How to look like a Parisian? I am sure every woman asks this question at least once. Some do it out loud, others prefer wondering silently in a form of quiet conversation between themselves and their inner French girls trying to find out the secret to that imitable Parisian style.
Just like you, I thought about it a lot. Not to be point of obsession, but it crossed my mind quite a few times. At the end I realised that what Parisiennes managed to keep going is relying on very simple and timeless items without actually looking at fashions and trends too much. This habit, stripped of any unnecessary distractions and then perfected by desire of looking unique, feminine and true to her own little universe, is what really makes a Parisian woman so chic and inspiring regardless of time of the day, location or age.
On many levels this is how I was brought up, too. Not that we weren't interested in fashions. We were curious, but at the end the desire of looking like a woman, never having the same things as somebody else and living with a small wardrobe that would fit into our small apartments as well as deficit of everything meant very few shopping trips, learning how to fashion an outfit with whatever we already had and then update it, season by season, with little additions (often made to order or DIY'ed) rather than entire wardrobe overhaul.
And you know what? It was liberating!
Having moved countries I did my best to follow the same rule, though it became somewhat blurry a few years ago. I think it had something to do with the fact that regardless of how much stuff there was in shops, finding a perfect pencil skirt or simple V-neck or blouse without paying a fortune for a designer item was a challenge - there was way too many "trendy things" and very few "classics" around. I think it made me feel lost and disconnected and, as a result coupled with a trip to Paris, lead to loving the whole "Parisian thing".
Over the years I slowly restored the inner peace and harmony by finding my "happy places" on pages of Finding your inner French girl, Parisian Chic, Chic in Paris and How to be Parisian, numerous articles including advice from Tasha de Vasconcelos, Hadley Freeman and Harriet Welty Rochefort and, as the final wave of bliss, Carine Roitfeld's Irreverent.
By the end of 2014 I was emotionally content and ready to fill the gaps. I found a few beautiful (often vintage) additions, parted with old "acquaintances" that never became true friends... But then there was a problem - I might have found my "inner French girl" or whatever else you'd like to call it, but it was incredibly challenging to find a perfect pencil skirt to complete the transformation.
Then Uniqlo announced the brand's collaboration with Carine Roitfeld... The search was other, it was now the matter of time. What I didn't expect (and was very excited to see) was the volume and quality of the collection! Carine being her brilliant self thought of everything, so comes 29 October (mark your calendars!), any woman looking for very Parisian (and very chic) wardrobe essentials will be able to buy them all at once and then style according to her own rules. Add a pair of pumps, boots and sunglasses and you are done!
Here's my list - all items will be available in black, grey, pinstripe and a few - in animal and military-style print, so you will definitely be able to find something to suit your personality. The skirts will retail for £29, trousers and silk shirts - from £39, jackets and coats - from £99, and accessories that include bags, belts and scarves - from £15.
And because Mondays are for editorials I turned to the recent story from Madame Figaro featuring Carine Roitfeld X Uniqlo collection.
Photo source: collection photos via Uniqlo, Lily Donaldson styled by Carine Roitfeld & photographed by Anthony Maule for Madame Figaro September 2015