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7 Things Every Parisian Woman Has in Her Closet

Publisher’s note: this is one of our favorite posts from Pam Lutrell. On a recent trip to France we noticed the jeans and jackets she mentioned, paired with a scarf, always. 

Dress Like a Parisian Woman

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French Style Inspiration

Today I am writing about the seven most important clothing pieces in a Parisian woman’s wardrobe, at least according to Ines de la Fressange and Sophie Gachet in their book Parisian Chic.

With these seven, we can obtain the “made in Paris” look.  The authors give specifics on how to wear each piece, and emphasize this is where a woman spares no expense. Quality over quantity.

I will hit one or two of their highlights.  So, hi ho, it’s off to work we go…

A Quality, Well-Fitted Blazer

“Pushing back or rolling up the sleeves is the ultimate “easy chic” statement.”  For a celeb look, purchase a navy blazer and wear with a white chiffon shirt and white jeans.  “This is a clean, crisp look which suits everyone.”

The Trench

“Never ever buckle the belt. Tie it in front or behind with the buckle hanging loose. It goes over everything and with everything.”  They consider the Burberry trench to be the hall of fame selection.

The Navy Sweater

Of course, they are talking cashmere for timeless style. Wearing one with white jeans and flat shoes gives an “easy cool” look. This simple sweater communicates sophistication.

The Tank

A classy supporting act perfect under a tuxedo jacket or blazer.  Only own them in white, black, gray, navy, and khaki.  For the celebrity look, wear a white tank, beige pants, a blazer, and sandals with heels.

The Little Black Dress 

“The little black dress is an open secret:  We all know it will save us whatever the situation, and whatever the continent, the season, the time of day, the man…” Keeping this look very simple equals elegance.  For a celebrity style, wear a simple black dress, add huge black sunglasses and black ballerina pumps.

The Perfect Jeans

“Jeans are never too risky; they’re a bit like salt – they go with everything! One thing is certain, straight leg jeans are the most timeless cut of all.”

The Leather Jacket

“The best leather jacket is close fitting with slim sleeves and two patch pockets.  The older or more distressed the better.  When you buy it put it under your mattress for several nights before wearing it or walk all over it.  If you buy a vintage model, you sleep better.”

So, how did you do?  How many of these are currently in your closet?  Remember, the end of a season is a great time for sales, and you may actually purchase top quality, high end pieces for the lowest prices of the year. Take your list with you.  This is the Parisian way for simple, understated elegance.

Want more fashion advice for women over 50? Read 6 Fashion Mistakes French Women Avoid, and Neutral Wardrobe Basics to Create a Capsule Wardrobe.

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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Monday 17th of October 2016

I love the awesome styling tips! I have everything except the leather jacket. I've been looking at them, but it is usually too hot in Los Angeles to get much wear out of them. hmmm


Monday 17th of October 2016

I have the same problem, Patricia. If I was in colder weather more often, I would invest in a really, really nice one! Thanks for the kind comment!

Sue Gardner

Wednesday 6th of April 2016

A marvellous base line. At 67, I am stumped at what to wear. Don't want to look like mutton as lamb but don't want to be frumpy, either. Not aspiring to Cher/Goldie Hawn, but don't want to be " mumsy" or matronly . Carrying more weight than I should...a challenge. When you are size 4 everything looks good...size 10, not so much. I would like more inspirations for elegant and age appropriate outfits. Thank you so much for your suggestions so far.


Thursday 18th of February 2016

Thanks for the tips. It's a good guide for reference.


Thursday 14th of January 2016

All great except the leather jacket. Supporting animal cruelty is not my fashion M.O.!!

Laura Aguon

Sunday 8th of November 2015

Please update the links! I would love to see more options for each item.

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