French Girl Style, A Journey

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Listen really closely. Do you hear her? It’s Kelly Clarkson…

Some people wait a lifetime…for a moment like this.

Me! I’ve waited for a moment like this.  

Hi, I’m Amanda, former blogger, current reader and the lucky lady who gets to chat with you today.

Back in our early days, Shana and I began blogging barefoot, uphill, through the snow. And let me tell you, it was the Wild West of the internet back then. We typed out our stories by candlelight, without any electricity or Instagram. No one survived that time. No one. It was either rickets, scurvy or the Google Blogger platform that became your demise. But if you somehow made it out alive, you rose to the top like Shana Fierce herself.

Exploring French Girl Style With Amanda: An Introduction

Now, I realize you don’t know me. Why should you trust me? You shouldn’t. I am not a fashion blogger. I am a human woman. But, as a fellow mortal, I’m hopeful that we can learn together. So if you’ll have me, I’d like to explore, discover, observe and learn some things.

This, my friends, is going to be a journey.

So I came up with three words for my goal wardrobe. I thought that if I could stick to these then words, maybe I’d have something that I could work with: classic, chic & effortless.

Like many of you, I realized that I had amassed an amount of clothing that was inappropriate for a small country. I rationalized this by giving my clothing away to friends. But the money, the waste, the environment, my husband’s constant side-eye, all of it, was weighing on me. I wanted something better, something more…

(cue my broadway solo number).

But everyone with their six-piece capsule wardrobes seemed…boring? I like trends. I like tulle. I like karaoke and Halloween and cats.

But everyone with their six-piece capsule wardrobes seemed…boring? I like trends. I like tulle. I like karaoke & Halloween & cats.

I mean…How do I approach this?

What was I really looking for with my wardrobe? I definitely didn’t care about what men thought about how I looked. Just ask my husband. I also don’t lead a very exciting life. Do I need tulle to go to Acme? (Maybe.)  

So I came up with three words for my goal wardrobe. I thought that if I could stick to these words, maybe I’d have something that I could work with:

Classic | Chic | Effortless

How To (Hopefully) Achieve Chic French Girl Style

My wardrobe is not those things. *See previous image* And I really WANT them to be. But isn’t putting in so much effort into being effortless, the ultimate paradox?

(This is the journey part of the journey)

So I did what every 40-something mother does: I went to TikTok.

As I scroll, I realize that I’m following and loving and staring at all of these French women. Like a lot of them. I study them like I’m studying Britney’s Slave 4 U dance routine.

Why are they so classic, chic and effortless? WHY?!

And so, at that moment, I decided that our journey begins in France. And also? When I ask why French women look so good, I don’t want to hear “je ne sais quoi”.

/ˌZHə nə sā ˈkwä/ noun: a quality that cannot be described or named easily.

How is that even a definition of anything? That’s literally the opposite of defining something. I want to know in real words! I want adjectives! I want answers! This? Gives me nothing. I should also clarify that when I say, “French,” I really mean a Euro-style of effortless cool. I don’t know if every image is French and if you come for me, I will deny all of it.

Through some exhaustive preliminary research of my own involving The Scientific Method and Pinterest, I’ve broken down The French Woman into five parts. I’m hoping the sum of these parts will give us some real answers.

1. Specific Denim

2. Color Palette

3. Hair/Makeup/Beauty

4. Shoes & Accessories

5. Fit, Proportion & Other Weird Qualifiers

Welcome, My Friends, To…

When I ask why French women look so good, I don’t want to hear “je ne sais quoi”. I want concrete terms for how they achieve "classic" "effortless" & "chic" all in 1 fell swoop.

Our first exploration and deep dive into cool, effortless French style will be into FW denim. Look for my first post and join me for class. I’m hoping you’ll be the teacher because I don’t know what I’m doing here.

Let me know if there is any specific part of this style that we can learn about together!

Xo,

Amanda

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After multiple existential crises, I've been an interior designer, a store window designer, a personal stylist (when I want to say something fancier than friend who went to the mall with another friend to "help"), a teacher, an author and illustrator, a graphic designer, NFT creator, a t-shirt designer and cat and Broadway enthusiast. But NOT Cats on Broadway. Just cats, the animals. What have I learned through all of my careers? You can really do a thing and then call yourself whatever you want. No one will check. But before all of this, in the year 2008, I was a blogger. And now I'm back with my favorite blog of all time. Let's go.

42 COMMENTS

  1. Sienna Miller’s style on Anatomy of a Scandal was so good. Not French, but just across the channel! I feel like she nailed all 5 of your criteria.

  2. I want to know- do French women still wear scarves, like all the time. Silk scarves, wool scarves, long and short scarves. This was definitely a thing in the early 2000s. I have a closet full of gorgeous scarves, but don’t really see them anymore.

  3. Amanda,
    I laughed and smiled throughout your whole post! I am so glad you are here to take me on this journey. Wherever you are headed with French class, I am coming with you.

  4. Thank you guys for accepting me into this world! I’m realizing that I need to and will include more diversity all around! Thanks for noting. This is why we are in this together! xo – Amanda

  5. *excited gasp* I remember you from many blogging years ago and have missed you! So glad to see your face and read your lines and am here for all the french lessons!

  6. Amanda, I thought it was you? What was the name of your blog? Going to be on my mind til I come up with it. Good to see you! 💕💕

  7. This sounds great– even more so if we can see how the ideas and suggestions look on a range of body types. I feel like everything I see on this topic features tall, thin, leggy exemplars, and it would be great to see a wider range.

  8. MODG! So glad to hear your internet voice and I’m here for it. I think we all want effortless but try real hard to get it 😂

  9. The OG bathing suit selfie goddess! Glad your voice is back with us! I feel like my style is more “bike messenger” than “French girl,” but I’m always up for style school 🙂

  10. I love your post and this idea! Please help me with this conundrum, though – I want to just do “investment” or classic pieces, but I can’t guarantee that I will *ahem* stay the same size…It hasn’t gone so well the last couple years! How to get around that?

  11. OK, I think I might be French, because I love and would wear every single outfit above. P.S. I’m glad you are here Amanda, I always got a kick out of your blog/writing.

  12. I am SO here for this series. I’ve been trying to figure out how to build a wardrobe I actually love after almost 15 years of pregnancy/postpartum/breastfeeding, and all of your criteria sound like they were lifted from my brain. Lead on!

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