Pardon My French

According to Goop, French women typically invest in fewer but better clothing pieces. What you’ll find in their wonderfully wearable wardrobes — an impeccably tailored blazer (or two), well-cut denim, simple but sophisticated shirting, footwear that is both classic and cool, and minimal accessories.

It may seem simplistic, safe or even boring, but the best French look is all about basics. These ladies mean business and that means emphasizing quality over quantity. Think timeless pieces that work well however you put them together. Yes, you can throw in some select fast fashion or vintage pieces, but don’t overdo trendiness. The most successful looks combine both casual and dressed-up pieces. And French women are not afraid to “borrow” from the boys, because the real “je ne sais quoi” of French style lies in the mix.

So what’s in the mix here? First, this chalk stripe blazer is literally borrowed from my boys. Bought for my oldest son while his boarding school still had a traditional dress code, it was definitely a splurge — 16 years ago! After being handed down to his brothers, it’s now hanging in Mom’s closet. Talk about timeless.

While I could have gone with a solid button-up shirt, in the end I opted for a more colorful option but in a classic patchwork madras plaid. Madras clothing first emerged stateside in the 1930s, so even in 2022 this “old” pattern is new again. To note: even when I opted for color, I kept to the same palette.

Per Vogue, whatever of-the-moment denim trend is happening, a pair of straight leg jeans will always remain relevant. An easy, simple fit makes them versatile and flattering for a full range of body types.

When it came to accessories, I definitely mixed the timeless (aviator sunnies, plus diamond stud earrings and a Rolex watch — both given to me by my husband over 30 years ago) with the classic (clogs and a preppy rattan clutch) and just one statement piece — a colorful crochet necklace crafted in…Paris!

My two biggest takeaways from following and admiring French Style: settle on what works for you personally and stick to it, always pay attention to fit. And remember, the best look is all about attitude. So be conscious of your posture, express yourself with elegance, and step out with confidence.

Jacket: (old, Brooks Brothers, current sale option here) Similar vibe here, here (add a dickey!) and here (in stripes and solids).

Shirt: (Antik Batik, sold out but you can it find on Poshmark) Like this and this (40% off at checkout, available in great stripes and solids).

Jeans: (Madewell, current) Designer alternative here, much more affordable here (under $35).

Bag: (old, J. Mclaughlin) Like this (can be personalized), this and this.

Clogs: (Penelope Chilvers, in black and cognac) More affordable here (Under $110 PLUS extra 60% off with code AWESOME), here (under %75!!) and here (under $50 and cozied up with shearling!!!).

Necklace: (Boks and Baum PARIS)

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Photography by Kristin Moore-Gantz @artdirectthis.

4 thoughts on “Pardon My French

  1. Classic is classic is classic. Buy the best, take very good care of these expensive purchases (and/or you might be lucky to get them as gifts!) They will last a lifetime! A thousand dollar handbag is worth way more if you amortize it over 4 years, or longer!
    Consider the savings but just be sure you can commit to loving an extended purchase! Just be sure to love, love, love what you buy so it will be your favorite thing for your lifetime! ♥️

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