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6 Fashion Musts When French Women Shop

Four years ago on this day, I officially launched my blog, and in those four years I have met some amazing women.  Tish Jett was one of the first bloggers I began to read with her A Femme d’un Certain Age.  A former fashion journalist, Jett’s resume includes Women’s Wear Daily, W, Elle, The New York Daily News, and The Chicago Tribune.

Not only is she a wealth of information, she is very personable and kind and has reached out to me on a couple of occasions.   One day she was covering stories in France, and the next day fell in love with “her reason for staying in France” and she made it her home.

Needless to say, I was thrilled when Jett released her book last year, Forever Chic: Frenchwomen’s Secrets for Timeless Beauty, Style, and Substance. (This is an affiliate link.) As a good journalist should, Jett thoroughly investigated and researched the best fashion, beauty, and health advice to take women from “forty-ish to forever-ish” looking and feeling their best.  As much as it has helped me with specific advice, it has also helped me to understand the mindset of French women–often quite different from American women. They are more confident, secure, and disciplined.


Shop Like a Frenchwoman

The following shopping advice is gathered from several interviews in the book.  If you purchase only one style book to learn from the women in France, I recommend this one!

  1. Make certain you have a solid, neutral based wardrobe.  “With neutrals, a woman can always pull something out of the closet and pull herself together without hysteria in record time.”
  2. The cut of the garments makes all of the difference. Fit, fit, fit is so important.  Take time in the dressing room.
  3. You should have a coup de foudre (struck by thunderbolt) feeling before your purchase.  If you are not in love with what you see, don’t buy it!
  4. To look slim and chic, the French keep elements clean and classic.  No need to purchase mass accessories.
  5. Many Frenchwomen believe designer labels are for the insecure and those who have money to waste. In the book, Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel says, “Never use the word cheap. Today everybody can look chic in inexpensive clothes (the rich buy them, too). There is good clothing design on every level today. You can be the chic-est thing in the world in a T-shirt and jeans. It is up to you.”
  6. The dressing room is a great place to step out of your comfort zone and try something new…like white pants and white jeans.  The French wear them all year long!

Jett writes, “…what French understand about clothing: that it has the power to transform us, to entertain us, to change our self- images, and occasionally even to change our lives.”   Ten years ago, I began a journey to discover the truth of this last statement.  In July 2010, my blog was a way to share all that I have learned from fabulous women like Tish Jett and the Frenchwomen she loves.  I discovered just how much confidence and strength are a part of our joy.

How often do you purchase clothing which might work or do only purchase a true love?

Leave a comment, and please know how thankful I am that you stopped by The Joy Boutique.

Have a wonderful week, and a happy 4th of July!

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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Mary Jane

Sunday 27th of July 2014

This my first time commenting on any blog. I so enjoyed your article. I will now have a plan when I hit the stores. I guess less is more!

Sandra Sallin

Tuesday 8th of July 2014

Congratulations! Yes, I love Trish Jett also. Sometimes I buy tops simply because they fit.


Sunday 6th of July 2014

Congratulations, Pam! I tend to bring an armful of things into the dressing room. By trying on a bunch of things, I can see which are the most flattering pieces for my shape. Those are the pieces I buy--even if they are a little outside my comfort zone. Best wishes ~ Susan


Thursday 3rd of July 2014


Lynne in NC

Wednesday 2nd of July 2014

Pam, Happy Blog Anniversary! I really enjoy your blog and any of your guest postings on other blogs, too. Your ideas are always so helpful and apply to all stages of life. Thank you.

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