02 March 2010

french style






With my upcoming trip to France approaching quickly (five weeks from today!!!) I have been thinking a lot about fashion, style (& lingerie for that matter...).



~thank you jackie!




My go-to style site is dustjacket attic - I adore her beautiful fashion photography finds. Her posts always give me such inspiration on pulling my own style together.





I also found the following on this blog while searching for French style:

While the chic women of Paris do wear casual clothing, the real sophistication comes from how they put it together. They don’t suffer from the same dimwitted arrogance as badly dressed Americans who wear sloppy sweats, dumpy shorts, beachy flip-flops, or athletic sneakers as their implicit right to be dressed ‘comfortably’ at all times. Parisians, for the most part, wear well-fitting clothes that suit their frame. You’ll barely see a mademoiselle who is stuffed à la saucisson into a size too small jeans or drowned in a droopy camp shirt. The French understand the magic of a good tailor and proper fit, and so should you. It’s amazing how you can fake extravagance when something fits just so.




They also understand the power of quality. Europeans usually don’t suffer the same fashion victim overindulgence as Americans do and feel compelled to buy every trend simply because it is in style. They buy what suits them in the best quality that they can afford. French chic is not a matter of having it all, but a matter of having the best of all that you need. Fashion is like food for the Parisian. You don’t go to a massive supermarket and load up on super-sized containers of all the groceries that you can cram into your SUV. You buy fresh ingredients from small, specialty shops and carry them home— less is more discerning.




C'est la classique… ahhhh it even sounds better in French! Parisian chic comprises ofclassically cut fashion worn in an unexpected, yet perfectly elegant way. There is that certain extra design twist or precise flourish that makes each piece special but never trite or tired. And what gives these classics their special dose of French chic style power? It’s the off-handed way in which they are put together. A beautiful dress coat is worn with jeans and a simple T-shirt, along with a luxurious handbag and rich scarf to create an understated elegance that can take you to almost any kind of situation in style. If a French woman does wear sneakers, they are leather tennis shoes, designed to be more of a sports-inspired shoe rather than a gym necessity.





Hairstyles are never overdone or complex. Makeup is always natural, even when lips are a bold scarlet. There’s an expert sense of undoneness that makes every detail more clever but never tricky and without ostentation. Almost as if you are too busy to glance in a mirror, yet have your sense of style so ingrained that you don’t have to. Or, at least give that impression. Never looking as if you neurotically belabored over each and every facet of your total ensemble. French style appears to be very second-nature, yet extremely deliberate in its nonchalance.




But French chic, is really not about designer labels and more about how you put it all together. It is about starting out with the right pieces that you can mix and match to wear anywhere. And, not obsessing about it. Have the poise to feel elegant yet slightly off-beat, polished but not glitzy, and self-confident enough to understand that the true meaning of chic is very individual.




There is one obsession that Parisians are never without—that is a touch. Friends, lovers, family are constantly connected by holding hands or gently stroking each other—it is the truly the City of Love.



I think that it really captures what it is that I want to put forward when it comes to style and fashion. I love simple, classic, and quality. I much prefer to find things that flatter me rather than following the latest trend.

bisous

(all photos with the exception of the lingerie shot courtesy of dustjacket attic)


38 comments:

Blondie's Journal said...

An interesting and inspiring post, written with grace and integrity. I think you have portrayed the differences of the French and Americans very honestly and I admire that.

I picked up a lot of great tips here. Although I don't work outside of the home, I dress appropriately for whatever I am going out to do. And doing hair and make~up, however minimal, is a sign of self respect.

I hope that you come back from France with more lovely tips and great photos!

xoxo
Jane

Simone said...

What a beautiful post....altho now I am panicking about my Paris wardrobe!! ;)

I absolutely agree about the French style....I remember when we had French exchange students at our school each year, even at age 11-12, they were so beautifully groomed - and this was when they were away from home with no mother to dress them!

I LOVE Dustjacket Attic, you have chosen some great images....and Jackie's knickers are pretty cute too :)

Lots of food for thought in this post, I love it!

xoxo

vicki archer said...

So true...simple, classic and quality - a great description, xv.

Bonnie said...

As I sit here in my yoga attire, I'm in awe of your post. I wouldn't really know where to begin if I couldn't wear flip flops! (I live in Texas)

Beautiful post and really makes me ponder my appearance on some days. I completely agree with simple, classic, and quality. Just hard to follow when yoga clothes seem to always feel just a little bit better.... :)

Have a lovely day and thanks for giving me something to think about!

Lorrie said...

What a wonderful take on French chic. Last night my daughter and I were looking at a French magazine and remarking on the natural look of the models. Effortless, well-fitting style.
I used some of the principles in this post when my husband and I went to Paris. No jeans, no sweats, no shorts no sneakers, but good walking shoes and casual but stylish clothes. (all in a carryon) We felt very at home there and were even asked several times for directions from other French-speaking people.
You'll have a wonderful time!

Lorrie

La Dolfina said...

That really sums up the je ne sais quoi essence that the french possess.
I thinks they are born with style... it's in their genes.

Barbara said...

Very nicely said mes amie. I think that the French (and most Europeans for that matter) are a bit more stylish that most Americans...My sweatshirts is reserved for coffee time before a shower.
I will be looking at Dustjacket Attic for more inspiration.
Have a wonderful time in Paris!
Barbara

Debra said...

One of your best posts yet... and you have some great ones. I couldn't agree more. Well-tailored, classics-keeping things simple, tride and true. Excellent!

Kasey said...

Kim...
I think you know how i feel about how we dress;-)
5 weeks girl....5 weeks.
xo

sandra said...

I love finding vintage pieces with an Audrey Hepburn flair to mix with new. The French way of life is truly inspiring.

ali said...

Thank you for quoting and linking to the French Chic article on
http://www.focusonstyle.com/In-Focus/Fashion/frenchchic

Anne Marie said...

i did read her post and lovely pictures.....and i have to say, that last model is gorgeous - hair and clothes and all.....

francescbb@hotmail.es said...

Good shots!! Great blog!!

http://balapertotarreu.blogspot.com

Frank

Jeanneoli said...

Have fun putting your own style together for your trip. You will have an incredible time.

Philigry said...

oh, i love this post. i totally agree with you. all these women look great, not over done, and very comfortable.
I also have to tell we ordered some Frizzles today! After seeing yours, and showing my family we could not resist! Thanks for all the inspiration.

paige said...

kim, i simply can not wait to see your images from france...not only the beautiful architecture that you've spoken of, but the amazing fashion worn by those that you see there & YOU and miss kasey!!
xo

Ange said...

PS - We can go and buy some knickers like that ;-)

Ange said...

All absolutely true except for the touch part. French people do NOT touch each other (unless they are lovers) except for the kisses on the cheek of Bonjour and Au Revoir! But yes - designer labels are not the issue. You will see the same people buying at Pimkie or at Chanel depending on what they find to suit them. They mix and match according to a look that suits rather than what the name of it is. They NEVER talk about how much something cost - it's vulgar! Not cars, not clothes, not houses, not salaries, and not even fleamarket finds!! In Paris, you can pick which quartier a person comes from by their style.... It's one of the things I adore about France!!

Florence said...

I am so excited for your trip to France, I will be anxiously waiting for all your posts from your trip. Florence

Anita said...

Definitely spot on. Living in Paris, one of the first things I exchanged was my shoes. Dead giveawya of an American. The next thing- my purse. And finally, add a scarf. Oh, and the hair. I learned to live without a curling/flat iron and got a good haircut. Did I mention I was 40 pounds slimmer? Eliminate processed foods from your diet, go with the fresh from the market and it melts away. Plus the walking everywhere. Definitely time to move back :) I hope you have a FAB time.

Dustjacket Attic said...

Oh I adored this post ~ I'm in awe of the french women's style and you just hit the nail on the head with this post ~ Wonderful.

Thank you SO much for the linklove, you are such a darling.

xoxo
ps I just love Jac's knickers!

The Little Red Shop said...

Moi aussi.

: )

Julie M.

Morgane said...

Could i say something as the french caution here : ALL french women are not stylish!!! BELIEVE ME !! Some are vulgar , some dresses with no-sense , some heu in constant fashion faux-pas ! si si ! WE are not always divine !
But it's nice to think that about us ...

Kacey said...

Feeling rather frumpy as I sit here in my flip-flops...simple, classic and quality sounds perfect to me.

BonjourRomance said...

Bonjour Mimi,
Oh I know you will have such fun here in Paris, the weather should be fine. Simple and elegant pretty well describes the classic French style - though the occasional pair of ill-fitting jeans have been spotted on the street and gasp!they are not all Americans! :)
They do have the natural hair and makeup down to perfection...I'm still working on that. Love those knickers!
I'm sure you will look smashing!

Martha said...

LOVE this post.....it is so true...and the images are just BEAUTIFUL!

Jacqueline said...

Oh Kim,
The French do have that je ne sais quoi when it comes to fashion. I think if they wore a paper bag, they would look chic.
Deej shows us the most beautiful fashion, doesn't she ? She fills me with inspiration.
I remember being in Versailles. We had been to see the palace and gardens and then went into the town. They have a market , and the French men and women looked So wonderful in their beautiful camel coats , baskets over their arms, shopping for fruit and veg in the most stylish clothes. Try and go to Versailles if you can. I loved it. I was amazed at the size and opulence.
I can't wait to hear all of your stories. You are going to have the BEST time. XXXX

Jacqueline said...

Oh, and I'm so pleased that you like my knickers !!!! XXXX

FrenchBlue said...

YOU already have the look! There is nothing you have to do but get there! HAVE FUN! I can't wait for you! I know your smiling and must be getting so excited!
xx

Megan said...

Totally agree with you. Great post!

Fabulously french said...

Fabulous post, the french always seem to look chic without really trying :-)

I have just bought some underwear in the same style and am waiting for my order to arrive....cannot wait!

Leeann

Lori said...

Lovely post Kim ~ you always look so well put together that I think you will look like a Parisian when you arrive in France ~ they will embrace you and say "where on earth have you been"!! xo

Elie's Papel said...

French women somehow are genetically programmed to have great style... ;)

A Life In Focus Photography said...

what a great post! and i love the gal in the nautical shot! i will be thinking about what you shared as i prepare to have lunch with a friend...

Kato said...

In an alternate universe, I dress this way.

Beautiful post, and I am excited for you to go!

michelle b said...

great photos! SO FRENCH! and the undies are super hot.
(wonder what they'd make your butt look like under a tight outfit! ;)

http://missbblogs.blogspot.com/

Sarah Elizabeth said...

What beautiful pictures. I wish I could pull off the French style. I do try to buy quality time-less pieces but I somehow never quite manage to get the right look. Probably I'm trying too hard!

Thanks for stopping by my blog. You're blog was one of the first I started to follow and has remained one of my favourites so I was so pleased to hear from you.

Sarah Elizabeth xx

She Wore It Well said...

I can't wait to read about your trip on your blog

x