Fashion

How To Bring A Touch Of French Style into Your Life Over 40

Women all over the world love the French woman’s style that is so classic, trendy and chic all at the same time. In today’s video I share some tips on how you can capture this French Style and Attitude yourself particularly as a women in your mid-life and beyond.

I’ll confess, I binge watched the whole cheesy, swing around the Eiffel Tower whilst eating a rose flavoured macaron series of Emily In Paris.

One grande fromage indeed.

(Though who doesn’t love a melting slice of brie!?)

Her costumes were dreadful, and the men!

Yet, French style undoubtable has appeal to women all over the world, and certainly has a sense of polished ease, not to mention je ne sais quoi. 

In this video, I’ll be giving you three tips on ‘How to bring a touch of French style and attitude into your life over 40.’

Having lived and worked in Paris for many years, I can tell you that there is a lot of truth to the fact that women make an effort to look good every day, and that they manage to be elegant and relevant no matter what their age! 

By the end of this video you’ll have some ideas of what makes French style that you can apply to your wardrobe! 

We’ve got three tips about French allure! 

Tip one

Recently whilst walking down rue du bac, just by the muse d’orsay, I happened upon the vision of 77 year old Catherine Deneuve advertising the French label St Laurent, on a bus shelter.

It reminded me of last year when ran into Catherine Deneuve doing downward facing dog.

That wouldn’t be uncommon, as the pilates centre that I frequent in Paris is full of modern mid-lifers and glam grans…who do reformer and gyrotonic in thick gold chains, dangling earrings and at least a little lipstick. It’s a breath of fresh air amongst the yoga bunny studios!

And there she was,

The gorgeous thick blonde hair – a formidable bouffant of golden locks, the bold gold earrings and wide kohl rimmed eyes – the strong signature style identity.

The enigmatic half smile…the touch of stylish je ne sais quoi!

Isn’t that inner sense of style and confidence beaming out what we’re all looking for?

To radiate quiet confidence and magnetism from the inside out, whatever situation we’re in…without even having to say a word!

And who knows what amazing things that can attract into your life!

I love how Deneuve has evolved her style identity through the decades…keeping true to herself (and her gorgeous hair and her love of bold earrings,) but making the most of changing body shape and getting older, with all the life changes that brings!

In other words, look back at your style, and find the key things that you love about it (so maybe not that nirvana t-shirt phase from when you were 11 years old!) Are there aspects of your style that come up again and again, that you love, like deneuves long earrings and big blonde hair, or for me, my lifelong love of wearing 6cm sandals all year round – with tights if necessary (it’s the dash of English eccentricity within)

What are those  two or three anchor aspects of your style that you can take forward?

It could be a particular trouser shape or hem length, or a hairstyle or accessory type that you love…

On another Apparently, Deneuve once said ”A woman has to be intelligent, have charm, a sense of humour, and be kind. It’s the same qualities I require from a man.” Love that!

Likewise

French Vogue editor Emanuel Alt, whose in her mid 50s,  is the epitome of easy and modern French chic.

Like Deneuve, she’s perfected her signature style, and wears endless variants of it…In her case that looks like –

– a striped t-shirt – especially in navy and white

– she injects a touch of edge – some leather or a distressed denim – but keep the rest polished!

– Crop the trouser to show off ankles and then add feminine shoes

– flats or kitten heels work well here (as do two-tone Chanel pumps)

-find a signature style and create variants of it!!

Tip two

There’s some truth to Fleabags now infamous line “Chic means boring, don’t tell the French.”

And yet, the myth of the French woman still holds global allure.

The truth is that  very few French ladies actually eat pastries every single day.

They are on the whole fairly slim after all

And they don’t go necking whole bottles of red wine each night either

Here’s the less sexy truth about French style –

It’s all about moderation

And discipline

The truth is that it’s not just about the clothes, which are often on the more classic side – it’s the approach

It’s that sense of studied effortlessness – that actually takes a lot of work

It’s a dedication to pleasure and commitment to yourself

So the Effortless look is in fact far from effortless – in my methodology, we talk about the art of the incremental upgrade. It’s those small things that when they come together add up and make you look refreshed and put together

In France that can be having regular manicures (usually red) scheduled in with your favorite therapist.

It can be having the same dermatologist since childhood, that you see more regularly than your dentist

And it’s always about enhancing your beauty – having your hair cut regularly in a flattering way, and using cosmetics to make your key features shine, rather than covering yourself with a mask of make up!

That’s not to say french women don’t have tweakments,

I know an eyelash specialist who services women of the 16th neighborhood – without their husbands knowing of course, and the waiting room at a famous cosmetic surgeon in Trocadero is a who’s who of over 40s french tastemakers…

but when they do it’s just that- a tweak, not a whole new body shape

And it’s also about doing what you choose to do with pleasure and panache! To sit at a cafe and really savor that croissant or glass or red wine, as opposed to wolfing down a Starbucks muffin at your desk, and take time for yourself just to watch the world go by.

It’s also about embracing your femininity and enjoying being a woman –

It’s about riding a bicycle with a skirt and high heels around the streets of St Germain, rather than power lycra (save that for the tour de france!)

It’s about bringing intentionality into every area of your life!

Tip 3

It’s not about buying mountains of clothes, it’s about selecting pieces intentionally, with consideration of the rest of your wardrobe.

This is partly practical – Paris apartments tend to be on the smaller side

And partly cultural – the history of french fashion is rooted in haute couture

And savoir faire is still ingrained in their mentality – the idea of buying better quality pieces that will last for instance.

And that’s also why classic styles are popular – often spruced up with those identifiable markers of french style such as a quilted Chanel bag, a Birkin or two tone shoes and a tweed jacket.

But then, it’s not just about the clothes, which are often on the more classic side – it’s the attitude you wear them with – not quite arrogance, but on it’s way there…the attitude of quiet self assuredness, enjoying life and having that inner sense of sexiness and satisfaction that radiate out giving you your own sense of je ne sais quoi.

If you’d like more help with your inner wiggle, and almost  feel like you want to start again in your life, as well as your style, then watch my next video!

Lots of love, xoxo Aleksandra

 

 

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