How to Dress Parisian Chic
So you want to dress like a fashionable Parisian? Parisian chic is elegant and effortless, and much classier than the standard American getup of Uggs and a North Face. It's easy to pull off if you know what you are doing. With a few key pieces and the right attitude, you'll look you walked right off the Champs-Élysées!
Wear flattering basics. You might see a lot of people around Paris wearing black, navy or grey, and with good reason - those colors tend to be slimming and flattering on most people. Consider adding the following pieces to your wardrobe:
- Knee-length pencil or A-line skirts. Mini skirts or super-long skirts are more difficult to pull off, and might not look as Parisian. Wear dark colors in the winter, and consider light colors or delicate floral prints for summer.
- Slender or skinny-cut trousers in dark colors. They can be cropped or full-length.
- A dark-wash skinny jean with no visible rips or tears.
- Crisp blouses in neutral colors such as white, beige, cream, navy, grey, or black. Make sure they fit you well and don't sag around the waist.
- A "little black dress" for formal occasions. It doesn't necessarily have to be black (though it should be in a darker, more slimming color). The hemline should fall somewhere between mid-calf and mid-thigh.
Wear sensible but stylish shoes. Flats, riding boots,thin sandals, and pumps are all appropriate Parisian shoes. Avoid trainers, flip-flops, or heavy boots (such as Uggs).
- If you're going to do a lot of walking (or your balance in heels just isn't great), stick to flats or boots. They are cute and you can wear them anywhere
Wear fitted jackets and coats. Trench coats, pea coats, feminine leather jackets, and cropped or fitted blazers all look chic without being fussy. Avoid sweatshirts or anything with a loud label.
Wear cardigans. They go with skirts and pants, and they are light enough to wear in spring and summer.
- Tie-front cardigans are okay, just make sure you wear a white or differently-colored camisole beneath them.
Accessorize minimally. Don't wear too much jewelry. Remember: wear pearls during the day and diamonds at night (real or fake). You can also wear a scarf, a cute headband, large sunglasses, or a sophisticated handbag.
Wear minimal makeup. Parisian women aspire to look fresh-faced and healthy, but not overly made-up. Try sticking to powder foundation, a light dusting of blush, undereye concealer, and one coat of mascara on the upper lashes.
Wear the attitude. Dress with confidence, and carry yourself proudly. Try to greet the world with a sense of politeness and calm.
- French women are concerned about the quality of their clothes, not the quantity. Save up money and buy some clothes that are stylish, well-made, and will last forever!
- Expect to dress your age. Trying to dress younger than you are is frowned upon in Paris, where women wear their ages proudly.
- If anybody asks where you got something, do not say "Wal-Mart" (even if that's true). Just tell him or her you bought it from a store somewhere but forgot the name.
- Go easy on the perfume; a few sprays will take you a long way.
- Don't play up both your legs and your cleavage. If you're going to emphasize one, tone down the other.
- If say you find a brilliant shawl or hat, do not think you can't wear it. You can if you add it to the right outfit.
- You do not need to splurge on the above (and below) mentioned items. Go to stores where you can buy clothes that are good quality, but also cheap. Old Navy is a good place to start.
- It is okay to wear jeans, sweatpants, and a hoodie mooching around the house, but please not in front of your fashion-forward friends.
- Do not get too carried away and start making up lies about your fab flat in Paris and your billion poodles and how you eat croissants everyday for breakfast.
Things You'll Need
- Button down shirts, pants (green, black, white, etc.)
- Cardigans, jackets, and other light sweaters
- Flats and other shoes with a minimum heel
- Mascara (optional)
- Blush (optional)
- Concealer and/or foundation (optional)
- A soft, feminine perfume (optional)
- A good-quality silk scarf (optional)