Since residing in Paris for the last week, it’s safe to say that I’ve been in awe of the style I’ve seen. There is nothing quite like it. From the city centre streets to the quieter back alleys of suburbia, the essence of fashion lingers on every corner.
French style is a complete contrast to the street attire I’m used to seeing back home. Even though Paris is technically only a forty minute flight away from Gatwick, there’s an enormous style shift between the two cultures. It’s an entirely different world!
Firstly, there’s far less of a focus upon brands and trends and instead a clear emphasis on long lasting quality and classic tailoring. Timeless fashion looks that refuse to fade. Quality over quantity.
Having spent many a morning admiring Parisian style with a black coffee in one hand and a notebook in the other, here are some of my fashion findings so far.
1.Dress down to go up
Women in Paris tend to keep it low key. There’s a way of appearing to have just thrown an outfit together here in Paris. A little bit like you’ve just stumbled out of bed -yet still manage to look effortlessly chic . Except layer upon layer of casual jackets, scarfs and subdued coloured coats. There is quiet extravagance. If you look like a try hard, you will stick out like a sore thumb. Save the dressing to the nines for evening attire only.
2. Chick & sleek
Dress with elegance. Dress with versatility. Keep colours minimal – unless you plan to add a pop of block colour to your outfit in the form of a bag or statement piece.
Mini skirts are out – you’ll look tacky and it’s a fashion faux pas for daywear. Black jeans, grey trousers and midi length hemlines are in.
When it comes to colours… Black before pink. Always. Even if you’re sipping tea in Laudree.
3. For gods sake, no bumbags.
If you’re a tourist, don’t dress like a tourist. Blend in with the colour schemes. Wear scarves. Wear ankle boots. Do NOT wear a bumbag. Please. I recommend wearing a cross body bag if you’re worried about pickpockets – you can swing it across in front of you to keep items secure & then wander worry free. Parisians can smell a tourist from a mile off – adapting to the fashion culture will make you instantly more approachable.
4. Oui to nude nails
It’s out with decadent nails and in with very simple sheer talons. It was a rare site to see anyone with colour on their nails. Keep them trimmed, glossy and clean instead.
5. The last strand: hair is important
Good hair is a Parisian must. For men and women alike, sleek and tame tresses are just as important as an entire outfit. Plenty a bob, the majority of styles that I saw were classily elegant and far less experimental than the streets of London. Well kept locks are key – split ends are most definitely frowned upon, as is frizz and wet hair. If all else fails, in doubt twist your hair into a tight bun and add a coat of stark red lipstick.
Voila! These are just a few of my style observations. Cultural differences in fashion are so fascinating to me – comment below with your own thoughts on Parisian style or other countries’ outfit choices!