This post comes from our Paris-based friend, Madeline Baillieux!
Typical Parisian street style is alluring, sultry, and chic, yet there’s simplicity in the styling that makes each look feel attainable. Living in Paris for the past five years, I have gained a little insight as to how the French operate. In Paris, the fashion faux pas is to over-do it. If it looks like your outfit took ten minutes to put together, but it’s still fantastic, you’re doing it right. Note the perfectly wind-blown locks and throw-on-and-go jumpsuit above.
But if you’re looking to create your own flawless version of Parisian street style, it’s about as easy as it looks. Here’s a list of five must-have items for achieving the look (don’t forget to top it off with a little French attitude!).
1. Solid basics on top
The t-shirt is the base of a perfect outfit. Parisians like to start off with solids and build around them. An oversized denim collared shirt is the perfect top for meandering through the cobblestone streets in the summer, staying casually cool while looking great. It’s all about styling your pieces together to make it seem effortless but with an undeniable charm.
2. A classic trench coat
Trench coat, leather jacket, or blazer. No matter which you choose, the outerwear is often the “pièce de résistance” that ties your whole outfit together. The best part about French style is its versatility. Throw a trench coat over a pair of jeans, some stilettos and a fierce rouge lipstick to easily take you from day to night.
3. A statement bag
Yes, you’ll see a ton of all-black looks if you wander the streets of Paris, but that only means there’s a lot of room to play with accessories! For example, try out a brightly colored bag as the stand-out piece that makes your ensemble different. For the French, it’s all about contrasting elements so stripes can be styled with leopard print, and a designer bag goes with a pair of beat-up tennis shoes (often, the more worn-out, the better).
4. Your favorite hat
There’s a reason Edith Piaf’s song says, “Under the grey sky of Paris, it’s always raining!” Naturally, that means you need a hat. However, a hat is best worn on a big, sunny Parisian terrace all the better to people watch. Opt for a nice one to instantly add a bit of elegance to your otherwise downplayed outfit.
So here is the inside scoop when it comes to choosing what shoes to wear in Paris: It’s all about sneakers, sneakers, sneakers! All day and sometimes all night. It’s the best way to create the legendary effortlessly chic Parisian look and, more importantly, you’re comfortable while doing it.