Fashion Friday: French Blend

Here in America I think we idolize the French for their style- there are so many books on how to get that perfectly disheveled, cool and luminous look that French women seem to have naturally. I do know two things though- 1) there ARE hot messes in France, not every girl looks perfect  2) it doesn’t come naturally, they work at it.   The commandments of French style and beauty seems to be to invest in the best basics and wear them often, spend time and money on your skin so you have to wear less makeup (I plan to embody this for 2014), don’t try to make everything perfect, leave a little bit off (slightly messy hair with a Chanel jacket or short, unpolished nails with a gorgeous silk blouse) and of course, when in doubt, simple is best.  I think attitude is important too in French style. In my jaunts to Paris I always am amazed at how much less STRESSED everyone seems. No one storms around with to go Starbucks cups, they sit and savor their coffees and espressos in cafes like civilized people! Stress makes us look haggard (remember Cameron Diaz’s rant in The Holiday?) and the French really seem to embrace a balance in life. Not in the “kumbaya” way but in the “I’ll have some wine and cheese and then walk two miles home through the city ” way.

So here’s some French style eye candy- fashion and a few interiors too- that make me absolutely swoon. Simplicity, lots of black, a mix of new and old and a heap of coolness and relaxed enjoyment.  I want THIS to be my look in 2014.

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34 comments

  1. Standing slow clap for you, once again, Erin! You nailed it. I’m on a mission to make my skin the best ever this year, as well. Can’t wait to hear your recommendations.

  2. Ooh la la! Thanks for the inspiration, as always. But you did definitely say wine and cheese were included in the blend, right? ;-) Happy 2014!

  3. This is totally my style! I love the simplicity of it. Lately, I find myself buying things that aren’t really “me” because they look great on others. My goal for 2014 is to stay true to myself, style-wise.

    I can’t wait to hear your skin care recommendations!

  4. Oh my gosh I love this post! I am going to Paris in November for my honeymoon and I really want to nail the look. This post will be a great start!

  5. This is a delightful post! I agree that investing in the base and basics is the easiest way to ensure you’re always at your best. I am not afraid to admit I wear pieces that are several years old and it is always a little embarrassing to have to attribute them in my OOTD posts! But, from now on I think I’ll just say it is the French way! C’est la vie!

  6. So how badass are those fashion editors in the 2nd photo? I mean, they have to be fashion mag editors, right?! Because really, no one else can pull of that coolness (minus the cigarettes).

    Also, I love the idea of you pulling these images to be your inspiration for the upcoming season(s). I actually printed some of my favorite fall/winter looks and hung them in my closet so I have inspiration when getting dressed in the morning. My husband laughed abut hey, I can have that style, I just have to put the outfits together!

  7. Lovely photos! The “French” look is often my inspiration when I get dressed. I love the simplicity and ease of the look. I wonder if there are any countries that love American style the way that we love French style?

    ~Jean-Marie

  8. Tip; Midrise rockstar skinny jeans from old navy, fit just like those black jeans and they are only $30. Everyone wears them.

  9. Love this post! I’ve got the “messy hair and unpolished nails” style perfected! :D When my family and I were traveling in Italy this past summer, I was mistaken for being French on 3 separate occasions! I was so pleased! (Of course, as soon as I opened my mouth and they heard the Midwestern twang, they quickly realized their mistake.) Seriously, I think it was because most Americans dressed so…how to put it nicely…casually.

  10. I can easily manage the “disheveled” part … it’s the stylish bit that always trips me up. The attitude or that perfect detail against the mess … how to pull that off? Thanks for the post.

  11. Love this post! I am definitely guilty of reading more than one of those French style manuals. Investing more in skincare than makeup makes so much sense.

  12. I don’t know how they make it, but that’s so true. I lived in Paris for a while and can confirm! Parisian ladies are really effortlessly chic!

  13. A quote I love from the blog A Practical Wedding… “The French strive for équilibre. Equilibrium. The idea is that a life should be balanced, with not too much of any one thing. Work, sex, marriage, (parenthood), a social life, pleasure—all aspects of your life should be present, but no one thing should overwhelm the other. Instead of a mad dash to be it all and do it all, to work a sixty-hour week and be the perfect mother with the iconic marriage, the goal is a balance that results in pleasure. The goal, in essence, is less. (With wine.)”

  14. Erin,

    I would love to send over some anti-aging skincare that will deliver younger, more youthful looking skin so that you can wear less makeup. The only catch is that you mention it on your next beauty post, that’s only if you love it and use it.

    http://www.innarah.com

    my best,
    Anita

  15. Funny, I already think of you as having that seemingly effortless French style and composure. Whether you feel it all the time or not, you at least manage to exude the feeling through your honesty & presentation ;)
    xo A

  16. I always love your French style posts. That chic, simple, elegant-with-a-little-edge look is me in a nutshell, though I can tend to over-think it. Please do keep all-things-French posts coming – love the interiors, too! Hope you have a great weekend, Erin!

  17. loveee these looks and your tips. i wear a lot of black and navy and my mom always tells me that i need to wear brighter colors– but it looks like i am on the right parisian track! i want to try to keep it simple in 2014! xo

  18. I’m on a long-running search for the perfect leopard print scarf….but your link for #9 is not working!
    My tip for better skin: wash your face only once a day, before bed. A quick rinse is sufficient in the a.m.

  19. Cheers to effortless elegance, mysteriously achieved.
    Enjoyed this succinct post so, so much.
    xo

  20. I could not agree more with this post! My BF is always giving me such a hard time for my love of the French…I think the biggest difference is here its all about how successful you are in your career and how much money you make..their top priority is socializing and soaking up the great things of life…wine, bread…an entire month of vacation for the entire country!! I can totally hop on that bandwagon!

  21. Erin, you absolutely must look up the new book “Forever Chic” written by my girlfriend, Tish Jett. It’s all about the French way of doing everything. She’s an American, married to a French man and has lived outside Paris for years. She’s a professional writer with a wonderful turn-of-the-phrase way.
    Love this post, pretty much spot on. However, I absolutely hate disheveled, it’s my American way. xx’s

  22. Erin!! You are so right on!

    I’ve recently been pairing a lot of things back in my closet ( and telling my clients to do the same) – following a couple of rules.

    1. Does it make me feel fabulous?
    2. If I was at a store right now, would I buy it?

    I’ve also noticed that taking better care of my skin helps to create a healthier lifestyle and actually saves me a lot of time and money on make-up.

    :)
    Mary
    @ Something Nice

  23. Hi Erin, Beautiful idea………here’s to a less hurried, stressful new year! Seems like the key is simplicity and knowing what your priorities are, then forgetting everything else. There are only 24 hrs. in a day after all!
    Cheers,
    Holly

  24. bonjour! our family moved to paris a year and a half ago..you’re spot on. the leopard scarf is everywhere..and this winter’s trend? wool shorts with tights and biker boots. i’ve seen this look on girls in their 20’s to women in their 50’s! and french women do love their furs. bonne anne!!

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