Obsessing over French style is a national past-time. Whether it’s grown-up icons like Francoise Hardy and Ines de La Fressange or fresh stars such as Lily Rose Depp or Jeanne Damas, there seems to be something French women instinctively know about putting together a look. Forget Emily in Paris’s twee ensembles, actual French style has more in common with Call My Agent!
Although of course we know this is a sweeping generalisation. Not every French citizen knows how to pair a blazer and ballet pumps, or team a ditsy print tea dress with espadrilles and insouciant ease. But as the national British dress sense seems to have dissolved into a sea of saggy loungewear, it’s easy to look across the channel for a little inspiration, especially as we head back into offices, bars, meeting people IRL and The Outside World.
Right now, the last leg of fashion month is taking place in Paris. Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton are presenting their Autumn / Winter collections, navigating the problems of a pandemic to do so… And we’re excited! The magic of the catwalk, even if we can’t be there in person, still holds us in thrall. All these mega maisons are holding together France’s reputation as the home of style and it’s true, some of the oldest fashion houses were founded in the City of Light. So it’s understandable that great style stems from Paris with all its history and heritage – but not every French woman has access to handbags that cost more than a car and yet they still look incredible.
How? By filling their wardrobes with excellently sourced basics… French style revolves around the classics. Slouchy t-shirts, crisp shirts, those blazers, trench coats and impeccably cut jeans; adding in a few sun-kissed floral prints, slip dresses and peasant-style blouses during mid-summer… Instead of swaying to new trends every season, the mid-range contemporary brands are the go-to for chic French Women. Realisation, Musier, Jacquemus and Rouje. Sezane, Sandro, Maje and even La Redoute’s fabled designer collaborations.
While you might not be able to pop over to France right now (although we are keeping everything crossed for soon) you can find all these amazing brands online.