There’s something about the French – and in particular, Parisians – that makes their lifestyle so enviable, and always seemingly just out of reach. The culture, the philosophy, the revolutionary spirit, the fierce protection of the country’s language, the shameless love for trashy Euro pop, the devil-may-care attitude and – of course – the completely effortless style, make Parisians among some of the coolest in the world.
It’s a way of life that has been coveted (and marketed upon) for years – just look at Inès de La Fressange and her book Parisian Chic which spills all of her style secrets, Caroline de Maigret’s How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are (don’t miss her video with i-D which shows the Parisians aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves either) or The Parisian Gentleman by Hugo Jacomet. We could all do with a bit of that laid-back, laissez-faire attitude, so here are our top five ways to be a little more Parisian.
Eat the Food, Drink the Wine
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The French don’t believe in fad diets or calorie counting. Instead, it’s all about moderation and enjoying oneself – if that means a croissant with your coffee, a glass of red with lunch or a plate of cheese after dinner then so be it. Read our top five French recipes for a taste of classic French cuisine, and use Le Creuset for authentic cooking.
Look After your Skin
Parisians will never overdo it with the makeup brush or grooming products. The secret to looking good à la the French is to keep it pared down and natural – and that means an impeccable skincare routine is a must. We tapped into the knowledge of Amelia Twentyman – French beauty expert at LookFantastic – who said: “For a pharmacy favourite, opt for the Nuxe Eau Micellaire, which removes all traces of makeup without irritating your skin. Simply apply to a cotton pad and swipe over your skin and you’re cleansed.”
Another must-have? Hydrating water mist. Amelia’s go-to is Caudalie Beauty Elixir, another pharmacy staple: “Infused with Organic Mint Balm and Essential Oils, it’s the perfect antidote to a stressful day and leaves your complexion glowing and healthy.”
Stripes are Always a Good Idea
Ever since Coco Chanel introduced the Breton top worn by French sailors to the fashion world back in 1917, the simple striped top, knit or t-shirt has had a place in every stylish man and woman’s wardrobe. This is a style that is completely timeless and works just as well at the end of summer with a pair of rolled-up jeans as it does in winter with a bulky wool coat. Shop Armor Lux for the best in traditional men’s stripes, or A.P.C. for modern classics for women.
Explore France as Much as Possible
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The French know when to leave their desks and escape for long, lazy days of sun, great company and even better food – so much so that Paris is all but deserted throughout the whole of August. With a country that’s full of travel havens and bohemian gems, there’s no need to go very far either – discover our favourite boutique hotels in Paris or Hotel Belles Rives for old-school glamour on the French Riviera.
Create a Wardrobe of Classics
Parisians aren’t about fast fashion, opting for high quality classics and versatile pieces over limiting trends. The perfect wardrobe is made up of crisp white shirts, well-cut jeans and that ubiquitous soft navy knit from Carven, Maison Kitsuné, Paul & Joe Sister and KENZO.
Words by Angharad Jones.