How to Have Parisian Style
Do you admire Parisian style? Many people around the world want to look more like a Parisian. Emulating Parisian style takes a certain confidence and look, but it's not a difficult style to pull off. It's all about accenting your natural beauty, although there are certain style rules Parisians tend to follow.
Dressing Like a Parisian
Focus on the shoes.Pay attention to the feet! Shoes help complete the overall look in Paris. You’re not going to see a lot of Parisians slumming it around the city in tennis shoes. Cheap or scuffed shoes will give you away as a tourist.
- Instead of throwing on tennis shoes, invest in a nice pair of leather shoes or, especially, ballerina flats. Black ballerina flats go with everything, and they are comfortable.
- Leave the UGG boots and flip flops at home, too. You don’t need to wear heels that are too high. In Paris, it’s considered tacky to wear super high platform heels. When dressing down, you will likely see Parisians wearing the ballet flats, short boots or tall boots. When dressing up for a more formal event, women will wear lower high heels, but not wedge or spiked heels.
- Get your shoes shined, and take good care of them. One pair of expensive shoes that lasts forever is a good bet in Paris. Parisians wear nice shoes even when they are in casual settings because they believe that the shoes elevate the overall look.
Stick with neutrals.In Paris, you won’t see a lot of women wearing unnatural colors (think lime green) or anything too gaudy. The same is true with fabrics.
- Avoid anything synthetic. Avoid distracting patterns, too. Instead, stick with classic neutral colors, such as navy, white, black, or tan colors.
- One benefit of sticking with neutral colors is that you can easily mix and match them with other pieces of clothing. They’re versatile. Parisians choose neutral colors for both formal or informal settings.
- Mariner stripes are an exception to the no busy pattern rule. They are very Parisian, and they are worn in casual wear most frequently, paired with jeans or casual trousers.
Wear black.Parisian style is sometimes compared to New York style, and one thing they have in common is choice of color. The major color in any Parisian’s wardrobe is black.
- You will see black worn in dresses, jackets, and trousers. Throw a white T-shirt or buttoned-down dress shirt under a black blazer and wear skinny black jeans, and you're set!
- Black is a slimming color, and it’s instantly sophisticated. When in doubt, wear black! One benefit of black is that it can work for more casual or formal settings. A black evening dress works well for a formal night out in Paris.
- The runner-up color most commonly seen in Parisian outfits is gray. Overall, the color palette in Paris is very understated and elegant.
Wear the uniform.There is a basic style that you will see over and over again In Paris. If you want to master Parisian style, start with it. Consider it the typical Parisian's "uniform."
- The basic uniform is a blazer (very tailored), with skinny jeans, a T-shirt, and, if you’re a woman, ballet flats or heels.
- Again, think about wearing this uniform in the right colors – black or grey. Keep the accessories to a minimum to pull off the look.
- Go for a layered look, such as a shirt under a sweater and coat. Mix classy with casual. You want to look like you threw the outfit together. A great tailored blazer is a must.
Pay attention to fit.One of the most important things to Parisians is to make sure clothes fit well. Think tailored, not shapeless.
- Ill-fitting dresses, pants that are too tight or too big, and dowdy, boxy jackets are all not going to cut it in Paris.
- French women dress for their body type, no matter what it is, and they enjoy slim-fitting clothing that accentuates curves. They don't try to hide their curves in too-baggy clothing.
- Clothing won't fit as well if you just get it off the rack. Parisians visit tailors. Some boutiques even tailor clothes on the spot. The seams will be stronger and better. The clothes will likely last longer.
Keep covered.Parisians are known for their sex appeal, but they achieve this without showing too much skin. They dress for comfort, and they don't throw their sexuality in your face.
- The rule is to not show too much of your legs, cleavage, or butt at one time. If you’re going to show a little leg, for example, don’t wear a low cut dress at the same time.
- If you’re trying too obviously to look sexy, that’s usually going to be less sexy, ironically. Too much cleavage is not common in Paris.
- Cramming yourself into a too-tight, too-revealing, too-short dress? That speaks more to Las Vegas than Paris. Learn to be sexy through understatement and confidence.
Buy more expensive clothing but less of it.In Paris, people tend to have a few staple items that are quite expensive. They actually save money in the long run because their clothes last longer.
- However, they have fewer clothes overall and tend to wear the expensive staples over and over again for a better look. They mix and match and are not fans of wearing something once and then discarding it.
- Think of it this way. They have higher quality clothing but own less of it overall. They might purchase a ,000 trench coat, but they’ll wear it for years. They will likely own a nice fitted dress shirt, a blazer, a great coat, and a pair of trousers.
- Think smart when you’re spending your money. You don’t need a lot of things; you just need a few good things. Shop at high-end stores that take pride in fine fabrics.
Pay attention to the details.Parisians will focus on the tiny aspects of an outfit or look to create an overall sophisticated and polished look.
- Don’t go out with chipped nail polish, in a shirt that’s wrinkled, or in a shirt that’s ripped. Parisians will notice and think you're not respecting yourself.
- Women often choose formal dresses with subtle but intricate bead work or even a large white flower, bow, or brooch.
- Wear a scarf. Parisian women are very fond of scarves. It’s a signature accessory. Wear the scarf looped several times around your neck with a blazer and a T-shirt.
Don't wear a beret.It's one of the best known cliches about Parisians: That supposedly they wear berets. The problem is, it's not really true.
- If you wear a beret in Paris, most people will probably recognize that you're a tourist. It's more the tourist's idea of Paris than the actual Parisian's.
- Instead of a beret, try wearing a fedora hat. Sophisticated hats are sometimes worn in Paris to elevate an outfit's look.
- Another hat to avoid if you don't want to look like a tourist is a baseball cap. Put the baseball cap in the same category as tennis shoes: You won't look Parisian with them on.
Dress like a Parisian male.Men in Paris share a lot of dressing commonalities with their female counterparts: They dress somewhat formal even in casual settings, and they pay attention to fit and shoes.
- Parisian men wear leather pointed shoes in neutral black or brown that lace up, for informal wear or formal nights out. Men tailor their clothes so that their trousers are cut more narrowly. They won’t have a sagging cuff, crotch or armpits.
- Scarves are not only for women in Paris. You will often see them on men, worn over a T-shirt or with a blazer. Parisian men prefer cotton, linens, cashmere, wool, denim and leather.
- Parisian men wear clothing that highlights the silhouette.For men, jeans, a bomber jacket and T shirt can work well. Suits are important, as are linen shirts. French men also choose a fitted, slim style in their suits as well as their jeans.
Getting the Parisian Vibe
Dress up.French people take pride in how they look, and they take pride in how they dress. You won’t see them dressing down for comfort outside the home.
- For example, don’t wear yoga pants or hoodies to go to the coffee shop or grocery store. Pay attention to your dress at all times when outside the house.
- Take pride in what you’re wearing even for mundane activities and on typical days. It’s about an attitude. Even in casual wear, a Parisian is more likely to toss on a blazer (over a T-shirt) than wear a hooded sweatshirt.
- Carry yourself with confidence, and walk with your head held high and your posture straight, knowing that you’re dressed well and will command respect as a result.
Keep your individuality.Parisians are not afraid to keep and show small physical imperfections, even though their clothing is impeccable. They are all about natural beauty.
- Don’t worry if your nose is a bit big or your teeth crooked. For example, Vanessa Paradis is considered one of the world’s great French beauties, and she has never fixed the prominent gaps in her teeth.
- Along those same lines, don’t pluck your eyebrows too much or augment your lips with fillers. Try not to have more than two colors in your hair.
- The key to the entire style is to augment your natural beauty subtly and to do so in a way that doesn’t look like you are trying too hard.
Get healthy.For French women, it’s about working with what they naturally have, not changing who they are or their overall look. French women eat what they want, but they exercise portion control and are known for their slim physiques.
- They take great care of their hair and skin. French women grow bored by indoor workouts. They are not into the American workout regimen. You won’t see many of them in the gym.
- Instead, drink a lot of water. A key to beautiful skin is to drink water all day long. Mineral water spray can also spruce up the skin. The hair, skin, and body are the base for the overall Parisian style. Take care of your skin using cleanser, gel cream, and cleansing milk suitable for your skin type, oily, combination, normal, dry etc..
- Eat organic food with little sugar. This will keep weight in check, but it also is good for your skin. What you put into your body will dictate whether your hair shines and your skin glows, not what you slather on or into it.
Use scent appropriately.French women know that to make a statement, you need a signature scent. They are well aware of the power of smell and use it to create sex appeal.
- They will leave the house with a touch of perfume that they apply lightly, and they usually stick to a scent once they discover it.
- Dab perfume on the hair, behind the ear, on the back of your neck. Try to choose a scent that is not too overpowering and that you wear consistently.
- Chanel No. 5 is, of course, one of the most famous French perfumes. French women like perfume that is vanilla based or has a floral smell. They use it as a signature, and it helps form an identity.
Accessorize simply.In Paris, less is more. French women aren’t going to leave the house with too much bling. French men won’t be seen with gaudy gold necklaces.
- Before you leave home, try to remove one accessory. Don’t overload the look with too many pieces of jewelry, statement handbags, etc. Do try to have one accessory per outfit (belt, bracelet, etc.)
- French women keep their nails clean and sometimes wear polish. The French manicure is not really worn in Paris. Pedicures are important, though. French women will wear polish in neutral colors or even use clear gloss and won't be seen in neon.
- Instead, think of accessories from the standpoint of one great piece. Dramatic red lipstick might be your only needed accessory! It was fashion icon Coco Chanel who said you should remove one accessory before leaving the house.
Stop flashing logos.Great style in Paris is about how you put together the look and the quality of the clothes and fit. It’s not about the name brand.
- Avoid the American temptation to flaunt labels on everything from handbags to blue jeans. That's considered tacky in Paris.
- That doesn’t mean the French don’t have some iconic brands. They do. Think Louis Vuitton. It’s just that flaunting logos is not the key to Parisian style.
- Parisian style is about high quality clothing with great seams, classic lines and colors. It’s about achieving a vibe and look.
Getting Parisian Hair and Skin
Go for the natural hair look.French women like to shampoo and then air dry their hair and then wait a day. They think their hair looks better on day two, and they’re not fans of blowouts.
- If they do choose to dye their hair, they will likely keep it very close to the original color or to hide any gray.The look is natural and a little tousled. They get their hair cut frequently, and prefer short crops or hair that just hits the shoulder. They also don’t wash their hair every day. You will sometimes see French women pull their hair into a messy bun.
- Parisians think healthy hair and a good haircut are key and don’t load their hair with styling products or use a lot of heat on it. Keep the accessories out of your hair. No bows, headbands or clips! They also don’t leave the house with wet hair.
- Parisian women don’t worry that their hair is not immaculately kept in place. One natural hair mask they use is to mix together rum, honey, two egg yolks and lemon juice. Apply it to the hair for 30 minutes, and then rinse with cold water. French women rarely use hair dryers. Instead, they air dry their air and towel dry it as much as they can.
Try red lips.French women aren’t big into eyeliner. They’re more into using the lips as the dominant feature when it comes to makeup.Classic red lipstick is used as a fashion accessory.
- French women don’t think they need a lot of other makeup if they’re wearing red lipstick. It makes the only statement they need!
- Don’t wear lip liner though. Keep your teeth white and clean by brushing them with baking soda once a week. White teeth with red lipstick is a better combination than coffee or cigarette-stained teeth would be.
- Play up your lips or eyes, but never both at the same time. If you play up both, the makeup will seem too obvious.
Showcase great skin.To Parisians, great skin is a fashion statement, and they take care of their skin from an early age. Skin care is more important than makeup to Parisians. Skin should look natural.
- It’s about accenting what you have naturally. Don’t contour your face. Dark shading ruins natural beauty and glow. French women might add highlights to the face, but they aren’t fans of contouring.
- Protect your skin. Parisians take great pride in trying to have healthy skin. They understand how dangerous the sun can be and don’t go out without a hat or sunscreen.
- Use a mask on your skin once or twice a week, such as an acacia honey mask. Apply it, and then rinse off with cold water.
- French women don’t wear a lot of foundation. They wear a lot of moisturizer and do use concealer to hide imperfections.
Try a smoky eye.It’s considered very French to wear a smoky eye. Parisians will go for a messy looking smoky eye that has a cream-based texture to it.
- Avoid glittery eye shadows, perfect lashes or too much makeup. French women are likely to use a single product. They will dab on a little blush and a little concealer and maybe some mascara.
- To create a smoky eye, apply kohl or gray eye shadow under the lower lash line and on the top lash line, and smudge it a little bit.
- French women also groom their eyelashes with brown pencil. They might add on a little lip balm. They aren’t fans of powder eye shadows.
QuestionHow do French women stay so thin?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's really simple. They don't eat a lot of sugar. They exercise portion control. Their larger meal tends to be earlier in the day, and they enjoy good foods in moderation. They eat natural, organic foods, not processed ones.Thanks!
QuestionDo French women tan?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTanning is, to some degree, an American obsession. Since the French look is natural, avoid tanning or spray tanning or the like. Healthy skin will help you complete the look.Thanks!
QuestionDo French women get highlights in their hair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOnly subtly, in a way to accent their natural hair color. If they do, they won't be obvious and will look natural. They would never get the "skunk" look with obvious stripes in their hair.Thanks!
Do I need to dress like the french when I'm visiting Paris?
||How to have Parisian style.|
- Avoid plastic surgery. At all costs, if you do choose something like Botox, don‘t make it look visible.
- Try some big, dark sunglasses.
- Keep it simple. You'll look more chic and polished if you have only one or two key accessories.
- Paris is a small, crowded city, so people are often very close together - hence the quiet talking. When you walk, don't swing your arms, and when you sit, don't sprawl yourself out.
- Spend your free time in cafes - if it's sunny, sit out on the terrace, and people-watch.
- Don't walk around with dirty, crumpled or stained clothes - you want to look like you don't care, not like you don't bathe.
- Don't buy shoes that hurt your feet. Some of us can cope with wearing almost any pair of shoes, but, especially for day-to-day use, don't buy ridiculous, foot-binding shoes.
- Don't confuse nice clothes with fancy clothes. You will just look silly if you show up to meet your friend at a cafe wearing an evening dress. A top, a cardigan and a comfy pair of trousers can look brilliant, as long as they are flattering and well-made.
- Don't be afraid to buy the odd thing that doesn't fit in with your wardrobe - just make sure to buy the accessories and shoes that will go with it.
Video: How To: Parisian Style
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