Ah, but the French are stylish, are they not? Who among us hasn’t gazed at photos of French fashion editors emerging from the Paris runway shows or even ordinary women on the streets of Paris with envy? The French seem to have mastered a way of dressing, of walking, of simply breathing that broadcasts a strong sense of style in every fibre of their being.
I spend a lot of time in France, both in Paris and on the French Riviera, so I am often in the position to observe and study the enviable proposition that is French style. So without further ado, allow me to present to you the Art de Parfum guide to French style. Want to know the secrets of French women? Then read on...
Simplicity in all
The real secret to French style lies in simplicity. Although it is tempting to buy five different coats or ten new pairs of shoes in colours ranging from fuchsia to lime green when the newest Grazia or Vogue is pushing an editorial spread on new season clothes, the French avoid such experimentation. They are not slaves to trends, and in fact find most of their style influence from other women in the streets, rather than in fashion magazines.
They tend instead to stick to simple basics – a good coat, well-cut t-shirts and pencil skirts in neutral colours, a slim-fit pair of black pants, and white shirts or blouses.
The French invest the majority of their money in a core wardrobe, with every single piece boasting excellent fit and superior fabrics like cashmere and leather – quality definitely reigns over quantity. When the basics are this good, it is easy to add a stunning detail that really stands out – such as a fabulous piece of costume jewelry or a handbag in a shocking colour. The French work with a neutral palette and know how to build on it.
The concept of highlighting, contouring, tanning, and anything sparkly is foreign to most French women, who favor instead a natural look. Make-up is kept to a minimum, with a discreet application of a tinted moisturizer and a subtle brown mascara doing most of the work. In France, the emphasis is on looking natural, not artificially enhanced.
French women tend to favor a strong, natural brow, and glowing, healthy skin, and invest most of their cosmetic efforts in skincare rather than make-up to camouflage flaws. However, a dash of red lipstick is a style essential – this looks amazing when applied on a bare-faced palette.
Sexy, tousled, “undone” hair
The French invest money in a good cut and colour – the best they can afford. But beyond this, they do not spend too much time on styling, curling, or straightening their hair. French women favor a relaxed, “undone” but chic look for their hairstyle.
The sexy, tousled look is perennially popular among French women – leave the comb and hairspray down, and let your hair do its own, natural, sexy thing. Roll around on the bed for an hour, either on your own – or better still, with a lover, run your fingers through with a tiny nubbin of wax and hey presto, a tousled “bed head” look that looks fiercely French when paired with those simple, well-cut clothes.
Neutral is good, black is even better
The French favor a palette of neutral colours such as taupe, grey, camel, and white, but their favorite, almost default colour is black. It is timeless, chic, and goes with simply everything.
French women understand how important fragrance is when broadcasting personal style. Art de Parfum’s Sensual Oud is full of smoky woods, musk, and roses, and smells like you are reclining on a velvet daybed in your own personal harem. Aligned with the natural musk of a woman (or man), this scent will create a thrilling new aura of sensuality that will reel a lover to your skin like fish to a lure.
It is impossible to wear Sensual Oud and not have someone lean in, breathe in your scent, and want to nibble and lick your skin. Wear Sensual Oud and you are anointed with pheromones and dripping in sensuality. Buy Sensual Oud right here.
Flat shoes over heels
One of the secrets of French style is appearing utterly comfortable in one’s own skin. In order to achieve this ease of presence, one must actually be comfortable! During the day, French women favor comfortable but stylish flats – either ballet slipper or D’Orsay pumps in black or another dark, neutral colour.
The French will spend hours, if not days, looking for very expensive underwear that actually does its job while looking really sexy. They only buy underwear that fits correctly (they often get measured) and that is supportive. But although function is certainly key, the underwear has to be sublimely sexy enough to be exposed to one’s lover or partner at the drop of a hat.
French women believe that good, sexy underwear is an important part of sensuality, and in addition to buying only the best bras, panties, stockings, and suspender belts, they will buy expensive creams to massage and maintain their décolleté.
It is difficult to bottle, or even prescribe, sensuality. But for French women, a natural, earthy sense of sensuality is an essential part of one’s personal style. One must look as if one can tumble into bed at any point and not care about a hairstyle or make-up being messed up a little (or a lot). It is this air of insouciance – of not caring about one’s maquillage or dress – that is sexy. And French women know this. They know what’s important in a sensual encounter and what’s not.
What do you think makes French women so stylish? What are their secrets, in your opinion?