Tan France Is Inspired By Hailey Bieber’s Style, Just Like The Rest Of Us
We’re (finally) in the middle of travel season and Tan France is ready to share all of his top fashion tips and tricks. It’s an arguably brutally hot day in Los Angeles when I sit down with theQueer Eye star for a chat on his new partnership with Trainline (thankfully, in comfortable chairs with the AC blasting) — and the brand's first-ever style guide! France’s surrogate just had his new baby boy seven weeks ago, so he wouldn’t describe himself as having a “glam summer,” but he is certainly always in work and “parent mode.”
“A lot of the reason why I wanted to do this was [that] I often will only take carry-on luggage,” France says of the partnership. As fashion has become more about an expression of yourself while traveling (and Insta-worthy pics), France opts for “one pair of jeans that [are] nondescript” and neutrals that can be upgraded with accessories, such as belts, necklaces, rings, or a hat. Simple but chic is the key.
The now dad of two and United Kingdom native recommends that travelers add the Lake District in the UK to their bucket list, in which he describes the scene as “imaginative” and “gorgeous.” “I love mainland Europe, but actually that's what people are sleeping on: England.” Planning my next trip as I type this article.
While the new Say Yes to the Dress host talked about fashion tips, he’s wearing a pair of Prada’s white strappy platforms (which he says he posted about and “got so much sh*t for”) paired with white ruffled ankle socks, pleated gray shorts and a floral print long sleeve collared shirt. Tan France is always suave and put together — just like he is on screen.
He chalks this consistency up to the best piece of advice he’s received while working in the fashion industry. Advice he received from none other than his Next in Fashion co-host, Gigi Hadid.
“She said something that really stuck with me, and it wasn't profound. I just thought it's an interesting thing to just say to me,” France says matter-of-factly. “She was like, ‘Who cares if no one likes what you're wearing, but wear what feels right. And even if they say sh*t about it, they're talking about it. You've made them think. If you were just wearing something so blah that no one cares, isn't that worse than somebody not liking it?’”
Besides the fact that that’s totally true, I actually enjoyed his apparently controversial platform sandals.
When asked who his style is influenced by, he has one straightforward answer: “Hailey f**king Bieber” (big shoutout to her stylist, Karla Welch).
“I don’t care that she's not my gender. I think her style's wicked,” France says of the model. “Sometimes she goes full on balls-to-the-walls street style, but I think she's chic. Really, really chic. And a lot of the stuff is more classic.” I’m totally here for the clean girl aesthetic woven with New York street style—plus, who doesn’t love a good slicked back bun?!
France also acknowledges his role in the art of the French tuck (aka I told him he taught me how to incorporate the concept into my style in Queer Eye, and I’ve never looked back since). “I love the French tuck," he says. “Roll up your little pant, tuck in fully. Tuck into a French tuck where it's buttoned up all the way.”
As we get closer to fall and winter, what are the three clothing items that the television personality can’t live without? A leather moto, white button up shirt, and a “perfect” pleated pair of pants. Nothing says cool like a classic moto jacket—and the French tuck, of course. As our conversation fell deeper into the fashion world, France offered some brutal yet helpful advice for hopeful fashion enthusiasts.
“Stop expecting that you're going to get paid a million dollars,” he says sternly. “And by that I mean like $50,000 on your first job.” France claimed that anyone who has “made it” actually completed a lot of relatively free work when first getting started. AKA, your Sex in the City moment likely won’t come to you right off the bat. “You've got to earn your stripes first. And so that typically comes with not much pay because you've got to learn,” France adds.
The fashion mogul recommends that future stylists should “be willing to do some free work or relatively low paid work, even if it's just for two weeks.” Then you’re able to prove who you assisted or worked with, and “understand at least somewhat how to be a stylist.”
Like the lovely Olivia Rodrigo once said, “It’s brutal out here,” and as a person in the freelance workforce, I couldn't agree more. And don’t think for one second that France didn’t take his own advice. “I did it for two and a half years,” he says. “I worked as a secretary, a receptionist. But then in the evening, I would do styling work for free.”
With his several television series and notable fashion sense, I think it’s safe to say that you can learn a thing or two from Tan France. Oh, and Hailey f**king Bieber.
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