How to Achieve the Effortless Elegance of a Parisian
Paris is the city of love, light, fashion, food and art. Its inhabitants exude elegance, culture and confidence to near goddess status. They eat carbs, take lovers and embrace their imperfections. What sets French women apart is that they are unapologetically confident. They never leave the house without looking elegant, they roll their eyes at mediocrity, and they believe in living a quality life.
To live like a Parisian you must ooze chic, look perfectly imperfect, take pleasure in everything you do, kiss your mate in public and slow down and enjoy yourself. Want to capture all that effortless glamour? Here’s how:
The best way to capture and bring home the Parisian aesthetic and way-of-life is to experience it yourself — like a local. So hop on a plane to Paris, and choose a luxury home rental over a hotel. Specifically, when in Paris choose to stay in a house in the city. We found the super-charming Pecquay Townhouse (Paris’ 4th oldest townhouse) through a vacation rental company called Luxury Travel Book. Staying in a real Parisian home is the best way to really live (and learn about) the Parisian lifestyle.
Here are a few of the tips I’ve picked up during my visits to Paris:
Effortless elegance, tomboyish charm, crisp minimalism and sophisticated tailoring — these are the attributes of Parisian style in a nutshell. French women are deliberately simple, versatile and practical. To dress like a woman of Paris, spend your money on a few quality staples to mix and match. Wear neutral tones that include darks like navy, black and grey. Avoid cheery shades and patterns. Flats are a popular shoe choice, probably due to the uneven cobblestone streets of Paris. But it goes along with the less is more philosophy. Elegantly flattering sunglasses, a silk scarf and understated earrings are all essential Parisian accessories.
Parisians find beauty in their imperfections. A gap in her teeth is a sign of character and would never be closed with braces. The idea of the Parisian beauty routine is to have the “I woke up like this look,” meaning natural makeup and tousled hair. Makeup should look natural, except for the lips. French women generally steer clear of eyeliner, but the lips are usually a shade of red. Contouring is a no-no because it changes the shape of their face, instead, they catch light by using a highlighter on their cheeks, brow bones and Cupid’s bow of the lips.
Dine Like a Parisian
It’s all about moderation when it comes to dining. Parisians eat proper lunches and buy groceries necessary for that particular day. They love farm-to-table eating and spending time in cafes sipping dark espressos. The key to dining Parisian style is drinking water. If you do this, you can drink all the wine and eat all the vegan chocolate, baguettes, croissants and cheese you desire. Avoid processed foods and opt for raw veggies, fruit, nuts and olives.
The Parisian Attitude
Speak loud, speak proud. Speak your mind … if you feel like it. You might call a Parisian arrogant, but it’s only because they have the “Je ne sais quoi” attitude that charms and delights those she encounters. Sulking is only appealing if you do it the French way.
Home Décor, Paris-Style
Naturally, the sophisticated French style extends to interiors. The rules include:
- Don’t over style. It’s undone but done. In other words, it shouldn’t look like you bought everything in one store.
- Incorporate touches of lavishness like silk drapes, complex wallpaper and an oversized mirror.
- Add sparkle with a vintage French chandelier.
- Integrate aromatic and aesthetically pleasing elements like fresh cut flowers and a wooden essential oil diffuser.
CoCo Chanel redefined what it meant to be a modern woman. Catherine Deneuve’s natural allure made her a style icon. To truly live a Parisian lifestyle, you have to adopt the attitude of minimalist hedonism.