How to dress French when you are not. Wear a classic jacket or coat

One of the more popular reader questions around here is how to dress French. For this week’s FocusOnStyle 15th anniversay online post, let’s revisit these very chic & classic jacket and coat tips from 2010 which remain very relevant & stylish today and onwards.

That’s what timeless French chic is all about… the right pieces in your wardrobe that both endure and look modern., online since 1999!

Would you like a boost to help you get the look? Please add yourself to the C’est Chic Crash Course announcement list.

I’ll let you know when the program opens! —S.H.

French Chic Style Tips: Outerwear Rules

3 Women | 3 Looks | All Classic | How they did it

Do you want to know how to dress French when you are not?

Well, bourgeois is the new trendy. Trendy lasts a moment and is best left as a fashion bonbon to satisfy a craving for something new and sweet without much commitment. Über trendy is what makes you look dated in a photo and provides you with many “what was I thinking” moments, let alone leaving financial bruise on your recessionista thinking.

how to dress french
Anna Mouglalis

But dressing classic or classical as ‘they’ say lasts more than a moment.

There is nothing tricky, nothing contrived and classic always looks so fresh.… so modern… so pulled together… so French Chic. Although the result may appear effortless, there is a very smart amount of calculation behind the look to get it just so that it has become second nature to so many French women.

Or to the ones who want to master the elegant ease of French Chic, even if you were born on this side of the Atlantic. Ageless & Timeless Style is not about looking like anyone other than who your really are.

Dressed in classic styles, each of the women photographed during Paris Fashion Week at the Chanel show looks spectacularly timeless and ageless in her own unique way in her clothing choices and her hair and makeup.

Simple but striking natural makeup and unfussy hair is what keeps them looking sexy and approachable. What do Parisians wear that makes them look so chic? A classic jacket or coat, mais oui!

But there is one little thing that they all share to this studied effortless… It’s the attitude of self-confidence, that’s the one French style tip that’s priceless—plus, the top 3 in classic outerwear styles: the perfect leather jacket, the right structured blazer, and a classic trench.

Here’s how to dress French when you are not…

What do Parisians wear that makes them look so chic? A classic jacket or coat, mais oui! A classic jacket or trench coat will take you from this spring to next fall and many other very stylish seasons to come.

Anna Mouglalis in the perfect biker jacket

Anna Mouglalis in the perfect biker jacket
What she’s wearing: A soft and textured black leather biker jacket with clean, graphic hardware.

How she made it personal: The zippered motorcycle jackets unexpectedly tops a dressier double-breasted silk shirtdress.

Beauty: Bold red lips and fluffy, yet undone hair compliment the understated glam look.
Why it works: Wearing buttons and zippers can be a fashion causality but here the hardware is in the same steely tone and they are in similar crisp, graphic shapes. The combination is unexpected yet pulled together– neither formal nor rock star, just right

Virginie Ledoyen in the right structured blazer

Virginie Ledoyen in the right structured blazer 

What she’s wearing: A structured blazer with peaked shoulders that one would expect to be worn with a pencil skirt.

How she made it personal: Jacket cuffs turned up to show the sleeve of a classic and on-trend stripe T-shirt. Dark skinny jeans, open-toe pumps, long chain necklace and chain strap bag all create a very dressed up and polished look so that you almost don’t realize the understated simplicity of jeans.

Beauty: Undone long hair, barely there makeup and soft dusty rose lips.

Why it works: Although there is pairing of more tailored elements there is an ease and unstuffiness when worn with a simple stripe T-shirt that keeps the look young regardless of your age.

Bambou wearing a classic trench

Bambou wearing a classic trench

What she’s wearing: The most classic tan trench coat with a de rigueur scarf to compliment the plaid trench lining. A simple loose yet flattering gray sweater- is it hers or her boyfriend’s one wonders.

How she made it personal: Jeans in the weight and wash of classic Levi’s get a city boost when worn with a very refined purse, like this patent Chanel bag.

Beauty: Natural to almost no makeup with a swipe of youthful creamy raison lipstick and undone long brown hair. 

Why it works: There’s a natural ease that shows how comfortable she is in her own skin. It’s fashion that shows the wearer has arrived and is not influenced by the opinions of others, simply her self-confidence in looking gorgeous and in control. That is sexy.


>>Required Reading for Instant French Chic:

>> READ MORE ABOUT FRENCH CHIC AND PARIS Photographer: Pixplanete / PR Photos Original Publish Date:  Mar 24, 2010

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