The Dos and Don'ts of French Chic

August 10th, 2017 at 2:00am

The Parisian It Girl is a long-standing icon in the fashion world. Adopting this infamous aesthetic is more than just wearing a marinière. It is all about carrying yourself in an elegant and carefree manner. From Pinterest boards to Vogue tutorials, how-to guides on becoming the perfect French girl are everywhere. But, does all of this live up to the hype? Here are the top three dos and don’ts of la vie Français.

French Chic Dos

1—Do go for quality over quantity. A big difference between Americans and the French is that the French value investment in high-quality goods. This can be seen through the French way of styling and buying. A French girl will never buy something unless she absolutely loves it and knows it will last. Investing in your first pair of classic Louboutins not only lets you go gaga over shoes, it teaches you to value and take care of what you own.

2—Do embrace the natural look. A true Parisienne isn’t afraid to go out au naturale. Skipping heavy makeup isn’t just a good way to let your skin breathe, it can also help build confidence in your natural features. Styling a fresh face with a flowing sundress beats worrying about mascara smudges any day. Glossier is a popular new skincare brand that embraces the French motto of going bare.

3—Do learn self-discipline. Ever wonder how the French girl resists baguettes and croissants? She doesn’t; it’s all about moderation! Learning to opt for smaller portions of your favorite baked goods is a great way to satisfy a craving without feeling guilty. After all, restaurant portions in France are around 25 percent smaller than in America. Having measuring cups handy and limiting eating out are quick ways to make sure you’re not over eating.

French Chic Don’ts 

1—Don’t over-accessorize. In the words of Mademoiselle Coco Chanel herself, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” Selecting minimal accessories when picking out an outfit is a quick and easy way to refine a look and appear more elegant. Instead of adding excess jewelry opt for a sweet spray of Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle.

2—Don’t fall victim to assuming you can’t be an It Girl. The truth is that there is no set of requirements to be an It Girl. The media’s portrayal of the perfect Parisienne hardly ever shows women of color or varying sizes. While France isn’t exactly the leader in social equality, Paris is definitely a diverse city and no matter who you are you can embrace the good qualities of French life.

3—Don’t let your identity become consumed by an aesthetic. While it can be a lot of fun to dress up and play French girl, realize that there is no such thing as becoming the perfect Parisienne. Always remember to stay true to who you are and to not let your life become defined by the aesthetics you aspire to achieve.

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