If you’ve ever been to France, chances are you made an observation that the French dress quite differently than the British do.
And if you ask anyone to describe French style, you’ll be likely to hear terms like ‘chic’, ‘classic’, and the all-too-common ‘je ne sais quoi’ tossed about.
Do you find yourself staring at photos of Parisian IT girls like actress Clémence Poésy and wonder how they look so utterly perfect all of the time? You are not the only one.
The real secrets to French dressing, however, can only be found at the source. Luckily for us, La Redoute made all the hard work and interviewed 300 French women to find out which 5 essential investment pieces make up their wardrobe. Can you guess which ones are the most popular?
- Black jacket
A big part of why French women get it so right, so often, is that they dress in a grown-up sleek and clean style. So yes, buying a classic, tailored jacket is mandatory and will see a lifetime of wear.
My advice is to save up for the pieces that you know you’ll have for life. Whether you have a meeting or just a casual lunch with your friends, a black jacket will take you from day to night in style. (it’s a promise!) Not to mention that you’ll be able to wear it with your favourite trainers or dress it up with heels and statement jewelry.
- Fitted shirt
A quick update that French women have mastered to take their look from day to evening is the perfect red lip. No need to bring a change of clothes to work when you can wear your classic, white shirt and still look stylish. Roll up the sleeves, add a pair of chandelier earrings and a red lip for a look that hit a high-glam note.
- Skinny jeans
Black skinny jeans and a white tee might be simple, but are still stylish as hell – and no, you don’t have to be French to pull that off. Keep it simple and muted for an effortless chic ensemble.
Remember, French women feel perfectly chic in jeans. Even sitting in the front row at a Chanel show or at an Avenue Montaigne fashion store opening. (Okay, maybe black jeans. With stilettos.)
- Ballet pumps
You don’t need a thousand pairs of shoes to look fabulous, you just need one or two really great pairs to get the job done.
Depending on the season you would see me wearing ballet pumps with just about everything. And ever since these La Redoute ballet pumps have landed in my shoe closet, I have been literally living in them – I love the stylish houndstooth print and the bow detail. I keep it simple during the day, as I have to run a lot of errands and play with outfits in the evening.
- Little black dress
What I’ve learned throughout the years is that most of the French women say no to trends and instead develop a signature look. You can never go wrong with a Little Black Dress, in fact is very rare a French woman is seen out of a LBD. And the best part is that you can wear it in endless combinations, depending where the day takes you. For a city-approved ensemble, I would wear it with ballerina flats and a tailored blazer, and for an evening look I would swap the flats with sandals and add some pearls.
So these are the 5 key pieces that any woman should be able to pull out of her wardrobe at a moment’s notice and still look fabulously chic. Do you have any favourites? Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #CestPourMoi or check La Redoute Blog for more style inspiration. I would love to hear your thoughts.
Items c/o La Redoute. Handbags c/o Paul’s Boutique (AW15, preview only)