15 New Ways to Nail French Girl Style
Everyone can agree that French-girl style is straight-up swoon-worthy, but the aesthetic is so much more than closet basics, Brigitte Bardot and French-girl stripes. The proof cropped up in the streets and on the catwalks during the Paris Fashion Week Autumn-Winter ’16 season. The 21st-century French girl is edgier, but maintains her effortless sexiness. The je-ne-sais-quoi that you can’t get enough of isn’t going anywhere (*cue sighs of relief*). That said, if you want to infuse your style with a bit of the Parisian vibe, expanding your horizons is essential. So, where to start? We’ve pulled together some of the hottest runway and street-style looks from La Ville Lumière so you can channel your inner Francophile the 2016 way. From silk scarves to double denim and socks with sandals, scroll on for 15 impeccable looks to rock now.
1. Think’70s chic. From Jeanne Damas to Camille Charriere, the fashionable French set is diggin’ those groovy ’70s vibes. Flares, boxy coats, round sunnies and suede galore — it’s all fair game. This is good news for you, since one of these trendy pieces has most likely found its way into your closet by now. For an #OOTD with undeniable oh-la-la factor, go all out with cropped flares, glove shoes and an oversized coat in a shade of mid-century orange. (Photo via @camillecharriere)
2. Peek-a-boo shoulders are in. While other countries are redefining the white button-down shirt, the French are busy flipping the script on cool-weather sex appeal (would you expect anything else?). Draping your jacket nonchalantly over your shoulders may have been the height of effortless chic, but now it’s all about letting it slide. OFF/White declared off-the-shoulder outerwear the ultimate way to layer, playfully exposing one-shoulder with a bit of purposeful draping. Consider this the sartorial equivalent of the infamous French bedhead. (Photo via François Durand/Getty)
3. Think outside the Breton stripe box. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a French girl that lives solely in Breton stripes, so why limit yourself to linear prints? Branch out with classic argyle, feminine florals, pop art patterns and geometric designs to give your collection of forever basics a punch of personality. When in doubt, just ask WWJDD (What would Jeanne Damas Do?). (Photo via @jeannedamas)
4. Silk scarves are essential. The power of a silk scarf cannot be denied, and French It-girls get that. Whether you tie it elegantly around the neck or rock it around your wrist, a colorful foulard adds polish to even the simplest #OOTD in seconds. (Photo via Pascal Le Segretain/Getty)
5. It’s all about balance. The key to nailing Parisian panache? Striking the right balance of luxe and laid-back. A faux fur coat paired with an understated t-shirt and jeans combo reads street style-worthy every time. For an after-hours alternative, team an elegant LBD or flowy maxi with shimmery jewelry and just-kickin’-it sneakers. (Photo via @stelouchebabouche)
6. Socks and sandals just work. A French girl’s shoe collection is not built on ankle boots and Stan Smiths alone. France experiences cold weather too, so creative layering comes into play on the daily. Socks are essentially a savior, stepping in to keep sandals, strappy pumps and slip-ons in play all year long. Bonus points for funky patterns, eye-catching color and flecks of glitter. (Photo via François Durand/Getty)
7. A statement sweater is always a good idea. Whoever said fussy was the shortcut to fabulous (probably the same person that coined the phrase “No pain, no gain.”) obviously never owned a sweater this stylish. Whether you’re cracking down at the office or out running errands, a statement sweater that’s as stylish as it is cozy will always do you right. Pair it with mom jeans and patent pointed-toe boots for an ah-mazing off-duty ensemble. Toss it over a pleated midi and metallic flatform loafers for endless #girlboss vibes. (Photo via @adenorah)
8. Double up on denim. Forget whatever you’ve heard about denim being a faux pas among Parisians — it couldn’t be further from the truth. Case in point: the Stella McCartney runway (and for extra street cred: Caroline de Maigret IRL) where double denim reigned supreme. For a bit of that classic French girl appeal, stick with black skinny jeans on the bottom paired with buckled black ankle boots. Come-hither eyeliner is non-negotiable. (Photo via Pascal Le Segretain/Getty)
9. Embrace le smoking 2.0. Just like every girl needs an LBD, no closet is complete without that suit. Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking didn’t catch on for nothing, you know. The femme fatale edge and streamlined silhouette were the ultimate recipe for style success. Classic black will never steer you wrong, but it’s difficult to deny the allure of this shimmery silvery number. Soften the sharp tailored look with a skinny scarf and loose, romantic waves. (Photo via @sorayabakhtiar)
10. Say sayonara to red lips. Iconic though they might be, red lips are about to take a backseat to ultra moody shades of plum and brown, according to French fashion house Louis Vuitton. Blame it on the wave of ’90s fever running through fashion at the moment, but French-girl goth is totally a thing. We have to admit, we kind of like it. (Photo via Pascal Le Segretain/Getty)
11. Look beyond the biker jacket. Striped shirt, leather jacket, silk scarf and skinny jeans — the iconic “French girl” getup, right? Wrong. We’ve already debunked the Breton stripe myth, and now it’s time to take a closer look at another style essential — the leather jacket. Moto silhouettes are likely your go-to choice. They’re classic, and the cut is timeless. For a while now, a revolution has been brewing in Parisian streets with new styles like bombers, trenches, car coats and blazers usurping power. We say “Vive la révolution!” The result is stunning, and doesn’t compromise on that enviable rocker chic element. (Photo via @collagevintage)
12. No closet is complete without a little velvet. French style in 2016 is anything but drama-free, but trust us: You’ll love every minute of it. Exhibit A: super soft velvet. The luxe fabric swings both ways, toeing the line between romantic and sports chic. Fluid dresses with baroque flair as seen at Nina Ricci evoke classic romance while the larger-than-life puffer coats at Stella McCartney and sleek leggings at Balmain remind us of Sporty Spice. The lesson to take away? Add it to your athleisure lineup stat. (Photo via Pascal Le Segretain/Getty)
13. Fuse counterculture and athletic aesthetics. Introducing: the new pared-down Parisian. A little bit goth and a whole lot of athleisure, this look is like nothing you’ve seen before (as far as French-girl style is concerned). Layering takes on an all-or-nothing attitude, with texture and a spectrum of deep hues driving the unexpected ensemble home. To amplify the effect, ditch don’t-care hair for boxer braids and go au naturale in the beauty department. Warning: not for the faint-hearted. (Photo via @annecatherinefrey)
14. Tap into your masculine side. Borrowed-from-the-boys fashion for the French-girl means oversized styles and elongated silhouettes. Basically, this look is a lazy girl’s dream. To highlight the over-the-top proportions, layer on sleek separates, like leather pants and a turtleneck top, or go there with wide-leg trousers and billowy blouses. (Photo via François Durand/Getty)
15. When in doubt, braid it up. Work those bedhead locks to your advantage and weave hair into a mermaid-like fishtail braid on day three (or four). Add a spritz of dry shampoo and you’re golden. Pair this look with a robe coat and midi dress for anytime-appropriate perfection. (Photo via @kenzasmg)
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It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
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Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.