In 2011, French model and fashion icon Inès de la Fressange -- a woman long held in high regard for her beauty and grace -- published a pocket-sized book on the matters of style. Between the little red covers of Parisian Chic: A Style Guide were 52 tips on how to dress like a Parisian, fashion and home decor shopping guides, and charming, light-hearted illustrations.
RELATED: French Fashion Style Tips
Less Is Always More
Who better to take advice on dressing like the French than from Coco Chanel herself, who believed whenever you leave the house, you should look in the mirror and remove one item from your ensemble. For today's stylista, choose a bold statement necklace, infinity scarf or a too-cute Parisian beret -- but just one! Editing down your accessories before stepping out the door is the quickest way to achieve the ease and simplicity of Parisian style. <em>Tiffany & Co. 30" Cultured Pearl Necklace, $12,300. Available at <a href="http://www.tiffany.ca/shopping/Item.aspx?fromGrid=1&sku=14476717&mcat=&cid=&search_params=s+1-p+2-c+-r+501323352-x+-n+6-ri+-ni+0-t+&search=1Quantity" target="_hplink">Tiffany & Co.</a></em>
Rather than throwing on every en trend item in your closet, highlight one piece such as a coloured jean or a floral blazer and pair it with an array of classics. The French have perfected the beauty of monochromatic dressing so pair your summer statement piece with streamlined neutrals. <em>GAP Killer Tomato Ankle Zip Legging Jeans, $80. Available at <a href="http://www.gapcanada.ca/browse/product.do?cid=48607&vid=1&pid=243695&scid=243695063" target="_hplink">GAP stores nationwide</a></em>
Choose Flattering Basics
If you have visited Paris, you've probably noticed the abundance of classic colours like black, navy and grey. Parisian style is sleek and streamlined so do not be afraid to embrace the always-flattering darker tones or liven it up with pops of colour or texture. Items like a fitted navy blazer, a black knee-length pencil skirt or a luxurious grey V-neck cashmere sweater will have you in a Paris state of mind in no time. <em>Smythe Plaid One Button Blazer In Blue Plaid With Caramel Leather Patch. For more information, visit <a href="http://smythelesvestes.com/collections/pre-fall-2012" target="_hplink">smythelesvestes.com</a></em>
Join The Boys Club
Gone is the overly buttoned up style. The look du jour is women wearing their boyfriend jeans or an oversized Oxford shirt, but layering with more structured and feminine items. The mix of the two leads to interesting touches like a simple pink ballet flat or a fabulous lace tank. <em>J. Crew Ludlow Shirt, $102. Available at <a href="http://www.jcrew.com/index.jsp" target="_hplink">jcrew.com</a></em>
It's A Wrap
While Parisian style is simple yet sophisticated nothing says elegance like a neatly tied scarf tucked into your favourite blazer. Scarves are the must-have accessory in Paris and no outfit is complete without them. To channel your inner starlet, why not add a fabulous broach at the side of your scarf or indulge in an oversized wrap -- a fabulous addition to your LBD (little black dress). <em>Scout And Catalogue Scarves. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.scoutandcatalogue.com/" target="_hplink">scoutandcatalogue.com</a></em>
Taking It To The Streets
Off the beaten path and edgy are two words to describe Parisian street style. The minimalist days of French cinema have been replaced with the fearless mixing of patterns and textures and oversized blazers paired with slim-legged trousers. The unexpected is expected when discussing the streets of Paris so look out for interesting colour twists, spiked accessories, fuller silhouettes and over-the-top patterns. You won't be disappointed. <em>Ela Handbags D.D. Tote. For more information, visit <a href="http://elahandbags.com/en/dd-tote.html" target="_hplink">elahandbags.com</a></em>
This menswear inspired shoe is making waves both on and off the runways. Loafers and traditional laced Oxfords are being paired with white ankle socks, coloured tights or trim-cropped pants. Adopting this look for the streets of Canada can be as simple as pairing your favourite dark denim jean and leather blazer -- and don't forget to roll up the bottoms of your jeans. <em>Sperry Top Sider Shoes. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.sperrytopsider.com/store/SiteController/sperry/subcategory;jsessionid=D2D85879F9329D0AEA4AAE457D7F3A26.pss-app-17-p-app1?catId=cat90048DM&subCatId=cat100148DM&" target="_hplink">sperrytopsider.com</a></em>
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Now, for 2013 Karl Lagerfeld's former Chanel muse presents yet another way to carry around her advice -- in a similar-looking weekly agenda. The Parisian Chic Weekly Planner offers tips on fashion and beauty alongside De La Fressange's witty take on la joie de vivre. For example, her instructions for April Fool's Day:
"Dress head to toe in leopard print (clothes and accessories) and convince everyone that it's the latest hot look. On April Fool's Day in France, it's traditional to tape a picture of a fish to someone's back in homage. Eat fish for lunch (bonus: it's a great source of omega 3)."
It's true, we live in an age of electronic organization where you can sync your email's calendar to your phone's calendar to your tablet's calendar (hell, how many devices do you have anyway, girl?). But, it is nice to have a traditional accessory like a proper agenda for jotting down quick notes, adding business cards to, and for simply whipping out of your purse at meetings very important-like; in the most chicest of manners.
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