French Girl Style: 6 Easy “Rules”

It’s been just a year since my last trip, and lately, I have been daydreaming about a return to Paris (my youngest daughter – lucky girl – will be there for the upcoming Olympics). A leisurely stroll to the Arc de Triomphe, an afternoon perusing the Masters at the Louvre and a stay at the Hotel Lutetia… it all sounds like heaven! Of course, my vision of myself amidst the soaring architecture, detailed mouldings and spectacular artwork does not include faded denim, suede loafers and whatever sweater happens to be clean (my ensemble today). Instead, I am in need of some real French Girl Style!

What is French Girl Style? French women have a certain air about them, a confidence to pull off styles that would probably look out of place in your average American suburban shopping mall. It sounds cliché, but walking the streets of Paris, you really can easily pick out the Parisians versus the tourists.

How to get French Girl Style

6 rules for French Girl Style

So, how can you achieve effortless French chic? (without having to mortgage the house for vintage Channel) Here are some easy-to-follow “rules” for fabulous French Girl Style:

Black is Never Basic. Black is a great unifier and oh-so-sophisticated. Europeans wear black throughout every season. Even a relatively inexpensive outfit looks more chic in black. The oh-so-stylish Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu (as Sylvie on Emily in Paris) is a perfect example! Whether it’s a little day dress with a eye catching belt, or an elegant lace-trimming evening confection, the LBD in all its variations has stood the test of time for a reason.

Show off Great Legs. American women are so used to wearing jeans or pants as a default, we forget the incredible allure of a swinging hem and glimpse (or more!) of toned leg. Not comfortable with a shorter skirt? Midis (even in spring and summer) still fit the bill.

Shoes Really Do Make the Outfit. I don’t mean sneakers, flip flops, or (heaven forbid!) Crocs. I mean shoes. Real ones, possibly made of leather, preferably with a bit of a heel (although embellished ballet flats or  boots are très bones aussi).

How to get French Girl Style

Carry a Good Bag. Handbags don’t necessarily have to be designer. But, great lines are crucial. Also, size matters! Nothing looks worse than a woman with a tiny bag and then some huge, hideous, canvas freebie tote with a slogan emblazoned on it. Go for a larger bag (or carry less stuff – what is actually in that bag, anyway?!).

Don’t Shy Away from Body Conscious Designs. Belt it. Cinch it. We all know that French women are notoriously thin. However, you can enhance your own silhouette with more form-fitting designs, or body skimmers that create an hourglass figure, whether you are a size 2, 12 or 22.

Let YOUR Personality Shine! Hard to define. Easy to spot. Create a signature look. A scarf, masses ropes of chains/pearls, hats. Choosing to dress with flair requires a certain degree confidence (at least at first).

A few of my personal must-haves for a spring trip to Paris include a long, black London Fog trenchcoat, washable Rothy’s (I am currently loving “The Point II”), oversized tortoise sunglasses, and a vintage Dooney & Burke satchel in warm caramel. C’est tout!

Get French Girl Style - 6 Rules to Follow

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Susan Said… WHAT?! is your guide to a life filled with style. From must-have fashion and accessories, to gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors, plus the latest products for parties, weddings, and events of all kinds. Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait! Susan Said…WHAT?! was named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone.

DISCLAIMER: No financial compensation or product samples were received in exchange for this French Girl Style post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will be good for my readers.


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    • 2

      I mean, they have their place if you’re a nurse or something. But, strolling down the the Champs-Élysées… umm, no!

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