fashion

Inside the wardrobe of a French street style guru.

You might think you haven’t heard of Inès de La Fressange, but you’d be wrong.

You might have read her book on street style in the land of stripes and baguettes, Parisian Chic.

You might have seen her modeling for Chanel in the ’80s. Or for Gaultier in 2008, at the age of 51.

You might remember her being voted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame back in 1998. You might be wearing clothes from her label, or from her very popular ongoing collabs with Uniqlo.

But even if you don’t know La Fressange, you should get to know her wardrobe. She takes a few basic rules and turns them into an art form. Think of these as your easy cheat sheet to dressing French at every age.

1. Navy blue, all the time

It’s the signature colour of her eponymous fashion line, and seems to be basically the only colour she ever wears. Especially dapper with a personally monogrammed coat.

2. A navy blue blazer, specifically

Actually, any blazer. It can turn something as casual (/boring?) as jeans and sneakers into an incredibly put-together outfit. Layer at will. With navy jeans. (Honestly, in this woman’s book, there’s no such thing as too much blue.)

Shopping at #lavalleevillage with @dominolattes & @sophiefontanel #laugh #friends #happyfriday #shopaholic @lavalleevillage #parisianstyle A photo posted by Ines de la Fressange (@inesdelafressangeofficial) on

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…pop your collar to add a bit of edge…

Salon du livre #openingceremony … #salondulivre #2016 #SL2016 A photo posted by Ines de la Fressange (@inesdelafressangeofficial) on

…or layer with a turtleneck in colder weather. Very cosy, very polished, very French.

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3. When you’re not in navy, stick to simple block colours

White is pretty failsafe. Does it help that it goes beautifully with navy? Yes, yes it does.

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Ironically, the simpler your outfit is, the fancier it looks. Exhibit A: standard white shirt with basic linen pants. Looks a million bucks.

Typical french girl in south of France ! A photo posted by Ines de la Fressange (@inesdelafressangeofficial) on

4. Leave the detail for your accessories

And you can really go to town, here. It’s the only part of a French woman’s wardrobe where more is more (is more). Don’t worry about matching your jewellery, just wear it all at once. Another great effect of simple clothes is that they make every fashion decision you make look impeccably thought through.

Sooooooo chic ! #lovely @carlynecerfdedudzeele #ofcourse

A photo posted by Ines de la Fressange (@inesdelafressangeofficial) on

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5. A basket is a very legitimate handbag

Just ask Jane Birkin. Once you push past the awkward feeling that you’re impersonating a farm girl, it’s hard to go back. Baskets fit everything.  

They know me @clarinsfr ! #basket #obsession #sunprotection #loveit #thanks ! @olivier.courtin A photo posted by Ines de la Fressange (@inesdelafressangeofficial) on

6. And flares are back. Or maybe they never left.

With the right combo (navy blazer, anyone?), flares go from weird hippy throwback to polished power pants. They’re also really flattering. Remember when you laughed at skinny jeans, and thought to yourself, “I could never wear those, they make my legs look like stumpy ice-cream cones!”?

Sure, maybe you drank the Kool-Aid, but you can blame Kate Moss. There are pants that are somehow designed to make your legs look smaller and longer at the same time. These ones.

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7. Find the piece you love, and live in it.

We all have that piece. After four frantic pre-work outfit changes, you end up rocking up to the office in your denim shirt…for the fifth day in a row. Embrace it. Like this green army jacket (army blazer?). Also, flares again. La Fressange is nothing if not consistent.  

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You know all those articles about finding ‘your uniform’? It’s actually very easy. Your uniform is just whatever you most like wearing. So wear it, as much as you want.

(P.S. Navy.)

Want more style inspo? See what celebrities wore during Fashion Week.

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Feature image via Instagram/@sophiegachet.
This post originally appeared on Flo and Frank. You can read it here.

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