I often get questions about French women's style or about Parisian style. There seems to be something about it that is chic and appealing, which I only really realized once I started to travel around and live outside of France.
I asked some well-dressed French friends about their do's and dont's when putting their outfits together: they agreed on so many points!
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In Bulgaria (Eastern Europe) the clothing style pretty much follows H&M collections. Though there is a difference between generations. Younger girls basically follow instgram hipster trends. Those, who are 25+ stick to 3 main things:
1. Skinny jeans could go with every occasion (party, teatre, work, school, date, at home, hiking etc.) And I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE! We haven't really adapted the hight waist and crop tops as in the UK, but just wear normal lenght on both.
2. Mascara and fon du teint are a must for 99% of women, but if you're one of the cool girls, then professional heavy makeup is perfectly fine even for highschool and a walk in the park.
3. We have all and every type of color and pattern in stores, but it's not because we like to mix and match that much. Everybody just dresses in their favorite color :D It doesn't matter what color suits your body and skin, but what is the color that you like most.
I am Chinese, and I am into East Asian Fashions (China, Japan and Korea). Thos fashion style is more soft, such as material, colour, shape etc. We care more about the quality of the clothing to skins and how the style and colour shade will compromise the body and skin shade. Softness and elegance is what we value.
I'm Indian.. Do i need to say more. Typically speaking India equivalents to loud, may be a little less on facial makup. But for everything else, more jewellery more colors etc.
I am trying to become a minimalist , and i guess it's hardest to be one in India. Haha.
As the economy has changed in the US, nicer shops are selling cheap/garbage clothes a lot. Hideously loud colors and patterns are everywhere. Finding a nice white shirt with enough thread in the weave to be appropriate is hard - if you find one, buy all of the ones they have. When I was a girl, my mom meticulously sewed a lot of my clothes...in non-couture stores, that sort of quality went out with the serger and the obesity epidemic.
I'm Dutch. These rules definitely don't apply to Dutch women. What does?
I think Dutch women could learn a lot from French women in this respect. The 'effortless beauty look' would be great for us, because the problem is: here it's a little frowned upon to be seen to care a lot about ones appearance. You should be seen to make SOME effort as a basic courtesy to the people around you, but no more than that. So as it happens there are basically two types of Dutch women: the ones that don't care about social conventions and cheerfully put a lot of obvious effort into their looks, and the ones that do care about it and do some half-baked strokes with a mascara brush (eye shadow if they're feeling fancy) every morning to satisfy the world around them that they have in fact looked into a bathroom mirror before coming to work (I swear I'm not making this up. I've seen women in their forties on the train in the morning quickly bang on some mascara as if they don't know their eye lashes have roots and no-one ever actually showed them how to do it). The funny thing is: neither of these two types look good in the end, which is a shame, because Dutch women are actually quite pretty, if I may say so myself.
So main difference: French women do their best to look like they don't make much of an effort, and Dutch women only know how to do that by actually not making an effort.
Oh yes, there's a third type: she has been wearing leggings, a baggy shirt or sweater, flat sandals or sneakers, her hair in a high bun and random make-up since 2006 and thinks she looks amazing. Don't worry, she's only found in Amsterdam.
Hi Justine, I love your vids 👋💕
I would like to ask for another topic, maybe, like what clothes fitting or not fitting to different age categories.
I was thinking of that as I turned 30 now, some days ago, and I'm not sure I should were some things like before... I mean I'm happy and okay with my age, and I think all age can be beautifully dressed, but.... So I am curious about your opinion!
I strongly tend toward Classics and dressed that way in the office when I worked. All my clothes were Vogue flat patterns that I made, for which I took instruction 3 times a week and 1/2 day on Saturdays. I am retired now and wear jeans and tops to attend my groups at the senior center. I am sewing again buying classic patterns on the retro auction sites. Classic once, Classic Always, (easily adjustable hemlines and jacket lengths to be in harmony with Change.) Love your videos, just found them. Thank you! But as an American Older Woman now, I enjoy the freedom to dress any way I wish. Yaay!
I like your channel Justine, it’s true fashion dictates where you live but then again we are all watching this channel to get a tip on how to dress nicely and elegantly, meaning, if we are in Paris for instance, we dress like a local and blend with the crowd . I like to dress simply but elegantly, that said, thanks for the tips Justine.
Here in the Philippines, we are very much influenced by trends, especially the young people. We only have two seasons dry and wet. And it can get very hot & humid or hot & wet. I guess its our way to break the monotony and not get bored. Most places like offices, malls, restaurants have their air conditioning in full blast which tend to be very cold. So most Filipinos carry/wear blazers, jackets and cardigans. Most women have a pashmina in their bags to keep warm. At the same time they also have a fan. Most love to match their whole outfit, same color from head to toe, including bag and shoes. We love loud colors. Lately, the sneaker trend has been worn and accepted even in offices. Mainly because of the bad road and public transport, most wear them for style and comfort.
In America, it is better to wear neutral colors on your nails, not red. Red is too much. I am talking about light pink, light beige or off white. Maybe it is just in New England, but I think not. My husband loves red nails, I do not.
Here in central america, things are way different! Loud colors, lots of bright pinks, blue, yellow! Floral prints, long nails with bright colors and designs in them.. almost always open toes shoes (its really hot all year round)
In Chicago you see a mix: there are a lot of working professionals in my neighborhood and downtown who are very chic and put together, but when people aren’t going to work, the “athleisure” look is very popular. Personally I don’t mind the athleisure since it is comfortable, but jeans with a black turtleneck and ankle boots or flats is my go-to for a casual look that is still chic.
Hmm, how to generalize how Americans dress. Colorful I'd say. That's nicer than saying "anything goes" which also seems to be true. I love the look of mixed patterns though not a master at it myself. Sorry Justine. :-(
I lives in South Africa and my safety and security prescribe the way I dress. Yes, where ever I go I take in account practicality to be able to run, clutch my belonging like mad, and pockets deep enough to put everything personal zipped up. I don't wear expensive juwelry or anything that can single me out as soft target.
im usually very minimalistic in my clothes apearance, but the idea that everybody must be very shic i would just wear every piece different colour and be as unmatching as possible, just to rebel against the must:D
I enjoy your videos. I'm not French, but what you were talking about is what my mother "taught" me while growing up. (a long time ago) I didn't know it was French chic, I was told it is was good taste :)
Hi I am as English as it gets, so i clicked to see what You elegant French Ladies wear,Only to find that You Exactly described My wardrobe. But whereas obviously commonplace in France,I am regarded as unusually well dressed for England. best wishes Jahmahrah D'Safilli xx
In Argentina we wear very natural hair and almost no make-up, but we put lots of bright colors in clothes and shoes. We like to mix textures too and do contrast. But in my opinion the most important item for an Argentinean girl is a white and perfect big smile in the face and well manners/modals with other people.
That´s missing in France....
Beautiful tips... Thank you Justine... For me French women, classic and timeless are Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Adjani ... Are they fashion icons in your country? Btw... I’m from Kerala, India 🇮🇳 Dint know much about ur fashion culture except the word Sophisticated attached to it but always loved ur desserts and boulangerie
I am from Russia. We have 2 parts: Moscow and another Russia. So culture, fashion and way of thinking differes very much (in general, not a rule. I am from region too, so didn't mention to offend anyone)) So women used to be dressed up even when were going to drop the trash. And it's still true for regions. But in Moscow and other big cities women started to follow European fashion and style. 5 years ago you could see a lot of women wearing high heels every day no matter where they are and what they are doing. But now they started to wear comfy clothes and shoes. High heels just for events. But in small towns and regions girls can still be overdressed. And that is not because they like it, but because russian women were taught that they can be successful only if they get married, and after that they should take care of their husbands like mommies. But now it's not like that, so that's why, I think, fashion is changing now
My favourite perfume is Champs Elysée, adorable (to me lol) I really don't like Chanel No 5 one bit. I do like Chanel Gabrielle though.Chanel No 5 always makes me think of old ladies.Loved the vid as usual, Ty!Oh! could I just ask, when you were mentioning the cheek kiss as a welcome or hi etc,Is there a rule to how many each person/cheek,does the gent go first,is there ever a time to shake hands n no Mwah Mwah?xXx Dii xx
I am Italian (I live in Rome) and I think the French and Italian styles are very similar, especially when you look at northern Italy, especially Milan because the Milanese have the chic and elegance that foreigners identify with Italian style. From Rome on down it changes a lot because in southern Italy there is much more attention to accentuate the sexy side (with deep necklines for example), colorful and often excessive clothing. Here there is a strong tendency to youth and to appear at all costs: in fact, for some years now we have more and more women turning to cosmetic surgery to inflate their lips, breasts and inject filler and collagen. In general, we have had the last twenty years that led to a deterioration and a coarsening of style and class.
Hey Justine! I'm from Brazil and this is the place of prints. Colorful, mixed, great prints, usually with flowers, birds, butterflies and animal prints. When I was younger I would go for those prints but I getting smarter on my wardrobe in terms of longevity and savings so I'm reaching for plain colors now ;)
I live in the US and I like: clogs, bootcut, low rise jeans, wool pea coats, t shirts (cute ones and not rude), running shoes, hoodies, sweaters, cardigans, the colors red, eggplant, navy, charcoal gray, black, fuschia, & magenta. I don't like big, flouncy blouses, super long cardigans, skinny jeans (I actually hate skinny jeans), and anything monogrammed. Oh, and for makeup I like to keep it natural looking (peaches and browns) and I LOVE dark purple nail polish.
I think the rules are the same in France and in Belgium. I just think the rule about nailpolish and lipstick is not just red, but neutral or classical colours.
In my own nailpolish collection (I have about 20 different colours), I have 6 different reds, 3 dark colours, around 5 neutral colours, I think I have 2 crazy colours (a hot pink and mint) one silver, two golds and the rest are the base and top coat and glitter polishes (2 silvers, 1 purple, 1 holographic pink, and one blue and green glitter). As you can see, quite classical, haha.
As for lipstick, I think most women wear reds, or their lips but better colours, or even sometimes a slight pinkish colour, but I have never seen crazy or loud (not red) lipsticks, except for conventions.
Even the make-up in general is not really loud, it's just enhancing the natural beauty and features you like, but we never do the Instagram or Youtube doll-like make-up. Just a bit of concealer/foundation, a neutral eyeshadow (2 or 3 colours are the most) if you want to, a little blush if you feel like it, mascara, lipstick and that's it.
I’m Portuguese and in Lisbon people are looking at a classical, casual business atire. Very similar to French in certain aspects. But since LISBON is sunny all over the year, we also tend to be more colour full. We don’t always wear make up, but if we do, we are not so struck in terms of colour. Sometimes we are “more is more and less is a bore”, but generally speaking quite harmonious. We have taste for quality for both fabrics and tailoring and we like to add something trendy to our wardrobe every season, either shoes, coats, jeans or even bags.
Someone probably mentioned this cultural fashion oddity already, but .....In America there is the ‘rule’ of not wearing white after Labor Day. Presumably because it gets cooler in many parts, and summery fashion looks out of place. It’s very common, but maybe it is adhered to less and less. Personally, I think if the weather allows it, as in South Florida when it is more tropical, white is for wearing year round! Even in colder climates, I think ‘winter white wool’ is very attractive.
Love your video tips, presence and expression Justine! Always look forward to a new one from you. Thank You!
The one rule I can say 100% Americans love to break is the colorful lipstick and nail polish - especially nail polish! Lots of women get their nails done to show personality, sport a trendy color or print, etc. Lipstick isn’t as common but it’s not uncommon to see someone with super bright, well done eye makeup and matching lipstick.
İ would like to add that, even though you might not be able to afford high quality clothes, you can still dress nice. Many girls in Turkey are very fashion-savy and they dress very european, and clothes in this town are about as low quality as you can get, but they still dress very nice (using basic colors with form-fitting items). İ was very impressed with their style here. İ'm from America and couldn't style a pair of jeans. lol
Well, all this is very interesting. When I was a child in the early 1960's my family lived in Paris. It wasn't until I started watching your videos that I realized how much my personal style was impacted by those years. I live in the United States where there is no style, except perhaps in urban areas. Yet I have always enjoyed quality, I love to dress and live well. Amen
I came of age in the 60s (before hippy style), and I can tell you that every one of these points was emphasized in general fashion knowledge, gained from older women and good fashion magazines. I would say that what you are calling "French" can more properly be applied to "traditional" fashion rules. I still follow them, for the most part. I particularly detest those who mix brown and black, or, worse yet, beige and gray.
In rural Nova Scotia it's almost impossible to tell straight middle aged women from lesbians. We all wear the same hair cut ala Edith Bunker, practical hard wearing clothes which we wear until they disintegrate, jeans(usually from Costco) , hiking boots ( summer and winter) and a purse that costs the same price as we normally have in the purse. This leads to a lot of women having $35 dollar purses from Walmart. Our taxes are so high that our clothing budget is very low. Clothes are meant to be practical, long lasting, comfortable and sensible. Rural and fashion don't play well together.
I really enjoy your presentations. Succinct, practical, with personal charm. You asked for style in different countries. I can't speak for my entire country which is very large - but I spent almost 40 years working in New York City, in midtown and living in the West 60's near Lincoln Center. The major factor in NY style for women is keeping in shape, that is, slim shape! That sets off all clothes well. Otherwise, NY women love black. Head to toe black! It's always sophisticated, and can be enlivened with jewelry (in limited amounts) or a scarf. I've moved south in the past few years and I see that women here do not watch their weight, they are much heavier than I was used to in NYC, and as a result, nothing they could buy would flatter them. It's a shame, as obesity leads to genuine health problems like diabetes, and inability to move around. But that's another comment! I keep going back to NY to refresh my eye as to style. It's always slim and black! And we never wear red nail polish. It's pale pink for anyone over 40, maybe weird colors for the young only.
Interesting. My mother is German and taught me how to dress elegantly and with taste, but according to this vid, I find I've been dressing French (and Italian) style all my life without knowing it. With just a few exceptions. I'm a windsurfer, so in summer, when my hair is bleached an even lighter shade of blonde than usual, I sometimes like to play with very light, almost white shades of lipstick to achieve a "frosty Scandinavian" look. Or, when my skin is very tanned, I find that a touch of orange in my otherwise red--based lipsticks also works well. I also like experimenting with white, opaque and blue nail polishes - sometimes adding a touch of silver or gold glitter to them for evening occasions. And on those days when I engage in sports, I like wearing socks that match with the rest of my outfit - just as long as they don't clash with my trainers. I also agree with what one Japanese commenter said about always wearing tops with leggings that cover the hips and another person said regarding Italian style. It too seems very similar to the French and to mine.
I am from india. So In my country there 60% people who still wear the traditional outfits like salwar kameez and scarf. But as things modernised it vry impt for the dress to be a good fitting dress, scraf is an option but accessories and make up is always a must.
Accessories it's mostly an elegant necklace and rings and good earrings we dont really care for face shape. Make up indian ladies go heavy with eye makeup which kajal. Lipstick mostly an office going lady would prefer pink and maroon unlike french who lovea to wear red lipsticks.
In India is mostly fusion dressing hence wear kurtas over Jeans as well and mostly would see females using totes bags and funky chappals not shoes.
These used to be the rules followed in the United States from the 1940s through the early 60s. Once the Beatles hit the scene, simple elegance went out the window and so did these rules. It was our loss.
Something really discusting in the us..... People wear pajama pants all over the place!!!!!! And guys wear pants, mostly jeans falling under their ass. It looks SOOOOOO discusting!!!!! I don't know how they stay up. One guy ahead of me stepping up to get on a bus was wearing his pants like this and I wanted to just pull them the rest of the way down in front of Everybody. Truth is, nobody likes seeing anybody's ass hanging out on the street. Definitely someone without class. So sad.
I grew up in Czechoslovakia and there was this saying :“ Green and blue, good for fools”. So we didn’t match these two colors in an outfit.Exception would be blue jeans and green parka jacket. But now I don’t care what people say as long as I like the outfit and as long as the colors look good on me.Even that green isn’t my color, if I find a nice shade that suits me a would wear it with blue jeans.
Justine, can you please provide a link to the video about timeless fashion pieces? I would like to watch it, but I don't know what it might be named.
America has different fashion "rules" everywhere you go. In Oregon, there are a lot of boots, skinny jeans, plaid flannel shirts, graphic tees, and hoodie sweatshirts. Overall it's very, very casual and they stay far away from big name designers because they pride themselves on being "above" mainstream fashion.
In India, professionally we wear Smart Business suits all neutral colors with one accent color. All offices have strict grooming and dress code. But for weddings, family functions we all wear colorful silks drapes called Saree, with real gold, diamond jewellery. We invest lot of money on expensive diamond and Gold necklaces, Bangles etc, apart from buying properties. During these festivals and weddings we are suppose to wear and flaunt our wealth and riches. India's culture is quite influenced by British culture, because they had ruled this country for years. Most Indians dress modestly, NO cleavage and leg showing.
In Mexico there are many styles and depends on how much money, lifestyle, region etc but what I notice the most when I'm in a supermarket or public transport is everyone is wearing jeans and mostly levis.
In Finland nobody wears heels because it's dangerous with the ice in winter. Here a womans best feature is if she's hard working and strong and that explains why we are wearing always trousers and other practical items. In party we can wear lipstick, a short dress OR earrings, but two (or three) of these together is just way too much 😅
I love France! Finally after 8 years with a boyfriend he came to France and Italy...He LOVED it! I just had to say...I'm half french...my mother Girault from Bretagne...Here in Colorado we wear jeans alot.I wear jeans with a simple cut leather jacket, solid colored shirt, print scarf. Our difference here is the boots. In winter any boots are worn. I love jackets and have several in different colors...one favorite is a burgundy corduroy with pewter colored snaps...and not like a jean jacket cut, a bit different. We do wear alot of leggings if not jeans which I believe is a no no in France, but here people dress more for comfort and warmth, less style. Big scarves are worn also....seeing more scarves than ever on men also. We in Colorado are becoming more cosmopolitan....more worldly....I love that. In summer, women wear sporty clothing, also little sundresses, strappy flat sandals for most part..simple little tees, solid or print...jeans, capris I myself love little shrugs...little short button up sweaters for the coolness in the temperature at night. The makeup many times is perfect, like a porecelain painted doll. The hair is not as perfect as it used to be, which looks more effortless and casual....
Yep, some of these rules are starting to be broken in France, like matching your shoes and your purse in a casual outfit. It's only acceptable to do that if you are 70+. They can both be neutral colours, as long as they are not both accent colours.
Definitely no brown with black in an outfit though, ever.
Here in Brazil, if you're wearing an all-black outfit, people will think you're going to a funeral. Most of Brazilians prefer bright colors and prints, instead of gray, black or navy, which makes me look like I came from another country... Or century...
I'm Romanian and I don't know about the general fashion rules of my people, but these are some things my mother taught me:
- DO match shoes with purse
- NEVER mix black and brown (white is a non-colour and goes with anything, black does NOT - black "is a colour", and doesn't go with brown, EVER)
- DO NOT mix prints: if your shirt has a print, your bottom should be solid colour and vice versa
- DO NOT mix silver and gold
And now I wonder if this has anything at all to do with the fact that my mom is a French teacher. :D
Another thing my mom is adamant about: keeping outfits season / weather appropriate: no boots or wool hats in summer. There was a trend a few years back, where cotton crochet "summer boots" were all the rage. She absolutely hated that. Oh and wedge platform tennis shoes were once a thing too. None of that crazy novelty hybrid stuff.
I love my mom. :)
I am French and American and I know all those French style tips especially matching the purse with shoes but Americans don't understand that fashion style.They think its too much. Some popular colors that I wore in France,(Nantes) to be precise, as a child were Burgundy,grey,light blue and my favorite navy blue.
Black and beige or brown is a sophisticated color scheme. Like any color combination, it can be ruined if one doesn't have a discerning eye or impeccable taste. I have seen luxurious fabrics in black and brown, especially in five-star hotels and high-end design. Yes, it must be used wisely.
What was #3? I couldn't understand you, even after several replays.
Perhaps what you meant is -- French women only use natural shades. I have seen plenty of French photos with hot pink lipstick, flesh tones, etc. I agree - never yellow, blue, green, etc. Only classic flesh tones, which include a wide range of pinks, salmons, and reds, which harmonize with the skin tone.
I am Scottish, and before I saw your channel I wore leggings, band t-shirts, ill-fitting bras, and trainers. But I always wore a chunky scarf. At one point I had 5 pairs of leggings that I wore in rotation. I had one pair of jeans that were too tight. Nowadays I use a capsule wardrobe inspired by 'Parisian chic'. I have 2 blazers, 5 skirts, 5 plain tops. 5 thin sweaters, one pair of plain blue jeans, one pair of boots, two pairs of ballerina pumps, 5 scarves, one pair of heels, matching underwear haha and of course some accessories. I've never felt so good. Thank you, Justine! x
We could seriously take some tips from the French for dressing smartly. Far too many of us in the UK dress for comfort until it comes to a night out. We dress to the nines, feel uncomfortable because we haven't practised wearing smart clothes daily and moan about getting a tiny stain on a blouse. If we practice wearing smart clothes all the time, we'd know the pitfalls.
There is a rule in Romania that is the same in France - you either go for bold lips, or bold eyes. Similarly, you may either show some cleavage or your legs - showing both areas is considered way too sexy.
Hi Justine! I pretty much agree with every tip but one: the one about matching shoes and purse in the everyday look, wich I think it's a bit outdated. With the abundance of designs, colors and pattern of shoes and purses that are around nowadays you can pull off a very sophisticated look even with a partial match or even a missmatch, even without being very fashion savvy. Or, at least, this is my opinion. Excuse me if my english is bad.
I loved this, Justine. A question for you: do French women ever match their shoes with their scarves? For example, if I have a beautiful pair of cornflower blue shoes, and a beautiful scarf whose predominant color is also cornflower scarf, would those be worn together? In which case, what do you do about your handbag? I can’t picture yet another cornflower blue item in this ensemble. Thanks for any scarf-shoe-handbag insight!
Rules in the US (there are lots of people who dont' follow them, but in general) : 1) You must wear proper undergarments. It is not acceptable for breasts to sag or nipples to show through a garment. 2) Men's shorts must reach at least to the top of their knees and not below the bottom of their knees. 3) You cannot wear socks with sandals. 4) You must bathe daily or at least smell like you do. Because we are so used to this our noses are very sensitive. 5) Over-dressing may get you stared at...maybe even glared at. It depends on the situation, but if you go to an occasion like a party or meeting and you are dressed significantly more formally than other people you may be perceived negatively.
In Honduras: 1) You must keep your shoes impeccably clean, no matter how far you walked and how muddy the roads were. 2) It is better for clothing to be too tight than too loose. 3) It is completely acceptable to mix several bright colors. Most women will not dress entirely in neutrals unless it is a striking combination of black and white. 4) Men should not wear sandals, at least not to formal occasions. 5) If you have an entire matched set of jewelry, it should be worn together. Having earrings, a necklace, a bracelet, and maybe even ring that match means they should be worn together.
The Definitive, One-Size-Fits- All, Accept-No Substitutes, Massively Comprehensive Guide to the Life and Times of KISS.
I love writing about Kiss. I love it too much, probably. I’ve written about this band semiconstantly for the past 20 years, sometimes for reasons that weren’t justified and sporadically with motives that weren’t justified and intermittently with logic that wasn’t justified. But Kiss go into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tomorrow, so today I’m Timothy Olyphant.
The Demon: Gene Simmons The Starchild: Paul Stanley The Spaceman: Ace Frehley The Catman: Peter Criss The Fox: Eric Carr The Ankh Warrior: Vinnie Vincent
Mark St. John Bruce Kulick The Catman: Eric Singer The Spaceman: Tommy Thayer.
The New York rock-and-roll group Kiss was formed in 1972, when two workaholic Jews (guitarist Stanley Eisen and bassist Chaim Witz) aligned forces with two boozehound Christians (drummer Peter George John Criscuola 1 and guitarist Paul Frehley). Their adopted stage names are household, unless you are very young, crazy old, or not interested in loud music: Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley (the last adopting “Ace” because the band didn’t need another Paul). The group was spawned upon the dissolution of Simmons and Stanley’s previous band, Wicked Lester, a folk-rock five-piece Simmons likes to compare to the United Nations (due to their mixture of ethnicities and nonuniform physical appearance). Wicked Lester scored a record deal with Epic, but most of the music was never officially released.