PARIS STREET STYLE … or how to cultivate your own style with advice from French fashion insiders.

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This book is the best $20 you’ll EVER spend on clothes or accessories.

PARIS STREET STYLE is THE quintessential help book for every woman who wants to achieve that “je ne sais quoi” of Paris street style.  This  book will save you buckets of money, and keep the bad and the ugly out of your closet.

It’s not about how much you you spend.  Flip through the pages and see how French fashionistas combine budget priced fashions from Zara and H & M with timeless accessories.

The chapter “MAKING CHEAP LOOK CLASSY” –  or How to wear mass-produced clothes with style”  gives you all the skinny on  how to dress with class.

Then there’s the page about SPOILING THE EFFECT: The washing-insructions label left on as scarf or the sticker on the sole  of a shoe.  The Transparent bra strap and Unflattering undergarments and Misplaced hems.

The chapter ‘CONDEMNED WITHOUT A FAIR TRIAL – “The good, the bad, and the ugly” will have you digging out a style faux pas or two of our your closet. Do you have calf-length Capri Pans, skinny pants, leggings, Bermuda Shorts, Animal prints, down jackets, cowboy boots or long skirts in your closet?

Under the NEVER, NEVER, NEVER list: UGG Boots, Moon Boots, Converse if you are over 26 years, quilted jackets, black tergal pants, jogging clothes in velour, cropped T-shirts, baseball caps, comic strip T-shirts, long down coats, velvet and plastic hair grips anywhere but in a swimming pool.

But, don’t despair.  Page after page this book holds your hand as you make important fashion investments such as  the eight essential items that everyone should own, the ideal jeans to wear Monday through Sunday, the little black dress that is perfect for you, mixing  vintage, brand-new luxury, and dirt-cheap pieces, selecting clasic handbags that last a lifetime, and accessories – from scarves, to tights, and everything in between.

If all this talk of Paris inspires a shopping trip to the City of Light, an address book of some of the best Paris shops will give you the scoop on  exceptional finds, and a curated list of Paris restaurants selected to help you discover the perfect mid-shopping-spree refresher or an elegant dinner.

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16 thoughts on “PARIS STREET STYLE … or how to cultivate your own style with advice from French fashion insiders.

    • If ANY one should break a few rules it is Resa, creator of “out-of-this-world” art gowns. I love that this book talks about what you shouldn’t wear – and then proceeds to tell you how to wear the self same item in wonderful street-smart Parisian way.
      Right now I am plundering Lar’s closet for the perfect white shirt and a pair of slightly big chino’s. Then I’m going into my hat cupboard to find the hat I bought my Father in London in l961. PARIS STREET STYLE has inspired me to live on the edge a little. Virginia

      • Go for it! The hat sounds like a great topper to the shirt and Chinos. Perfect for attitude!
        Put a feather in the hat, or make a hat band of an old necklace…. or tie. Or wear a tie w/ the shirt… tied looser than the feel of chinos… You’ve got me thinking! _Resa xo

      • Glory Me!! You must be a fly on the wall in my bedroom. I delved into Lar’s cupboard and came up with a Hermes tie he hasn’t worn in ages. I will double knot it loosely over a shirt button down white shirt. Then I’ll take pictures. I’m thinking a feather for my Dad’s hat. Thank you Resa darling darling girl for the inspiration.

  1. Interesting book, Virginia! Do I spot leggings on “Condemned” list. I love my black leggings. With a silky top, of course. Perfect for airplane travel. Do you have a favorite rule? My bag always matches my shoes. Both in black. Sigh. I’ve tried to break the habit without luck. Are you a rule breaker? Confession: Sometimes I’ll wear my beloved baseball cap to the market. Oh, ra ra! T. (I’m off now to checkout the book.)

    • My dear dear Theadora,
      Of course you can wear leggings … for every don’t there’s a do. Lots of leggings worn on the street with very short skirts and even denim shorts. I do frequently match a black bag to black shoes, but if the shoes are leather I carry a suede bag. What I adore about this book is “the breaking of rules, but knowing how to do it”. I think the French women do it beautifully. The rule I have always broken – and long ago this was definitely bourgeois is wearing sparkling pins and bracelets in the day time. Now everyone does it. I also love wearing a sequined blue top with my jeans – as daytime wear. I steal my husband’s hiking cap because it is beautifully worn and has a big bill – to keep the sun off my face when walking in the country. I would break a lot of other rules but I consider my age and lean towards elegance. XX V.

      • WHEW. That’s a relief! Apologies for my delay. I was in the dumpster, rescuing my leggings! 😉 Virginia, I also love people-watching. Each city has its own vibe and garb. For instance, after I arrived in Rome, I scored a catbird seat at a café, and studied the street styles and the shopping bags, of course. (And then I made a few souvenir-worthy purchases.) What did I spy on the cobblestones? Thick black leggings, patterned tights, short ankle boots, and fingerless gloves. Everywhere and on women of all ages. Sigh! Experimenting with clothing is great fun. An art form, really! Did you find a feather? I love the tie play. Sounds post-worthy to me! By the way, I ordered the book. Fully embracing inspiration. Thanks for the tip! T. (Enjoy the weekend!)

      • I have everything but the fingerless gloves… Theadora. And, I know who has those gloves. My son. Fingerless gloves so he can text when it’s cold. Keep tuned to this station for Virginia’s Paris Street Look. XX

  2. One of the reasons I love going to Paris is because I can dress up! In the US, so few make an effort to look elegant (sadly, including me!) At all the holiday parties we went to this year, everyone was wearing jeans or leggings, big snow boots and giant sweaters (yes, including me). I really wanted to come draped in velvet, but didn’t have the guts to stray that far from the norm.

    I really like the French attitude that dressing up is a courtesy to others. You feel good walking among well-dressed Parisians (also true in Italian cities and parts of NYC), a very different feeling than walking among thrown-together urbanites (like me) in the US.

    I must be getting really old because there are moments when I long for my mom’s era, when women didn’t go out of the house without gloves, hats, scarves, and jewelry. (Ironic, because I remember how offended I was when she used to tell me how ugly my embroidered overalls, miniskirts, and Swedish clogs were. Ha! Aging is so interesting!

    • Gayle, I’m a former resident of the prairies … and I remember going out on New Year’s eve in a long gown – big winter boots and a full length fur coat, carrying my evening slippers in a velvet pouch. The temperature that night was minus 40 below F and there was no wind – so actually it was warm (or we thought it was).

      When I was in Paris I really paid attention to the women. They may be wearing jeans, but the shoes or boots were expensive and beautiful, and so were their handbags. They pay attention to detail. I don’t feel dressing well is superficial. People do judge you initially by how you look. If your shoes are unpolished. Your nail polish chipped and you’re wearing clothes that are past their “best buy date” – shirts with stains, jeans with ragged hems – it says a great deal about you, and none of it is flattering.

      I say – women of the world unite. Look your best – all the time. You deserve it. XX Virginia

  3. “Breaking the rules but knowing how to do it.” I like that! And as I get older, classy, elegant and practical are important. As always you inspire me to dress my age and still feel comfortable with myself. What would we do without your French influence?

    • Jo Nell, it always delights me when I see young women beautifully dressed. I think “how did they get so smart, so young”. It does take time to develop our style – and we deserve to took look as wonderful and as elegant as we can. I was fortunate to have a Mother who taught me the value of buying the best. She said “cheap is always cheap”. I did the same with my daughter. She was an extraordinary women, brilliant, wrote and spoke Japanese fluently, and shopped Paris like a native. XX Virginia

  4. MS V.

    I love all the comments you have stirred up some great conversations ,I personally think that in life and art if you know the rules then their is room for self expression. I used to be a Key Wardrobe Stylist in the film industry and International Photographic Artist and what that has taught me is to know the rules, know what is in fashion and go shopping in your own closest and then look for pieces either in a second hand shop or at your favourite store . I just watched (as I do every season), Ralph Lauren Video his 2014
    Resort fashion show and he used leggings their in a refreshing way. http://www.ralphlauren.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=19468476&cp=2184048&ab=global_women_collection
    I am a huge Ralph Fan….
    Ms Virginia bought me this fabulous purple biker jacket last fall which is very cool so I wore with my black tights and my black Blondo boots and wild curly hair and black turtle neck sweet and my big red leather Ralph Lauren purse… breaking the rules.. my hair is usually always back in a pony tail and straight none of my friends at my local coffee house recognized me.. it was so much fun.. Thank you for the Jacket I felt like a rebel..

    Warmest Regards xoxo

    A

    • Amy has been my extraordinarily good friend for more years than I can run. We spent two weeks together on a cruise and shopping at the enormous Sawgrass Mills in Florida.Needless to say we required an extra suitcase for our fabulous fashion finds. With her incredible fashion sense she gave me a whole new fashion look. XXOO

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