Who has time to waste trying to figure out what to wear?
As it turns out, a lot of us. A poll conducted in Britain revealed that both men and women spend up to 6 months of their working lives deciding what to wear every day. And that at least 1 in 4 women have admitted to having an all out wardrobe tantrum as a result of not knowing what to wear.
What if there was a way to reclaim that time and banish the stress of getting dressed by adopting the time tested concepts of the French?
At the end of this month I’m leading a style workshop called How To Dress Like A French Girl where I’ll be teaching women how to simplify life by learning to create a chic uniform and capsule wardrobe.
To celebrate I’m sharing 7 ways you can simplify your life by dressing like a French Girl.
The French, women in particular, spend very little time by contrast, deciding what to wear. Yet somehow, they are still able look unique, put together, and ready for whatever the day brings. This is because they have curated closets and follow unspoken rules that lead to greater peace and ease
If you struggle to dress your body in a way that makes you feel confident and empowered and are tired of hating how you look, then adopting the philosophy of French women will radically change the way you feel about yourself and the way you approach dressing yourself.
You have a lot on your plate (work, kids, doggies, your passions, taking over the world, etc..) and worrying about what to wear is robbing you of time, energy, and joy which you could be devoting to your priorities.
Why French women? What’s so special about them?
Don’t get me wrong, I love American style. We’ve utterly nailed the denim everyday look and the cool surfer girl charm.
However, you have to admit there’s something about that French girl style that’s both alluring and amiable. Maybe it’s the effortless way they style their hair, the self-assured way in which they use very little make-up, or the uncomplicated and easy going ability to mix high and low fashion.
Even French women comment on their own unique approach to style.
It’s easy, unapologetic, and chic…I just think that French style is a certain idea of confidence. It’s knowing that you don’t need to be over-the-top to seduce. We don’t feel like we have to push so much to be flawless. We don’t mind flaws too much.
– Garence Dore
I love this: we don’t mind flaws too much. Seriously! Sign me up, because in the U.S. it seems that current beauty and fashion trends are focused on how we can hide all of our flaws.
Whatever it is about them that we can’t quite put our finger on, that “je ne sais quoi” quality, we love them for it. Mediocre artists copy, great artist steal. So let’s steal their unspoken rules about style and fashion.
French Fashion Rules
1. Less is more
This one’s easy. Less perfume, less make-up, less jewelry. Just less. The point is to look great without a lot of effort. French women don’t rely on dozens of options, accessories and cosmetics. They really focus on what makes them joyful and stick to these things 80% of time.
2. Fun over fuss
French women like to have fun. They’re more prone to take long strolls, go to parties, dinners out, see a movie, hang in the park, or spend hours gabbing with friends. As a result their wardrobe reflects a natural need to go from day to night, from work to home or out to dinner.
3. Quality over quantity
French women favor high quality classic designs over quickly fading trends. This means they’re willing to invest more into a few high dollar, well made items and skip the nickel and dime fast fashion.
Because it’s an investment, clothing is more cared for and more carefully chosen. So that these items will last 5, 10, or even 15 years each piece needs to be neutral, and easily transition from season to season.
4. Have a signature.
When you think of French style two things undoubtedly come to mind: red lipstick, and striped shirts. Why? Because in France women aren’t afraid to embrace a signature look. They go for it! They own it and that brings out confidence.
5. Shower less, clean more.
I consider make-up and hygiene a part of getting ready or dressed. So it’s important to compare how we in America approach hygiene with the ways of the French.
Generally speaking, in Europe people tend to be more “natural” when it comes to health and personal care. The French simplify routines and life by taking bird baths, using dry shampoo, or by wiping the body down with a hot towel. Baths and showers are routine but not taken everyday. This saves time and money.
I personally do this and notice that my hair and skin are healthier.
6. It’s OK to do it everyday
It’s perfectly acceptable to wear almost the same thing everyday. You may end up wearing the same jeans two or three times in a week. The same skirt with a different blouse. Or you might wear the same shoes a few times with a different dress. It’s fine to have articles of clothing that become synonymous with you.
7. It’s all about the shoes and accessories
Since their color palette tends to be more neutral and cohesive, French women are masters at accessorizing. You could almost wear the same black shirt and jeans everyday with new shoes and jewelry and no one would be the wiser.
Focus on one piece of statement jewelry, a bold scarf or jacket, glamorous shoes, or intense eye make-up. When all else fails…red lips.
8. Leave something to the imagination
French women are sexy. Whether tall, short, thin, plump, young or old all French women exude a lovely sexiness. That’s their thing, right?
I believe this is because they know exactly how much to show and how much to tell. French women spend more on lingerie than any other group of women in Europe according to The Economist. So when you see a French girl in jeans, boots, and a t-shirt chances are she’s got amazingly sexy underwear on to make her feel like the confident and beautiful woman she is.
All this being said, rules are made to be broken from time to time. You can’t exactly boil this down to a formula, but you can observe what French women do and try to organically adopt some of these rules for yourself. Simplifying life is supposed to be fun and easy. Give one or all of these ideas a try and let me know how it works out for you.
Also, if you live in the Knoxville area I’m leading a workshop at the end of this month all about simplifying your life by learning to dress like a French girl. In this class you’ll be sipping wine while I break down these rules for you.
I’ll be walking each student through the process of creating their own chic uniform and helping them curate a thoughtful capsule wardrobe to last a life time. The class will be held at The Hive on Saturday, May 27th from 12:30 – 2:30pm. The workshop is $75 dollars but to make things extra sweet for you, I’ll also be giving away a free copy of my ebook Simple Is The Cure ($29.00) to each student.