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6 Ways to Look French Fantastic Right Now!

The choice of fashion type is very deliberate (for the French woman). Frenchwomen do not allow themselves simply to fall into fashion.  They select the image they want to project and dress for it.  And they tend to basically remain true to it for all occasions, for all time.   –Susan Sommers


The fabulous Frenchwomen continue to teach us this week, as we move on to another book French Chic: How to Dress like a Frenchwoman (this is an affiliate link) by seasoned fashion journalist, Susan Sommers.  This book was released in 1988, but remains a go-to style book for sage advice that withstands time.  Today, Sommers teaches high-level executives how to communicate power and strength with style and presence.

Today, I would like all of us to look at the textures of the fabrics to understand how we can begin to develop a unique, personal style by mixing fabric textures in an outfit.

Sommers writes, “A monochromatic color scheme is a French favorite and gets its punch from contrasts in the textures of fabrics – rough and smooth, shiny and matte, flat and raised- that are often all jumbled together.” As she stresses, there are no rules or order.  “This disorder creates a charming mix that looks spontaneous, whether or not it’s been carefully planned.”

It is all about experimentation, ladies.  Colors do not have to match exactly when you are mixing fabric textures.  “And the slight tonal differences that result from mixing textures tend to give the total look a richness that would otherwise be missing if all shades and fabrics were uniform,” Sommers writes.

The best way to begin is with garments currently hanging in the closet!  Just play and experiment.  For interesting summer looks, try these combinations:

  1. Satin with denim
  2. Gauze with linen
  3. Cotton knit with cotton gabardine
  4. Sweat shirting with cotton batiste
  5. Cotton and ramie with silk
  6. Organdy with damask

It is time to start looking at labels and understand the texture and feel of garments.  The most interesting outfits often combine a variety of textures.  Frenchwomen were not born with a fashion sense.  They learned it, and we can learn it as well.

French fashion designer, Michael Klein says in the book, “(French Chic) It’s a straight skirt, turtleneck sweater and pearls…something simple and stylish.  French Chic involves a sense of clothes, of movement. Fashion that doesn’t look it.”

So tell us, do you pay attention to the textures of fabrics when you dress?

Please leave a comment, and come for more next week in The Joy Boutique!

Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!  (By the way, you can pick this book up on Amazon at a very reasonable rate and affiliate proceeds help Midlife Boulevard!)

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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Sabina @Oceanblue Style

Wednesday 23rd of July 2014

Dear Pam, hope you had a fab day yesterday! And could not agree more with your points here! Everytime I am in Paris I just admire the many dresses I get to see on other women.Love it. xo Sabina OceanblueStyle


Tuesday 22nd of July 2014

Oh yes, Pam I often pass on a garment that I like because of the feel of the fabric. Even if the cut, color and quality are good, if the hand of the material is not right, it is a no.

xoxo Karena The Arts by Karena

Carol Cassara

Tuesday 22nd of July 2014

Not all textures go well together so the recommendations were interesting. Simple and effortless is a great look!


Tuesday 22nd of July 2014

This is interesting. I haven't given this a lot of thought, but I do mix textures, just not consciously! I especially like mixing denim with more feminine fabrics, like lace, silk and eyelet. Your suggestions sound interesting. I'm going to go home tonight and really look at things in my closet. Something I am not sure about is found in the quote at the top: "...they tend to basically remain true to it for all occasions, for all time." I understand that concept, but don't think I could do it myself. The image of classic style does appeal to me, but I think that personally I would die of boredom if I did the same thing all the time. To me that is predictable, and I am trying to move away from that. I'm far, far, far from Bohemian, but do like to mix it up and appear in something completely unexpected just for fun. I love French style and find a lot to emulate , not saying that. When I think of French style I do think of monochromatic in many cases, and I'm very much into color. I'm a little bit of a contradiction, loving pure classic style but then breaking out into fun and being spontaneous. These posts are giving me a lot to think about and I'm really enjoying them. I do have my "French style" days, but also break out at times too!

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