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How to Pull Off Parisian Style

Chic. The over-used word that derives from the art of French dressing is still the best way to describe their style, and we’re not just talking berets and striped tees here. If there’s a lesson we can take from our Parisian friends it’s their effortless style. If you want to change your wardrobe with a French touch this summer then read on as we teach you how to keep it as elegant as possible.


Naturally (on the continent) clothes fit slimmer, it’s the northern European countries which own the relaxed, oversized style of dress. Parisian men generally wear trousers with a slimmer leg, being a fairly slim nation they’re fortunate to be able to wear clothes to fit with their natural body shape. Jackets are also slim fitting with relaxed shoulders and flair at the bottom, adding an elegant kick along with pleated trousers for a fresh boho summer aesthetic. If you don’t have slim fitting trousers, maybe instead of buying new ones just get some tailored and made slimmer for a fraction of the price. Fit is important if you want to master the art of perfect tailoring.


During winter materials tend to be wool, cashmere or tweed, with a British feel. During the summer make friends with cotton and linen as this will see you through those warmer months - so don’t fall short on the quality front. Linen is great for Parisian style - note that boho is not hipster, so you might want to remove that long beard. If you want a relaxed look, leather will serve you well - mixed with lace up boots, jeans and a t-shirt. Again keep the colours fairly monochrome as it’s the quality and fit which will do the talking here.


The Parisian’s style of shoe can vary from Derby shoes to luxury sneakers. One thing which is important to remember is to keep them clean and polish them regularly (women notice the finer details). Again, colours are fairly muted - where you might see brightly coloured shoes predominantly in London or New York, the French keep their style simplistic and elegant with either brown and black colours. Trainers can be added for street style; such as Valentino, but again nothing too loud.


The French and the Italians seem to have the art of layering down to a T. One glance on Pinterest for French style and you can see that layers and textures combine into one - and we’re not just referring to tailored clothing. Parisians know how to mix classics with casual e.g. blazers over jeans for example and leather with tailored trousers; and yes they make it look so effortless. Sweaters over a shirt should always be V-neck to show off your tie underneath. Throw on a smart dark overcoat and a scarf for added texture. If you want to get heads turning without being too garish, wear a Gilet over a simple suit - this can be of a smarter style of Gilet to match your business attire but it’s an interesting and practical way of layering.


As we have established colours are monochrome and muted in this article, denim is commonly dark and raw with little light blues and distressed, so this makes for the smarter side of casual styling easier. Suits are usually kept dark in blacks and blues with either a button down white shirt or a black roll neck during winter months. Other than in footwear and leather accessories there is less shades of brown - something which we see more predominantly in London. Summery colours are those of beige and cream in natural linen and cotton, to compliment the Parisian streets.


Since French style is simple with a ‘no-frills’ touch, accessories are very tastefully done. With straw fedoras and panamas during summer or beanies during winter - as well as must have sunglasses. Lastly, if there is one accessory you can almost guarantee to see at any time of year in Paris it’s a scarf. A woolen scarf will keep you warm and a silk scarf will add texture during those warmer days - it’s an elegant touch which you can never undermine.

Rakelle Maurici

With a thirst for exploration and over 10 years of writing experience, Rakelle is a keen fashion, travel and culture storyteller. Her work, from city guides to short stories, has been featured in both global print and digital media.

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