Grey Matter

The art of dressing down

Undoubtedly one of the best things about being an outsider living in Paris (or any foreign country really) is being exposed to a different culture and picking up little influences along the way. Obviously I expected to communicate in another language (or attempt to), live off baguettes and vin rouge, navigate different world views and attempt to adhere to the French sartorial uniform, but theory is always different than in practice right?

That old cliche of French (namely Parisienne) women looking effortless is right on the money. Less is always more and it’s never cool to try too hard. So make like a French girl and follow these tips to strike the perfect balance between put-together and easy-cool. The aim of the game is to be well-dressed but comfortable, not sloppy.

Find a pair of jeans which work for your body and have them tailored to fit your height. I’m all about Nobody Denim’s high-rise styles which I then crop above the ankle to elongate the leg.

Wear denim whenever possible; it’s the foundation of our wardrobes for a reason. It’s versatile, understated and if you find the right cut, impossibly flattering.

Only wear heels when the occasion calls for it – so if you have to navigate cobblestones, jump on your bike or walk a decent distance don’t even bother slipping into heels. There’s nothing gratifying about sore feet.

Opt for beautiful flats instead. I’ve long been championing loafers on woman – if men dress up in them then we shouldn’t we? I’m partial to the slick black patent variety, but just go for whatever best suits your style.

Trainers aren’t just for running errands. A cool pair of fresh white trainers are the perfect antidote to the more dressed up pieces in your wardrobe. Want to get more mileage out of your favourite dress or tailored suit? Just add trainers.

Never underestimate the power of good separates. Just because you’re dressing down doesn’t mean you should look disheveled. Invest in a tailored white shirt, a beautiful black blazer and great coat which you reach for time and again.

Created in collaboration with Nobody Denim

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