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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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

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Quintessential French Girl Style

French women have a reputation for being some of the most stylish women in the world, and for good reason. There’s a certain effortless or “je ne sais quoi” (so cheesy and cliche, but I had to say it) about them from their polished but natural approach to beauty, to their fashion choices. Everyone has their own idea of what french dressing means. While mainstream media may portray them as typically donning a striped sweater and beret while riding a bicycle with a baguette in the basket, there’s so much more to their style. The key to capturing their easy elegance comes down to selectively choosing high-quality, timeless garments that can easily mix and match. Clothing that can be dressed up or down and that is always impeccably crafted out of stunning fabrics. Here is my take on french dressing and these are the 12 pieces you need to give you that Parisian mademoiselle look that is always so alluring.

french-girl-wardrobe

FRENCH CHIC BUYS

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1 //  Silk Button Down Blouse – Etsy

A button down shirt is inarguably a closet staple. They can be worn at the office, casually tucked into a pair of cut-offs and worn open as a laidback outerwear piece. Try it in silk for an elevated feel that is oh-so-french.

2 // Cigarette Trousers – Brandon Maxwell

Sure, we all love a great pair of jeans, but a classic black pant is a must. While I believe in having several pairs, one that is structured, one in a drapey silk fabric, and a cropped version for summer, no one can go wrong with a pair of cigarette pants. They are universally flattering and look amazing whether you are at work or play.

3 // Classic Black Handbag – Chanel

I hoard handbags and have a ton of trendy styles that I like to pull out and parade around on occasion. That being said, a black luxury handbag is like the holy grail of accessories. Like shoes, when it comes to handbags it is best to splurge on a quality, timeless piece that you can wear with anything and treasure for years to come. And the epitome of french luxury? Why, Chanel of course.

4 // Striped Boatneck Sweater – Michael Kors

It’s pretty much impossible to think of french style without thinking of stripes. Embrace the stereotype. Stripes are classic, especially in navy and white. Snap up a lightweight cashmere version that you can wear with trousers, a skirt, or tossed over a LBD when it gets cold. The neckline is optional but a boatneck is always flattering and feminine.

5 // Nude Flats – Tabitha Simmons

As much as we may all love our heels, a great pair of flats is a non-negotiable. Whether you are strolling through the farmer’s market or window shopping with a friend, flats are comfortable, cute, and are a french girl’s best friend. While black is classic, I prefer nude for summer. Bonus: nude shoes instantly make your legs look longer.

6 // White Slip Dress – GHOST

The thing about french dressing is that there always seems to be a focus on simplicity. Look for streamlined, elegant pieces that eschew excess embellishments like this crisp, white slip dress. Besides the fact that slip dresses are having a major moment right now, this particular piece can be worn in a million different ways. I would wear it with a denim or leather jacket. Feel free to top it with a blouse or sweater and wear it like a skirt.

7 // Bright Pumps – Shoe Box

Neutrals are classic and are always our friends, but every girl needs a bright pair of pumps to inject a much-needed pop of color into our wardrobes. Choose your favorite color, but pink is trending big time right now and is so fun and feminine for summer.

8 // Silk Scarf – Tory Burch

Nothing adds instant polish to an outfit or screams Parisian elegance like a luxurious silk scarf. Seriously, even a tee and distressed jeans looks put together when a pretty scarf is knotted around your neck. This pretty floral print is classic and can be worn just as easily with casual weekend attire as it could with a beautiful dress.

9 // Lightweight Trench Coat – Harris Wharf London

When it comes to outerwear, trench coats have always felt so french to me. They are polished but effortless. I prefer a version without buttons that you can throw on while running out the door. Choose a lightweight cotton or linen version for summer. Stray away from easy black and pick an equally classic tan style. It will go with everything and never fails to look fresh.

10 // Leather Watch – Daniel Wellington

Sure, we all have our phones to check the time, but where is the fun in that? There is something about wearing a beautiful time piece that seems much more sophisticated and ‘adult’. Don’t skimp on quality. Invest in a style that you will want to wear with everything. Gold, silver, and titanium versions are beautiful but there is something about leather that is so elegant. Leather is also one of those rare materials that becomes more and more beautiful as it ages (if treated well!).

11 // Straw Hat – Bebe

The summer accessory that we all need to add to our closets? The straw hat. It’s classic with a rustic vibe that makes me think of days on the beach in the South of France. Wear it with a simple white dress (see above) to a barbecue on the beach or with a pair of patchwork jeans and a crop top to a festival.

12 // Little Black Dress (obvi) – O’Neill

It’s impossible to talk about french fashion or wardrobe essentials without giving a shout out to the ultimate classic – the LBD. Whatever the occasion, this iconic piece is always elegant and looks stunning on everyone. Holly Golightly had the right idea in Breakfast at Tiffanys. This slip-like style looks beautiful when worn to a formal affair, with heels and simple jewelry, or casually, with a pair of slides and a cardigan.

xoxo,

Alicia