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How to look elegant and well-groomed like them there French women?

(75 Posts)
IBlameThatcher Fri 10-Feb-12 18:59:01

I've decided that I should stop wearing jeans and baggy tops everyday. I need to lose a couple of stone, so I've started on that. Had my hair trimmed and am trying to keep it in good condition. What I really need is advice on what exactly to wear. I was thinking plain, straight knee-length dresses, lots of black and simple jewellery. Can anyone else advise me as to what I should be wearing? Links to pics of tres stylish French women would be good grin

TheFarSide Fri 10-Feb-12 19:02:26

<Watching with interest>

I suspect being slightly underweight, a la "Desperate Housewives", helps.

VivaLaSativa Fri 10-Feb-12 19:03:48

Look on street peeper. I love this site, it's inspirational. wink

KristinaM Fri 10-Feb-12 19:06:36

Wearing lots of black only helps if black suits you. Of you are 25. Otherwise it makes you look tired and drawn.being well groomed always helps

whyme2 Fri 10-Feb-12 19:07:26

Viva but none of those elegant ladies had small children hanging off their arm and trailing snot through their hair.

mrsmartin Fri 10-Feb-12 19:10:51

My 'trick' to always lookin elegant and groomed?

Glossy hair
Neat make up (unless you are naturally 'gifted' and don't need it)
Manicured nails
Clean Shoes

If you screw up on any of those then you have no chance of looking like the French (though I hold the Italians in higher esteem - personal preference). Other than that, dress for style over fashion and learn what suits your shape, then stick to it.

mrsmartin Fri 10-Feb-12 19:12:29

Looking - typo - I'm not 12!!

BettyBathroom Fri 10-Feb-12 19:16:32

Was about to post the same as MrsMartin. Hair done. Make up done and shoes polished. Nails short & neat at the very least. Then take it to the next level. Doing too much at once is just overwhelming and you'll give up. I think you need to dress classically and let your accessories do the talking...I have yet to get to grips with this level - any tips would be gratefully received, I've neglected accessories very badly in the past.

VivaLaSativa Fri 10-Feb-12 19:17:24

whyme2 I noticed one that did look as if she had snot through her hairgrin .

bessie26 Fri 10-Feb-12 19:19:06

<marks place & wonders how she is going to polish her converse>

TheMouseRanUpTheClock Fri 10-Feb-12 19:19:29

Reading with interest, I asked for help earlier and got no response.

VivaLaSativa Fri 10-Feb-12 19:22:28

Eyebrows are a must for a polished look, If you get something like benefit brow zings this will help immensely.

Nails as already mentioned are important too.

A good foundation suited to your skin type to make your skin look flawless.

Not too much make up obviously, Nice lipsticks and neutral eye and cheek colours look more natural and elegant.

Bienchen Fri 10-Feb-12 19:23:13

Agree with previous posters.

Can add that a lot of French women sport short hair but I don't see much evidence of straighteners. Plain, good quality clothing and usually kept up to date with accessories (jewellery, scarf, sunglasses). Good quality handbag, again plain. Shoes with heels (at a comfortable height) and they wear coats in winter (currently a lot of apres-ski type down jackets with fur trims).

Very much agree on clean/polished shoes that are resoled/reheeled as and when needed.

Good posture.

BettyBathroom Fri 10-Feb-12 19:24:12

Do nails need to be painted or can I get away with nicely shaped?

mrsmartin Fri 10-Feb-12 19:29:21

Ah accessories...

OK BettyB, you need, as part of your core accessory wardrobe, the following:

1 tan leather handbag
1 black leather handbag
1 black clutch bag

1 pair of flat tan shoes
1 pair of black flat shoes
1 pair of tan heels (comfortable heel hight/shape)
1 pair of black heels
1 pair of pretty sandals in a metallic colour (pref with sparkle)
1 pair of havianas

1/2 statement set(s) of jewellery in either/both warm and cool tones
(this depends on your jewellery style and wedding band etc)

scarfs in a variety of colours and fabrics - silk can be knotted onto a handbag/ cotton worn loosely around the neck etc.

All other accessories can be added into your wardrobe but no matter what you wear, something from the above is guaranteed to work with it (obs you will need boots too but summer is comming (promise!!)

Look out for these key pieces in sales - pick up quality in sale rather than tat that you will have to replace every year.

harbingerofdoom Fri 10-Feb-12 19:30:42

Aaaaah, well can do most but am 'doomed' on the hair.
How on earth can curly hair look groomed? No I'm not straightening it.

IBlameThatcher Fri 10-Feb-12 19:31:47

Well, I have plain, filed nails, clean shoes. Wash hair daily and am trying to avoid straighteners. My make-up is very simple (clinique foundation, a little blusher, subtle pink lip gloss, mascara). I think I'm ok in some ways, but it's more the clothes really. Oh and sunglasses - are they necessary? I see a lot of people wearing them on their heads and they always seem to look quite chic.

mrsmartin Fri 10-Feb-12 19:31:48

As for nails - if you don't want to paint them then buff them - the shine will last a week. Just make sure you look after your cuticles with oil.

mrsmartin Fri 10-Feb-12 19:34:13

harbinger - put an oil/serum through curly hair - it will look gorgeous.

My faves are:
Loreal Mythic Oil
Tres semme salon smooth (has argan oil in it)
Percy and Reed no oil oil.

BettyBathroom Fri 10-Feb-12 19:40:11

Many thanks MrsMartin. I am a one handbag lady - I buy a lovely good quality bag and then wear it to death...need to be less lazy in this regard. I have no tan leather - none! Black, red & dark brown & white for summer. Have ordered some tan boots, scarf collection is being slowly extended.

I have rather large norks - I never know what works with lowish cut tops (only style that suits big norks). Have a fear of short necklaces looking like "fuck me chokers" and long necklaces look matronly. Any advice from the well norked?

harbingerofdoom Fri 10-Feb-12 19:41:35

When I was little the curls made me look like a poodle (joy of joys),now I'm a lot,lot older the curls have 'relaxed' so not sure any more.
There was a lady that went round hotels with curly hair.She looked great. Could have done that 10 years ago but not now.

sittinginthesun Fri 10-Feb-12 19:43:16

Watching thread with interest...

BettyBathroom Fri 10-Feb-12 19:44:59

I gave up on foundation years ago - it always looked like a mask, I have very white skin tones - I use liquid concealer and a loose powder it gives me a more natural appearance. Will get a nail buffer....or some clear nail varnish - my hands are awful so I would rather not draw attention to them.

Fraktal Fri 10-Feb-12 19:45:14

Quality clothes kept in good nick
Not over accessorising
Attention to detail
Eyeliner (pref liquid) and mascara
No denim except skinny jeans!
Layer well

Fraktal Fri 10-Feb-12 19:45:40

Unpolished, shaped mails are preferable to chipped polish!

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