Shop like a Parisienne!

It is universally accepted that French women in general are achingly chic, but they don’t spend a lot of money to achieve that look.

(Although if you read The Essence of Style — How the French invented High Fashion and Fine Food, you’d come to different conclusions about how often hairstyles and fashion changed in the past and how many husbands went into debt for their wives’ shopping habits)

Seriously, how can someone achieve looking chic without spending $$$ on designer duds? Or updating every season?

Here’s how they do it:

  • They don’t follow trends that don’t fit — Skinny jeans make you look less than skinny? They’ll pass on that, s’il vous plaît.
  • They don’t spend $$ on anything that isn’t going to be classic — Harem pants are cute for one season, but they’ll pass if they’re on a budget and wait for something like a chic sweater to come into vogue
  • They save their money & spend it sparingly — If they’ll wear a certain coat for years and years to come, they’ll shell out good money for that one item and milk cost-per-use out of it
  • They don’t accept cheap substitutes — Sure, H&M is fun for trends, but if they’re looking for a nice leather bag, they won’t buy 10 fake leather ones before they realize it doesn’t fill the void of what they really wanted
  • They don’t save their Sunday best — If they have a lovely silk shirt, they’re up for wearing it any day of the week, not just for special occasions
  • They know what their style is — It’s usually pretty modern, but they know what makes their style their style
  • They invests in the basic luxuries of their style — They may not spend $25 on a cheap bag, but they’ll spend it on the perfect red lipstick that they’ll wear day in and day out

Luckily, I follow most of the rules above (I am still caught in the trap of buying more than I should and more than my wardrobe needs), and I’ve noticed these changes:

  • I spend less moneyMais oui! I spend less money because I am buying less
  • …but not significantly less — Need I remind you that I shelled out $1900 for a wool coat from Burberry that I have actually slept in?? I was willing to pay that price because it’s a quality piece I know I will wear constantly, love wearing and it is not another cheap wool substitute (I had 3 of those before I realized that $100 will not give me that silky soft feeling I crave)
  • I have a more organized wardrobe — I know how many tops and pants I have, and so on because I catalogue everything in my wardrobe now!
  • I know where the gaps are for my shopping list — I am starting to see where I missed certain key pieces, like skinny jeans to tuck into boots, when I was fooling myself that I could do that with bootcut jeans wrapped tightly around my legs and held in place with socks
  • I have less to agonize over — Less stuff = less choices = less headaches, although I don’t have anything like my ideal and BASIC minimalist wardrobe of 30 pieces, in fact I have more like 100 pieces
  • I have what fits and looks good on me — As an inverted triangle, I stay away from halter-anything & I try to get more voluminous items for my bottom half
  • I have streamlined down to my style essentials — I am realizing that I don’t really enjoy fussy clothing, and I have a few fussy pieces with ruffles and bows, but not many, because it is just isn’t me


About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.