What Is So Alluring About French Girl Style?
You probably have an idea of what I mean when I say ‘French Girl Style’, maybe even an image in your head. This generalising, vague term is, for me, so very distinctive. A Pinterest board (well, I do have one dedicated to it) is forming in my head as I type the words. Vogue has an entire online page dedicated to the phenomenon. So what is it that is so distinctive and, more importantly, so alluring about this particular type of dressing?
French Girl Style is effortless, sexy and cool. Oh great, some more vague and non-specific terms! But those three adjectives are what immediately spring to mind in trying to describe it. This blog post isn’t about how to do it or what it is though, there’s various articles going through that including this one by Who What Wear, which is fairly comprehensive. I want to discuss what is so alluring about it for me and everyone else who has been aspiring to look as stylish as the French Girl since they discovered them.
I’ve always been fascinated by France, the culture, the language, the scenery. So finding out that my styling aspirations also lie in France was no surprise. Everything about France, to me, is so effortlessly chic. I’ve always been infatuated by the language, even if ‘learning’ French at GCSE level stifled that for some time (copying out information about something from a book for 2 years will kill your passion for anything). The sceneries of France are as unassumingly beautiful as the language that the natives speak is, from cafes with outdoor seating on the streets of Paris, to rustic cottages in the south that haven’t been refurbished potentially ever with farms as their back gardens. To me, French Girl Style holds as much of this modest beauty as everything else in the country does.
It was French Girl Style that encouraged me to start wearing jeans (can you believe there was a time when I didn’t wear jeans?) when I discovered just how versatile they were for creating outfits that were sexy and masculine at the same time; this was beyond groundbreaking for me and is something I still aspire to with my outfits now. It was also French Girl Style that taught me the power of a feminine dress, and feminine tops for that matter, preferably of a wrap style paired with sandals or trainers and not much else.
Maybe it is the simplicity of it all that is so alluring about this way of dressing. It’s all about wardrobe staples and re-wearing classic pieces, again and again. Sounds easy, looks great, who wouldn’t want that? But of course, it’s not easy, or everyone would look like a French Girl (hence why I’m keeping ‘French Girl’ in capital letters, it ain’t just a girl from France!) So maybe that’s its power, its unattainability despite its ease. I know I’ve had many moments when I think I have all the ingredients for the perfect French Girl outfit but look as much like a foreigner wearing it in France as the man with the ‘I <3 Paris’ t-shirt on who is posing in front of the Eiffel Tower.
But it isn’t unattainable to the point of frustration. Even if I often don’t nail the French Girl look, I still usually manage to put an outfit together that I like based on the inspiration I’ve found from it. Take the outfit I’m wearing in these photos; I might not look as effortlessly sexy as the French Girl (I certainly didn’t feel it when I was awkwardly posing outside of this restaurant on a busy Sunday afternoon) but I really love this outfit!
I found this little polka dot top in a charity shop in Barcelona and it is definitely one of the most French Girl-esq pieces I own (it looks better without the jacket but it was actually baltic whilst taking these photos). I love pairing these jeans, also found in a charity shop but one that is in my local area, with my Mary-Jane style shoes, as a dainty pair of shoes like these paired with a more masculine cut shape denim also feel very French Girl.
If you’re looking for some more French Girl Style inspiration, may I point you in the direction of this Pinterest board I created for that very purpose. I also thought I’d share some of my favourite Instagram accounts for French Girl Style inspiration:
Let me know in the comments whether or not you’re into French Girl Style and if you are, why you think it’s so alluring for so many!