How To Dress Like A French Woman Cliché


any, many years ago when I first started blogging in 2007, I found this wonderful blog that was called something like Live Like A French Woman. I can’t remember exactly what it was called but I had it booked marked in my sidebar and I’d check it every day. It was like a style guide for living the French way. This was about ten years ago before blogs were mainstream and before style guide books were $10 at Urban Outfitters.

I absolutely devoured that blog. It was very reminiscent of Diana Vreeland’s Why Don’t You columns. Full of tips like always wearing stripes and only wearing lipstick if you’re wearing nothing else on your face.

I’ve become a bit of a stripe fanatic in that last few years and every time I wear a striped dress, I always feel very French. I don’t even know if it’s true that French women where stripes (I’ve been there twice and haven’t seen a great deal of stripe wearing) but it just makes me want to buy a croissant and pash a handsome stranger under the Eiffel Tower. It’s the same with the Aussie cliché of everyone wearing Akubras and Driz-a-bones. I don’t know a single person who owns and wears either of those things. So this advice is more of how to dress like a French woman cliché – think Carrie Bradshaw when she moved to Paris in the last season of Sex and The City. I’m not going to wear a beret though… it would totally flatten my hair.

dress like a french woman


Dress from Muji – I have a long sleeved version of this I bought years ago in New York and when they released these ones last year I snapped it up without even trying it on. Love it.

Shoe from Toms  – I only bought these a week ago to replace a leopard print pair I had for years that died last summer. This style is discontinued so I might have to do an internet scour and stock up on any available ones. I don’t even care about the colour they’re all just so comfy.

Please excuse my scrappy legs and knees. I have really mark-y skin. If I scratch, bump or even touch something gently with my bare skin I end up looking like I’ve been living in the jungle like a wild creature, all covered in bruises and scratches. I also scratch myself really hard if I’m itchy. I can’t help it – feathery stroking makes my skin crawl so it’s a hard scratch all the way. At least I look tough.

This was worn for a day of work – podcast recording, writing, planning, ploughing through my inbox and getting shit done! March has snuck up on me this year and I’m gearing up for an April away, a week in Canberra for my brother’s wedding and some other lovely family things. I’m so looking forward to it. I haven’t spent much time in Canberra in the past year because we were overseas a lot last year, so I’m keen to see all my people, rub all the pregnant bellies and squish all the new babies.

I’m going to spend the evening trying out a weird crochet style called knooking. It’s like a cross between crochet and knitting. Wild Friday night for me…

Do you feel French when you wear stripes? Or is that just a thing that’s made up?

Are we mates on Facebook yet?


  1. Vanessa 4 years ago

    Argh! I am a fellow mark-y-er. Exactly the same, only on my legs, and only since I got pregnant with my now 18-month old. I know that wasn’t at all the point of the article and I never would have even noticed if you hadn’t said anything. But thanks for making me feel better!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 4 years ago

      Oh you’re so welcome! I’m so scrappy I just think it’s better to point it straight out!

  2. Jacqui 3 years ago

    Carly, how do find the sizing in Toms. If I’m a euro 40, what size would I buy (no half sizes)?
    Thanks, Jac

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 3 years ago

      I’m really standard in shoe sizes so I just buy whatever the 9 is. They’re narrow but you can stretch them out!

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