WORDS BY ALEXANDRA RHODES
What is it about French style? The minute you cross the channel, things just look better, don’t they? Messy, unbrushed hair is now effortlessly ‘slept-in’, a splodge of moisturiser and a hurried swipe of mascara becomes a ‘natural glow’. Jeans and a T-shirt? ‘Nonchalant’. But often, it’s not quite as easy as it looks. So with Paris Fashion Week just around the corner, we're brushing up on how to dress like a French woman…
Call it a cliché but there really is no better piece for emitting a certain Gallic élan than the humble beret. But how to wear it without looking like a tourist? In badass leather, like Maria Grazia Chiuri's Dior girls.
Shop the look: William Vintage Beret, Rosie Assoulin Shirt Dress, Loewe Clutch, Delirious Sunglasses
The Provençal blouse
Nothing says South of France like a white cotton top, and, naturally, French brands do them best. Opt for Isabel Marant or See by Chloé for the perfect amount of floaty, rather than froofy. Trip to Club 55 regretfully not included.
Shop the look: Isabel Marant Blouse, See By Chloé Blouse, See By Chloé Blouse, Isabel Marant Étoile Blouse
The understated earring
When it comes to jewellery, park the pearls and bin the bling - a French girl’s jewellery box tells a much quieter story. 1 pair of understated earrings to accompany a perfectly dishevelled chignon is all you need.
Shop the look: Charlotte Chesnais Earrings, Charlotte Valkeniers Earrings, Alighieri Earrings, Maria Black Earrings
The basket bag
How is it that the French have a way of turning a humdrum trip to the market into a bonafide fashion moment? 3 words: the basket bag. The one-time holiday staple has successfully made the transition into urban life, too – simply style with tailoring.
Shop the look: Cult Gaia Bag, Salvatore Ferragamo Bag, Wai Wai Bag, Aranaz Tote
The Breton top
Chanel, Bardot and Seberg are just a few of the stylish French ingénues who favoured the striped staple, and for effortless, throw-it on style there’s simply nothing better. Invest now, wear forever.
Shop the look: Être Cécile T-shirt, Comme Des Garçons T-shirt, Faith Connexion Top, MM6 Maison Margiela Sweatshirt
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Piece of the week…Charlotte Chesnais Earrings