Everyone wants that French "it girl" look. Since today is Bastille day, the French national holiday commemorating the start of the French Revolution, I'm honoring the country's stylish women who embody the ever-coveted French style. Whether you're fluent in la langue d'amour or are just trying to add some je ne sais quoi to your style, here are some tips to dressing the part.
You can't go wrong in stripes.
The most clichéd aspect of French style, there's something to the stereotype that Frenchies go for striped tees. The navy and white striped long sleeve tees and sweaters are called Breton stripes because of their French adoption, starting in Brittany, France. Jeanne Damas goes for black and white over navy and white here, but her styling of the slouchy tee with skinny jeans, boots, and a leather jacket over is perfectly française.
Black booties elevate skinny jeans en France.
A great pair (or two!) of leather booties like Clemence Poesy's are absolutely necessary to wear with anything and everything in chilly Parisian rainy weather. They add enough polish to skinny jeans, and a slight chunky heel will also lengthen your legs, but always look cool and casual like you just don't care how good you look. The other classic shoe a Frenchie needs is an oxford, preferably in black as well, to wear with trousers, or skinny jeans on warmer days.
Black and white are the only colors you need to keep in your wardobe.
In case you hadn't noticed, the French don't often opt for a lot of color in their clothing. In fact, black is all you need for smooth sailing in French style. Black leather jackets, black skinny jeans, black heels. If you need to break up the monotony, white is totally acceptable, but used mainly to offset the black being worn. Nude or navy will do as well, but follow Lou Doillon's lead and don't get carried away with color!
Keep your wardrobe full of crisp button ups.
Forget silk; cotton and linen button-ups are so French, and look so much more put-together than a tee. The slightly-androgynous style can be made cutesy with a girly pattern like polka dots, tiny flowers, or, of course, stripes. Tuck one into trousers like Clemence does and top with a blazer, or wear over skinny jeans.
Leave your hair messy and unstyled.
This is such an important part of French girl style! If you're a shampoo-a-day kind of girl, or someone who straightens or curls your hair each morning, it's time to change your habits. A little oil and muss gives you that effortless, "I don't care I look good anyway" style, and it lets you sleep in ten minutes later! Caroline de Maigret has the perfect French head of hair, complete with straight across bangs, which are optional but preferable!
Opt for trousers and a blazer instead of a dress for formalwear.
French it-girls are all about androgyny. The occasional minidress is acceptable, but for the most part, it's worth it to invest in a great blazer or two and some nice slacks, to dress up the French way. This strong look, usually in black and white of course, is the prefered kind of semi-formalwear for the French. Charlotte Gainsbourg shows us how a great pair of heels and a printed blouse can give the look a fun and feminine twist. Remember, no styled hair!
Finally, avoid a heavy face of makeup. French it girls have a natural beauty look, and focus more on killer clothes and accessories before bolting out onto the busy streets of Paris, fresh face forward. If you must add makeup, swipe on some lipstick and call it a day. You're all set! Just avoid asking people "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, çe soir?"
Go forth and French it up! Vive la France!