How to dress like a French woman

When asked to describe my style, like many people, I have a hard time putting it into words. I would call it "classic with a twist," but so would 80% of other women, and as a fashion blogger, I'd like to think I'm a little more unique than that. (That could be wishful thinking, however.) How I usually describe it is if Fran├žoise Hardy and Betty Catroux had a child. In case you haven't heard of either of these iconic French women, Fran├žoise Hardy was a folk singer in the '60s (still going strong today!), and Betty Catroux was one of Yves Saint Laurent's muses (and is now Tom Ford's). The former is a little boho-meets-rock-and-roll, the latter is sexier yet tailored. Together, they'd create a look that's edgy but feminine, classic but interesting, fresh but timeless. What better place to find the components of this look than in Paris?

Ok, the jacket is not French—it's from Banana Republic—but you've seen it here before and it's obviously one of my favorite jackets. A motorcycle jacket is an edgier classic, but it's a piece that works for a lot of different styles. As I've raved about this one before, it's buttery soft and worth the investment—another thing French women believe in.

Is there anything more French than stripes? Mais non. Just don't wear them with a beret, unless you want to look like a mime. Anyway, I totally did not need this tee—I have two other long-sleeved black-and-white striped tees, plus one short-sleeved one—but, um, it's different than my others, which I wear all the time anyway. (Also, as I noted in this post, it was an extra 20% off.) I love the simplicity of stripes, and they're a gentle way of introducing pattern into your wardrobe.

While the upper half of my look was a little more rock-and-roll and androgynous, I went more feminine with the lower half, starting with this pleated skirt that I got from the A.P.C. surplus store in Paris (as described in this post). I love how the flirtiness of it contrasts with the toughness of the biker jacket. It's all about the push-pull.

And speaking of A.P.C., here are more gratuitous photos of the Sac Demi-Lune (last seen here) that I also bought in Paris. It's simple, understated, and classic—and so French. Just to warn you, it will make an appearance in next week's outfit post too, and then I promise I'll wear a different bag. For a week. ;)

When you think of French footwear brands, does a certain name spring to mind? I'll give you a hint from Cardi B: "These expensive, these is red bottoms, these is bloody shoes." Yep, I'm talking about Christian Louboutin, and these are my only pair. They are ancient, and the heel is so low, they are probably a dirty secret at the brand known for scandalously high heels. Yet in spite of the almost-dowdy kitten heel, I think they're still pretty sexy—they show quite a bit of toe cleavage, and there's always that red sole. And in case you were wondering, they are actually somewhat comfortable, but plan to size up at least half a size (I'm usually an 8.5 and these are a 39).

Paris Fashion Week started today, and it's making me extra wistful for the City of Lights. Wouldn't it be amazing to go there for Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, and all the great fashion shows? A girl can dream...

OUTFIT DETAILS: Banana Republic jacket | Zadig & Voltaire tee | A.P.C. skirt (current season here and here) | A.P.C. bag | Christian Louboutin shoes (very similar here)


Ruth said...

Stripes are definitely a french must have. I love your jacket and definitely think spending a little more moola on it!

Anonymous said...

Great tips, love the skirt!

Anika |

Patricia said...

you just nailed it, perfect styled french women

Patricia Calibre Jackets

Laura B said...

You can never go wrong with stripes! I love the edge and how it contrasts with your feminine skirt!

Claire Justine said...

Love your outfit, Cheryl. I love to strips and red together :)

Thanks for linking up to The Wednesday Link Up.

Betsy Ramsey said...

Love this look and the pop of color and feminine flare that the skirt lend. Great outfit!

Betsy |

tike mik said...

With every new season comes a new trend. Here's the deal though. There is nothing new under the sun. Everything eventually comes back around. So avoid going overboard with the trends. Truth be told, you probably already have half of that stuff in your closet. You should focus on accessorizing the must have items with a trendy piece. That way you can be in style without breaking the bank. cocktail dress