How to Dress Like a Parisian

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France has a well-deserved reputation for effortless-seeming chic. Paris is the style capital of the world, and the French know how to dress in a way that’s both timeless and trendsetting. But what’s their secret? Here’s how to dress like a Parisian!

Find Your Signature

Parisian women often have a signature look. Something that’s classy, sophisticated, and utterly their own. They’ll dabble in other fashion, of course, but if you saw the inside of their closet, you’d instantly recognize their style. They usually don’t have a million outfits, either. They’d rather have a few signature pieces of quality.

Stick to Neutrals

Most Frenchwomen dress in neutrals—black and white, cream and brown. To liven things up, they’ll accessorize with a bright pop of color. Besides looking chic and streamlined, having a neutral palette makes putting together an outfit simple.

Forget Trends

French fashionistas aren’t as interested in what’s trendy right now. They’re more concerned with finding a look that works for them. Instead of chasing after popular colors or silhouettes that don’t flatter, they stick with more classic styles.

Get It Tailored

Fit is everything. If your clothes are too long or too baggy, they’ll never be flattering. A good tailor can work magic. Every piece will look like it’s custom couture made just for you!

Red Lipstick

Every woman has a perfect shade of red lipstick waiting for her. The trick is in finding it. If you have a pink undertone to your skin, you’ll want to go with a blue-red. If you have a golden undertone, look for an orange-red. And if you have darker skin, you can get away with a rich berry shade. Try lots of lipsticks until you find your favorite.

Trench Coat Chic

Many French style icons swear by the versatile, classic trench coat. It can go from day to evening, office to dinner party. It’s worth investing in a really good piece and taking excellent care of it. A quality trench can last a lifetime and will never go out of style.

Tousled Hair

Parisians rarely bother with elaborate, overly styled hairdos. A tousled, gentle wave gives a certain je ne sais quoi. It says that you have more important things to worry about than spending an hour on your hair. To get the look, spritz your damp hair with a salt spray, get out any tangles with a wide tooth comb, and let it air dry. Voila!

Consider Menswear-Inspired Looks

Trousers, blazers—even tuxedos. French fashionistas often forgo a dress in favor of a sharp menswear look. It’s a bold look that manages to be sexy without showing much skin.

Buy Quality

Investment shopping pays off in the long run. When you buy classic, high-quality pieces and take care of them, they’ll last pretty much forever. And when you do the math, those pieces often have a lower cost per wear than a semi-disposable trend or fast fashion.