Valentines Day this year took me the city of love and one of world’s four fashion capitals – Paris. It’s hard not to fall in love with a city as beautiful as this one – breathtaking architecture, history etched in every corner, signature French cafes and bistros, decadent macaroons, unbeatable retail therapy and most importantly, the unique fashion sense and camera-worth street style.
In fact, if you pay close attention, you will notice that the city follows a dress code. It’s what the rest of the world knows as Parisian Chic. I spent about 24 hours in the city, observed closely, and learnt five valuable fashion lessons to do chic as Parisians do:
BLACK IS THE NEW BLACK:
Orange, purple and blues may come and go, but black is here to stay. For a long, long time. Parisians prefer black over every other colour, and it is obvious across the streets of French capital.
Short hair is in vogue: Anything beyond shoulder length is a big no-no. Classic, asymmetrical, French bob, to page boy and eton cut, they wear it all with pizzazz. Just nothing long. It’s a hard limit they take very seriously.
Stilettos aren’t the only fashionable choice: I was surprised to find sensible options, like block heels, more common than stilettos. Parisians often opted for pointed-toe pumps in leather and suede. You just can’t go wrong with it.
Hats are a must: Hats and sun have nothing to do with each other. Parisians wear hats like they do shoes – Every Day. They are often used as an accessory to enhance a look and lend it a chic, lady-like mystery. Most popular choices – floppy brim fedora, boater hat, oversized straw hat and floppy wool hat.
Love a shift dress: Few clothing items are as flattering and forgiving as a shift dress. And the number ways you can style them is phenomenal. French prefer solid colours, though some do go on the dark side and wear prints (gasp!).
Bonus: Stick to your girls. Sex and The City might be all New York but one thing French appreciate equally well is (platonic) friendships. It was a delight to see girls sipping coffee (or cocktails) over endless giggles and gossip. Very French. And sexy.