French women get it right

If I could only wear one thing for Spring, I think it would have to be  a bandeau stripes. I am pretty obsessed with the Parisienne way of dressing, with their chic everyday style and the je ne sais quoi way about them. Now, not every French woman is the epitome of chic, but many are and they all seem to share the same formula for everyday dressing. The formula is casual and very modern, but not so trendy. While New York women dress with a simillar flair, there are some subtle, refined differences that have me rethinking what’s in my closet and how I want to put myself together everyday. An easy classic way of transitioning into summer, black, white, and stripy things have always been timeless staples in my wardrobe. With the right pop of color, neutrals like black and white stand out with just a hint of “look at me”. I have kind of overdosed on stripes in this post just to make a point, but somehow, it works. I am sitting impatiently at a French café waiting for my friend to arrive and join me for a cafe au lait. I could easily have been at the Louvre Terrace at Cafe´Marly, mais non c’est NYC. But its so much more fun to pretend its Paris.

Black usually predominates the French woman’s wardrobe and it is usually paired with navy, red, or army green. Throw on a scarf, sunglasses on your head, and a small purse, or a minaudière of sorts and voila– you too can be a la mode.  Here is a sample of a well-stacked closet.

And a cool simple, yet oh so chic new line from Cardigan.

Instead of heels, this look could have also featured stylish kicks like the Supergas  I just bought. French women of all ages can rock cool hip sneakers like the Isabel Marant dudes or Converse with skinny jeans just like their younger counterparts.  There are no pastels on Parisian bodies,  just on their colorful macarons. In the beauty department, I do wear grown-up makeup, just not a lot of it. I wear a SPF light foundation, a little bronzer, a kohl-rimmed eyeliner, bare lips, and mascara. A pretty simple and very french regimen. Its ageless. Like me getting silly in front of the Fire Station. (Must be all of those men in uniforms)

So what’s the take-a-way here? Ultimately, life is about having fun, enjoying the ride, and on those days, we all have them, being silly and youthful. It’s spring, the sun is out.  Go dance. Just don’t ever wear leggings and gym clothes around town. I beg you. Ever. You can never go wrong with a little Rag and Bone, a touch of leather, a few white tees, Isabel Marant, classic stripes, and a pile of accessories. Never. Its ageless. Its timeless. Bye for now!

Fashion credits: Rag and Bone Hart biker jacket, MIH top, French Connection track pants, Castoner heels, Marni clutch. All photos: Michael Crook