda got a thing for shoes and bags. I’ve been known to line up my bags and shoes and take photos of them just because they make me happy. Is it normal to have more pictures of your purse collection on your phone than your friends and family? What can I say? My blog is named what it is for a reason! Although there are quite a few labels out there that I adore (hence the point of this ‘Brand Spotlight’ series), few come close to Loeffler Randall. This drool-worthy accessories label is the brain-child of husband and wife duo Jessie Randall and Brian Murphy, and they have been designing collection after collection of dreamy peep-toes, espadrilles, flats, bohos, satchels – you get the picture – since the Fall of 2005. Crafted out of the creme de le creme of materials, these pieces cost a pretty penny but are more than worth it. Every collection manages to walk the delicate line between trendy-modern and simple and classic. Translation? These are accessories you can wear with anything and treasure for years and years to come. So if you haven’t yet fallen into the Loeffler Randall rabbit hole, get ready to dive head first.

MY PICKS

1 // Lucia Studded Knot Slide


2 // Amara Platform Slide


3 // Elayna Ankle-Tie High Heel Sandal


4 // Domino Slide Sandal


5 // Coco High Heel Knot Slide


6 // Minimal Rider


7 // Knot Tote


8 // Drawstring Tote


9 // Tassel Pouch


10 // Dome Satchel

Photos via Loeffler Randall.

xoxo,

Alicia