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French Ladies: Style, aura, what is it?

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May 24, 2012, 3:59am   #616
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Millicat
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Originally Posted by TheDesignerGirl
I spoke to a french girl the other day who told me that the key to french style comes under a few factors:
1. Balance. If she wants to wear a dramatic poofy skirt then she pairs it with a hat so she never looks top heavy or bottom heavy. The same goes for colours, if she wants to wear red shoes, then she wears a red scarf or hair accessory and muted tones in the rest of her outfit.
2. As I think someone earlier said, she told me that it is really important to wear not necessarily tight or figure-flaunting clothes, but clothes which fit well and are well tailored.
3. She told me that every piece should scream your personality and that you shouldn't buy generic 'basics'.
4. She also admitted that a lot of stylish women in France wear heels in daily life, moreso than the English do.

I'm going to Paris at the beginning of next summer, I'm going to start buying my clothes and planning outfits this summer though as I won't have a chance to next year.

You summed this up well, DesignerGirl.
I have to agree with each of your 4 points, they convey the attitude i and my friends have to dressing.
May 24, 2012, 10:27am   #617
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Julide
Ahh Money Penny...
Originally Posted by mellecyn
Lol Thanks I wish ! (I donīt live in Paris, Iīm just a french expat...)


Thatīs really interesting because the French I know are ALL about buiyng basics ! A lot of them (Petit Bateau t shirts) and then have a few unique/trendy pieces of the present season.
I like the example of the french neighbour gardening casual chic! TBH I admire more the style of my friendīs mothers than our generationīs. And Grandmas even more!!
They have this discipline, they make the effort. with their little secrets...not like us who donīt give a sh*t sometimes.
And their little secrets : find the right fit, dress for your shape, colors & pattern match, no naked neck...from the women magazines I remember reading about the "subtle sexy" (sensual) of showing little bit of skin places you donīt expect, an ankle is sexy, a neck is sexy...naked under an oversize cashmere sweater is sexy...etc...
I also must say a lot of my upbringing was more about maneers and being feminine.
Your way of walking (grandmas said shouldnīt sound like an elephant tapping your heels, but lightly and graciously like a gazelle), how you sit, how you speak and your voice, donīt laugh out too loud in public places, donīt be vulgar and masculine...
I think that discretion is what cuts it, if you put 2 women side by side both wearing something as simple as jeans, converse and tshirt.

And BTW the time we spend getting ready....I lived with several nationalities of girls. The French will be the ones rushing and running through the flat and ready in 30 min. Theyīre always late. Nationalities of the north will spend 1 hour. perfection in hair and make up.
Another thing I admire (and donīt know how they ahieve it and are motivated) is they never give up on their style while aging !!!
Again other nationalities once they hit 30 or motherhood there is a total letting go/careless. (laissez aller..)
OooMany apologies.I was mistaken. So sorry. I have to agree with the style of the older generation. I like how they dress too!Again sorry for the mixup.
May 24, 2012, 1:02pm   #618
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Greentea
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^ Agree. The Parisian woman will spend money on timeless, classic items and beautiful basics like cashmere sweaters, good jeans, great boots, soft, beautiful tees and a timeless leather jacket or trench. Then she might fill in the blanks with a few fun, trendy items from Zara and such.
May 24, 2012, 4:58pm   #619
p
plain jane doe
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French women are not any more likely to buy expensive or high quality clothing. There is just not a lot of bad taste on the lower end because 1. the looks that are sold even in cheap stores are relatively simple and classic 2. people are conservative and showing skin or generally drawing attention to yourself does not come off well.
May 24, 2012, 7:26pm   #620
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svenesaes
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Something which really struck me the last time I was in Paris, which previous posters have mentioned: how older women (I am talking 40s, 50s, 60s etc.) continue to maintain nice figures, beautiful hair styles, manicures, makeup, and dress stylishly and even with a bit of tasteful and appropriate sexiness. They dress to reflect their belief that they are still beautiful and sexy, which of course they are. And in a way that is not "mutton dressed as lamb". Something that irks me about American culture is the rabid worship of youth, and how the beauty and sensuality of older women is not celebrated and appreciated, either in the media or in real life.
May 25, 2012, 1:38am   #621
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Millicat
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Originally Posted by svenesaes
Something which really struck me the last time I was in Paris, which previous posters have mentioned: how older women (I am talking 40s, 50s, 60s etc.) continue to maintain nice figures, beautiful hair styles, manicures, makeup, and dress stylishly and even with a bit of tasteful and appropriate sexiness. They dress to reflect their belief that they are still beautiful and sexy, which of course they are. And in a way that is not "mutton dressed as lamb". Something that irks me about American culture is the rabid worship of youth, and how the beauty and sensuality of older women is not celebrated and appreciated, either in the media or in real life.

I so totally agree, it's getting completely out of control isn't it.
I also agree with what you, Plain jane doe and GreenTea all say too, a lot of european women have this look and air of grace and sophistication that comes with maturity,
Jun 29, 2012, 9:43pm   #622
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Aurify
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I was in Paris recently, and noticed many girls did in fact fit the 'chic Parisian' stereotype (though of course not all women look/dress like this).

These girls were all fairly thin, with full eyebrows and black eyeliner/ mascara (I noticed very little makeup, otherwise). Clothing tended to be quite simple and neutral. Scarves were ubiquitous. Jewelry was minimal. One thing I noticed when shopping is that clothing tends to be cut well (meaning it drapes nicely on the body). French women also take FOREVER in fitting rooms. They spend a lot of time assessing how an items looks/feels on their body. I also did not see a single pair of heels over 2 inches - lots of practical, conservative shoes.

Finally, in 4.5 days, I counted over 100 Louis Vuitton bags, 3 Chanels, 1 Fendi, 5 Guccis (on tourists), a few Burburry's, and countless Longchamp.
Jul 16, 2012, 4:53pm   #623
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hexomega
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I haven't read the whole thread, but I would say that from what I learned in the french program in my high school (I did not continue beyond high school though), people in france tend to weigh less, take better care of themselves (exercising/eating healthy/skin care), and are very family oriented compared to America.

This might be why french people are more conservative or mature with how they dress/what they can pull off. Being family oriented usually means there's less desire to go around doing crazy fashion stuff (take punk, for example). And being leaner/thinner they can pull off outfits that most Americans are way too, ehrm, pudgy, for. Not to mention the confidence is much better over there.

Originally Posted by svenesaes
Something which really struck me the last time I was in Paris, which previous posters have mentioned: how older women (I am talking 40s, 50s, 60s etc.) continue to maintain nice figures, beautiful hair styles, manicures, makeup, and dress stylishly and even with a bit of tasteful and appropriate sexiness. They dress to reflect their belief that they are still beautiful and sexy, which of course they are. And in a way that is not "mutton dressed as lamb". Something that irks me about American culture is the rabid worship of youth, and how the beauty and sensuality of older women is not celebrated and appreciated, either in the media or in real life.
I hate how women just let themselves go in America. Here "growing up" is not caring about how you look and letting yourself get fat (and I mean fat as in gaining 50lbs). I would never do that. Age is no excuse to let yourself become unhealthy. Around Seattle at least people tend to take better care of themselves as they age. I continuously see women, white and asian, who are in their 40s-60s and still hit the gym and have a fantastic figure that, heck, even some 20-somethings would be jealous of.

It's not genetics, either. People try to use that as a cop-out but I know many people who were genetically pre-disposed to weight gain who eat clean diets and maintain a more athletic figure than I have while bein nearly twice my age. I'm naturally lean (size 2-4 or at my usual weight, 0-2) and I eat like garbage. Pasta every night, fast food like pizza or chinese once a week, etc. I am trying to eat healthier now, though, because my cholesterol took a hit. :(
Jul 17, 2012, 5:19pm   #624
n
nn21
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This is the only thread I have read through from page one. Very, very interesting.
Jul 18, 2012, 2:50am   #625
S
Smaug
Member
Great thread! Enjoyed reading it.

Though i've never been to France, i've travelled all through other parts of Europe. I feel that a lot of what we think of as 'french' or 'parissiene', is actually common all over Europe ( except UK maybe- they have a totally unique style). At best it's understated chic and at worst- it's a fairly banal uniform. It depends on what you take from it!
Jul 18, 2012, 7:44am   #626
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ladysarah
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Originally Posted by Smaug
a lot of what we think of as 'french' or 'parissiene', is actually common all over Europe ( except UK maybe- they have a totally unique style). At best it's understated chic and at worst- it's a fairly banal uniform. It depends on what you take from it!
actually that's not true. for example Italians dress VERY differently - I can spot them a mile off. A lot more gold and frou frou than Parisians who tend to be all about understated chic.
Jul 18, 2012, 8:30am   #627
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Suzie
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Originally Posted by hexomega
I haven't read the whole thread, but I would say that from what I learned in the french program in my high school (I did not continue beyond high school though), people in france tend to weigh less, take better care of themselves (exercising/eating healthy/skin care), and are very family oriented compared to America.

This might be why french people are more conservative or mature with how they dress/what they can pull off. Being family oriented usually means there's less desire to go around doing crazy fashion stuff (take punk, for example). And being leaner/thinner they can pull off outfits that most Americans are way too, ehrm, pudgy, for. Not to mention the confidence is much better over there.



I hate how women just let themselves go in America. Here "growing up" is not caring about how you look and letting yourself get fat (and I mean fat as in gaining 50lbs). I would never do that. Age is no excuse to let yourself become unhealthy. Around Seattle at least people tend to take better care of themselves as they age. I continuously see women, white and asian, who are in their 40s-60s and still hit the gym and have a fantastic figure that, heck, even some 20-somethings would be jealous of.

It's not genetics, either. People try to use that as a cop-out but I know many people who were genetically pre-disposed to weight gain who eat clean diets and maintain a more athletic figure than I have while bein nearly twice my age. I'm naturally lean (size 2-4 or at my usual weight, 0-2) and I eat like garbage. Pasta every night, fast food like pizza or chinese once a week, etc. I am trying to eat healthier now, though, because my cholesterol took a hit. :(
I disagree with the comment that French woman take care of their health as I have never seen so many woman smoke in all of my life. I was in Paris again just last week and from young teenagers to older ladies they all have a cigarette in their mouth, it is quite astounding actually as they are so stylish in every other aspect yet they are very heavy smokers.
Jul 18, 2012, 8:45am   #628
S
Smaug
Member
Originally Posted by ladysarah

actually that's not true. for example Italians dress VERY differently - I can spot them a mile off. A lot more gold and frou frou than Parisians who tend to be all about understated chic.
My bad. I meant to say north europe. Italians and spaniards are pretty distinguishable by their attire.
Jul 18, 2012, 11:08am   #629
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caramelize126
Member
I havent read through the whole yet, so I apologize if this has already been posted, but here is a thread that is all/mostly pictures of parisians and their outfits. From what I read in this thread so far, I didnt see any pictures, so hopefully this may give a better idea of the style there!

http://forum.purseblog.com/the-wardr...cs-533927.html
Jul 18, 2012, 6:25pm   #630
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ninja_please
Member
Originally Posted by hexomega



I hate how women just let themselves go in America. Here "growing up" is not caring about how you look and letting yourself get fat (and I mean fat as in gaining 50lbs). I would never do that. Age is no excuse to let yourself become unhealthy. Around Seattle at least people tend to take better care of themselves as they age. I continuously see women, white and asian, who are in their 40s-60s and still hit the gym and have a fantastic figure that, heck, even some 20-somethings would be jealous of.
I agree, American women really let themselves go! But San Franciscans are very health conscious; we're really into biking, yoga, rock climbing, and eating organic. But because of this lifestyle, I also feel it's why San Franciscans and Seattleites dress terribly! We're always in luluemon and North Face because we're training for the next marathon after work!

While Parisians walk everywhere and eat better than most Americans, practically all of them smoke! When I was in Paris, I only saw a handful of gyms and there are hardly any because there's no space!
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