Do you struggle trying to keep up with the latest fashion trends?
Does it seem that just as soon as you buy one great piece you’ve been admiring, the next latest and greatest style comes out?
No need to fret darlings!
I’ve been doing some research.
You’ve probably heard all about the French woman right?
How she buys classic timeless pieces that last for years and years, how she seldom washes her hair yet it looks perfectly tousled at all times and how her impeccably balanced diet keeps her looking svelte without ever stepping foot into a gym?!
Good news! There’s a lot of truth to these remarkable claims and with a little effort you too can lay claim to them.
What are her secrets?
The secret is in how she thinks.
She sees things differently.
She goes for quality over quantity.
No matter what…she has style and grace.
She exudes confidence!
You can adapt a mindset more like that of the French woman.
Today we’ll just focus mainly on fashion. We can talk hair and diet later!
How does she achieve that classic timeless look that fashion gurus all over the world try to imitate?
What is it that the French woman buys that is so different from what you or I might buy that makes her look so chic and fabulous?
Here is some tried and true advice that has been gleaned from French fashion and beauty icons over the years.
In 7 Style Mistakes French Women Never Make on Who What Wear I read these great tips:
- Never wear too high of heels. I love this one because not only are lower heeled shoes easier to walk in, they are better for your feet and back. Ask any podiatrist!
- Never over accessorize.
- Never try too hard.
- Never wear flashy logos.
Take for example the first tip ‘Never wear too high of heels.’
Although I love the idea of never wearing too high of heels for the sake of my feet, when I walk past a pair of killer stilettos I can’t pass them up for a pair of not-so-spectacular flats!
So if you’re anything like me, buying and wearing lower heeled and flat shoes sounds great, but in real life it may require quite a mindset shift to get used to actually doing it.
How do you make that kind of mindset shift?
#1 Know your own personal tastes and style preferences. Think about what you like about your current wardrobe and style and what you don’t like so much.
- How do they differ from the look you’re trying to achieve?
- What might you need to change?
- Do they need updated?
#2 Know why you want to change your current style. When you know why you want to change it’s easier to make a change. It also guides your focus in the right direction to help you make the perfect clothing and accessory purchases which is always a good thing!
Do you want to be:
- more professional
- laid back
- put together
- budget conscious?
#2 Educate yourself. Although classic timeless looks may look simple and like not much thought was put into them, don’t let them fool you!
People aren’t born style savvy, they learn it.
You need to:
- study classic trends (beauty icons, designers)
- observe what others around you are wearing
- see what works and what doesn’t
- copy what works (Instagram is PERFECT for this!)
You need to know:
- different styles
- materials etc.
Get familiar with what makes something good quality.
The more experience you have the easier it will be to spot just the right pieces to buy.
Not all sweaters are created equally!
#3 Dress for yourself. Some people take this to mean they can dress however they want to without putting any thought into it.
Yes, of course you can dress however you want to, but dressing for yourself is much more than that.
You want to dress in a way that helps you:
- look your best (figure flattering, tasteful, age appropriate)
- feel your best
- have confidence and grace
You may want to wear your grungy old comfy sweats to the grocery store but they won’t feel that good when you bump into your boss unexpectedly.
While it’s fun to show your personality through how you dress, that doesn’t mean you should necessarily wear Mickey Mouse socks to work with your suit.
You can dress for yourself yet still look pulled together most of the time.
Dressing for yourself is about finding the right classic style that fits your personality and lifestyle but still maintains that timeless look that’s universal; Not trying to impress others with how many popular logos you can have plastered all over you.
Dressing for yourself is easy but you do have to put some thought and effort into it.
#4 Be confident. Once you’ve analyzed your style and done your homework you will be more confident with the choices you make.
That confidence will shine through making you just as fabulous as a French woman no matter what you’re wearing!
Now that you’re in the right frame of mind, let’s talk shopping! Yay! The fun part.
Easy Do’s and Don’ts
Do shop with a vision.
A good way to create a vision of what style you’re drawn to is to keep a Pinterest board of the style you are trying to achieve.
This will help you become familiar with essential pieces and how to style them.
Don’t impulse buy.
- Think about each purchase as if buying it would take the last $20 you have to spend for an entire month. Would the sacrifice be worth it to you?
- Think about the purchase over a period of weeks, not just days.
- Scour the internet to compare to make sure it’s really what you want to buy.
Do think quality over quantity.
How long will a $20 pair of shoes last? Stay in style? I can guarantee you not as long as a well-made pair will.
- When you put careful thought into what you need and want, you will be much more selective with what you buy.
- Keep a running list of essential items you need to buy. This will help you stay away from impulse shopping and keep you more focused on looking for that exact item you need. Less distractions.
- Be very specific with what you put on your essentials list. If you want a leather purse, write leather. If you want a shrunken denim jacket, write shrunken. The more specific you can be the easier it will be to use your list as a shopping guide.
Do only buy things you ABSOLUTELY love!
Don’t settle for good enough.
If you wanted a brown coat, don’t settle for black.
Stick to your list!
Chic Yet Affordable
I do believe in quality over quantity, but I don’t believe that you have to pay an arm and a leg for everything you buy.
I am a serious bargain shopper. I can’t pay full retail price it would kill me! I must have a bargain.
You can buy good quality on a budget.
I am an Ann Taylor junkie.
Even on vacation I scope out the nearest AT and drop in. Doing this I’ve scored some amazing deals!
I found the leopard print patent leather shoes above this way; originally priced at $138.00 and I got them for just $34.99! (as you can see I like my heels!)
The more often you frequent your favorite stores, the higher your chances of catching the best sales will be.
And the more you practice honing the skill of finding the better quality pieces, the better you’ll get at knowing prices and how to get the best value for your dollar.
These heels are definitely a classic style that I will keep for many years. Just maybe I won’t wear them as often as I had planned to, gotta think like the French woman!
To keep fashion affordable you can do things like:
- buy off season
- buy at outlets (but knowing good quality is a must for this one, sometimes outlet items can be imperfect or sub-quality)
- watch for sales
- use your essentials list to keep yourself from making unnecessary purchases (see tips above)
As you begin refining your wardrobe, you’ll find that you need less pieces of clothing and that your budget goes further.
If you only have $100 to spend, that’s OK, just buy one quality piece instead of five cheaper items.
I only get paid once a month so with each paycheck I try to buy one nice piece (something from my list of essentials) to add to my wardrobe.
This month however, it was a couple of new spring blouses.
Adding in new pieces keeps me trendy while still using last year’s staples without too much of an investment.
Another great place for tips is on Stylecaster.com where Leah Bourne shares the following (and a whole lot more):
- Buy a wear-with-anything trench coat. French style icon Brigitte Bardot was rarely photographed without one. (I’ve added this to my essentials list!)
- Fit. Wear flattering clothes that fit your body. Get a tailor.
- You can’t go wrong with a neutral palette.
- Invest in a signature pair of shoes. You don’t need a thousand pairs to look good.(I’m still working on this concept myself.)
After thinking about these tips from Leah, I purchased a nice pair of high quality Coach black driving shoes (in pic below) and I wear them almost daily now.
I’ve found they go with practically everything and are super comfortable!
They are helping me break the daily high heel habit. Not an easy thing to do, lol!
Elevate Your Style Factor
I hope this post gets your fashion senses going and inspires you to keep working to elevate your look to that timeless classic style you dream of.
I know you can do it!
If you do nothing else, keep a running list of essential items that you need to buy.
Doing just this one thing will make a dramatic difference in your shopping habits.
You will be much less likely to impulse buy and that’s half the battle!
And last but certainly not least, remember to smile…
We all know that Happy is Pretty!!!
Happy Monday! I hope you all have a great week.
If you have any style tips I’d love to hear them. Leave a comment!
Stay happy friends,