How to Dress like a Parisian

I’ve read countless articles claiming to teach you how to dress/look/act like a Parisian. I spent a year abroad in Paris and let me tell you, I can completely understand why people aspire to dress like Parisians. Parisians are impossibly chic, in a could-care-less kind of way and this attitude is something that eludes us in North America.

“Could-care-less” fashion is decidedly un-North American (I say North American because I am clumping Canada and the United States together since we share so many cultural norms). In NA we work hard, try hard, bleach our hair,  stuff our feet into uncomfortable stilettos … and live life on a hamster wheel always needing and wanting more. It’s part of our culture and truthfully, I’m not sure there is anything wrong with it. I enjoy the rush of the NA lifestyle and let me tell you, getting anything done in Paris is frustratingly slow.

Although there may be downsides to living in Paris (ahem, snail-like bureaucratic process and impossible to understand forms) walking the streets and seeing the women delicately prance down the cobblestone streets, dressed in their oh-so-chic Isabel Marant ensembles  and reeking of confidence no matter their style, made my creative fashion-loving heart sing.

But enough about me and on to Emmanuelle Alt et al. Actually, before we go there can we just look at her instagram account and notice that the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Paris has only posted 313 times!? This is exactly what I mean when I talk about could-care-less style.

So, how do we achieve the ultimate cool-girl could-care-less Parisian look? By taking a North American approach are putting in effort to look like we didn’t put in effort. Follow my rules below and I promise, you’ll look like you didn’t try one bit!

Rule # 1: Dark colours are your friend

Parisians often keep their outfit grounded by wearing dark colours, be it black, navy, grey or sometimes white in the summer.

Rule # 2: Don’t brush your hair (or style your hair to look like you didn’t)

I looked for a tutorial to show you how to do this, and then I remembered that the point is to do as little as possible. Embrace your natural hair, I bet it looks great on you.

Rule # 3: Leave a little to the imagination

French women wear daytime ensembles at night. What exactly does this mean? Low heels and sneakers (dressed up with a leather or pencil skirt and t-shirt) are perfect at night.

Rule # 4: Trends are OK but FIT is most important

Parisians know the key to looking stylish is to dress in the most flattering way possible to your body type. You would never see a Parisian becoming a slave to an unflattering trend. There is nothing wrong with trends but it is more important to dress for your body type.

Rule # 5: Ignore everything I said and be yourself

What set’s Parisian women apart is that they would never dream of sitting down to write an article on how to dress. Although there are very clear notions of French style (i.e. white button-ups, trench coats and breton stripes) women in Paris are not afraid to try something different; to use their clothes to express themselves. Which is why I suggest you disregard my rules and take a moment to figure out what your style is, and then rock it.

And if my rules left you confused, here are my all-time fav (some non-French) ladies who embody French style:

Miroslava Duma

 

Jules Sarinana

 

XO

E

 

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