Style & Adjectives: Paris-Style Edition

Paris Style

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you had a lovely weekend. I am back today with so much fun in a post I call Style & Adjectives: Paris-Style edition.

Most of you know I believe in creating a unique, personal style with the use of adjectives.

Please allow me to catch any new readers up to date:

Find the best explanation on my video,  DEVELOP PERSONAL STYLE THAT IS UNIQUELY-YOU OVER 50.

Last week, I began taking adjectives sent to me by blog readers for the second time, and helped them interpret those adjectives with clothing.  Here are those posts:

Carlene’s Style

Marcia’s Style

Deborah’s Style (first time I have selected adjectives for a reader without knowing her)

Robin’s Style

MEET SALLY

Paris Style

 Today, I am excited to introduce to you Sally Bayless.

I rejoiced over receiving Sally’s email, because we really are kindred spirits in many ways.

Sally is an author of Christian romance novels…which I am going to begin reading very soon!  Click on her name for her website!

I always appreciate additional information and Sally shared that she is a cool winter color palette; her feet are very narrow and need arch support; and she sizes in the Misses.

And we can see that she has a lovely SMILE…the best accessory.

Paris style

Sally’s style adjectives are CLASSIC (Timeless), HAPPY, CREATIVE, FRENCH, and COMFORTABLE.

She wants to dress for the day and maintain a casual, chic, professional appearance with comfort, because she sits at a computer for hours like I do.  She seeks the comfort of pajamas in street style clothing.

Paris Style

 

She sent along this image of Ines de la Fressange as an example of style she seeks at this time of her life.

I don’t know if it surprised Sally that I knew who Ines is, but it helped me know what I needed to do.

Go to the field reporting!

SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS PARIS STYLE?

Paris Style

 

In order to communicate to the world you wear Paris-style, I went to my two favorite sources.  The first one is Ines herself and her book, Parisian Chic.   Years ago, I read this book, highlighted every page, and reviewed it on this blog.  It was originally published in 2010 and I find it enjoyable to read even today and was caught up in reviewing my highlights.  I cannot go over all of it, so you might enjoy the read yourself.

I can actually credit Ines’s book for sending me to the thrift store…particularly in the men’s department.  That was when I began to go to Goodwill SA…and the rest is history!

Paris Style

She writes: “Parisian style is an attitude, a state-of-mind.  A Parisian steps lightly around the fashion traps of the day….always with the same aim: fashion should be fun.”

“The Parisian is a free spirit…she does not buy a matching blouse and skirt from the same store.  The rule is simple: chic means never having to buy a complete outfit.”

‘The secret of great style is to feel good in what you wear. The Parisian knows her shape, what suits her, and what matches her lifestyle.”

Always mix chic and cheap!  A pile of luxury labels can be fatal after 45.

Ines writes about the Magnificent Seven that every Parisian chic woman should own: a man’s blazer, a trench coat, a navy sweater, a tank top, a little black dress and a leather jacket.

Paris Style

My other source is the fabulous Susan Blakey of une femme d’un certain age.

Susan travels to Paris often and, in fact, was literally just there.  Here is what I noted from her style reports:

In the post, My favorite (affordable) shops in Paris, she noted:

“Most of the shops are already stocked with spring/summer items. I’m seeing a LOT of color on the racks. Green, orange, coral red, lavender, and peach seem to be the colors most on trend, though you’ll always find a lot of blue as well (denim and soft blues).

Other trends I’ve noticed (at least in the shops):

  • longer, printed skirts
  • still a lot of relaxed fits and oversized cuts
  • lighter wash denim in relaxed fits
  • fruit and floral prints (but stripes too, always!)
  • lots of straw and raffia bags

It will be interesting to see as the weather warms up whether Parisians will take up more colorful wear. (The last time we were here in the summer, I did notice much more color being worn.)”

paris Style

Then, in her recent post What They’re Wearing in Paris, she noted:

“Sneakers everywhere, on everyone

Well, almost. Parisians love their sneakers, in a multitude of styles. Classic white styles are still popular, both sleek and chunky. I also spotted a notable number of styles with some metallic or sparkly details. (See image on left, above.)

You’ll see just about every denim style and wash on women of all ages, usually topped off with a jacket or blazer.

Basically, you won’t go wrong in Paris with “smart casual” attire. Paris has become much more casual over the years we’ve been visiting, and even in nice restaurants you’ll see people in jeans and sneakers (but neat). Though you still don’t see people wearing sweats, yoga wear, or “athleisure” styles unless they’re actually jogging.

And though I spied a lot of color in the shops, usually you’ll find Parisians are more comfortable in neutrals, with maybe one piece as a color accent.”

Paris Style

So, for Sally, I am gleaning from my sources and recommend: neutrals accented with color (to communicate her creative side); great denim; blazers; a little navy in the mix; sneakers; ballet flats; comfortable knits; and no athleisure (though typically it would be a go-to for comfort). Just remember, I am looking for pieces which communicate all five adjectives…classic; happy; creative; French; and comfortable.  Since she seeks a classic, timeless, French style, I recommend small, simple accessories.  I believe her creative messaging should come forth in a beautiful color or topper to a neutral outfit; in simple jewelry; and in beautiful silk square scarves.

She mentioned her desire for red ballet flats such as Ines is wearing.  There are some on the market, but she knows her feet better than I.

I do recommend she try Aetrex and Vionic for her shoes.  Excellent brands for foot challenges.

I also recommend spending a little more on some quality basics in brands such as Eileen Fisher; Ming Wang; Talbot’s.  I have friends who wear the jeans from Ming Wang and Eileen Fisher and believe they are worth every penny in comfort and fit.  I like JJILL jeans for the same reasons.  Sometimes we need to go to these better brands to discover the true comfort we are looking for in denim.

I see a perfect comfy versatile outfit in an Eileen Fisher black dress which you can work in most of the day; then toss on this lovely Chico’s Shatung jacket in lotus petal and simple white necklace; black & silver ballet flats or white sneakers would work; and a beautiful straw handbag to go out.

I feel like a blazer, tee shirt (could be prints for creativity) and jeans will be a signature casual-chic look for you…I see these outfits with sneakers.  I know Susan listed the relaxed, oversize trends and it is popular right now…but I really believe what you are going for in timeless style would be blazers with more fit and polish.  I also do not see you in long floral skirts.  A longer knit skirt with a short cardigan or jean jacket is more where I see your style with these adjectives.  For fun and a touch of creativity, consider a silk square with this signature look occasionally.  I did put pieces in the slideshow.

I am so anxious to hear your thoughts on a uniqely-you Paris style just for you…..

Paris Style

It was so much fun shopping for you Sally…there is more than one slideshow.  Let me know what you think and thank you for reaching out. 

I am looking forward to reading your books and hopefully hearing from you often here.

and

and

Please feel free to comment or ask questions about this post…I know it is long, but I had much to say about the word “French” as an adjective. Paris-style is always a good idea…right? (I know I am taking liberties here!)

NOW, JOIN SALLY & ME AS WE…..KEEP SMILING!!

By Pamela Lutrell

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Email is over50feeling40@gmail.com.  

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28 Comments

  1. The picture of Ines is my go-to uniform. I can relate to Sally’s adjectives and you did a fantastic job with the slideshow! I was interested in the “faux pas for 50+” in the pages you pictured in the post. Good advice there! Personally, I do not do the sneaker trend because it’s not me at all. That might sound uptight, but I’m uncomfortable in that look unless I’m out walking for exercise, it’s just me. I really cringe when I see sneakers with dresses and even more when men wear them with suits. If I’m old fashioned, then I’m old fashioned! Love the red flats, however! Sally is lovely and I’ll have to check out her books! Sally, I hear you on the adjectives!!

    1. Thanks Karen! Never be shy about your likes and dislikes. I am honestly surprised at the popularity of the sneaker trend in Paris, but I wanted Sally to hear about it. You can’t go wrong with ballet flats!

  2. What a fantastic post, Pam. I hope Sally is as happy with it as I was with mine. I have always been attracted to French style. I love Ines’s book (and look) and follow Susan, too. I am always pulled between the French minimalism with neutrals and the London’s colorful and fun look, like Annie’s. That is why style is fun and fluid, and as Americans we can draw from both and make it our own. There were great tips from this post. Thank you for introducing Ming Wang. Although my deep autumn colors are not there, my fingers are crossed for September. There are some great basics, particularly dresses with the longer sleeves! Thanks for your diligent research. Have a lovely Easter Monday.

  3. Great informative post Pam. I am with Karen, I am not one for wearing sneakers with a dress either. I guess I had my fill of that in the 90’s and much prefer ballet flats or short heels and booties. I like reading about different styles even if that is not my personal choice and have numerous books on the subject as well. You did a fantastic job on giving Sally choices to look at.

  4. How terrific to see a picture of Sally! I would love to see the ladies with this style exercise, if they are comfortable providing a picture. I love her chic haircut and her style objectives. Those navy blazers are just timeless, and the ankle length crisp pants with flats seem perfect.

  5. I have never thought of myself as being drawn to a so-called Parisian style, but realize that I already embrace many of the examples expressed on this small section of the Parisian Chic book you’ve shown. I need to find me a new men’s wear, lighter weight blazer as my blazers are older, wool blazers. I’ve tended to turn to longer cardigans and tunics or blouses lately because I feel more comfortable covering my rear, but realize in the past I’ve worn shorter jackets and shirts. I also weighed 25 pounds less so was not uncomfortable showing my rear. Just last night I purchased a necklace from Chico’s on their flash sale that I feel is probably too big for my petite body, but last week you said to realize many of the models are petite. I figured I could take it back if it’s too large for me. However, again reading the Parisian Chic pages, I’m thinking I should have passed it by. I’m too easily influenced, I feel, by what others wear. Sorry for my rambling today!

  6. Sneakers worn there are not generally the huge, big sole, clunky styles we wear here. Much more low cut (if that’s a shoe word!) and way less bulky looking. I’ve seen a lot like this on Zappos while shoe shopping. No socks showing. Worn this way, they can look cute with dresses. I have never seen huge floral prints on anyone I watched in Paris. Stripes, plaids, but nothing big. Too memorable. Definitely not much athleisure like we wear. I feel they put some effort into dressing that we don’t. (Pajamas in the grocery? Bedroom slippers? Aaack!! ) And not everyone is the epitome of style either! Style is a work in progress…

    1. Absolutely… style is a work in progress! If you are consistent to dress with your style adjectives it becomes a uniquely-you piece of art!

  7. I’m drawn very much to Susan’s (une femme) style, especially when she uses very classic pieces with funky shoes. I’m finding in retirement, shoes are a way to keep very basic and casual looks interesting, one of my style adjectives. I’m glad you shared some with Sally, because it might be an ideal way for her to keep her timeless wardrobe also current. I love posts like this, and seeing how we all wear many of the same pieces, but put them together differently. A few years ago, I would have eaten this French style up, but I’ve quickly evolved into something more sporty. That said, quality basics and neutral fabrics will always have a place in my closet. I wonder if you have ever tried a post on tabletop dressing? I did it often at school, and find myself doing it even now (except for those shoes!). I think Sally looks terrific!

  8. It looks like you had way too much fun with these adjectives, Pam! And, wonderful Paris sources. Of course, I had to read through the Faux Pas… Guilty here of: Band t-shirts, ripped jeans, ethnic prints. I guess I’d like to defend my choices by saying it *depends* on what you wear those things with. I’m definitely not trying to look like a 20-something. I have given thought recently on the entire ethnic thing as I recently had a friend (from Cameroon) gift me with fabric from there. She really wanted me to make an African outfit. I did (wore it yesterday for Easter!) and my personal opinion is if you “Americanize” it, it can work, e.g., I used an “African” inspired pattern and accessorized it the way I normally would. I made a matching skirt and top and down the road I will separate the pieces. I guess that’s what makes dressing so fun–we can really make it our own! Oh, and I recently purchased a batik scarf on vacation-haha!

    1. These are obviously not your adjectives Kimberly and that is OK. This post is to encourage and support Sally and women like her. I love ethnic prints also! Just focus on you and the messages you want to send with your style. Having five core style adjectives really helps!

  9. Pam, Sally is lovely and you really provided great styles for her! I also love anything French, and many of these styles appeal to me. You can never go wrong with classics! They seem to work well on any age or body type. Thanks for this series; it is so fun and helpful, too.

  10. Great post and recommendations for Sally. I can relate to many of the looks. Like Sally, I need arch support — still remember the orthopedic shoes I had to wear as a kid — and, therefore, flats are out for me. I just can’t wear them. I need at least a 1″ -heel or my feet slap the ground when I walk. I thought the faux pas for over 50 were interesting. Along with ripped jeans, frayed or tattered-cut hems are out for me — way too 30-something — unless I’m working in the garden.

  11. LOVE – LOVE the ideology of Parisian style which IMHO is the epitome of effortless, uncomplicated and minimalistic presentation based on the idealism of ‘quality over quantity’ and ‘less is more’. -Brenda-

  12. I enjoyed the comments on French style. I’m hoping that we here in the US will follow the French lead on not wearing athleisure wear everywhere. I am in wholehearted agreement about not shopping in the teenage department after 50 or even 40 because it ages you faster. I also like many of your suggestions for Sally as my top adjective is classic or timeless.

    1. Thanks for sharing this, Becky. The farther we get from the last two years, the more I want to see everyone return to nicer dressing and leave athleisure at the gym…just a personal preference. It was nice to see more dressed up for church on Easter. I hope they will not return to the cut offs and tees, but it tends to go downhill in the summer heat!

  13. Pamela, thank you so, so much for this fabulous post! I love your ideas and so many of the items you picked out seem perfect!

    I have to tell you though, that I had no idea the photo I sent you was Ines de la Fressange or who she was. I found the picture when I searched on Pinterest for French style and saved it, thinking “She looks nice. Quite stylish. Just like I imagine someone from France.” When I read your post I had to laugh. I guess if you are the icon of French style, you probably should be able to pull it off!

    I feel so fortunate that I found your blog, Pamela, and I’m incredibly excited about creating my own personal style. Thank you!!

    1. I am so glad it is helpful, Sally! Somehow I find it even better that you did not know who Ines is!

  14. Oh, I must add a big thank you to the fellow readers who made such kind comments about me! I was a little nervous about putting myself out there, but you made this so fun!

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