Of all the fashionistas in the world, French chicks are the best. They seem to be born with an effortless ability to master haute couture. Just think of the names that have arisen from the romantic streets of Paris. Coco Chanel. Christian Dior. Louis Vuitton. Louis-François Cartier. There’s a reason France is the dream destination for boutique fashion lovers across the globe and ancestor to stylish phrases like “haute couture” and “prêt-à-porter.” Even those who prefer somber German colors, the punk-inspired English, or rustic Americana can’t resist a taste of French fashion mixed in with their normal wardrobe fare. Thanks to their reputation, it goes without saying that fashion advice from Parisians deserves your utmost attention. What are the big perennial no-no’s to avoid no matter what season you’re dressing for? Let these style geniuses guide you in the right direction as only a true born French person can.
NEVER WEAR SKY-HIGH HEELS
Just because gaudy superstars do it doesn’t mean you must follow suit. You are not Lady Gaga, and even if you aspire to be, it’s not necessary to torture your feet like she does. So, stop testing the stamina of your toes with ridiculously tall stilettos. Heels are bad enough at their typical height.
DO AWAY WITH PUSH-UP BRAS
You know what else the French are happy to acknowledge? The merits of a delicate bosom. You don’t need tight clothes to try and create the illusion of something that isn’t there. It sounds cliché, but embrace what you do have. As French model Charlotte Gainsbourg would say, “You must trust that small breasts are sexy too.”
STOP LOVING ON LOGOS
We get it. Brand names are all the rave when it comes to fashion in the US of A. In fact, New York Fashion Week made it seem like logos weren’t just a thing, they were actually in vogue. You need to break free of that mindset. True luxury is about how you wear your clothes, not how many prestigious labels you display.
Keep your jewelry to a minimum and all other adornments under control. That shouldn’t be too hard a task, but a lot of people think they’re being conservative yet end up extremely over the top. Make sure you’re not one of those unaware eccentrics. If you want a detailed way to check, the French rule is to never wear more than three pieces of jewelry at once.
KEEP THINGS SIMPLE
Few things come across as awkwardly as watching someone try too hard. Don’t give people the luxury of critiquing your busy look behind your back. Of all the fashion tricks perfected by the French, keeping stylish while retaining an air of unaffected bliss is probably the most impressive. Try and copy their trendy casual when you can. The street style world will thank you.
BURN YOUR NUDE PANTYHOSE
It’s time to end this troublesome trend once and for all. Get rid of all those skin-colored tights Kanye West and other designers tried to convince you were cool. They are a terrible idea. If you want to wear something flesh-colored to cover your legs, pick a solid shade like American Tan or Honey Beige. Nudes are officially out.
Next time you run into a French fashionista, thank them profusely. It’s these trendy Parisians who will save you from getting sucked in by niche circles of questionable fashion. Sure, you can still dress up in Americana jeans or English tweed. Just be careful not to compromise on the rules that really matter.
— Timothy Vest