I really don’t know the answer to this question, but I have observed them with great interest over a long period of time and am always delighted, in my soul, with the stylish way they dress and how they look, and feel, good, “dans sa peau”, in their skin.
I am writing this in a cafe in London sitting outside. I have broken off from writing another post to comment on this French lady who is sitting at the table next to me. I think she is with her daughter. Her should length blond hair is tied back in a pony tail at the nape of the neck. She is wearing Armani jeans, a pale grey jersey, shades, one large ring on each hand, and she is smoking a cigarette and drinking coffee. On her feet she has the shiniest flat GOLD ankle boots. They look amazing. Of course they are the stand out item of the ensemble.
Three things I notice:
The gold boots are fun. The outfit looks relaxed because she hasn’t tried too hard, everything else that she is wearing is laid back and casual, then the boots hit you with their full-on-ness. But mostly they are fun.
She is relaxed and enjoying herself. She is having a fun time out with her daughter, just enjoying the day.
She has developed her own individual style.
I don’t know how French women achieve that amazing balance between over the top and very classic and reserved. What I did notice, that there was an element of fun in what she wore, that she had a style that was uniquely hers, and that she was relaxed and enjoying her time with her daughter are three lessons that we can take on for ourselves.
So the first challenge is fun. Work is busy, home is busy, life is busy, but we can have fun, we should have fun. Whether it’s a pair of gold boots as it was for that lady, or a funky pair of sandals, or a fun rain coat, one element of playfulness in an otherwise classic clothes ensemble can work wonders for your individual style. Also I think French women don’t put limits on themselves as to what they should or shouldn’t wear. That lady didn’t think, “What am I thinking of wearing gold ankle boots at my age”. I don’t know what she did think, she may just have thought that the boots were fab and that she couldn’t wait to wear them, but she certainly wasn’t restricted by self-imposed limitations.
The second challenge is being relaxed in whatever environment we find ourselves. It is so unnerving to be in the company of someone who is looking over their, or your, shoulder to see who else is here or what is going on that they are missing out on. Learn to be in the moment, to enjoy that moment and to fully embrace that moment. It’s such an attractive quality and people are always drawn to you as a result, because we are drawn towards those people who exude peace and calm, rather than stress and anxiety.
The third is a style uniquely our own. Do you have a style that is uniquely your own, that makes you look amazing and feel great at the same time? I’m not talking about a uniform, I’m talking about a way of living that expresses itself in what we wear.
As I write this, and then reread it, I realise what a lesson it is to me. I don’t think I’m finished yet on this subject, in fact I feel like I’ve just got started, but I have managed to verbalise what I see and hopefully having identified it, I can assume it and become a little bit more French in my very Englishness!