Not all French people are thin and chic, but they certainly have a “look” that will make a sneaker-wearing American stick out like a sore thumb. Maybe you’re planning a trip to Paris or you just want to look more European. Whatever the reason, if you’re curious about French style, read on for how to look French… The French have this casual elegance about them. From head to toe, they look put together even when they’re just getting some bread from the bakery. Many women envy the French, and while I can’t put my finger on it, I can tell you how to switch up your style to look decidedly French. Please note that this post is written as entertainment and is based on my own observations. I don’t care if I stand out or look French. But if you want to blend in, read on. (Yes, I realize there are sweeping generalizations, but I must say, they’re, uh, kinda true… Also, none of these tips alone will make you look French, but when combined, you’ll fit right in.)
How to look French
- Don’t be overly smiley. If you want to know how to look French, do NOT smile. French women aren’t known for being outwardly friendly looking, so don’t walk down the street with a big dopey smile on your face. Being overly friendly seems like more of an American thing and if you walk into a shop with a plastered on smile, people may think you’re nuts or trying to compensate for something. Walk with confidence and a neutral expression.
- Put a cigarette in your hand. No, you don’t have to light it. Actually, please don’t! It seems like almost everyone smokes here and lighting up every five seconds is the norm — especially for young people. ;-( People, listen up. You do not look cool with a cigarette. There’s nothing cool about premature aging or skin cancer. But one thing is for sure. Having a cigarette does make you look French!
- Wear a scarf around your neck. No, I don’t mean a big wool scarf for the winter. I’m talking about an accessory scarf that just pulls your outfit together. Silk, linen, whatever. Just grab one, preferably in a muted color, and make it look cool around your neck. This goes for both men and women.
- Easy on the heavy foundation. Sure, French women wear makeup, but the focus is more on the eyes or lips. Most French women don’t look like they have a mask of foundation on. Less is more here. If you can get away with a sheer tinted moisturized or powder, do it.
- Look nicely coiffed but a slight bit messy. This does NOT mean walk out of the house with a frizzy mess on your head. French women’s hair is never frizzy or plopped on top of the head in a messy bun (like my hair always is when I walk Dagny), but it is styled with a slight bedhead look. So use your straightener or curling iron or spray in some Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray, then don’t wash your hair for a few days and voila. Your look has been French-ic-ized.
- Wear clothes that work for you and be confident in them. French women look like they don’t give a sh*t when they walk down the street. Their outfits just work. Have that confident attitude and you’re halfway there. Also, ditch the North Face fleece and bright sneakers (my dog walking clothes don’t cut it) for a fitted jacket and less conspicuous street shoes. When choosing outfits, color is NOT better. Stay away from looking like a walking rainbow. French women wear shades of black, gray, beige and other neutrals with some color thrown in here and there. Whatever you do, don’t look sloppy. Make sure your clothes fit and aren’t baggy in all the wrong places. Fit is key.
Now that you know how to look French, you need to learn how to talk. This is a hilarious tutorial on all you need to know about French conversations. Enjoy!