French style

(39 Posts)
bigbuttons Tue 02-Aug-16 15:22:51

This week I have had the fortune to accompany my mum on a river cruise up the Rhone. Lucky me. We are currently spending a couple of days in Lyon which is a lovely city.
I have been amazed at the styles and choice of dress of most of the American and British cruise goers. The Britsh seem to commit the worst sins dress- wise; think socks, sandals , shirts and shorts in unpleasant and garish patterns and materials. Tight belted and ill fitting clothes with flabby overhang.
I have noticed how very differently the French women dress , they just look chic, just, different. I passed a woman in the street yesterday who look amazing. She only had a simple dress on, but it was styled with a belt I would never have chosen and her hair was all swishy and she sort of sashed along the road with a smile on her face.
Older women look fabulous on the whole too. I am 48 so count myself in the older woman category.
Sadly we leave tomorrow afternoon. I shall make another foray into the huge shopping mall in an attempt to arm myself with some French style.

Is it possible to have a bit of je ne sais quoi in old Blighty? I would love to have a bit of what these French women seem to have.

DerelictMyBalls Tue 02-Aug-16 15:29:21

You might want to read one of the other threads on the same subject:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/style_and_beauty/1733479-French-chic-style

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/style_and_beauty/2337030-French-Parisian-Style-Ooh-La-Lovely

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/style_and_beauty/1852408-Tips-please-to-help-me-look-effortlessly-chic-French-style

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/style_and_beauty/1403935-How-to-look-elegant-and-well-groomed-like-them-there-French-women

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/style_and_beauty/1546739-Bloody-French-and-their-bloody-innate-chic-Its-all-true

BitOutOfPractice Tue 02-Aug-16 15:32:08

I personally never think French women look any more stylish than British. Many very young French women seem to dress like they are in their 50s and there is a sort of "uniform" that British women just don't feel the need to conform to

So, in short, I think the "brits are slobs, French are chic" is a massive and out of date cliché

bigbuttons Tue 02-Aug-16 15:38:36

* derilict* thanks so much for those thread links. I will enjoy looking though them.

bit I wish I could agree with you, but that is sadly not what I have been seeing this last week. It is more than clothes, it is something subtle. I have been looking at the women on the boat and I am sure that in better hands their clothes would look very different.
Ah well, you can possibly tell I have a few hours to kill!

DerelictMyBalls Tue 02-Aug-16 15:40:18

De rien! grin

MitzyLeFrouf Tue 02-Aug-16 15:47:04

They're groomed to the max. Even their artfully dishevelled hair is planned down to the very last strand.

I do like a good French style thread.

teaandcake789 Tue 02-Aug-16 15:47:40

My dad was a taxi driver and he always used to comment on how beautiful little French girls looked - their hair was always cut beautifully, unlike the English girls who's hair was allowed to grow long and wild.
I guess the French just learn the important of style and composing themselves from a young age.

ZaraW Tue 02-Aug-16 15:48:54

I think it's a bit of a myth there are extremely badly dressed French women at home and on holiday. Certain posters buy into the the claim all French women are stylish they aren't though they are probably slimmer than the average Brit. Their style is a bit bland we have more imagination.

BitOutOfPractice Tue 02-Aug-16 15:57:10

I simply don't recognise your description of how British women dress on holiday OP. I don't think I have ever seen a British woman in socks and sandals.

FartyBumblePooWee Tue 02-Aug-16 16:23:58

Watching with interest

plusthree Tue 02-Aug-16 16:28:07

I know exactly what you mean buttons. I was in Paris recently and many of the french women were simply but stylishly dressed, I couldn't put my finger on it but I really wanted to look like them.

MitzyLeFrouf Tue 02-Aug-16 16:36:48

It think it boils down to

-be slim
-wear classic, expensive clothes
-wear neutral colours
-never wear patterns
-be a bit slimmer
-feel sick at the though of scuffed shoes or bags
-take serious care of skin and nails but don't wear loads of makeup or nail varnish
-smoke
-be even slimmer

ZaraW Tue 02-Aug-16 16:42:24

It's all a bit safe through isn't it? We have more fun with the way we dress.

bigbuttons Tue 02-Aug-16 17:10:41

bit I would so like to take some secret photos of my fellow Brits here on the ship and post them. Seriously it would make you want to gouge your eyes out. All the men are wearing socks and sandals or boat shoes. Some if the socks come to mid calf. I am looking at some now as I type- oh my eyes.....

bigbuttons Tue 02-Aug-16 17:15:36

So I am sitting on the prow watching life go by. We are docked in the centre of Lyon.
Sadly for me we are docked next to an outdoor exercise area where there are currently very fit, half naked young men doing strenuous exercises in the blistering heat - oh my eyes ( again)
The French women walking by are simply dressed, mostly in jeans, some in p,sin straight dresses with flat sandals or wedges, plain tops, a little jewellery and a nice small bag.
Of course they are all tanned and seem quite relaxed .

allegretto Tue 02-Aug-16 17:19:13

My husband is Italian, not French but he always says that British men wear terrible socks - wrong length, cheap looking, wrong colour. I didn't use to get it but I can really see it now - those mid-calf sport socks for example look TERRIBLE on everybody.

FWIW I think the trick is to really look at everything you are wearing. It should all co-ordinate (not match though) and this is especially true of any accessories. Actually look in the mirror before you go out and, especially in the winter, don't throw on any old scarf or coat but find something which goes with what you are wearing.

HowToChooseAUserName Tue 02-Aug-16 17:21:54

Isn't it because if you are thin, most things look good/better? And there are a higher proportion of slim French women than British women?

I don't think it is just weight though (although that's a part of it); I think it is genetic. The British tend to be more squat generally. sweeping generalisations aside

ZaraW Tue 02-Aug-16 17:22:30

On holiday in Thailand we were in a restaurant with a group of French tourists all badly dressed the worst "offender" had very badly dyed red hair, shell suit jacket, leopard leggings, trainers and dangly parrot earrings oh my eyes....

Statelychangers Tue 02-Aug-16 17:25:40

I noticed French men dressed in a quirky, interesting way, but Parisian women did not differ much from London Women - which disappointed me greatly...but I enjoyed watching the men.

bigbuttons Tue 02-Aug-16 17:26:53

I'm sure there are some very badly dressed French. Can't find any in Lyon. Perhaps the larger towns with better access to fashion have a higher proportion of people who are interested?

LaurieFairyCake Tue 02-Aug-16 17:28:25

What's wrong with boat shoes confused

You're on a boat grin

My dh has navy leather boat shoes. No boat.

bigbuttons Tue 02-Aug-16 17:30:15

There are hundreds of people cycling by the ship. They are even cycling in a chic manner, sort of effortless. How is that possible?

BitOutOfPractice Tue 02-Aug-16 17:32:36

You said in your OP that you were comparing the women, not men.

I still think you are wrong and that the french being stylish is a cliche. In general I think they lack individual style and fashion flair

cressetmama Tue 02-Aug-16 20:00:05

French people don't look as if they got dressed in the dark! |It may be thoughtful of English people to do so, but surely, co-ordinating what you are going to wear each day, to present yourself to the world, and possibly be judged, means paying a little care and attention.

Although, from looking at this month's magazines, getting dressed in the dark is what everyone decided to do.

EmpressTomatoKetchup Tue 02-Aug-16 20:12:41

I still think you are wrong and that the french being stylish is a cliche. In general I think they lack individual style and fashion flair

I agree. It's all a very samey "classic" style of dressing. Give me parrot earrings and leopard leggings any day.

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