It was once said to me by an acquaintance here that the reason for Parisian’s often somber and simple way of dress is that the city itself is so bright and ornate. It’s true that the warm creamgrey stone constructing most buildings in the French capital makes the city feel light even on a dreary winter’s day. Similarly, the opulent details of each doorway, monument, and beyond are more than enough to entertain the eye. That being so, perhaps the city’s inhabitants do prefer to dress to blend in in that timeless way we know them for. But when it comes to French women, I have another theory…
Before I giveaway all my Parisian secrets though, a few of you might be wondering just what one would find in the Parisian woman’s wardrobe. Here are a few of her essentials worth investing in if you want to give your style “the french touch”…
• The Trench — While the Brits may have invented the classic trench, it was the Parisians that made it chic. Rain or shine, women here will drape it over their shoulders or belt it at the waist for that signature effortless chic look.
• The Escarpins — Never with a platform, these shoes are just high enough to add some allure, and just low enough to be comfortable commuting about town. While “pumps” are regarded as more practical than appealing stateside, for the French they are sexy in a subtle way.
• The Marinière — When the Parisienne is feeling casual and a bit playful, she’ll put on her Marinière. This iconic striped cotton tee shirt in a unisex cut is reminiscent of sailors, and has been a french wardrobe icon for at least the last century!
• The Perfecto — For a night out, the Parisienne will pull out her favorite classic black leather jacket, and infuse her look with the tiniest bit of rock n’ roll (à la Serge Gainsbourg rather then heavy metal) to show off her laid back side.
• The Ballerines — This pretty and practical shoe became popular in France as the famous Repetto reinterpreted their ballet shoes for everyday wear. Today, they’re still a favorite for the Parisienne this shoe she wears so many days.
• The Smoking — Le Smoking as one famous French fashion designer coined it, is a sleek women’s suit. In neutral shades or classic tweeds, the Parisian will mix and match the slacks and blazer with many ensembles, or wear it together for a meeting or glamorous event.
Now, what’s my theory behind the Parisian woman’s classic style? I believe it’s to let a woman’s true beauty shine. In her simple and timeless fashion, her outfit never distracts from her best asset, her own natural beauty she loves to highlight. That’s why next week on Paris Rendez- Vous I’ll share with you the Parisian Beauty Essentials. Until then…bonne semaine!