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French women style secrets

Two women with long hair wearing black dresses

France has been one of the biggest centres of fashion inspiration and innovation for decades. Producing designs such as Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent, French style has become known for its chic, minimalistic vibe, and sporting classics that will never go out of style. 

In this blog, we are going to take you through some of the most popular and iconic elements of French style and fashion, from hair and skincare to outfit arrangements (as well as a few secret top tips along the way!).

By the end, we hope to have inspired you to master your inner mademoiselle.

Fashion fabuleuse

Achieving that classic French style is totally possible once you know what items are wardrobe staples, from formal attire to French street style, here are some of the must-haves to keep to hand, catering to the demands of the different seasons:

  • LBD (Little Black Dress) – possibly the most iconic piece of clothing to ever exist, it is recommended that everyone has an LBD in their wardrobe. Perfect for any occasion, particularly those times where we can’t decide on what to wear and want something we KNOW is going to make us look and feel good.
  • Breton shirt – this classic striped shirt has become something of the trademark of French culture. The neutral tones and elegant stripes ensure classiness follows wherever you go. Perfect for summer or worn beneath a blazer or coat in colder months.
  • Simple gold jewellery – toning down the bling and opting for pieces like simple gold chains, delicate rings and small hoops will contribute to creating that chic minimalist look that is common in French fashion.
  • Silk scarf – around the neck, tied to a bag or over your hair as you cruise down a country road in a convertible; the silk scarf has been a wardrobe staple for decades and adds a touch of luxury to any outfit.
  • Trench coat – a classic beige trench coat will never go out of fashion. Long but structured with a flattering silhouette, popping one of these on over your outfit will tie your look together, making you ready for any occasion.
  • Button-down shirt – fitted, oversized, worn up, worn down, crisp cotton or soft silk…you can never go wrong with a button-down shirt. They are incredibly versatile, meaning they can be applied to multiple outfits and can give a sense of casual elegance for drinks, or comfy and classy for a Sunday lunch date.
  • White t-shirt – searching for casual-chic French style? Look no further than our trusty friend – the white t-shirt. Always there in our times of need, this classic piece goes with absolutely anything. Tucked into jeans, under a blazer or pinafore dress, paired with dungarees or a flowy maxi skirt – is there anything it can’t do! Having a couple of these bad boys in your wardrobe will mean that you always have something to wear in your times of fashion despair.

Our UK neighbours over at Elle have written an inspiring article about channelling that classic French style.

Fashion fabuleuse infographic

Haute hair

A guide to some of the most chic French hairstyles going:

  • Bobs and pixie cuts – whatever your hair type or texture, a bob is always a bold, beautiful choice. Sleek and blunt or curly and wild, the bob is one of the most classic French hairstyles going. Pixie cuts suit most people and are a fun choice when exploring shorter hairstyles. They accentuate your face and neck, giving you an air of elegance and poise so often associated with French style.
  • Fringes and bangs – many of us fear them, but they are far from a fashion faux pas! Fringes or bangs are a beautiful way to shape the hair around your face, bangs offering a softer look, while a statement fringe can be a total power move. 
  • One length – long blunt cuts, particularly when paired with a fringe, have become particularly fashionable. This dreamy artistic look adds an air of mystery and intelligence to your look, leaving people wanting to know more.
  • Embracing your natural hair – this is number one when it comes to chic French hairstyles. French-style makeup is all about accentuating and celebrating natural beauty, finding magic in simplicity.
Haute hair infographic

Makeup – c’est très magnifique!

  • Subtle and natural – use your makeup sparingly. Dab on a lip stain to mute the colour or just brush your brows with pomade rather than fully filling them. French beauty is all about the natural, fresh-faced look that accentuates your best assets rather than painting on new ones.
  • Blush – a rosy look is popular with post-English Rose style and French style makeup. A natural flush will create the appearance of youth and vitality, and accentuate and brighten your defining facial features.
  • Bold lips – a red lip. Need we say more? Classic. Elegant. Timeless. It will NEVER go out of style.
  • Lash care – French women are proactive with caring for their lashes, looking to nourish them and accentuate them in their natural state, using products that aid growth and strength.
Magnifique makeup infographic

Style secrets

Ah, the part you have all been waiting for – French women style secrets…

Here are some of the most fundamental things to know, if you aspire to sporting that classic French girl style:

  • Minimal, natural makeup – natural brows, bare skin and rosy cheeks are the order of the day when it comes to French makeup, creating a fresh, youthful glow.
  • Clean, classic nails – well looked-after natural nails or neat, polished manicures are the key to beautiful French-style nails. Keep it simple with block colours and classic tones, perhaps even a French manicure if you’re feeling extra indulgent.
  • Neutral tones, block colours and minimalistic vibes – French women do not overcomplicate things when it comes to style. Less is more. As Coco Chanel famously said: ‘Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.’ Stick to neutral tones or block colours and classy silhouettes.
  • Subtle, classic, effortless – at the end of the day, probably the easiest way to achieve that signature chic French style is subtlety. French style brings with it an air of effortless cool that comes with being secure and confident in one’s own skin. French style aims to bring forward your natural beauty – it works on the premise that everyone is already beautiful, and styling just helps accentuate the magic.

Feeling inspired?

Liking the idea of recreating classic French looks? Want to share your knowledge and build a reputation delivering professional-level beauty services? At New Zealand Beauty School we have an eclectic array of beauty courses to start you on the right path. From Professional Makeup Artistry and Facials to Nail Tech and Eyebrow Technician courses, there is something to suit every beauty dream.

All our courses are completely online, giving you the flexibility to access your learning at whatever time suits your schedule and lifestyle. You can even rope in family and friends to be your beauty guinea pigs!

And it gets better! We will send you a custom-made beauty kit straight to your front door, containing everything you will need to succeed in your training. 

Each course comes with a downloadable brochure with further information on course content, modules and assessments, accessing your learning online and tutor’s support. We also offer a small weekly instalment payment plan – or a discount when you pay your course fees upfront – to make financing your future that little bit easier.

Where will your passion lead you?

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