How to Shop Like a French Woman

7 Mar

Imagine you just got out of a dressing room at Zara. You have tried on a few things–let’s say a pair of pants and two blouses, one in white and one in blue.


As you wait in line at the register, you decide to get the pants and the white blouse. You don’t really need the blue blouse.

…But once you’re about to check out, and the pants and the white blouse are already in the shopping bag, you notice a gold necklace hanging nearby the counter. It’s on sale.

You don’t really need another gold necklace, but in the end, you convince yourself that it would complement any outfit and add the perfect feminine touch to your jewelry collection.


When it comes to clothes shopping, I have noticed that American women are notorious for making impulsive purchases and replacing worn out or dated clothing on a regular basis. After learning more about French culture from class and friends, the French take care in investing in long-lasting wardrobe staples.

Here are a few tips to keep your wardrobe stay simple, chic, and look effortlessly French:

1. Qualité vs. Quantité–The best way to build a good wardrobe is to buy well made garments. Sometimes this means hunting for certain brands or even taking a trip to a tailor (un tailleur), but having a wardrobe of key essentials to weather the seasons of trends and fads promises enduring style.

2. Don’t buy it just because it’s on sale–Spotting a discount or clearance sale never discourages a shopaholic, but it shouldn’t be the only reason that encourages you to make a purchase. Even if a sale item is $10, consider how well would it coordinate with your current wardrobe, whether or not it fits you, and if you would wear it often.

3. Be wary of trendy pieces–It is important to have signature statement pieces, but maybe an acid neon hi-lo dress is not a statement that you want to keep in style for a long time. Do you really want too many things that will be considered démodé next season?

4. Remember the little things–Use accessories as an opportunity to bring your wardrobe to the next level. Jewelry, scarves, and handbags add more personality and character that extends from your clothes.

Also consider choosing a signature scent: as Coco Chanel once said, “a woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” Make yours beautiful!


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