What are the mysterious qualities that make French women so stylish? Words like "effortless” and "undone” come to mind, but we suspect it’s partly the things French women don’t do that make them so fashionable. And because French women are truly in a sartorial league of their own, the rest of the world is on a constant quest to emulate them. Knowing the set of guidelines they follow is the first step in achieving that effortless quality that they’re known for.
To find out what these no-nos are, we went straight to the source and asked our favorite French style bloggers for the fashion rules they follow. From the footwear style they avoid to their philosophy when it comes to accessorizing, these tips are timeless, simple, and relevant to every age group. Read on for your master class in je ne sais quoi.
French women would never… wear sky-high heels.
"A French woman would never wear too-high heels. You will never see a French woman with shoes like Lady Gaga!” — Labériane Ponton of The Blab
Shop low-heeled shoes:
French women would never… wear a push-up bra.
"I would never wear a push-up bra. We think that small breasts are sexy too thanks to Charlotte Gainsbourg.” — Aurelia of Absolutely Glamourous
French women would never… wear flashy logos.
"I would avoid wearing clothes or accessories with the name of the brand shown very distinctly. I think luxury is the way you wear your clothes, not by showing the name of the brand.” — Tokyobanhbao of The World of Tokyobanhbao
Shop logo-free accessories:
French women would never… over-accessorize.
"I would never wear more than three pieces of jewelry at once. I think any more than that clutters and confuses a look. Understated jewelry is usually my go-to, but if I do wear a statement piece, it will always be on its own.” — Audrey Rodgers of Be Frassy
Shop simple jewelry:
French women would never… try too hard.
"When wearing something really chic, you go easy on the makeup, and if you’re wearing only a shirt and a pair of jeans, a red lipstick could do the trick. We don’t really show off; we like simplicity.” — Typhaine Augusto of Cuillère à Absinthe
Shop a simple outfit:
French women would never… look too done up.
"I sometimes see girls wearing skirts in elastic material over their jeans. I do not understand the look. I would never do that.” — Kenza Sadoun-el Glaoui of La Revue de Kenza
Shop flawless dresses:
French women would never… wear nude pantyhose.
"I would never wear skin-colored tights.” — Valentine Vanessa of Hello It’s Valentine
Shop black tights:
This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated.
Kat Collings has over 15 years of experience in the editorial fashion space, largely in digital publishing. She currently leads the vision for editorial content at WhoWhatWear.com as the site's editor in chief, having risen through the editorial ranks after joining the company in 2012. In her role, she primarily works on leading content strategy and also contributes trend direction for Who What Wear's design collaborations. Collings is a Digiday Future Leader Awards nominee, was named Buzzfeed's best fashion Instagram accounts of the year, and is a member of the CFDA Awards Fashion Guild. She has worked with luxury brands such as Moda Operandi, Cartier, and Net-a-Porter, and her personal style has been featured in many publications including NY Times Fashion & Style, Vogue.com, and InStyle. Prior to Who What Wear, Collings did assistant styling work for brands such as Vogue, Teen Vogue, Lucky, and Oliver Peoples, as well as freelance fashion writing. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in communications and calls Los Angeles home.
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