I am not French, but I do visit France often and enjoy fashion and style. With those two meager credentials, I pay a lot of attention to French girls on the streets whom I find stylish and I’ve made mental notes of what they wear so I can basically replicate it in my own life.
They seem to follow major rules in styling themselves, and it’s summed up in4 little words:
Rough Translation = Good style, good attitude.
It probably means nothing to you on the surface, but if you dig deeper it says that if you dress well, you will project a good attitude by doing so.
(Fun fact: It is also often shortened as ‘BCBG’, and that’s how that fashion company BCBG Max Azria was named.)
Naturally, not all French women dress this way (there’s also the bobo style), but the ones I have found stylish, tend to be of the BCBG nature, that is to say: stylish, simple, conservative and rabid about not showing it.
Totally up my alley for the most part.
SO HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE A PARISIAN BCBG STYLE?
Here are the few ground rules:
NO MAJOR LOGOS OR BRAND FLASHING ALLOWED
Oddly enough, even though Louis Vuitton is a French brand, I did not notice many… actually, any Parisian women carrying LV bags covered in their ubiquitous logos such as these bags below:
This led me to speculate that perhaps it is because LV bags tend to be covered in logos that French women tend to avoid such ostentatious shows of so-called “wealth”, and carry bags with small logos (or none at all) instead.
It’s a very different mindset from what we are used to, wouldn’t you say?
I know in Japan for instance, they love the LV logo’d bag, but when you are in Paris, the only ones shopping at LV are tourists.
Not the French.
I always chuckle a little when I see bloggers (fashion ones mostly), freak out about going to Paris and buying a LV bag there, because it makes me think it’s quite ironic that the brand is so associated with being chic and being in Paris, when it is truly not the same brand image or experience with French women who were born and bred there.
Of course, I pick on Louis Vuitton, but this goes for Gucci or any other brand. The only exception seems to be Chanel and Burberry.
I have seen very understated, classic Chanel flap bags (discreetly held of course), and Burberry trench coats (no logo-waving behaviour here), where just looking at the coat I can tell it’s a Burberry trench (yeah I’m that girl), but more importantly, the Burberry plaid is hidden INSIDE the coat (no popped collars either).