JE NE SAIS QUOI?

If I had to point out one woman in the world that is the perfect chic, it would to be the French. Or maybe I should say it is the Parisiennes, since I certainly do not know much about other places in France. I mean I have been camping once or twice in the sunny side of France (ok I admit, just once), but I have not seen enough to be able to write about.

So let’s talk about Paris and its chic inhabitants. Think Coco Chanel, Carine Roitfeld, Emmanuelle Alt, Clémence Poésy, Vanessa Paradis, Audrey Tautou, Marion Cotillard…all chic to the next level, though never ever overdone. They have that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ (hey, it is not a French saying for nothing) that the rest of us woman just can not put our finger on. I do not even know if they can put their finger on it themselves.

To me, the French are like nude make-up, looking like they spend less than five minutes in front of the mirror in the morning, secretly taking hours and hours to pick their dark grey skinny jeans and perfect blazer.

Now I do not know any French women personally, so for me this is all just random guessing, but I feel like they work hard to be able to pretend like they could not care less and give the impression it all comes naturally. So what is the epitome of French chic exactly? The answer probably does not lie in their closets, but in their confidence. Right? Hmmm, je ne really sais pas, but j’adore!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

47comments

  1. that what makes them different is actually that they don’t try do be hideous. i mean, take some distance in front of your mirror and try to see the whole picture – and if it’s not good, don’t continue staring until your eyes get use to it.

    fashionable women should from time to time try to stay attractive – not for photographers but for real men. would make them so much more parisian-like. keep it down, stay away from the mirror and feel self-confident.

  2. Well, there are a lot of parisienne, since so many of us are mixed origins, but I agree with that general feeling. I have eastern origins, so I also have in my education some of that eastern europe touch that real parisienne find “sluty” (pardon my english lol). But I mix it with a lot of parisienne influence, and I never feel more french than when I spent a little too much time on doing a natural makeup and I end up doing my hear in 10 seconds because I just didn’t have more time left lol

    • It just hit me that you didn’t put Inès De la Fressange on your list: she is just the most iconic parisienne, all french girl took some advice from her :) I would also add Garance Doré, even if the parisienne is not anymore about nice basics and nice neutral colours (beige, bordeaux, marine, gey or black), I really think she is very symbolic of the 30 years old parisienne :)

  3. Cute post. But to be honest, as a Parisian girl, for us it’s just a myth. Well maybe we are not really into make up like Brit girls (Cynthia stop the cliché !). Course, Emannuelle Alt is an inspiration. But, let’s face it, the regular Parisian/French girl is just like any other girl in the world. Some have great taste in clothes like you. Some don’t. But overall, we’re about the same. We do care about make up (Sephora is a no no zone during the weekends), we do care about clothes and feel the same way than everybody else when it’s time to pick up an outfit in the morning. We are not all skinny, nor do we always have long hair or fair skin. And to finish, I’d say that most of the times we wish that we’d be Dutch, American, Brit or Asian. Because it’s always cool to be someone else, isn’t it ?
    See y’all
    And keep on doing such good articles
    Cynth xxx

    • Before spending one year living in Paris I was hipnotize by the myth about Parisienne style. During that year I was searching and looking for it. Now I can say – with no result. So I completety agree with Cynthia, that french girls are like all the other girls in Europe – some of them do have a style and a sense of fashion, some just don’t.

  4. Well, the french girl that rent a room in my house for a year definitely spent a lot of time in front of the mirror. She styled her hair for hours. She always wanted to look attractive for her boyfriend. It seemed to me they are much mofre aware and ‘obsessed’ with looking good.

  5. Nice Post !! I smiled because I always thought that you were inspired by French women (absolutely love love you style). I’m French and Parisian (born in Paris but I’ve lived in Lyon during my childhood) so I had to answer. Even if I find French girls well dressed in general, the style you describe is mainly about les Parisiennes. To be be honest, we play a lot with this myth. We are proud of our French “je ne sais quoi” you know. But if I had to describe our style, I would say that:
    - We keep it low key with basic colors (grey, black, navy blue, bordeaux) so we can’t go wrong. And also, we love to match everything, like our shoes with our scarf.
    - Scarfs are essentials in our wardrobe. My grandmother, my mom, they always have great scarfs and “le carré Hermes” is a must (it was a wedding gift for my mum).
    - We don’t really care so much about trends, we choose what is great for our body. I think all the women you quote, know what looks good on their bodies. But sometimes, I think we are a little bit too afraid to try new things so we stay true to our classics.
    - We never neglect ourselves and I know that in America girls are more comfy during the days and on the contrary during the evenings they are all dressed up so I think it is a main difference. For us, it would be inconceivable to go out in tracksuit and sneakers.
    - We dress for our boyfriends (but above all for ourselves) so we try to be sexy but never slutty. I think that is our main fear (or mine), to appear as slutty. Always, trying to find a balance between chic and sexy. We think a lot about our “silhouettes” in the mirror.
    - We care a lot more about beauty than make-up. We’d rather have a great skin than a full make up on our faces. I learned all my beauty routine from my grandmother and she always got the biggest amount of skin product (that I envy).
    - And yes, it looks like it’s natural but we do spend a lot of times in the bathroom or in the closet. But, I would say that we don’t plan everything the night before but we dress in the morning according to our mood. Plus, confidence and “joie de vivre”.

    Voilà. I was not trying to say that we are perfect and everything, some French girls don’t have a great style. For example, I dream to have the guts of English girls and try more original clothes. You do have a little bit of the Parisian style. You’re just more cool and sometimes less “sexy” (not in a negative way). I agree with some comments about Garance and Inès, they epitomize the perfect Parisienne. Garance, Clémence and Emmanuelle are my role models.
    Bisous :)

  6. As a real Parisian girl, i will say that, first, we hate make up, it’s not in ours traditions and even if we put something it’s just a touch of nude make up. the best for a Parisian girl is to be nature, the more nature you are,i mean make up,clothes,hairs… the better it is.

    We love the “out of bed” style, and hate spending more than 10mn in ours wardrobes, also we have a pretty basic one, with timeless colors, and classic cuts,and fine gold or silver jewelry to boost everything but that’s all, so it’s always easy to choose an outfit. that’s why we don’t spend too much time for it!

    And we are nostalgic, nostalgic of a certain elegance, and it’is always inside us, this fact that we are proud to be Parisians so it’s reflecting in our attitude and style. :)