If you love the Parisian style and you’ve always wanted to know how to look more like a Parisian, this article is for you! Parisian style is not a difficult style to pull off. Indeed, it’s something effortless, classic, nonchalant, cool but not arrogant. The aim is to find the right balance between looking dressed up and laid-back. It’s not being obsessed about wearing bold shades and extravagant items and bright colors, and/or expensive pieces. Instead, if you want to dress like a Parisian, here are my 10 Parisian style rules below.
10 Style Rules On How To Dress Like A Parisian
1. Wear The Basics
First, make sure you have in your wardrobe the quality basics across all categories of clothing. Indeed, Parisian style is stylish, simple and chic, and it’s all about the basics. French wardrobe essentials should be made of high-quality materials, that will last for a very long time. In addition, those timeless pieces usually all work together, are comfortable to wear every day and offer versatile use. If you don’t have them in your closet yet, see my article on the French wardrobe essentials and basics that are found in every French girl’s closet.
2. Quality Over Quantity
In order to curate a Parisian capsule wardrobe, it’s very important to emphasize quality over quantity. Prefer high-quality fabric that will last for a very long time. Invest in pieces that you can re-wear and re-style often, and don’t follow too much all the new trends. Instead, prefer timeless pieces that all work together, and which are comfortable to wear every day. In order to do so, I’ll recommend to ask yourself the questions below each time you’re buying a new item:
- Does this item fit with my wardrobe?
- Does this item is comfortable to wear?
- Can I wear it every day?
- What material is it made from?
- Will I wear it that for the next years or is it something that will go out of fashion?
- If I do not buy this piece now, will I still want it in 1 week?
3. Minimalist Fashion
Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance. – Coco Chanel
Simplicity is key to the Parisian style. If you want to dress like a true Parisian, remember to always keep your overall look simple and clean. Parisians are never overdone; no logos, no over-the-top coats, or glasses, or designer bags. Instead, Parisian style is all about effortless basic clothes with one statement piece like a scarf, a hat or a great pair of shoes. Accessorization of outfits is kept to a minimum; jewelry is simple, and usually, Parisians do not wear more than three delicate pieces.
4. Neutral Color Palette
If you want to dress like a Parisian, you’ll need to stick with neutral tones such as khaki, beige, white, oak, camel, navy blue or grey. One benefit of neutral colors is that you can easily mix and match them with other pieces of clothing. However, remember that Parisian outfits do not exceed three colors in total. For example, you can wear a white shirt with a light blue pair of jeans and a grey blazer. If you need to be chic and stylish to go to dinner, for example, I’ll recommend wearing only one or two (maximum) colors. When in doubt, wear a black total look. Finally, always keep your makeup and hair minimal.
5. No Logo
Parisian style is all about discretion. Especially when it comes to expensive items! For the French wearing clothes with the brand name shown too distinctly is not tasteful and can be quite vulgar. Parisians do not want to look rich, but instead, they want to look chic. For example, you will never see a Parisian woman wearing a pair of Gucci shoes with a huge logo or a Chanel pin on a coat. For the Parisians, logos need to be subtle, tiny and discreet.
6. Comfortable And Practical Style
One of the stereotypes about Parisians is that Parisian women always wear high heels. Well, they don’t! 🙂 If you ever went to Paris once, you would be able to understand how impossible it is for Parisians to wear high heels. Instead, Parisians prefer flat shoes like sneakers, ankle boots, or ballet shoes. Parisian style is above all a practical and comfortable style to wear every day.
7. Dress Up
Dress like you are going to meet your worst enemy today. – Coco Chanel
Even if the Parisian style is practical and comfortable, this doesn’t mean Parisians are wearing yoga pants or oversized hoodies to go to the grocery store. Parisians always dress up, even if they’re just going out to buy the newspaper on Sunday. I think it’s because the French take pride in how they look and how they dress. On the other hand, dressing up doesn’t mean Parisians are wearing evening dress to go to the café. Instead, it’s more about finding the right balance between looking dressed up and laid-back.
The most important rule, if you want to dress like a Parisian, is to make sure that your clothes fit perfectly. Indeed, Parisians always wear clothes that flatter their bodies. If clothes do not fit properly, Parisians usually get them tailored. Tailors are very common boutiques in the streets of Paris. Pants shouldn’t be too tight or too big, too short or too long. Shirts can be oversized only if it has been designed for this purpose. Dresses shouldn’t be too-tight, too-revealing, too-short. Finally, always make sure to dress for your body type, and thus regardless of the fashion trends.
9. Do Not Follow Fashion Fads
If you want to dress like a Parisian, you do not have to follow all the new fast fashion trends. Indeed, the French are more into classic and timeless pieces. The Parisian style is all about finding the right style for you and clothes that flatter your body type. Once you know which style is best for you, you can still review the trends and select one or two to update your overall look. Finally, always make sure to wear clothes that fit well and that are tailored for you.
10. Fashion Faux Pas To Avoid
- Flip-flop, UGG boots, or platform high heels
- Flashy colors together
- Red beret + striped top aka mariniere
- Tourists T-shirts were written “I love Paris“
- All type of legging pants
- Socks with sandals
- Dirty clothes or fabric with holes
- Low rise pants with underwear showing
- Too much animal prints
- Visible bra straps
- Sheer tights
- Too much makeup: contouring, smokey eyes and lipstick
- Too-tight, too-revealing, too-short dresses
More On How To Look Like A Parisian
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Hi, I'm Mathilde! I started my beauty blog in 2018 to share some of my favorites French skincare products, top makeup tips, and Parisian style inspiration. Leonce Chenal is a glimpse into my Parisian wardrobe, beauty shelf, and all things French of course! I'm originally from the French Alps, but I have lived in Prague and London for several years, now I'm based in Paris. - Enjoy!