Were you loving Maria's Paris outfits? Totally on fire and inspired, like I was? And ready to add a little Parisian flair to your look? My hand is up! I've been obsessed with the concept ever since I saw her photo-tsunami. Parisian fashion is the last word in chic! Sound daunting? Fear not, oh Fierce Ones! It's easier than you imagine to bring the vibe of the French capital to your style. And we're going to have a little tete-a-tete about just how its done. So put on a little Edith Piaf, pour yourself a glass of champagne (ok, that one's optional), ensconce yourself in your most sophisticated chair (no prob if that's a bean bag chair; we've all been there!) and envision yourself strolling down the Rue de la Paix, climbing the white staircase to Sacre Coeur or waving to the passengers on a boat drifting down the Seine. Like Dorothy with her ruby stilettos, fashion can take you there. So click your heels three times, loves...
The first step to putting some oo la la in your style involves classic pieces. Parisiennes know that iconic pieces earn that status for a reason and they build their look around one or several. Classics stand the test of time. They don't blow with the trendy wind; they have your back (and front) for decades. Consequently, they're worth investing in. Classic pieces every girl needs? The cable sweater, the button down, the knee-length skirt, the simple-with-a-twist jacket, black almond-toe pumps, high-waisted trousers, the silk camisole, the refined wool blazer, the simple fitted tee, the little black/beige/ivory/white/sand/red dress (but especially black ;)), the trench coat (or 3/4 length wool coat). Classics work flawlessly with each other (ssly, how many outfits can you create out of the ones pictured here? I get at least 6!), and add that shot of grounded competence to trendier pieces. They're indispensable for any wardrobe, which why French girls love them...making them indispensable for any wardrobe aiming to create that Parisian feel. You probably already have a bunch of them (are you mentally scanning and cataloguing your closet now? ;))
While you’re at it, keep an eye open for iconic hues. Parisian style is based around neutrals: black, white, beige, ivory, gray, navy. Dual-tone prints, like dots and stripes, are in the mix too. If you’re editing your closet, creating a capsule wardrobe or starting to build your style/fashion palette, start here. And stay here :). Neutrals mix and match easily and look sophisticated both as monochrome looks and matched with each other. Consider pairings like beige and bright white or black with navy. An all-neutral canvas for dressing feels cathartic and pure. Parisiennes don’t shy away from adding a shot of color – think red, cobalt or daisy yellow – but it’s generally just a shot…as opposed to a whole row ;). Colored shoes, a statement ring, a scarf, a bright belt or handbag: just enough to send that frisson of stylish electricity through the outfit and that’s it. The End. Au revoir.
Which brings us to the third step in turning yourself into a Parisian-style fashion icon: chill out! French style never feels forced, over-the-top or fussy. Be carefree, unstudied, have that “oh, this?” attitude. It’s not about brands, only quality. It’s not about trends, only what works on your body. Incorporate simple pieces, older/well-worn pieces, basic pieces – what you look and feel amazing in, even if it’s a sweater and jeans (and then throw in that chic curveball: black leather pointy toe pumps, a newsboy cap and a saddle bag, or broken-in flat boots and a military jacket. Consider silhouettes that have one fabulous detail (like ruffles, or a hi-low hemline), and let that be the only statement. Pair a dotted blouse with slim trousers, metallic oxfords…and nothing else. (Ok, undergarments…but nothing else ;)). Leave the flash and large quantities of bling at home. Say it with subtlety….and without working yourself into a lather/panic attack/Gumby-impersonation in front of your mirror :)
Parisian style tends to show restraint with baubletry, but when one’s outfit a la mode does require embellishment, pearls are the go-to. Revered for 2500 years, they were considered even more precious than diamonds in the days before the creation of cultured gems. Some fun trivia: French jeweler Jacques Cartier bought his flagship 5th Avenue store by trading a double strand pearl necklace for it ;). Pearls were inextricably linked with French fashion by designer Coco Chanel, who famously declared "A woman needs ropes and ropes of pearls". She followed her own advice, often mixing real and imitation pearl jewelry in her own outfits, as well as working pearls into her couture. The simplest way to wear pearls is, of course, the iconic single strand, but that’s far from the only way. Consider pearl chokers, lariats, multi-row/layered pieces or – my personal favorite – opera length! In addition to being worn solo, pearls lend themselves to being layered or twisted with other metals for edgier glamour. So, don’t be afraid to add a hematite chain to your strand or gold earrings with your pearl statement ring. And then stop :)…Parisian style is all about that editing!
Ready to try doing it the Parisian way? Right with ya, loves! Off to pick up my closet’s passport now. Bisous!
Psst…don’t forget: Fashion Week heads to Paris on 9/28/16. And we’ve got one more stop on our Parisian style tour here as well ;).
Welcome to the place where wrestling & fashion join hands. Inspiration. Reviews. Musings. Retros. FASHION. Covering and craving gear to gowns since 2011. May the Fierce be with you! ;) Peace & Glitter!
Brie: shoe-lover :) fashion-lover and generally glamorous semi-dork
Photos used for criticism and comment under US Copyright Act Section 107.