Saturday, January 4, 2014

Style Resolutions for 2014 part one

First resolution:  dress like a French woman. One wonders if they're all put together perfection when they step out their doors. The ones who get photographed certainly are.  What is the magic? Why do they always look exactly right?

To help us decode the method, let's take a look at a few of the oft-mentioned French style icons.

Ines de la Fressange is a former Chanel muse. She is rarely seen wearing dresses or skirts, is almost always in flats, and her outfits typically contain a mix of neutrals.

The darling of Paris street style, Garance Dore, doesn't stray too far from this formula. While occasionally pictured in skirts or heels, she stays true to neutrals and relaxed silhouettes.

My personal favorite Carine Roitfeld, might seem at first glance to be a very different animal.  She's quite a bit more fashion forward and is the most "dressed up" of the bunch. Look a bit more closely though, you'll see the same devotion to neutrals, the same attention to details.  While she is almost always in skirts and heels, as opposed to trousers and flats, she has that nonchalance that makes it seem she threw something on and went about her day.
Last but not least, the woman who might be considered the queen bee of French style, Emmanuelle Alt. She is the editor of French Vogue after all.  She has developed a uniform that seldom differs even from season to season.  She favors pants, skinny ones, heels that vary from kitten to sky high, unfussy tees and shirts, and jackets to finish the look.

What else do you notice about all these women?  Minimal make up, unfussy hair and few well chosen accessories. 

Is this a style we can emulate?  We're not fashion editors, after all.  Pick out the parts that appeal to you and apply them to your wardrobe. In my case that means sticking with lots of neutral basics that can be punctuated with color if I like, and a focus on accessories such as belts and scarves.  How much easier is it to get dressed in the morning when everything in your closet goes with everything else?  Perhaps French women have discovered that they can spend their time on other things when deciding what to wear for the day is a snap.

Style resolutions part two will be editing the closet. We can't dress like French women until we get the wardrobe monster under control! 


DaniBP said...

Wardrobe Monster is an excellent term! I've been very busy getting my own WM under control, what a job. I've also been reading "20 Lessons From Madame Chic", in which the author discusses the 10 item wardrobe... very few pieces of clothing but a distinctive style that is never veered from. Paying attention to trends etc is reserved for accessories, I like it, it's a good idea. The core remains the same, a few skirts and sweaters, a couple of dresses, a distinctive coat, and then the sky is the limit as far as scarves, gloves and jewelry... a distinctive style of shoe or boot and a good handbag.
I think when a neutral palette is employed a good handbag stands out.
These women you featured all stick to their essential look and work it up through accessories,
great examples!
Looking forward to part two!

Desert Flower said...

I visit the blog of the woman who wrote that, Dani. She sticks to it, and I admire that. I don't know that I could get down to the 10 item wardrobe, but I'm certainly going to try to pare it down significantly.

I'm currently deciding what to purge. I fear a lot of it will end up in the donate bin, hopefully some can be consigned and make me feel a little better about the mistakes!

DaniBP said...

I have to look at her blog! I could do 10 items a couple of months at a time, but I'm dealing with all kinds of weather here as you know.
My purge these last two days has been brutal, some of the iconic JCrew pieces that I just don't wear, they have to go, I can't keep this stuff around I feel like a hoarder! Still they have been tough decisions. Sounds like we've been doing the same thing!

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