The French woman is something special. Generalization or not, most of us have a notion of la femme française as effortlessly chic, yet her wardrobe is minimal.
Whether a strict adherence to quality over quantity or the fact that most French homes don’t have closets, the French woman can do with eight or 10 key pieces what most of us fail to accomplish with a closet bursting at the seams.
While there are a lot of ideas about mastering the art of French dressing, it boils down to owning classic, quality basics and adding a few new items each season to keep current.
Adopting this concept in your own closet might take a shift in attitude. Instead of judging style by how often you “repeat” an outfit or the volume of clothing you own, you’ll come to see that it’s much more chic to have less but look better. Your wardrobe might be minimal, but every item in it makes you feel like a million bucks.
6 Wardrobe Rules to Dress By
If you’re game for approaching your style as the French woman does, here are six basic rules on the art of a chic wardrobe:
If you have a lot of clothes but “nothing to wear,” start by mercilessly editing your wardrobe. The rule: If you haven’t worn it in one year or if it doesn’t fit and flatter, out it goes!
Choose one or two neutral colors that work well together, and buy most of your basics in these two hues. For example, if you’re partial to black, you might also add some camel or gray.
If you don’t like even a single thing about a garment (and if it’s not something a good tailor can fix), leave it at the store. Don’t even think of purchasing it. “Just okay” or “sort of liking” something doesn’t cut it.
Repeat this mantra: Fit and fabric. A pair of pants should fit well and go with most of the tops in your closet. They also should be made of a quality fabric that will last.
Simple clothing calls for eye-catching accessories. Jewelry, scarves, belts and other accessories are good ways to keep your style current and often cost less than adding clothing items to your closet.
Most of the “mystery” lies in the French woman’s attitude. So stand tall, pull your shoulders back, and exude confidence!
The bonus benefits?
Owning a French wardrobe is a time saver because everything in your closet makes you look and feel fabulous. It’s also great for your savings account, since you’ll become more discerning about what you buy (and the pieces last longer because they are quality items).
Once your closet is streamlined and you’re ready to take on the day with confidence, just add a smokey eye (in lieu of an unhealthy cigarette) and you’ll have achieved that je ne sais quoi for yourself!