An American’s take on Parisian style & beauty

The style of the quintessential Parisienne is regarded as iconic and it is emulated throughout the world. It’s the perfect balance of done and undone, of masculine and feminine, of high-end and High Street.

As someone with a lifelong interest in fashion, I can’t ignore the Parisian influence on the industry. And personally, I am a fan of it; my style definitely has its fair share of that je ne sais quoi.

I take a ton of inspiration from the likes of Alexa Chung, Jeanne Damas, Camille Rowe and Alexandra Spencer–all women who capture Parisian style perfectly.

Possibly the best aspect of Parisian style, though, is that it is open to interpretation; it’s all about clothes that make the wearer feel comfortable. While some may take inspiration from the ultra-femme and romantic blouses or dresses the Parisienne seems to love, I’m constantly coveting the effortless sex appeal of these women. They know how to be sexy without looking like they tried to hard to do so.

I heard a quote once, and while I can’t find the exact words or the source, it went something along the lines of, “Sexy isn’t green juice and pilates arms. It’s red wine and a filet mignon.”

Think of American style as the “green juice and pilates arms” and Parisian style as the “red wine and filet mignon”–slept-in hair and makeup, clothes the complement the body (nothing too loose or too tight), always looking simultaneously overdressed and underdressed, but not in a way that’s inappropriate.

Parisian women know how to indulge without being overindulgent. And they don’t try to hide their flaws.

On this cold winter day I put together a quick take on French Girl style by layering mostly black pieces under a gray faux fur coat. To start I chose this velvet jumper, then covered up a little more with an eye-catching, high-neck bra top. Then, I add opaque black stockings and my favorite embroidered moto jacket (vegan, of course!); I am so in love with the stunning floral pattern and matte black stud details.

I polished the entire look off with my go-to black heeled booties (I love getting dressed up when I go into the office) and the coziest teddy bear coat from BB Dakota, which I picked up at Bloomingdale’s last year.

Shop my look:

Coat, BB Dakota, no longer available

Jacket, Blank NYC

Jumper, Thrifted (Reformation Vintage)

Bra top, Free People

Other Parisian-inspired pieces I’m crushing on:

[source: Shopify]

Naomi Top in Red, I.Am.Gia

The Alexandra dress in Starstruck, Réalisation Par

The Valentina dress in Cherry, Réalisation Par

The Bianca top in Lip, Réalisation Par

[source: Reformation]

Graphite Dress in Heather Plaid, Reformation

[source: Reformation]

Dorothy Top in Hyacinth, Reformation

[source: Reformation]

Mimi Top in Amber, Reformation

[source: Reformation]

Noelle Top, Reformation

[source: Reformation]

Fenway Dress in Hanover, Reformation

[source: Reformation]

Monterey Skirt in Bengal, Reformation

[source: Reformation]

Julia High Cigarette Jean, Reformation

[source: Free People]

Levi’s Wedgie Icon High Rise jean, Free People

[source: Topshop]

Check Mensy Pants, Topshop

[source: Are You Am I]

Zillah Slip Dress, Are You Am I

[source: Re/Done]

Leather jacket, Re/Done

[source: Are You Am I]

Delicate chokers and necklaces, Are You Am I

[source: Everlane]

The Boss Boot, Everlane

[source: Everlane]

The Modern Loafer, Everlane

Resources:

Into The Gloss, The Top Shelf, Léa Seydoux

Into The Gloss, The Technique, French Beauty Can Be High-Maintenance, too

Into The Gloss, Holiday Party Look, The French Girl Lash

Into The Gloss, The Technique, Navigating A French Pharmacy

Into The Gloss, The Technique, The French Kiss

Into The Gloss, The Extra, ‘French Girl,’ Model-Off-Duty Hair

How To Be Parisian Wherever You Are, Amazon [photo source: The 6 Million Dollar Story]

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