Friday, July 16, 2010

French style inspiration

One of the things I love about Bastille Day is the focus on French themes in media around the world. One such article I came across was an interview with expat Marie about her 'uniquely French sense of style and how she incorporates it into her everyday life'. Yay!

What I love about this interview and the way Marie speaks, is that she isn't a fashion plate. She's an everyday French woman. Here are some of my favourite parts of the interview.

French women are celebrated for their sense of style; why do you think this is?
Seduction and beauty awareness are an important part of the puzzle of French society. You learn this as a child. A sense of style is maybe a matter of being aware that someone is looking at you and maybe judging you. So it is just an awareness that you must please whoever looks at you.

What's the one thing everyone should have in their wardrobe?
A nice simple jacket, well-cut, that can be casual or dressed-up according to what you are wearing under it.

What is your beauty routine?
I am addicted to Dr Hauschka products. So, cleansing milk every evening and morning, and day cream. I use only organic products for my skin and my hair. And masks once a week. I try to keep it simple.

The one rule you always dress by?
The two-colours rule. Except for July 14, where I wear blue, white and red!

You feel best wearing?
Stretchy, comfortable light clothes.

How would you describe your style?
Simple, plain, classic.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
It depends on what you call getting ready. For me, physical beauty comes from how you feel, so I start my day at 6am with 45 minutes of yoga. After taking my daughter to the bus stop I go for a walk on the beach in the rising sun. That's what I call getting ready for a beautiful day. It helps me feel at my best to wear whatever will please my mood of the day.

I love that she calls her style simple, plain and classic. The two colour rule has me thinking about what I wear. I am torn though, as one of my favourite combos is denim with a grey marle top and tan accessories. Is this three colours, or do accessories not count? Help!

Also, yet another serene and sensible person (of course I don't know her, but she comes across that way in the interview) who does yoga. I really have been ignoring the signs for too long.


  1. Fantastic! I love her last answer about yoga and walking every morning. What a nice way to start the day and very important to health and beauty.

  2. hi fiona,

    i think the most important message i got from her answers is that she is comfortable being herself. whether you wear 1, 2 or 8 color combinations at a time, if it reflects the real you then that is authentic style. i know you already have authentic style, we all do. embrace it!


    ps ~ i've been meaning to tell you how much i love your profile picture. you are just as beautiful on the outside as you are on the inside.

    pps ~ i'm not signed in so i posted this under anon.

  3. Fiona,

    Great interview! Marie is the woman I want and hope to become someday. I get the feeling that she cares what she thinks about herself and doesn't worry about judgment by others.
    She's not trying to impress anyone in the interview either (you know those women who reveal in interviews that they run five miles everyday, eat a raw vegan diet and wash their hair with Evian).

    And the colors you mentioned sounds like a chic combination. I'll have to try it.


  4. I have to agree with Janet that it's simply she loves her life as she has chosen it. So she doesn't wear more than 2 colors together? It works for her, but doesn't work for many. It's all about making decisions based on what you liked rather than what someone tells you to like.

    Love this interview!

  5. Merci for your wise comments. I feel like such a beginner sometimes, *stricken with horror that I can no longer wear three colours because a French woman said so*.

    Janet, thank you for your kind comment!

    I also get the feeling the interviewee is not trying to impress people, just being herself. I often feel I should apologise for not being more into 'fashion', since I wear a uniform of sorts - jeans, a top or shirt and scarf.

    In my wardrobe declutter I think I will be embracing this, and ridding myself of all the skirts I don't like wearing. In my mind skirts are feminine, but I always feel frumpy.

    Adrienne, I laughed at your description of women being interviewed. It never occurs to me answers could be made up. Like celebrities who insist they 'eat like a pig' yet are rail thin.

  6. It's too bad we can't just pop over to each other's house and help each other with style questions and cleaning out things. I love this interview and I aspired to this sort of simplicity but what if you are drawn to color?? Can I be a person who only wears two colors?

  7. J, I know what you mean. I would love to have a simple and strict colour scheme for my wardrobe but I really do like many colours. I have decided to try and limit the number of pieces in my wardrobe instead and only keep the items I really love, wear and which flatter me. Not a tall ask at all.

    I really wish you could come around and help! I would make you lunch and everything!

  8. What a great little interview! She sounds so comfortable and confident in herself.

    I love the way she starts her mornings. My dream has always been to live near a beach so I can do the same thing!

    I'm not sure I could do the two colour thing. I'd find it too restricting.

  9. Jackie, I agree, a walk along the beach is a wonderful way to start the day. I used to walk early in the morning with my husband. We got up about half an hour earlier than usual and did it before anything else. The habit changed when we moved house but I really enjoyed it at the time. Even though we both grumbled getting out of bed on a cold morning it was a good start to the day. And we got to chat walking the streets.

  10. Wow! Loved this post. Need to reread it. Thanks so much for your comment on my Remembering Victoria blog. Glad to know I have another Victoria kindred spirit.


  11. Christi, I'm such a big fan of Victoria and I'm so glad your blog exists. The French issues were my favourite, of course!

  12. I'm neutrals count as colors? Or black and white for that matter? I'm just wondering if the two color rule means you can wear 2 colors in addition to tan slacks, for instance ....or is it just two colors including everything. I've not come across this rule before, but I'm going to be mindful of it from now on when choosing outfits.

    Also, I like the idea of having one well-cut jacket to dress up or down as needed.

  13. That's a very good question Lyn. Maybe she means actual colours. For me I almost count denim as a neutral, and of course black, grey, brown, tan. Adding more than two colours to those would be boggling.

    I have done a few google searches but not come up with anything about the two-colour rule. If you find out please let me know!

    Just as an aside, what would you ideally wear with tan slacks? What colour top, accessories, scarf etc.

  14. Well, I'm definitely no style guru but I used to have a fitted, short-sleeved, button-up denham blouse that I used to wear open over a white tank top with some crazy tealish beads on fishing wire type stuff. (So they appeared to float.) I thought it looked great with tan slacks. I have since lost the blouse and have never found another that fits as well. What would you wear?

  15. I found this article which may interest you. It's about how to get "the look" and it mentions the 2 color rule (but doesn't explain it). Anyway, check it out.

  16. Lyn, I really like the sound of your combo. The teal beads and denim shirt sound like a good contrast to the tan pants.

    The link is great, thanks for sharing. How infuriating that yet another person throws in the two colour rule without explaining!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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