Fashion lovers around the world have always looked to the French for their effortless and minimalist sense of style. There are many different ways to pull off a paired back Parisian look - it is key to adopt a minimalist approach with the just right amount of detail, and the outcome will be effortless.
As demonstrated by Coco Chanel, the iconic queen of Parisian Chic, French style is all about getting the basics right. French women will take time before making a purchase and they don't fall into fad trends or fast fashion. The first thing on their mind is how an individual piece will sit in their existing wardrobe.
It is important that each component of an outfit works to create a complete outfit and overall chic look. This is the number one style secret, which the French have mastered. Great style isn’t about having an amazing pair of Valentino shoes or an expensive Louis Vuitton bag; it is about how an entire look comes together and how each piece complements each other.
The idea here is not to own too many clothes, but carefully curate a wardrobe of classic pieces that can be paired with each other to create many different of looks. Your average Parisian woman loves breaking fashion rules, but only because she knows the rules. Colour is a very important part of this rulebook. Classic colours such as navy, red and tan are key in a French wardrobe. Opt for white jeans instead of stock standard blue, or tanned leathers instead of jet black. Once you get the basics right it is a lot easier to experiment with the details.
Another important element of French fashion is knowing restraint. A Parisian women never mix and match different prints and patterns, for them balance is crucial. Make your outfit have one or two key tones or stick to muted hues. If your dress is feminine and floral, offset it with a little androgyny. If your outfit is very formal add an effortless element with a messy bun or sneakers. The idea is to reach a place of equilibrium, where the presence of gender isn't obvious.
And most importantly the French are all about owning who they are, are embracing their imperfections. They are confident in their style choices and their bodies. Being genuine and having a strong sense of personal style is central to French fashion. Thus, the French characterise the idea that fashion is an art and, like most art forms; the rules of classic fashion must be learnt before they are bent for the purpose of self-expression.