6 Fashion Habits I Had to Quit When I Moved to Paris

Londoner turned Parisienne Marissa Cox of Rue Rodier brings you her pearls of Parisian fashion wisdom and style tips straight from the French capital. A photographer, writer and influencer, the oh-so-chic Marissa regularly provides us with a truly unique take on her adopted country’s signature style. Whether we’re looking to her décor decisions, handbag purchases or chic hotel choices, we can all agree that being un petit peu plus Français could never be a bad thing…


(Image credit: @ruerodier)

I’ve always been a big spender when it comes to clothes. However, before I moved to Paris, I was guilty of repeatedly buying unnecessary items that would often get relegated to the back of my wardrobe with the tags still on. Oh, and then there were dreaded "panic buys”—the last-minute dash into town to purchase something because I didn’t have anything to wear to a birthday party on a Friday. (Almost immediately, I’d regret buying it.) Since moving to the French capital, I like to think I’ve learnt a thing or two, not only about style and how to dress for my figure but also about buying better, shopping more consciously and investing in items that last longer than one season. So here are six lessons I’ve learnt that have taken my shopping habits to the next level.

1. Quit: Buying frivolous thingsStart: Investing in staples


(Image credit: @ruerodier)

On Marissa: Arket blazer; Goldsign jeans; Mulberry sunglasses; Miista shoes; Simon Miller bag

It’s common knowledge that Parisians have great style. While they’re not afraid to experiment with trends and colour, they are better known for investing in capsule wardrobe items that don’t have a sell-by date (aka pieces that will never go out of style). And there’s nothing that works harder than a black blazer. Invest in a preferably single-breasted, slightly oversized, structured black blazer that can be worn open or cinched in at the waist with a belt. My go-to brands for this brilliant basic are ACNE Studios, Arket, Joseph and Totême.

Shop Blazers:

2. Quit: Overspending in the sales

Start: Wish-listing items in advance


(Image credit: @ruerodier)

On Marissa: Rouje shirt; Goldsign jeans; ATP Atelier sandals; Loewe bag

A plethora of Parisian It girls said non to Black Friday last year, including me. I love to snap up a bargain but personally find Black Friday and Cyber Monday rather abhorrent, as it actively encourages overspending and unnecessary shopping. I very carefully select and ruminate over the clothes that I buy. I make wish lists, for example, with all my favourite online retailers—Net-a-Porter, MatchesFashion.com, MyTheresa and Farfetch—and wait until seasonal sales come around to only snap up items that I know will have long shelf life. Also, the rule is if you wouldn’t buy something at full price, I wouldn’t recommend buying it in the sale just because it’s cheaper. The likelihood of you wearing it is pretty slim.

Shop Clever Wish-List Items:

3. Quit: Ignoring the basics

Start: Finding perfect-fit jeans


(Image credit: @ruerodier)

On Marissa: Citizens of Humanity jeans; Arket jumper; Stuart Weitzman heels

I could put this in with investment pieces, but I feel jeans deserve their own special point because a good pair is your bum’s best friend. And we know that French girls are champions at enhancing their figures. My advice? Find a great pair and buy it in every colourway. Even the chicest of Parisians who rarely wear jeans own great denim. My favourite labels include Citizens of Humanity, Goldsign, Weekday, L'Agence and Mother Denim.

Shop My Top Denim Brands:

4. Quit: Buying shoes you can't walk in

Start: Making sensible footwear purchases


(Image credit: @ruerodier)

On Marissa: Gap jeans; Mango heels

This might seem a bit of a no-brainer, but I’m sure there are numerous times that you overestimated your capabilities to squeeze your toes into pointy shoes or walk more than 10 metres in skyscraper heels. It’s a myth that Parisian women sashay through the streets of the French capital in stilettos. And if ever one did, they certainly wouldn’t be walking far in them. As the queens of effortless elegance, they prefer practical heels that can be worn from day to evening. I don’t bother with super-high heels, and luckily, this season’s trends are very obliging, with low-heeled, barely there sandals available at every price point. These are easy to walk in and look just as great during the day as they do for drinks in the evening. Check out By Far, Aeydē and Staud.

Shop My Top Shoe Brands for Low Heels:

5. Quit: Always buying brand new

Start: Investigating pre-loved items and selling your own pieces


(Image credit: @ruerodier)

On Marissa: Rouje cardigan

I often do clothing sales or "vide dressings,” as they’re called in France, to empty out my wardrobe of anything I haven’t worn for a while. And as the saying goes, "One (wo)man’s trash is another (wo)man’s treasure.” I’m a big believer in recycling, and there are no better items to be actively recycling than clothes. After all, fashion is sadly one of the planet’s biggest polluters. The more I can resell and find new homes for, the better. I recently purchased this Rouje cardigan from a friend who was doing the sale with me. Bookmark Vestiaire Collective, and download Depop.

Shop Chic Second-Hand Pieces:

6. Quit: Snapping up the same thing as everyone else

Start: Looking for exclusives


(Image credit: @ruerodier)

On Marissa: MyTheresa x Baum und Pferdgarten dress; Teva sandals; Loewe bag 

As much as I love following the trends, there’s nothing worse than looking like a clone—one of the reasons Parisians are so keen on vintage. Keep your eye out for exclusive collections and one-off pieces rather than heading straight to mass-produced items on the high street. I love Zara like the next woman, but if you purchase an item with a lot of print, I guarantee you’ll walk past someone else wearing it. Rixo does a great job at this with its limited capsule collections; the newest being the dreamy denim edit with embroidered detail. 

Shop Exclusive Dresses:

Next Up: 9 Pieces Later, and You've Got the Perfect Cold-Weather Capsule Wardrobe

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Marissa Cox