Find us on Facebook
If I learnt one thing on my year abroad in the city of love, it’s that Parisians are the most stylish people on the Continent. As you would expect in the fashion capital of the world, the people of Paris have a distinctive look that is often imitated, but never beaten. For those fashion-forward hommes et femmes who want to get the Parisian style without the Chanel price tag, here are my top tips for injecting some French chic into your wardrobe.
1. Keep it neutral – Garish colours and busy patterns are rarely seen on a Parisian (except maybe in the form of a statement accessory). Instead, they prefer to keep their colour palette neutral, with lots of black, grey and navy. It might sound boring, but you’ll be surprised how creative you can be with just a few staple colours. Plus, it means that all your clothes match! Hello, capsule wardrobe.
2. Don’t be a fashion victim – There’s a difference between looking stylish and just looking like you ran through Fashion Week covered in glue. The key to Parisian chic is to be timeless, so keep the majority of your outfit simple; think jeans, basic t-shirts, brogues, a classic coat… Then add a few fashion-forward touches, like a bag, jewellery, or pair of sunglasses.
3. Speaking of sunglasses… – To fit in à Paris, never be seen without sunglasses, whatever the weather. It makes people watching from outside a café easier. Also, sunglasses are perfect for hiding the sins of the night before. Keep a pair on you at all times.
4. Simple grooming – Parisians have perfected the “just got out of bed” look, polished but natural. For make-up, this means tinted moisturiser and just a bit of mascara, with some eyeliner, if (like myself) you’re that way inclined. Take it from day to night with some classic red lipstick. Keep your hair natural or in a quick ponytail; a Parisian has no time for a fancy up-do. This rule also applies to eyebrows – beware of over-plucking.
5. Casual is key – This is especially important for going out. Your feet will be pleased to hear that high heels are rarely seen, and that a pair of well-worn boots is perfectly acceptable going-out attire. Parisians tend to take one outfit straight from the office to happy hour, so you rarely see anything too glitzy in the clubs. The aim is to look understated and unfussy.
There you have it – five easy steps to Parisian chic. Now go and get ready to bring that je ne sais quoi to Birmingham!
By Daisy Lindlar, editor of Life&Style.
The UoB Linguist Magazine
Guild of Students,
University of Birmingham