The Parisian Women Are (almost) Effortlessly Chic
"Fashion fades, only style remains the same." Coco Chanel
Paris Street Style
While walking the streets of Paris one can't help but notice the beautiful women and men, but in this particular article, I'm going to discuss the women. I don't think there's a mistake in calling Paris the fashion capital of the world. New York City may want to claim that distinction, but NYC does not have a Monday, mid-morning, high-fashion runway show in a car dealership on Champs -Elysees. I was walking down the famous boulevard and heard some heart pumping techno music coming from one of the storefronts. I walked over to the huge window and saw that it was a Renault car dealership and there was a runway show taking place inside. So, of course, I walked in and took my place standing along with others who came in off the street.
These models were not so much beautiful as they were alluring. They were not bouncing down the runway. They were walking slowly past the fashion editors, buyers, etc and then made their way to pose in front of the photographers and walk away.
I was amazed at their sensuality, and yet it was not overt, it was a subtle overall confidence. The walk gets your attention and then they give you the time to check them out, and that is what the Parisian woman expects.
Paris Street Style: A Guide to Effortless Chic
A Fashionable Corner
Parisian Woman at Fouquet's
Earlier that same morning, I had been sitting at the outdoor cafe of Fouquet's (watch the short film for pure Parisian elegance) having a cup of coffee before I began my (long) walk to the Louvre. I wanted to see Paris on foot, so I started at a fashionable corner and took my time people watching. It was probably about 9 A.M. I noticed a few tables in front of me a beautiful French woman reading the newspaper. Her hair was pulled up into a chignon and she had on a dark skirt, pumps, a nice cream colored silk blouse.
When she was done, she got up and walked into the restaurant and I remember thinking, no one walks like that in the U.S. She walked with elegance, one foot in front of the other with a slight saunter, back held straight (but not rigid) and head looking forward. She looked completely natural. I know, you're going to get up and try it, go ahead. You'll feel it if it's right. Go ahead and laugh, and remember, laughter is another CHIC quality.
French Women Style
A Million Bucks Look
About twenty minutes later, I was getting ready to leave and I looked up and she had just come out of the restaurant, looking like a million bucks. Her hair was down, flowing over her shoulders, freshly brushed, a red lipstick finishing off this perfectly applied makeup that must have been done in the powder room of Fouquet's. She was walking down the avenue, most likely to the fashion district in Rue du Faubourg St-Honore where fashion designers such as Christian Lacroix, Sonia Rykiel, Yves St. Laurent have their principal fashion houses. So there was another snapshot of the Parisian chic; a leisurely cup of coffee at a nice cafe, the newspaper to educate the mind, twenty minutes putting on the finishing touches in a classy powder room, classic clothing and confidence and the walk. WOW. Is it that simple?
Ines de la Fressange - The Author of Parisian Chic: A Style Guide
Parisian Chic 101
There was another time that week when I witnessed the effortless chic in grand mode right before my eyes. I was walking with my Parisian friend to the crepes cafe and she had her hair pulled back into a low ponytail. As she was walking and talking, she looked over at me and pulled the hair tie out of her hair, and viola, there it was again. She shook her hair out over her shoulders and I thought, damn, these women don't even try to they are so sexy (and no, I am completely heterosexual!). Their CHICness is in their manner, the way they carry themselves, their nonchalance, their intelligence, their classic attire, their natural allure, expecting to be noticed but not showcasing any one thing. It's the whole package.
My Parisian friend told me that it's all in what French women know, they expect attention from a man, the stares, the wink, a caress or a pat as a sign of affection. If they don't get this attention, they think something is wrong with their appearance, their manner.
I think we can take some lessons from them, these most beautiful creatures; that it's almost effortless to look fantastic, but some effort is going to pay off well in our confidence and appearance! OOH La LA~~~
Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange
Parisian Fashion Tips From Ines de la Fressange
Notable French Women Quotes
"One is not born a woman, one becomes one". Simone de Beauvoir
"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses
only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with
ideas, the way we live, what is happening." Coco Chanel
"And the day came when the risk to become tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin
"I am not afraid; I was born to do this." Joan of Arc
"The artist is nothing without the gift; but the gift is nothing without work." Emilie Zola
"French women have been made beautiful by the French people - they're very aware of their bodies, the way they move and speak, they're very confident of their sexuality. French society's made them like that." Charlotte Rampling
"There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved." George Sand
"When he takes me in his arms and speaks to me softly, I see the world through rose-colored glasses." Edith Piaf
What French Women Know
More by this Author
There are many healthy, delicious finger foods for babies and toddlers. Babies between the ages of 6-9 months are ready to try different kinds of food. Below you will find healthy finger food choices from each food...
Learn how to do makeup, hair, and fashion in a French style.
A travel essay written about my first night in Paris, France. It was a dream come true for me to finally arrive in the City of Light. Walk with me along the Seine and through the magnificent city.