fashion

A definitive guide: How to look chic and French at work when you're definitely not.

Figuring out what to wear to work can be a bit crap.

No matter how many times you lay your clothes out the night before, some days nothing you own looks right.

Really, all we want is to be comfortable and effortlessly stylish at work, yeah?

Like one of those French girls. Or your co-worker who always seems to get it right without even trying.

The good news? You can pull of that chic, uncomplicated French style too. Everyone can.

So in the name of beautiful images and things we’d really like to own, see below the definitive guide to looking chic and French at work.

What to buy and how to style it.

Because, sorry, your accent probably isn’t cutting it.

1. The blazer

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Images: Getty.

Chucking on a blazer is possibly the easiest way to 'fake French'.

Draped over your shoulders or paired with high-waisted pieces, a blazer's structure will elevate your look into chic territory without being fussy in the slightest.

Checked blazers are everywhere at the moment, but a classic, long line silhouette in black or navy will never date.

ASOS Tailored Bold Spring Check Blazer, $109

ASOS Tailored Bold Spring Check Blazer
Image: ASOS.
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Missguided Curve Black Check Longline Blazer, $70

Missguided Curve Black Check Longline Blazer

Atmos&Here Monaco Long line Loose Blazer, $99.95

Atmos&Here Monaco Longline Loose Blazer
Image: The ICONIC.
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Zara Double-Breasted Blazer, $159

Asos double breasted blazer
Image: Zara.

2. The denim jean

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Images: Getty.

Yes, a good denim jean is a staple no matter what your style.

But if your office dress code allows for them, they're a great way to look chic at work.

Choose a clean, uncomplicated cut for a sophisticated take on classic denim. Straight, boyfriend or 'mum' style jeans are great options if you're over skinny jeans.

And if you must have rips, make them on a light stone wash pair. Or compromise by picking a pair with distressing on the hem.

River Island Plus Raw Hem Skinny Jeans, $84

River Island Plus Raw Hem Skinny Jeans
Image: ASOS.
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Supré The Cool Mom Denim Jean, $50

Supré The Cool Mom Denim Jean
Image: Cotton On.

ASOS CURVE RIDLEY High Waist Skinny Jeans in Clean Black, $50

ASOS CURVE RIDLEY High Waist Skinny Jeans in Clean Black
Image: ASOS.
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Target Lily Loves Mom Jeans, $35

Target Lily Loves Mom Jeans
Image: Target.

3. The colour palette

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Basically, black = French.

Just like their coffee. And as some who've been to Paris might say, their souls.

But welcome other moody autumn/winter tones like olive green, navy, toasty brown, and of course any and all shades of red too.

Style tip - I saw Mamamia's Executive Editor Leigh Campbell with the sleeves of her coloured knit cuffed over her black blazer the other day. Stylish but unexpected.

The Fifth Rooftop Polka Dot Long Sleeve Top, $79.95

The Fifth Rooftop Polka Dot Long Sleeve Top
Image: BNKR.

Witchery Soft Pleat Skirt in Plum, $119.95

Witchery Soft Pleat Skirt in Plum
Image: Witchery.
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The Fifth Habitat Knit, $109.95

The Fifth Habitat Knit

Forecast Ashlyn Turtleneck Sweater, $39.99

Forecast Ashlyn Turtleneck Sweater
Image: Forecast.

ASOS CURVE Woven Peg Pants with OBI Tie, $50

ASOS CURVE Woven Peg Pants with OBI Tie
Image: ASOS.
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4. The white shirt

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White shirts don't have to look corporate.

If you're someone who needs to wear a shirt or blouse in the office, picking a crisp, white shirt with a different silhouette or interesting sleeve detailing looks polished, not boxy.

White shirts should come with a warning though - for some reason, they seem to always end up with a splotch of sauce down the front.

Or maybe that's just us.

Evans Eyelet Flute Sleeve Top, $59.95

Evans Eyelet Flute Sleeve Top
Image: The ICONIC.
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Witchery Cotton Shirt$129.95

Witchery Cotton Shirt
Image: Witchery.

Cotton On Women Rebecca Shirt, $29.95

Cotton On Women Rebecca Shirt
Image: Cotton On.

Zara Draped Knot Blouse, $69.95

Zara Draped Knot Blouse
Image: Zara.
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5. Simple accessories

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French style is known for its simplicity.

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Swap your chunky, elaborate earrings for fine pieces in silver, gold or rose gold, and a timeless watch with matching hardware won't go astray either.

Add a black bag in a classic shape and a scarf for your chignon and get on the next flight to Paris, stat.

Cinquante The Knot Cuff, $149

Cinquante The Knot Cuff
Image: Cinquante.

Lauve Riley Necklace, $58

Lauve Riley Necklace
Image: QH Collection.

Scarfy Official Gingham Style, $24

Scarfy Official Gingham Style
Image: Scarfy Official.
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Cooper St Sprint Turnlock Tote, $39.99

Cooper St Sprint Turnlock Tote

Daniel Wellington Classic York Leather Watch, $189

Daniel Wellington Classic York Leather Watch
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6. The refined shoe

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Step away from your Stan Smith sneakers and towards more refined footwear.

Like, for example, a loafer or mule. Or a loafer mule.

Anything with a point is also especially chic. Mainly because it looks like you mean business while being completely effortless.

If only.

And red boots are a great way to inject a trendiness - or je ne sais quoi - into an otherwise timeless ensemble.

Jo Mercer Prague Slingback Loafer, $189.95

JO MERCER Prague
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Spurr Simona Loafer Mules, $49.95

Spurr Simona Loafer Mules
Image: The ICONIC.

Kmart Pointy Toe Loafers, $15

Pointy Toe Loafers
Image: Kmart.
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Rubi Cha Cha Slingback Heel, $49.95

Cha Cha Slingback Heel
Image: Rubi.

Rubi Milan Kitten Mule Heel, $49.95

Milan Kitten Mule Heel
Image: Rubi.
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Rubi Evie Bow Mule, $29.95

Evie Bow Mule
Image: Rubi.

Zara Leather Ankle Boots with Block Heel, $139

Zara Red Boots
Image: Zara.

Oh, and then there's horizontal stripes. Of course.

But you know enough about them already.

What's your favourite work wear look? Do you like to get dressed up for work?

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