To some, placing so much importance on clothes might seem a little trivial, but I’m a firm believer in how the way you dress has the power to change your life. You might have heard the sayings: ‘dress to impress’, ‘dress for success’ and ‘power dressing’, or perhaps even the following quotes:
"You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it." Edith Head
"Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life." Bill Cunningham
"Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.” Vivienne Westwood
“Give a woman the right shoes and she will conquer the world.” Marilyn Monroe
In a nutshell, I subscribe to the school of thought that what you wear has the ability to change your mentality (including your happiness and confidence levels) and the way others perceive you in a positive way. Now this is why it’s important to have a wardrobe with a few key pieces that will take you easily from A to B (i.e to work, to lunch, to drinks or dinner on the weekend) and I don’t think there’s a nationality (and I’m talking women here) that does it better than the French.
There is something about French style. We’ve all heard of the expression: she has that certain je ne sais quoi, related to the way a French and particularly a Parisian woman dresses. There’s no denying a French woman’s ability to look elegant with an apparent amount of enviable effortlessness and confidence. Wouldn’t you agree?
I get numerous questions about how to build a capsule wardrobe, namely one inspired by les reines of timeless style, as there is no aesthetic more lauded, talked about and imitated than that of the French woman. Because, despite of their love for clothes and fashion, they tend to not follow trends. They dress for their figures and invest in items that will have longevity. As such they have nonchalantly created a signature style, that by following a few rules is easy to replicate. So I’ve teamed up with iconic French brand Sézane, which has built its name on this chic, timeless style with a vintage and colourful twist.
They recently launched a line of Essentials called French Heroes, to create a collection of pieces that are the pillars of every Parisian’s wardrobe. I’ve gone through and picked out a few of my favourite items that build my idea of a capsule wardrobe. These easy to wear, yet elegant pieces will make you look put together for work, a lunch date or a gallery visit on the weekend.
Six essential pieces to help you perfect your Parisian capsule wardrobe
The suit is the most versatile piece that you can own and is therefore worth investing in. Wear it with a white tee and sneakers during the day, at night over a bra for an event and a slick of red lipstick, or break it up and wear the blazer to elevate a pair of jeans. I personally think there’s nothing sexier than a woman wearing a well cut, masculine suit.
There’s no other wardrobe piece more Parisian or iconically French, than the shirt - specifically white, although I’ve linked a couple more colours. It’s the easiest piece to wear whether it’s oversized and borrowed from the boys, comes in crisp cotton or sensual silk.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I love and live in denim. Jeans are the pieces that I invest most in as I wear them on a daily basis, and they are an integral item of my (and a Parisian’s) wardrobe. I’m wearing the ‘Mom Jean’, which is high-waisted, derrière-enhancing and straight legged, so you can wear them over your favourite sock boots in autumn. They are also the best style to wear if you have hips, but a smaller waist - the straight leg will balance out your curves.
The cardigan has made a comeback in recent years, but in France it never went out of style and is the chicest way to stay cosy in colder months. I’m wearing the Gaspard Jumper which looks great on it’s on over nothing but a bra or over a lacy vest top that peeps out at the top.
THE MID-HEEL PUMP
I’ve said it time and again, but it’s a myth that Parisians pound the pavements in sky-scraper shoes. Instead they opt for comfort - there’s nothing less sexy than a woman hobbling around in a pair of high heels. These Low Palermo Babies have just enough heel to lift you up and will go with everything.
This slim-fitting trouser style is of course reminiscent of one of France’s most famous style icons, Brigitte Bardot. But the silhouette will flatter most shapes and the gingham check will go with everything.
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