Effortless chic: how to get French style

A little while ago I wrote about casual style and how to look like you’ve made an effort even when you are wearing soft pants.

In a continued effort to find the secrets that will unlock the holy grail of smart casual, I have gone the other way and been hunting down those mysterious people who seem to dress like they couldn’t give too shits and yet manage to come across classically stylish. Of course I started by stalking the French and after going down a few rabbit holes on Pinterest and The Sartorialist I think I have discovered how the hell they manage to look so bloody effortlessly fabulous at all times.

The right trouser length with flats

Having a bit of ankle or foot showing elongates your legs when you are wearing flats. It also gives a kinda cute vintage vibe. This is not to be confused with a 3/4 length trouser which rarely has a glamorous edge and probably should be avoided at all costs.

IMAGE CREDITS: The Sartorialist

Crazy good, natural hair

French style is all about understated, underdone hair that moves. It’s not all product laden, blowdried and stiff. I’ve read that to have ‘French hair’ you should avoid cutting and washing it. Unfortunately that approach would not work for those blessed with yeti-wool on their head (i.e. me). And as much as this look is about appearing natural, for most people it takes hours of cutting and colouring to get beautiful, natural-looking hair. But by god it’s a great look.


IMAGE CREDITS: The Sartorialist

A big ole bag

Get yourself a bigass handbag and sling it on your arm. So glam. And you’ll never again be space-challenged when you need to store a lunchbox of kids snacks, a bag of lego, your entire lipstick collection, a spare pair of walking shoes, the dog’s portable drinking bowl and your mindfulness colouring in book and pencil case.


IMAGE CREDITS: The Sartorialist

Casual, not sloppy

Something I discovered when trawling around looking at pics of hot women in Paris was that although there’s lots of denim and tees and jumpers, the garments as a rule are pretty well-cut. Finding clothes that fit properly is a key to nailing this look. A tailored blazer is a great way to add a bit of structure to a loose tee. The other thing is to stick to a fairly neutral palette to pull together the different pieces in a coherent way.


IMAGE CREDITS: The Sartorialist

Be yourself, the French would

What I love most about any kind of great style is seeing how the person pulls together and wears the look. There’s something so awesome about stylish people who are uncompromisingly individual and confident-as-hell in what they’ve punched out of their wardrobe. It’s so cool and that’s what fashion is really all about isn’t it? Express yourself and wear what makes you feel great. Life is short, get out there!


IMAGE CREDITS: The Sartorialist


Written By

Gillian is a marketing savant and brand strategist with over 20 years of experience in above and below the line marketing, digital strategy and creative direction. She is an exceptional people person who loves to collaborate with clients every step of the way to achieve the best possible outcome. Gillian is also a successful makeup-artist and make-up obsessive who loves to share her tricks of the trade and help women to look good and feel great.

1 Comment

  • I absolutely love this. I’ve been trying to master ‘effortlessly chic’ this year. I have some hits and misses (I get tired and run out of fucks to give haha) but I think I’m getting there and am so in love with the look. There’s this one woman I know at the school gate who NAILS it and she is honestly my fashion hero right now. I always love to see what she’s wearing. Sounds silly, but I’ve never really had to do the casual chic thing before until I became a school mum this year. I was either SLOB or CORPORATE or PARTY. No in betweens ever seemed to work for me! I feel like a real grown up now I’m making an effort to look like I haven’t made an effort haha.
    Love these tips and they all ring true for me at the moment! Great pics!

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