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6 Fashion Mistakes Parisian Women Avoid

Everyone makes fashion mistakes when they are out shopping.  Take it as an (encouraging) sign that you still dream of reinventing yourself.  For me a loss of interest in dressing well and using make-up is a form of depression.  Far from making radical changes, the Parisian knows how to evolve her style as she gets older.

I have stars by this quote in the book Parisian Chic ( affiliate link) by Ines de la Fressange and Sophie Gachet.  When I entered my fifties, I was one who had lost interest in dressing, lost confidence, and was most assuredly, depressed.  In the last ten years, I have gone from a sad woman who wore baggy, frumpy clothing to a confident, joyful woman who has a strong sense of her personal style.  The whole package of a woman inside and outside works together…as I felt better about my outside, I felt empowered to live with joy (one day at a time) and tackle the world as a vibrant Baby Boomer!

If it is time for a style makeover, consider the book’s advice to never follow convention, never be bland, and never neglect yourself…this is the Parisian mindset.  If you are bored with the way you look, then it just might be time to shake things up a bit.  Don’t get discouraged.  After I learned what NOT to wear, I took all of the garments out of my closet that were aging me….the pile came up to my belly button!  Now, granted many of those garments were hand-me-downs from my mother-in-law …(hmmm, now that I think about it, this could have been her plan all along to get me out of her son’s life!) Nevertheless, the baggy, too short, Christmas sweater, prairie skirts went off to thrift shops never to be seen in my closet again.


So, what do Parisian midlife women avoid according to the book?  These six things…

  1.  Mini-skirts and micro-shorts. (Ines says no Parisian would dress mutton as lamb)
  2. Neon colors, too readily associated with teen fashion
  3. Big clip-on earrings.  If your ears are not pierced, choose a necklace instead.
  4. Furs!  This is instant “Cruella”…the wrinkled “trophy wife look” can be very aging.
  5. Preppy clichés like pearls and bead necklaces with matching earrings.
  6. Ethnic print tunics and dresses…past a certain age, these look like costumes.

This is a book I read again and again, and has helped me greatly in obtaining the style I desire.  When I formulated the five messages I want to send with my style, I had to go learn how to achieve those looks and Ines taught me about chic and sophisticated.  I hope the snippets have helped you.  Next time, we will go to another great author who understands French women and what we can learn from their lifestyles.

Have you left behind some garments and accessories from your past?  What is it you avoid now?  Please share?

Thanks for stopping by the Joy Boutique, have a wonderful summer week!

midlife boulevard, columnist, midlife women, middle-age, midlife crisis

Pamela Lutrell

Pamela Lutrell began her blog, over50feeling40, July 2010 with a desire to encourage women over 50 to walk in strength, confidence and joy. Of course, head turning style makes each day fun!

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Eve Crawford

Thursday 10th of March 2016

I've noticed that clothes with what I call ' dances with Wolves syndrome' Aztecs prints and cottage garden dressing, all floral prints are in. Awful. I'm 47 and I prefer block colours both rich and muted, but being overweight means certain styles are better than many offered in shops.


Sunday 6th of July 2014

Great post, Pam! I've left behind boxy tops, capris, sweater sets, any matching jewelry, most matching accessories. I'm also determined to avoid dressing conservatively head-to-toe by mismatching (stylishly, I hope!) colors, prints and textures. Best wishes ~ Susan

Lisha @ The Lucky Mom

Tuesday 24th of June 2014

When I was in Paris a few years ago I noticed that the women there don't try to stand out. No flashy attire, no big hair, no attention-grabbing accessories. The American tourists were quite easily spotted.

But my pearls, you'll have to remove them from my cold, dead neck!

susan - ofeverymoment

Tuesday 24th of June 2014

I'm happy to say my wardrobe doesn't include any of these 6 sins - but none-the-less, it certainly needs a makeover none-the-less! Thanks to you and all the fashion bloggers for all the great tips and motivation!


Tuesday 24th of June 2014

Wonderful tips. I have donated oversize tunics and floral patterned dresses that are past their prime and unflattering...

xoxo Karena The Arts by Karena

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