1) Never look rich. Bling, glitter and logos are absolute no-no's when it comes to the Parisian woman. She is uninterested in sporting labels just for the sake of it. Her definition of luxury? "A brand that guarantees good taste, rather than an all-too-obvious price tag.
2) Like the Parisian, be a fashion icon in your own right, worship no idols. "The secret of good style is to feel good in what you wear."
3) NO Fishnet T-shirts, flip-flops, running shoes and Hello Kitty nightgowns.
4) And don't you ever wear bras with a transparent bra straps or you will make a Parisian woman's toes curl with disgust. A stylish, visible bra is far sexier...also...no matter how big or small your bust, not wearing a bra is always a mistake.
5) Forget Botox and don't dress like a teenager - trying to look young is the quickest way to look old!
6) The Little Black Dress: "The little black dress is not simply an item of clothing, it's a concept. It's abstract, it's universal — which means there's one that's perfect for everyone ... Today the Parisian has several little black dresses, just as she has several pairs of jeans: each is a variation on a theme."
7) Here are Inez's 7 key pieces for a magnificent wardrobe (print and paste to your closet door like I did)
a. Men's Blazer (fitted, fitted, fittted)
b. Trench Coat
c.Navy V-neck sweater (pref. cashmere)
d. Tank Top
e. Little Black Dress
f. Jeans (straight-leg are the safest)
Ines de le Fressange
Here are my impressions of the Parisienne:
She is not good-looking in the way we have come to define good-looking - symmetrical features, big eyes, full lips, defined nose, high cheekbones and perfect teeth. But when you see her you just know this is a woman who is confident in the way she looks and doesn't need to resort to trends to be considered attractive. She possesses a certain something - call it an innate style if you will - that always sets her apart from everyone else.
In my observations I found the Parisienne to be conservative by nature. No ultra mini skirts or low necklines for her and the make-up is very subtle too. She is not fond of artificial talons, infact, gel nails which are so popular here are considered vulgar in Paris. She wears her nails short and usually varnished in a pale pink colour. Natural is in and perhaps that is why you don't find Parisians rushing off to get lasered and botoxed. Infact, in the time that I was there I didn't come across a single clinic for cosmetic surgery, I'm not saying they don't exist, just saying they aren't that popular or lucrative perhaps.
The women (and men) do like to be slim though...if I were to wager a guess I'd say the average dress size would between a 4 or a 6. Apparently they don't like to work out (they call it an 'American pastime', but they love to walk and cycle. They are also very heavy smokers and appear to start young.
Oh and how they love their scarves!!! There were three items of clothing I saw almost every Parisian don - a scarf, a blazer and a pair of ballerines. They seem to favour vintage scarves and each woman has her own favourite way of tying it. Olivier Magny who wrote "Stuff Parisians Like" said this about Parisians and their scarves,
" The choice of scarf is a determining social qualifyer of both style and 'class sociale'. So is the way someone chooses to tie his scarf. Parisians know their scarf will characterize them, identify them, position them, rank them, classify them, distinguish them. There can therefore be no messing around when it comes to choosing a scarf" pg 217.