“I can recognise a French woman the way she wears her scarf”. How I was amazed! Here is the thought of one of my “French stalker” friends (I love to call her like that as she follows all things French and j’adore).
What made me think about the way French women wear accessories. Do we only rely on an accessory to build our effortless chic? And does it contribute to this je ne sais quoi?
Highlight your personality
Keep her own personality and affirm who is she it’s primordial for a French woman. She has a need to be real and authentic, and this is going to be reflective in her choice of accessories. She prefers to speak about style instead of fashion because she truly values the uniqueness of everyone and of course her own uniqueness. To value this she will need to find exclusive accessories that mean for her and match with her identity.
Find your signature accessory
To highlight her personality, she develops her own style and sometimes can make long research until she finds exactly what she needs. The research of an accessory can take hours, days, and maybe sometimes weeks (oui oui, no exaggeration it is what happened to me. I remember walking in the streets of Paris with my French friend who really started to be tired to finally find my perfect black bag in Paris that I found at Berenice rue Montmartre, so happy we celebrated it with a well earned-rest in a bar rue Montorgueil). As you can guess, the French woman can be very demanding when it’s about finding the right accessory.
After all it’s quite normal when you think it’s the item that is going to match her personality, her lifestyle, and maybe her dream job.
Few rules to French yourself with accessories
If you want to know how to accessorise like a French woman, here are some suggestions that can help you:
- Do not ever wear matching shoes and bag. For me it’s totally the fashion faux-pas that makes me think you are here to wear labels.
- You don’t need to spend a lot of money in accessories: do not forget it’s the way you behave that you create your own value and uniqueness.
- However I would add an exception for two main items: shoes and bags which are the classic basics. Indeed, I’m a convinced woman that the handbag you’re going to use everyday needs to have this something special; same for your shoes. Personally, I always go for Italian shoes and now start to also appreciate the “made in Portugal”.
- Wear a scarf: have a preference for delicate fabrics like silk or satin and learn how to tie it with insouciance (indifference, I promise you an article about it soon). In winter, an écharpe protects your throat (practical way) and in spring a foulard gives you this confident flair.
- Add something sentimental to your style by wearing an item that your grandmother or your mum owned. I do not leave home without my Mum’s ring that she made for herself and my grandmother’s bracelet, a beautiful golden jonc. Very simple. Very unique.
- And I want to finish with the most important advice: do not over-accessorise. When I go out, I always remember this Chanel’s rule, “when accessorising, always take off the last thing you put on”. You can make sure that I always take off an item when I look at me in the mirror. Keep things simple. Do not forget that you do not promote brands; you want to shine with your style.
The “must” accessories for a French woman
It’s like a secret non-secret that women in France pass from generation to generation. It is what happened to me with my grandmother and my mum who always gave me great advice. You always need in your wardrobe:
- What I would like to call the 3 basics: a black jacket, a white shirt, and black escarpins (stilettos).
- Don’t forget your ballerinas Repetto, they are out of time and always simply fashionable. You can also be very glamour with flat shoes provided that you choose the right elegant pair of shoes.
- A scarf of course: the main advantage, you have an infinite way to wear it and you can play with it: short or longer, printed or not.
- The lingerie. This je ne sais quoi maybe starts with sensual delicate lingerie. I can hear you saying “but it’s hidden so what is the point?” and that’s true… well until you want to hide it. By wearing nice lingerie, you already feel bien dans ta peau “good in your skin” and most important it’s good for your morale. Feeling the lace on your skin will give you a sensual natural mood for your day. You don’t need a special occasion for it… and you also don’t know if an unexpected special occasion can come during your day.
- A handbag or should I say your signature handbag. It is so important. Have you already said “There is my life in it”? And it’s so true. I have a preference for Jérôme Dreyffus, the leather is very flexible, it’s very practical especially with the little light to find your wallet lost in the middle of all your bazar.
- Jewellery: simple or elaborated, diamonds or not, as I mentioned it previously it can be the signature of your day. I think the choice of the jewel is always better when it tells a story or reminds you a nice memory or travel.
Have fun with your accessories, play with it, try different outfits and with time you will learn how to French yourself with accessories.
However the best accessory you can have it’s your personality and your femininity. You can wear the most beautiful brands, you can try to “chanelophile” yourself but if you do not have an elegance of heart, your accessories will stay unnoticed. Because your accessorises will accessorise your style and your style will highlight your personality but that it’s for another article that I’m preparing called “The elegance of heart”.