I refuse to call this “How To Dress Like A French Girl” or any of that nonsense. I can’t be the only one sick of seeing articles like “10 things Every French Girl Has In Her Closet” or “The Top Shoes Every Parisian Has”, eye rolling forever. It takes me only a few minutes within stepping out of my building to spot tourists. As the title tells you, it’s not because of the language they’re speaking. Parisians have a rather specific way of dressing that makes outsiders stick out like a sore thumb. You might be thinking “how does this affect me?”, if you plan on visiting Paris ever, this will 100% affect you. It should come as no surprise that many people think Paris is rude to tourists, I never found this to be true for myself, but you might have different experiences. Being treated well in Paris sometimes feels like a game, and you gotta play it. We as human beings, sadly judge people when we see them and french people are no different. If you are wearing colorful clothing, a floppy hat, tons of makeup, 99.99% of Parisians will assume you are a tourist. “But hey, being a tourist isn’t a bad thing!” And of course it’s not, but it can negatively affect you in a few different ways.
Dressing like a tourist attracts more attention to yourself. You will stand out, and not in a good way. Pickpockets, robbers, and scammers search for people who look like tourists to rob from. You’re essentially adding a target on your back.
If you’re in a touristy area and look like a tourist, many people will assume you are, and maybe will only speak to you in English(can be a positive or negative depending on how you view it, I see that as a negative). They also might not speak to you in French(huge negative if you’re really wanting to speak French).
By dressing not similarly to Parisians, some people might assume you’re a tourist and they could be more rude to you just because you look like a tourist. They might think that you’re just going to leave anyways or that it’s expected for the locals to be rude.
“Ok, but I can’t buy an entire new wardrobe so that I don’t get robbed!”
You don’t have to buy an entire new wardrobe, just carefully select key pieces on what to wear. The first time I came to Paris, I just slightly tweaked my normal NYC wardrobe to a bit more neutral. I tried very hard to look as French as possible, I didn’t want anyone to assume I was a tourist. It worked! Nobody looked at me and spoke English immediately, some people even asked me for directions thinking I was a local. I even went as far to ask a bartender I had been chatting with if he thought I was a tourist, he said “I thought you were french until you spoke” because at the time, I could barely speak French. I don’t know what everyone’s closet looks like, so I’ll give you outfit tips & examples, makeup tips, and hair advice.
No. 1 |Find a French Style Icon
Find someone whose style you want to emulate. For myself, I like to find everyday people on Instagram, I find their style to be more authentic and more down to earth than Instagram celebrities. One of my favorite people for outfits inspiration is @lapetitevannetaise. Also, expert tip, if you find someone who you love, look at the accounts that they follow to find more diversity in style.
No. 2 |Wear Neutral Colors
My French boyfriend, Edgar, always jokes that Paris is very monotone because most people dress in a very neutral palate. Sticking to white, black, grey, camel, navy blue, beige is a great start. The brighter the colors you wear, the more you will standout. Minimalist pieces are perfect, crisp pair of black pants, black jeans, a pair of your favorite jeans, black trench coat, white tees, dark sunnies, cashmere or wool sweater, etc. High quality staples that fit you well are really important, they really should be in everyone’s closet!
No. 3 | Wear A Scarf
If it is winter or fall in Paris, you will see big, oversized scarves everywhere. It’s also pretty windy and cold here, it’s both for fashion and necessity. Remember: the bigger the better.
No. 4 | Wear White Tennis Shoes
Phoebe Philo, the former creative director for minimal chic brand Céline, brought back Stan Smiths in 2015. Since then, they’re a staple in Paris. They’re the perfect addition for a minimal chic look. Seriously, buy a pair. Also huge plus… they’re super comfy and you can walk all around Paris while looking very Parisian and being comfortable.
No. 5| Minimal Makeup
In Paris, women don’t wear tons of makeup. Of course there are some ladies who wear a lot, but for the most part people keep it au naturel. I’ve never worn tons of makeup, but I’ve definitely dialed it back quite a bit here. Keeping most of your face bare with a colored lip or eyeliner is very chic. For very typical french looking makeup and hair I love @jeannedamas
No. 6 | Minimal Hair
In Paris, I see a lot more natural hair styles and textures. People really do have that “I just rolled out of bed, perfect hair” look. It’s very rare that I see overly styled hair, think Kardashian’s circa 2010. Whether you have straight hair, wavy hair, curly or high textured, rocking your natural texture or messy bed head look is great here. Looking the most natural is the most important. I have barely wavy hair, so I prefer to rock the messy beach look.
What I Would Pack For 7 Days
1 medium to heavy wool sweater
1 fine wool sweater
1 pair of black fitted pants
1 pair of black skinny jeans
1 pair of favorite blue jeans
3 t-shirts in neutral colors (black, grey, white, etc)
1 oversized scarf
heavy wool coat
little black dress(preferably long sleeved for winter)
long sleeve button down shirt
black chelsea boots
black sheer tights
A Line mini skirt
other necessary items(underwear, bras, socks, gloves, pajamas,etc)
small cross body bag
By packing smarter and picking more neutral clothing colors, you can combine so many of the above items with each other to create tons of different outfits.
outfit 1: black skinny jeans + big sweater + white tennies
outfit 2: Black pants + t-shirt + white tennies
outfit 3: A line skirt + fine wool sweater + tights + chelsea boots
outfit 4: black dress + tights + chelsea boots
outfit 5: button down shirt + jeans + white tennies
outfit 6: jeans + big sweater + white tennies
outfit 7: A line skirt + big sweater + tights + chelsea boots
outfit 8: black skinny jeans + t-shirt + white tennies
outfit 9: jeans + t-shirt + white tennies
I hope this helped you get a better idea of the fashion and style here in Paris. If you guys want me to write more posts on the fashion here in Paris, please let me know in the comment section below! What’s been your favorite outfits you’ve spotted in Paris, or what do you plan on wearing when you come here? Let me know in the comments below!