Le freak, c'est chic
I cannot speak French, but I never-the-less yearn for the endless elegance and allure of the Parisian woman, and so in the past week I have been striving to become one. Despite having spent all my food money on ‘chic’ clothes, and bought lots of non-Parisian things by accident, je ne regrette rien…
As I understand it, the French woman has 5 things that we English generally do not:
1. Clean yet tousled unstyled hair.
2. Only 7 key items in her wardrobe and the rest in storage.
3. A string of desperately-in-love men clinging to her Chanel slacks
4. Excellent coffee
5. A realisation of exactly how feminine men’s clothing can make you look.
Here are my Parisian ‘looks’ attempted to date:
1. Man’s shirt, Man’s belt (chopped down), skinny jeans, beige brogues, oversized vomit-coloured sweater
2. Bootcut jeans, stripey french-like top, glittery tennis shoes, hair tied back and a foot-long baguette (not really)
3. Black pleated mac, skinnies, brogues and a passionate Parisian stare
4. Navy dress, black tights, back-combed hair, smoky eyes and a bottle of wine (accessories are key)
According to Ines de la Fressange, the 7 basic items a woman needs in her wardrobe are: A classic trench coat, a good pair of jeans, a man’s black blazer, a navy v-neck sweater, a leather jacket, a tank top, and – of course- a little black dress. I must have at least 200 items of clothing (most aren’t worn), and I didn’t own a single one of these key items apart from the little black dress, which according to de la Fressange I have been wearing incorrectly anyway (wear with large sunglasses, flats and a frown for true Parisian chic).
This week I have bought the black blazer and some classic bootcut jeans. Next year I’ll be getting the rest when HSBC stop sending me threatening letters (“Pardon, je ne pas comprehend, je suis une chic Parisian”). In the meantime I will continue my love affair with Parisian Chic from afar, leaving trails of tester Chanel from Debenhams in my wake, talking in a throaty French accent and practising my mournful French stare on the bailiffs.