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French Fashion: 10 Secrets to Dressing Like the World's Chicest Women

French Fashion: 10 Secrets to Dressing Like the World's Chicest Women 76


French fashion may be mysterious and masterful, but it’s not entirely unobtainable. The women of this highly chic country are forever at the top of the tree when it comes to effortlessness—no other nation could possibly contend for the title, especially when you take a look at our list of the most stylish French women. But as well as adopting their relaxed attitude to getting dressed, there are style cues you can take and tweak to incorporate into your own wardrobe and bring in un petit peu of that coveted je ne sais quoi.

It’s highly likely you know some major French fashion rules by heart already: For example, brushing your hair is a sacrilegious act, one should never scrimp on the day-to-day pillars of a closet, and everything is best worn thrown together to encourage the perception that you’ve probably had a really wild time the night before.

French girls are having fun and living life to the fullest—or at least that’s what their outfits tell us—but there are other, more nuanced factors that play into a Gallic woman’s wardrobe as a whole. And that’s where we step in. So enrol in our French style school, where you’l learn everything from the grade-one basics through seriously advanced stages of being super chic.

Get scrolling to see and shop the French fashion guidance.

French Fashion: 10 Secrets to Dressing Like the World's Chicest Women 77
French Fashion: 10 Secrets to Dressing Like the World's Chicest Women 78
And yes, it’s a totally normal—nay, brilliant—thing to dress similarly or even in the same outfit as your maman. Great style and wardrobe classics never fade, so why can’t you wear them now and in four decades’ time? It girl Jeanne Damas proved the point recently, snapping herself alongside her mother, both wearing the same blue ribbed tee from her collection on Rouje, and high-waisted jeans.
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Maybe all French girls are blessed with excellent pins like Camille Charrière. Maybe they just know exactly how to rock a short hemline and not look overdone. Maybe it’s both, but we’re certainly in awe. See how the long-line blazer and leather handbag smarten up a micro denim skirt? See how the addition of beaten-up sneakers makes the whole thing oh so casual? We bow down.
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As any well put-together French maven will tell you, there is nothing less attractive than hobbling around in high heels. It’s all about looking cool and breezy, so for this, it’s no wonder many, like Vogue Paris’s Emmanuelle Alt here, turn to brands such as Chanel for the answer. Karl Lagerfeld never produces sky-high stilettos—just clever ones like these mules that you can slip on and off and last in all day.
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We’re not talking about waist-cinching of the extreme variety, but French women always make sure that their feminine figure is in some way in check—even when wearing loose-fitting clothes. Blogger Aria Di Bari provides an excellent example—a shapeless tunic gets the right treatment by this nonchalantly knotted belt. 
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Model and fashion darling Aymeline Valade has a similar approach to Carine Roitfeld when it comes to sultry dressing: It’s all about a 50/50 ratio. Yes, you can see she’s wearing a sheer, lace camisole (with no bra, very français), but the rest of her outfit is tailored and tomboyish. Walking this line successfully? It’s all down to confidence. 
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From bikers jackets to boho coats, bombers to blazers, French girls invest a heavy amount of cash into great outerwear. It means that your simple jeans, tees and shirts never have to work hard while the cover-up does all the talking for you. And let’s face it, in our climate, you’ll never not get the wear out of a well-chosen piece.
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In a similar vein to the sassy/sensible ratio we mentioned earlier, there are French fashion rules that apply to the level of accessorising set against an outfit. Want to wear your new shoes, bag and hat at the same time? Then you’ll need a clean, simple, super-plain outfit underneath—preferably in a neutral colour.
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From espadrilles to beachy off-the-shoulder tops, it’s completely acceptable to bring a little seaside style to your city look en France. Ready to shop your new French girl–inspired look? Keep going through the gallery!
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This is very Jane Birkin in the ’60s.
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Your new party shoes have arrived.
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Beach to bar and back again.
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Jérôme Dreyfuss names his bags after boys—so look after Popeye, will you?
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You don’t need the motorbike to really rock this, but it would help.
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Best worn with seriously messy hair.
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The classic Breton. 
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Coco Chanel would be happy to see you dashing around town in these.
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Who can say no to Givenchy?
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Wrap up and watch this coat do its thing.
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The most flattering shade of blue. See the new wave of French labels you’ve not shopped yet. Opening Image: Collage Vintage



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