Parisian women have long admired their style; chic coats, tousled waves, and a certain air of "je ne sais quoi" come to mind. But having lived here for a few months, I've learned that most women subconsciously abide by specific dress codes dictated mainly by the city's unpredictable weather. Most importantly, they care about timeless, effortless styles and showcase their modern-bohemian way of life. So with Paris, Fashion Week on the horizon, here's how you dress like a true Parisian.
Cobblestone streets are the enemy of stilettos, and Paris is covered in cobblestone. Not to mention how much walking is required to traverse the scenic city with many roads near the center now closed to cars. Parisian women storm the pavements in booties, rain or shine, often paired with crisp Sandro crepe jackets in the summer or thick, Isabel Marant wool coats in the winter. And their favorite jewelry to match? Lanyard or pendant necklaces like those from the French label Courbet—which only uses recycled or traceable gold—are worn over a loose blouse to accentuate the neckline.
Despite the recent trend towards small bags (I always lament how our phones are getting bigger and our bags are getting smaller), you'll find that Parisian women err on the side of practicality, preferring handbag styles that can keep them hands-free. It's easier to hold onto that fresh baguette or transition from the office to after-work drinks that end at midnight. You'll find these women wearing delicate stud earrings or mini tear-drop styles; as any woman knows, oversized earrings are not meant to be worn for long periods. Better yet, stack on the ear cuffs like those by Prmal— a Japanese label that only uses lab-grown diamonds and recycled metals to better encourage the transparency of its production process—to add an edgy-chic vibe to your daytime look.
Parisian women wear pants—literally. They’ve got places to go and people to see, and skirts are less pragmatic as you zip in and out of the metro. Bootcut jeans dominate the scene, with women styling them with sneakers and booties. But one thing they all have? A healthy mix of arm candy was found at Courbet, from thin charm bracelets to bangles of different metals to keep a feminine touch to their looks.
Where Parisian women express the most diversity in jewelry is their choice of rings. Most women I meet have sentimental values attached to the bijoux on their fingers, from family gifts to stories of the jewelry designers they admire to discoveries during recent travels. Monarc founder Ella Drake, for instance, is a former model who discovered her passion for fine jewelry while booking a shoot for Vogue Gioiello. Wouldn’t that be a fun conversation starter?