10 Tips to Cultivating Parisian Style

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10 Tips to Cultivating Parisian Style

La mode. Fashion. It’s inextricably linked with French-ness, it seems. You can’t swing a cat in Paris without hitting someone who looks chic and runway-ready.

And it makes sense that France – Paris, specifically – is chock full of fashionistas and chic people left and right. It’s one of the fashion capitals of the world (just this summer, Paris hosted its first-ever digital fashion show).

Books have been written widely about French style and how to adopt it as your own, no matter your nationality. For a brief overview, here are ten ways to French-ify your look this year:


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1. Own your look

Cultivating French style – based on my experience, and my anecdotal observations – is really about confidence. French people wear their looks well because they “own” their look. What might seem out of place in parts of the U.S. – an elegantly draped scarf, or a dressy cocktail skirt – is de rigueur in Paris.

This is because French people don’t question their look or overthink things. Besides, confidence is sexy, and French people are notoriously, well, rather sexy. (Hey, they don’t call Paris the City of Love for nothing!)

2. Scarves, scarves, scarves

There are few things more French than a scarf. From those infamous Hermès silk scarves to your run-of-the-mill scarf you pick up at Monoprix – it doesn’t matter how much you spend on a scarf; what matters is what you do with it. And there are seemingly endless ways to wear French scarves, too. So even if you only have one or two scarves, you can do so many variations of knots and ties and styles that it’ll feel like a new scarf every time.


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3. The staple color: black

If there are few things more French than a scarf, then there are few colors more French than black (of course, blue, white, and red, could have black beat). The beauty of black is it has a way of elevating your look – black is regal, timeless, and elegant. To quote Beyoncé’s latest album title: black is king. (And Queen Bey herself is no stranger to Paris, and mastering Parisian style.)

4. Straight-leg jeans 

A chic, straight-leg jean is form-fitting and just right for the French aesthetic. The French have a beautiful way of effortlessly mixing “high” and “low” fashion. To perfect this, pair jeans with a silk blouse for an easy, put-together look.



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5. The “LBD” 

The ever-reliable “LBD” (or, “little black dress”) is perfect to throw on for work or for going out for cocktails or dinner with friends or a drinks date with your new amour. This versatile piece is a must for cultivating the French look.

6. A chic blazer 

A chic blazer is another one of these dress-up or dress-down pieces that the French use so well. It’s a staple item for the closet that could be worn five days a week to work, as well as out at night when you’re going to a concert. This type of item is worth shelling out some extra euros on, as it will be an investment for your look.


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7. A tan trench coat

 The same goes for a nice trench – this piece is worth investing in. A good trench coat is an ultimate way to pull together a look in no time. Although not French, Burberry, the English fashion company, is best known for its amazing trench coats. Peruse the Burberry store at 56 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré for some inspiration.

8. An oversized sweater

A billowy, big sweater is perfect for autumn and winter, and it gives that certain supermodel-esque je ne sais quoi. An oversized sweater tells the world that you’re not trying too hard (in a good way), and that is quite French.


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9. Black flats or black kitten heels

Some chic black flats or low heels to carry you around town on all your Parisian adventures are simply a must. Think: Audrey Hepburn in the 1954 film Sabrina.

10. White button-down shirt 

Crisp, classic, clean, and very French. You’ll look put together in no time. A white-button down is an absolute must for your wardrobe – it will elevate any look.

Lead photo credit : Credit © Bucography, Unsplash

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Anne McCarthy is a contributing writer to BBC News, Teen Vogue, The Telegraph, Dance Magazine, and more. She has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Westminster and is the Editor in Chief of Fat Tire Tours’ travel blog. She lives in New York City.


  • dona
    2020-08-27 05:59:16
    I enjoy your work very much. Could you show more info re:french hair and makeup? Merci !