“WITH FRENCH WOMEN, YOU FIRT SEE THE WOMAN, AND THEN YOU SEE THE CLOTHES.”
– Carine Roitfeld –
It’s in the way she crosses her legs, the way she opens her bag, even in the way she stands waiting to cross the street. It’s the perfect mix of effortless style, sex appeal, and sophistication without being overly put together. That’s a Parisian woman, and you know her when you see her.
Carine Roitfeld, former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, said it best, “With French women, you first see the woman, and then you see the clothes.” The reason many Parisian women always look so effortlessly chic is because they are experts at recognizing styles that suit their bodies and fit their life. They don’t overthink it and never wear anything they feel uncomfortable in. They are not afraid to experiment or have fun with looks. They break the rules and look fabulous doing it.
So, what makes Parisian style so timeless, unavoidably sexy and vraiment chic? What makes a Parisian woman different from the rest? Simple: the essence of Parisian style is in the woman’s attitude. It’s a state of mind. A woman doesn’t just need the right garments; she needs the confidence to pull them off.
Part of this attitude includes the notion of ‘taking time’ or being present in life and in all things. The chicest of Parisian women have a strong appreciation of time and relishing it to acknowledge the little things. They live in the moment. In Caroline de Maigret’s new book, How To Be a Parisian Woman Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits, she advises, “Take time to take time, because nobody else will do it for you.” Whether it’s attempting to find one’s own Parisian état d’esprit or not, that’s a handy little piece of advice everyone could put to good use.
This is what many Parisian women know, and what women the world over should, too. Know how to mix and match high and low pieces to create impactful, simple yet elegant looks. Know quality vs. quantity. Recognize the value in investing in a classic clothing item versus purchasing a trendy piece that will only be worn once or fall to pieces. Remember – be confident, be who you are, and always, always live in the moment.