There are a few unseen secrets to the art of French style. Beyond the items that scream Chanel wannabe — the striped boat shirt, silk scarf, classic trench — lie commandments the French rarely disobey. Ahead of Bastille Day on Thursday, July 14, 2016, we break down some of the fundamentals.
1. Fabric: Choose natural materials of the highest quality. Think cotton, silk, leather, wool.
2. Fit: An ill-fitting shirt will never quite work, but is easily fixed. Visit a tailor so clothes work for you.
3. Styling: While Parisian chic is almost defined by that thrown-together look, the trick to looking that effortlessly put-together is, well, effort.
To inspire your inner Francophile, here are some classic items beloved by our sisters across the Atlantic.
Shirtdress: Ever so versatile, this one-piece wonder can be dressed up with accessories or down with ankle boots. Frame’s ‘Le Poplin’ cotton shirtdress fits the bill perfectly.
Leather Jacket: Wear a biker jacket over a slip dress to add edge to a feminine look. We’ve been lusting after this Tom Ford number.
Sneaker: Much like NYC, Paris is a city of walkers. Pair some monochrome kicks — such as Adidas’ Gazelle sneakers — with a flowy dress or maxi skirt.
Quality denim: An investment in top-shelf denim is never a bad idea. Style these stonewashed jeans by R13 with a silk cami.
Lingerie: Part of nailing perfect tailoring lies in what’s underneath. Our favorite lingerie company is Empreinte. Made in France, their line of thoughtfully-engineered bras will change your life if you wear C cup or above. Try the Melody bra for comfort and amazing fit.
The Red Lip: This is a secret weapon for the time-poor and lazy. Just one swipe and you’ll look like a million bucks. Try MAC Cosmetics’ matte lipstick in Ruby Woo — the shade suits all complexions.
Fragrance: Style is more than visual. Enjoy the luxury of a scent from Serge Lutens, one of Paris’ top perfumeries. We love A la nuit on a hot summer night.