French women and their style pop up at regular intervals in the US press, blogosphere and publishing industry. Books and articles on French women’s tips on how to dress, stay thin, groom and have sex, periodically hit the market. I am not quite sure American women are that fascinated with their French counterparts but, then again, I might be wrong.
There is one cliché I do admire about French women – or, shall I say, Parisians? They look effortlessly chic. Stress on the effortless. I tend to abhor the “too polished” anything. Perfect hair, make-up, manicure, outfit make me a bit uncomfortable, as if a woman were trying to hide behind the perfect idea she has of herself. As if she tried too hard. French women, by and large, walk around as if they just got up, threw something on, applied a little make-up, quickly brushed their hair all in a few minutes. And it works. They look chic but they also look natural. The approach, usually, is “less is more”. Know what works for you and stick to it.
Outfits with clean and clear lines also help. Fabrics that move with your body and hide trouble spots are a plus. I find that, often, female fashion designers understand our needs better or, maybe, it’s their way to look at the body that makes a difference in how they design.
Looking at the Spring/Summer Collections for next year, the theme seems to be “less is more” for many designers. Two outfits in particular piqued my interest, both designed by women. Stella McCartney always shows luxurious and simple outfits made to enhance and hide one’s body at the same time, and I absolutely love this masculine look that, to me, also conveys sexiness with every step.
Claire Waight Keller of Chloe (where McCartney, not so coincidentally, also spent a few years) makes layering look effortless. A bit like the French.
Both looks have me inspired – notice the simplicity of hair and accessories too. And the spare make-up. Love it.