I Lived in Paris for 3 Months and Learned How to Dress Like the French

Kristen Nichols
·3-min read

Right after university, I found an apartment in the Marais and spent a summer living in the city. During those three months, I really just soaked in everything about Paris and its people—and it had a huge impact on me. One of the biggest ways was the fashion.

It was in Paris that I decided I was going to pursue a career in fashion. After seeing the editors and models buzzing around fashion week, I knew I wanted to be a part of it all. But beyond that, it was French street style and the fashion lessons I learned from real Parisian women that made a huge impression on me. Many of these takeaways—like buying less and smarter—are things I’ve put into practice for years since my time living there and always make me feel more stylish. Ahead, I’m breaking down how I learned to dress like the French, even when I’m far from Paris.

Lesson 1: Skip Bold Colours and Go for Head-to-Toe Neutrals

One of the first style rules I learned in Paris was to stick to neutral colours like black, brown, tan, and white. The French tend to wear seasonless outfits that aren’t tied to trends, so these are pieces that can be worn again and again.

H&M Rib-Knit Cardigan (£18)

Arket Crew-Neck T-Shirt (£15)

Christopher Esber Ribbed-Knit Cardigan (£375)

Lesson 2: Ankle Boots Are Essential

Perhaps it’s because Paris is a walking city, but ankle boots are required to tap into French style. They’re the perfect blend of practical and cool.

By Far Este Leather Ankle Boots (£405)

Khaite Arizona Square-Toe Leather Ankle Boots (£760)

& Other Stories Almond Toe Leather Ankle Boots (£125)

Lesson 3: When in Doubt, Wear Tailored Menswear

One thing I noticed among all Parisian women: Oversized blazers. Look for styles that are loose-fitting but tailored and style them with anything from a T-shirt to trousers.

Arket Oversized Wool Hopsack Blazer (£135)

& Other Stories Oversized Wool Blazer (£165)

Loulou Studio Bambo Taupe Linen Blazer (£350)

Lesson 4: Get a Jumpsuit

Up until I lived in Paris, the versatility of jumpsuits never dawned on me. You can style one with practical boots or dress it up with heels.

Citizens of Humanity + Net Sustain Liu Organic Denim Jumpsuit (£480)

Mango Belt Long Jumpsuit ($130)

Anna Quan Coda Belted Woven Jumpsuit (£630)

Lesson 5: Skip Uncomfortable Heels

French women tend to avoid sky-high stilettos. Instead, they wear comfortable shoes like loafers or low heels that can work from day to night.

Prada 55 Logo-Embellished Leather Slingback Pumps (£645)

Gucci Jordaan Leather Loafers (£575)

Church's Odessa Prestige Calf Penny Loafer With Fringe Black (£460)

Lesson 6: Get a Bag You Can Wear Anywhere

The bags French women wear are very versatile and tend to shy away from anything too trendy.

Cos Leather Shopper Bag (£150)

The Row Everyday Medium Textured-Leather Shoulder Bag (£2150)

By Far Kiki Leather Shoulder Bag (£440)

Next, 5 trends French women are backing this spring.

This story was originally published onto the US site.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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