The phrase “je ne sais quoi” is part of the French language for good reason.
French girls have a tendency to exude this indescribable quality that most of us can’t quite put a finger on. Every French friend I’ve ever had always looks effortlessly put together and inexplicably chic. So I decided to channel my inner French girl in this key-print dress over the weekend and also figure out the basic foundation of French style rules. The take-away? Check out my formula for achieving effortless French style.
1) Less is more – Take it back to basics. Black and white pairings, keep it simple on the accessories front, and let’s not forget lots and lots of black. Choose timeless pieces that are easy to mix and match into dozens of combinations and transcend from season to season. And because less is more, invest in quality pieces that you know you’ll wear for years.
2) Unpolished splendor – A half turned up collar, a messy hair-do that practically defines perfectly imperfect..our French counterparts have this locked down. Take a page from their book and add a little purposeful chaos to your look.
3) Sumptuous fabrics and interesting silhouettes – Let texture and shape do the talking. Lace, silk, and intriguing proportions keep things interesting when there is less color involved.
4) Give your heels a break – While I still wanted some height with this look, these sandals are very minimalistic. If you feel like going all in, trade in your heels for a pair of boots or ballet flats, like a true French woman would.
5) Layer, layer, and then layer some more – With weather than can be cold and dreary one minute and sunny the next, layering is essential for a Parisian from a functionality standpoint first and contributes to a look second. Much like LA, but more extreme on the cold end of the equation, carrying an extra layer or two with you is crucial. Incorporate a striped scarf, throw on a moto jacket, or add an impeccably tailored blazer.
BLACK DOLMAN SWEATER (OLD – SIMILAR HERE AND HERE) | KEY DRESS (OLD – FOUND 1 ON POSHMARK HERE FOR A MERE $35) | LIGHT BLUE CLUTCH | BLACK PATENT LEATHER BELT | BLACK STRAPPY SANDAL (ON SALE) | PEACOCK FEATHER COCKTAIL RING (SOLD OUT – SIMILAR OPTION HERE) | BLACK DOUBLE FINGER RING | NAIL POLISH (ALPINE SNOW) | LIP GLOSS (BEET IT)
Photos by Mike Avery