It seems for the last few centuries, the French have had the final word when it comes to fashion and style-Parisian style, in particular, retains its essence of what is the height of couture with its distinctive looks and timeless staples of wardrobe and accessories. Yet, one does not have to live in Paris to show off their cosmopolitan flair for dress. The subsequent article reflects on some classic French designers, styles, and elements of a distinctively French wardrobe.
It was Coco Chanel who first gave us a glimpse of that little black dress in 1926. Chanel is also noted for many other fashion innovations including the two-tone sling back pump, the two-piece tweed suit and a range of clothing that is both elegant and unconstrained. Adding a little black dress to your wardrobe is a must because that single dress can be worn casually with flats and a sweater or may be transformed into evening wear with high heels and a flashy handbag or scarf. There are many dress styles available today, but French women generally choose clothing that is close fitting, but not constricting.
Black and white clothing is, in fact, classically vogue for French women. Consider adding a white and black suit to your wardrobe to be worn seasonally. The white blouse in its many incarnations from classic button-down to peasant-like Bohemian can be added to the suit ensemble or worn with a pair of black pants-consider sleek black denim or black suede. The fit of the clothing is extremely important; whatever your body type, be sure to wear clothing that fits you precisely, which is a hallmark of French style.
Another element of French style is color coordination. Typically an outfit revolves around a dominant color, like black, and while other neutral colors are introduced. A three-piece ensemble might include a brown leopard-print skirt, a white blouse, and a beige cardigan. A night on the town might include a lavender cocktail dress adorned magenta-colored scarf and amethyst-beaded handbag. Tone on tone colors are typical Paris color choices for everyday wear.
French women are no strangers to lingerie and a range of camisoles is a staple in the Parisian woman’s closet. Choose mainly neutral colors-beige, white, black, or navy for daily wear. Reds, purples, or more flashy garments should be worn only at night. Many of today’s designs by Lacroix, Givenchy or Dior incorporate elements of past fashion eras making the world of lingerie all the more broader. Choose garments that flatter, and as always, garments that fit.
Accessories are, of course, the finishing touches of your Parisian ensemble and keep in mind the old adage-less is more-when topping off your outfit. Be sure your wardrobe includes the basics like black leather belts-one with silver and one with gold buckles-black and white high heels and black and white handbags. Quality is important and a French woman would always opt for quality over quantity when it comes to her clothing. Be sure to have flats, heels and boots in your shoe rack and try to have a variety of scarves to interchange between your basic suits and dresses. Finally, a main element of French fashion is to wear clothing like you mean it-aspire to the confidence of looking good; you will if you wear clothing that fits you properly in styles that are classic. Confidence is a major component of French style so be comfortable in you clothing and purchase clothing you feel relaxed in and good about. There is far more to French style than what is listed here, but if you begin your new wardrobe with these basics, you are sure to have French fashion clothing suitable for every occasion.
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