Parisian Women's Secrets for a Chic, Minimalist Style

Updated on March 17, 2016

Many Parisian women, both young and older, have developed a chic clothing style that is unique to Paris. They have small, minimal closets containing only a handful of stylish clothes that perfectly meet their needs. As a result, many women around the world would like to know how to dress like a French woman and emulate that distinctive look.

I live in England and was lucky enough to visit Paris for a week last summer. Whilst there, was able to take some great photos which sum up the essence of this look.

The Tenets of Chic French Minimalist Style

  • Simplicity
    For Parisian women, less is more.
  • Femininity
    They tend to dress in a gentle, feminine way, rather than an aggressive way.
  • Modesty
    Many seem to prefer modest styles rather than short mini skirts and cleavage-revealing tops.
  • The Basics
    Parisian women pare their wardrobes down to essentials that match their lifestyles, basics such as a pair of jeans, black skirt, black jacket, little black dress (LBD), white T-shirt, and white shirt.

How to Dress Like a Parisian Woman

  • Neutral Colours
    Predominantly black and white, but can also include navy and denim, cream, and shades of grey.
  • Mix and Match
    By keeping it simple, everything mixes and matches together.
  • Attention to Fit
    Clothes are neither figure-hugging or baggy and are a comfortable fit.
  • Quality, Natural Fabrics
  • Prints
    Parisians don't seem to wear many patterned or floral fabrics, maybe because they are harder to mix and match. Instead, they seem to prefer Breton stripes.
  • Texture
    To add interest to an outfit, they may include textured fabrics such as tweed or lace.
  • Footwear
    Suitable styles for walking around Paris are flat ballet pumps or sandals, and in the winter a pair of boots. Medium height heels are also an option if they are suitable for walking around the city. Shoes are also in neutral colours for easy mixing and matching with the clothes.
  • Accessories
    This is where the fun comes! Chic Parisian women focus on a few well-chosen, good quality accessories to pull an outift together and provide and individual look. Accessories enable you to play dress up. Parisians will only wear a few accessories at a time. They may include a neutral coloured leather bag, pearls, a silk scarf, a beautiful necklace or bracelet, or hosiery.
  • Scarves
    The French are famous for wearing scarves and tie them in a myriad of different ways.

  • Natural Hair Styles
    Hair is seen as a key accessory to a chic look. It is kept in good condition and is worn in a variety of simple styles, either down or up.
  • Make-up and Skin Care
    Chic Parisians look after their skin and prefer a simple natural make-up look. A favourite lipstick colour is red.
  • Elegant Mannerisms
    Their elegance is reflected not only in their clothes but also in their mannerisms.
  • Style for Life
    For all women, dressing well is an ongoing process of learning and editing your wardrobe for each stage of life.
  • An Interest in Style
    She likes to keep up-to-date with what is going on in the fashion world and may incorporate some of the current, trendier looks into her wardrobe to update her basics.
  • Attitude
    Relaxed and enjoying life!

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Samira 9 months ago

        Thank you so chic

      • profile image

        Nancy 2 years ago

        Good observations and descriptions. Hits the mark.

      • profile image

        JLouise 5 years ago

        This article, advice, and music combination are the epitome of chic! Thanks!