Style Secrets From French Fashion Icons

Je Ne Sais Quoi

Parisian fashion is all about staying classy in effortless and comfortable basics. We take notes from five French icons on how to achieve that chic style for work and play.

Caroline Maigret

We’re so in love with this model, singer and author’s street style. It screams Parisian chic! Nonchalant and effortless — that’s beginning to sound a lot like the definition of French chic.

She teamed up with co-authors Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, and Sophie Mas to pen How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits .

 

Androgynous, sexy tailoring – a very borrowed from the men approach with added lashings of mascara.
Style Quote: “The Parisian woman is a feminist which informs her style. I hate the idea of having an icon – I find it too restrictive, that’s the beauty of a woman, it’s more about character.”

 

Get the look:

  • An understated jacket in a vivid pastel hue that is subtle yet bold, will instantly up your style-o-meter. This will add a great dimension to your total androgynous look.
  • Wear this look with a pair of tailored tapered pants to and you’ll be all set to rock and roll.
  • You’re not totally pulling off Parisian chic until you’re armed with an iconic French brogues.

Audrey Tautou

photo credit: tpgimages

We are in awe of Audrey Tautou’s refined style choices, especially after her bold pixie do in the Amelie. Between her French elegance and boyish haircut, she puts a quirky twist to her style.

Get the look:

  • Neutral tones such as beige and brown can be dull but if matched with the right colours, you’ll be surprised with the outcome.
  • Spice up your work attire with a sling bag. Bags with cross-body straps are more chic whilst giving you the freedom of clutching them or going completely hands-free.
  • If you’re not keen on a bold colour-blocking dress, then colour block your accessories instead. Opt for bright shoes that will stand out from your look but make sure it goes with the whole outfit.

 

 

Carla Bruni

photo credit: tpgimages

The singer, songwriter and former model (and former first lady of France) brings Parisian chic to a whole new level. With her regal poise, clean-cut blazers and luxurious accessories, she stands out from the crowd – be it on the red carpet, the streets or just about anywhere!

Get the look:

  • Put a new twist on casual blazers by wearing one made from a rich fabric. Carla proves that even in her casual attire, she can still look nothing less than glamorous.
  • The key to carry the Carla Bruni persona is to indulge in beautiful jewellery. Go for statement pieces that bring out the extra shine. Keep to one jewellery at a time; for example, avoid wearing dangling earrings if you’re already wearing a shiny necklace.
  • A large tote is the answer to carry all of your belongings. Choose a masculine-shaped bag for an unconventional feel or borrow a bag from your partner.

 

 

Charlotte Gainsbourg

photo credit: tpgimages

Daughter of French singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg and actress Jane Birkin, fashion designer Charlotte Gainsbourg recreates Parisian chic with a pinch of edge. Try it for work!

Get the look:

  • Instead of tucking in a work blouse, opt for a light jumper for a change of style – tres chic!
  • The key to a stylish Parisian look is good colour combinations. Once you’ve chosen your top, wear a pair of pants that complements the top’s hue well.
  • Finish the look with a fancy thin belt and a petite clutch. If you have documents to bring, go for an oversized clutch.

 

 

Marion Cotillard

photo credit: tpgimages

It is undeniable that the French actress carries a Parisian flair, landing herself as one of the faces of Dior since 2008. She plays with fun shapes, flattering structures and vivid colours – even when she’s off-duty.

Get the look:

  • When choosing an oversized blazer, be sure that it sits perfectly on your shoulders and that the sleeves are tailored accordingly to your arms.
  • Printed jeans is an instant way to jazz up a blue oxford shirt, especially if you’re going for a monochrome look. Slim ankle grazers help you look chic.
  • Pull on a pair of reflective sunnies to shield your eyes and to add a subtle splash of colour to your overall look.

 

 

Ines de La Fressange

photo credit: tpgimages

The former model and designer (who now has a line with Japanese brand Uniqlo) is all about keeping things crisp and comfortable, perfect for the modern-day women.

Get the look:

  • Ines is a big fan of scarves and sashes, she goes around everywhere in them! Wear a bow-front blouse to work. You won’t have to worry about accessorising it with the right necklace.
  • Another Parisian favourite is the knitted cardigan. Pull off a classy twist by wearing a waist belt over it.
  • Having a bad hair day? Cover it with a hat. From fascinators and berets, fedoras to panama hats, these head gears will take your style game up a notch.

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