Saturday, 28 May 2016

Paris, je t'aime

In her bestselling book How to be Parisian Wherever you are: Love, Style and Bad Habits, Caroline de Maigret lets us into many a French secret. Within the anthology of essays she advises,  “Eat croissants and buttered toast for breakfast—because it’s Saturday morning and you burned enough calories last night, damn it.” With this firmly in mind, last week my bestie and I hotfooted it to the beautiful French capital for four days of culture and carbs.

Despite what the ‘I <3 Paris’ shops would lead you to believe there’s more to Parisian dressing than just throwing on a beret and a Breton top.  In between sightseeing and sipping I noticed a few sartorial standouts…

One evening I wore heels to dinner. Don’t. It’s not the done thing and your feet won’t thank you for it after a day involving climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. If you simply can’t resist a little height then I found the answer in the form of an incredibly chic Parisian who while emerging from the metro, unpinned her hair, took off her glasses and slicked on some rouge YSL. She was wearing a classic trench over a simple black shift dress, bare golden pins and heeled ankle boots. An oversized bag completed this definitive example of work to play dressing. Her shoe choice added the desirable elevation while achieving that oh so effortless French style. WSd HQ has some fabulous boots that will take you through every season. Try the Hudson Azi boot (£135) or the Hudson Emmett Boot (£155) with bare legs and team your choice with the buttery soft Becksöndergaard Alea (£169).

Flats are also key for a day of strolling along The Champs-Elysées or exploring the bohemian Latin Quarter.  The Hudson Willow shoe is not only a stylish and comfortable choice but also perfectly achieves the androgynous Parisian vibe. I saw lots of tailored looks with a carefree edge and these minimalist beauties would look perfect with wide culottes and a crisp white shirt. Achieve a relaxed silhouette a la Sarah with the Becksöndergaard Lunette neckerchief (£49) and MINK PINK Wild West suede biker jacket (£108). She paired these dreamy pieces with the Vero Moda Julie tank (£8) and laid back tailored trousers. Put this look in Paris and the locals will be complementing you in their own lingo.

I embraced the French Trench in the form of a much loved Zara number but oh my do I wish I had opted for a Rains mac (£95). Unsurprisingly the weather is just as unpredictable as blightly and I returned home with sun kissed skin as well as the sniffles from a torrential downpour. The Rains interpretation of the classic trench gives you the best of both worlds with its waist-defining belt and structured cut, all the while remaining 100% waterproof. When it randomly decides to hit 25° in between the rain, you can fold it up and pop it in your bag. Practical Parisian chic.  

Photo Credit: Rains 

As I sat in a beautiful coffee shop on The Champs-Elysées enjoying a café crème and a mini madeleine I felt like I was on the FROW. This grand avenue is lined with luxury boutiques and many beautiful women frequent the thoroughfare with a Chanel in one hand and a handsome Parisian in the other. There were two accessories that were most notable: a pair of oversized sunnies and an across the body bag. Cool shades gave many an outfit an elegant air-we have a great selection of Vero Moda sunnies in store to suit every face shape and every style (£14). The across the body bags I saw not only looked effortlessly chic but they served a very practical purpose. In a city you’re constantly reaching into your bag for metro tickets, euros and your phone so make sure you can access your necessities conveniently. The amazing Anna-Beth (£109) from BSG is beyond tactile and super versatile. It has many a pocket and can be a cross body or a clutch bag. The Fab. By Fabienne May Leather Clutch (£149) is equally as fabulous and again achieves this dual purpose. Plus, free hands means a glass of fizz in one and a macaroon in the other…

The style lesson I learnt most from the wonderful Parisians is to relax- keep things simple and don’t try too hard. Less is more and it’s all about investing in simple statement pieces that you love and feel great in. Pop into WSd to find your Parisian je ne sais quoi…

Rachel x

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