Pret Reporteur. French Dressing: A Farewell To The City of Style

February 4, 2009 • Fashion


Gabbie Perez for Second City Style Magazine

I owe a lot to the city of Paris: my love of art, my fascination
with aesthetics, my proficiency in a second language, my empty bank
account. But most of all, the city transformed me from a designer label
lover into a confident shopper who knows what she wants.

European style, particularly that of the French, is not easily
emulated. Somehow French women always look sophisticated and so
effortlessly put together. But after having lived in Paris for over 3
years, I am finally able to make a cheat sheet for copycat Parisian style.

1. Don’t Follow Trends
This is the most valuable fashion lesson I learned while living in
Paris. American fashion is overwhelmingly obsessed with trends — every
major magazine now includes some sort of ‘fashion watch’ and we cannot
escape the ‘trend alerts’ made available after every major fashion
show. While these are important as they reveal the latest in fashion
design, we should not allow our closets to become slaves to trends and
what others label as cool. Remember
to listen to yourself: wear what you like, what you feel comfortable
in, what reveals your personality, even if it is deemed ‘out’ this

2. Keep It Simple And Clean
Minimalism is an essential to French dressing, a quality seemingly
inherent in French women of all ages, and which remains the biggest
difference between American and French style. French style doesn’t depend on the latest trend or the newest designer prodigy, but rather on understated and timeless pieces.
They choose pieces that are classic in color, shape, and quality.
French women balance their outfits with equal proportions of cloth to
skin (ie plunging necklines paired with a super short mini is a big

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