Paris has a signature sartorial style -- a casual, never-overdressed-yet-never-underdressed approach that translates to Parisians looking effortlessly stylish no matter what.
So how do you blend in when visiting the French
capital? Hot foot it to any of these quintessentially Parisian shops and flex
your credit card like your style depended on it (because it does!).
For clean, simple shapes try APC, a favourite with fashion-forward types even
though it is surprisingly classic. The French brand’s timeless and androgynous
aesthetic -- using denim, cotton and wool in mostly neutral tones -- extends
across ranges for men, women, shoes and accessories.
clothing line for men and women from the Parisian record label of the same
name, mixes Breton style with a Japanese savoir faire to produce high quality
preppy basics - -think polo shirts, v-neck jumpers and dark blue jeans -- many
of which are adorned with the label’s adorable fox motif.
For high-end high street fashion, Sandro and Maje,
both with branches throughout the capital, might as well be crowned the official
uniform suppliers for Parisian women between the ages of 18 and 35. Creating
looks directly inspired by the catwalk but at half the price, these shops are a
great place to pick up a couple of trend-led pieces. They also have accessories
and shoes, and Sandro carries a men’s line.
Isabel Marant, the French designer darling of fashion shows worldwide, creates
bohemian pieces to flatter the female form, all of which are interesting
without being difficult to wear. She also has a more affordable range , Isabel
Marant Etoile, as well as a children’s line.
Young French designer Guillaume Henry has revamped old
Parisian couture house Carven in recent years, and the affordable, youthful separates for men and women are
available at the label’s Left Bank store (36 rue Saint
Parisian women of all ages adhere to Vanessa Bruno’s subtle silhouettes, featuring
fluid shapes and flattering fabrics in neutral tones. There was a time when
Bruno’s sequin-embellished tote bag seemed to be slung over every female
shoulder in the capital. Although it may no longer be the Paris It-bag of the
moment, if you add just one key piece of from any of these designers to your
wardrobe, you might just pass for a local. And what’s more, the summer sales
are on in Paris until 31 July.
Kim Laidlaw Adrey is
the Paris Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes unlockparis.blogspot.com.