The Ideal French Minimalist Wardrobe for Women – Part Three (Style and Fashion)
….Continuing on with the series…
9. PERFECTLY FITTED, CLASSIC BLAZER
It is a flattering neutral colour, fits in the shoulders, is comfortable, skims over the torso AND hits just at your hipbones?
DONE. BUY IT NOW.
My ultimate go-to brand for mainstream blazers is Massimo Dutti.
Their slim fit blazer is a dream for inverted triangles such as myself. I take a US 6 (EUR 38) in this blazer in pretty much every colour it comes in that is flattering on me.
- grey flannel wool
- navy pinstriped wool
- heather grey wrapped wool
- beige wool
- neutral linen
…and every season around sale time, I go back for more colours that are flattering on me. I still need a nice white or ivory wool one, and green perhaps.
HOW TO SIZE THIS PROPERLY:
To check the fit in shoulders, put on the blazer, button it up, then hug yourself. If it feels tight, size up until it doesn’t feel too tight.
If it feels too loose, size down.
You should be able to comfortably, snugly, hug yourself.
Now try and raise your hands up while it is buttoned, and then down. Up. Down. Sit down. Turn around.
Do you still feel comfortable? Good. It fits well.
Are you adjusting yourself 50 times and tugging things down? Find another cut or jacket, or size up.
You don’t want a jacket too fitted, nor too loose (it looks like a child wearing an adult’s blazer).
The sleeve length is always perfect, the lapel is minimalist and I can’t get better than MD for blazers unless I can hunt down a secondhand The Row blazer in a US 8 (they size SMALL in that brand).
If you want an even cheaper alternative, I liked the Banana Republic blazer like this camel one as of late. I am so surprised at the quality (read: lack of itchiness) in the wool blazers, and the stunning classic colours and cuts. Very nice.
EXACT / SIMILAR:
- The Row – Schoolboy Stretch Wool-blend Blazer – Black • The Row • $1,325
- Camel Blazer • Banana Republic • $193.99
- Lightweight Wool Wrapped Blazer • Banana Republic • $228
10. AVIATOR SUNGLASSES
My favourite is the Ray-Ban COCKPIT aviator sunglasses that are polarized (well worth the extra $50 to deflect the sun and help save your eyes, trust me.)
I have short cheeks (is that even a thing), and I find my cheekbones hit the actual aviator shape and cause acne to appear just underneath (not cool). For my oval face, the cockpit is the best shape.
SHOPPING FOR RAY-BAN COCKPIT AVIATOR POLARIZED SUNGLASSES
- Ray-Ban Cockpit Aviator Sunglasses • Ray-Ban • $150
- Ray-Ban Sunglasses, RB3362 59 COCKPIT • Ray-Ban • $200
- Ray-Ban Cockpit Aviator Sunglasses • Ray-Ban • $95
SHOPPING FOR RAY-BAN NORMAL AVIATOR POLARIZED SUNGLASSES
- Women’s Ray-Ban ‘Original Aviator’ 58Mm Polarized Sunglasses – Black • Ray-Ban • $200
- Ray-Ban Polarized Classic Aviator Sunglasses, 62mm • Ray-Ban • $200
- Ray-Ban Polarized Aviator Sunglasses • Ray-Ban • $200
11. WOOL COAT – PEACOAT, SINGLE-BREASTED OR DOUBLE-BREASTED
The most classic colour is a deep navy blue or black in this style. I own a Smythe blazer in this (similar version here), but there are quirky details at the cuffs and the lapel in a lighter blue that sort of ‘pops’.
HOW TO SIZE THIS PROPERLY:
Take your actual size, unless it feels like it fits perfectly with just a t-shirt underneath.
YOU WILL WANT TO WEAR A SWEATER or something to keep on while you are inside.
It is better to go bigger than smaller. You really need to be comfortable and that means with your outfit underneath too.
EXACT / SIMILAR:
- Solid Double-Breasted Wool Peacoat • French Connection • $154.99
- Women’s Frame Double Breasted Wool Peacoat • Frame • $725
- Women’s Fleurette Wool Peacoat • Fleurette • $479.90
12. A SIMPLE SHOULDER TOTE
Leather, nylon, take your pick.
The most classic bag I see Parisiennes carry (and Francophones) is the Pliage. They (and I, an honorary Francophone now), carry this bag almost daily.
It is light, very sturdy, and holds a LOT.
You could carry rocks in it, and it would still last a long time. If you want just the look of it, there are cheap versions of it but they don’t last and look bad after a while.
I know girls who use it to carry laptops and heavy textbooks.
It also looks less offensive (?) or at least, more unobtrusive than a Louis Vuitton Speedy Catchall Carryall Neverfull tote.. (whatever that name of that tote is that everyone except for Francophones always rave on about). That tote is granted, very roomy, but.. also very loud with its print. The solid versions aren’t so bad but not for that price.
Another brand that people (not any of the Frenchwomen I know though) seem to rave on about is Goyard, but again.. I find the print
kind of SO INCREDIBLY ugly. I feel like I could see that print on a tote sold at Wal-mart for $10, or sold in Chinatown to tote vegetables :\.
I can’t get over that print being so … ugly but I can’t figure out why I think it looks so cheap.
(To each their own, I know women who think spending $200 on a NYLON TOTE from LONGCHAMP is insanity. 😉 )
Again, the key is: Simple, Unadorned, No Logos, Solid Colours preferably.
As for leather totes, Madewell Transport Tote seems to be the brand of choice of style bloggers online but I think it looks rather cheap for the price and quality of it. I think Etsy offers far more options that are independently made in the U.S. or worldwide by people who love leather.
My favourite leather tote has been from Paterson & Salisbury, shown best here:
It is slightly heavier because the leather is thicker and the handles are not the kind of leather that gets soft and feels like a backpack strap after a while (you know, soft, supple, buttery), but it is STURDY and VERY, VERY roomy.
I love carrying it, and the copper rivets are so strong and stylish.
EXACT / SIMILAR:
- Waxed Canvas Tote Bag – Dark Brown • Independent Reign • $180
- Baggu Classic Leather Tote • Baggu • $180
- Madewell Transport Tote • Madewell • $168