French fashion, along with the messieurs and mesdames who so gracefully sport them, is about as iconic and well-known as the Eiffel Tower itself. The scarves, those ballet flats, and that air of "je ne sais quoi" that surrounds each French-native are at the core of why the rest of the world looks to France to set the trends.
While in Paris last week for five lovely days, I was determined to study what styles are currently dominating the boulevards in hopes of revamping my own closet, as well as to share my knowledge with my fellow French Fashion Obsessed.
What I observed was a twist on the classic style : a mixing and matching of unquestionably masculine pieces with dainty feminine additions such as, ultra-preppy chic worn with ankle military booties. My biggest observation was how easy the trends are to not only recreate, but actually wear. Instead of overly complicated or obnoxiously designer pieces, each look can be definitely be copied anywhere else in the world without damaging the piggy bank.
Trend #1: Jean or formal shorts worn over black tights. If there is one way to feign Parisian citizenship right now, it's by wearing this combination. It's everywhere, regardless of weather or occasion.
Trend #2: Ankle booties. I suffered from serious shoe-envy all of last week while lusting after all the ankle booties walking around. I cannot stress how often I saw a women wearing some type of ankle booties. Heeled, flat, military, cloth...they all stomped their way down the Champs Élysées. Worn with either skinny jeans, leggings, or tights,
my favorite look was when the flaps around the ankle were bent down, giving it a winged look.
Trend #3: Colored jeans. This one isn't so foreign since it's also quite popular in the States right now. This is really where prep meets masculine as I often saw red jeans (complete with a polo or some type of crisp blouse) worn with heavy-duty ankle booties. Different hues of red were definitely the most popular but blue seemed to be gaining popularity, as well. Yellow and green were quite rare, but the color most notably absent? Mint. It seems mint is having more of a moment Stateside than Seine-side. My favorite colored jean was definitely the maroon though, especially paired with a black top of some kind, gold accessories, and of course some booties. It should be noted that these jeans are not just reserved for women; plenty of men also wore them, with red being their color of choice.
Trend #4: Oversized ponchos. And no, I don't mean those oversized parkas you wear to watch football games in the rain (though I wish I did since ten of them currently live in the back of my closet). This kind of parka is more structured and normally in military colors like hunter green or beige. These staple jackets are not new to French style; this past fall, it was impossible to walk down a rue without seeing at least five women adorned. The important thing to remember whilst wearing said poncho is that it cannot fit you. Its oversized fit is part of its charm. Most women wear one that looks at least two sizes too large so as to achieve that coveted slouchy look, but thanks to the elastic band around the waist, it's never sloppy.
The staple piece that's here to stay? A scarf. No matter how hard I try, there is something about the French and their scarves that I find impossible to imitate. While it could be just me, something tells me it's not. It's a certain attitude they have, this air of confidence that surrounds them that somehow translates into a perfectly tied scarf...even when it isn't perfectly tied.
Technique aside, Paris has yet again confirmed that an outfit is not really an outfit until adorned with a scarf.
I did the best I could imitating their art to incorporate into my life, but I'm not too confident that I've pulled it off. However, hopefully after reading my observations (or better yet, going to Paris yourself!), you have better success than I.