10 Tips for Dressing Like a French Girl

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10 Tips for Dressing Like a French Girl
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It's no secret that, where fashion's involved, the French excel. There's just something about French style that's effortless, chic and desirable. "The French think outside the box," notes Jene Luciani, a style expert, TV personality and author. She says they mix unexpected prints, play with silhouettes in intriguing ways and don't shy away from color or texture. If emulating French fashion is your end goal, take your cue from these modern day French icons.

Mix Prints and Patterns
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Mix Prints and Patterns

"Actress Marion Cotillard creates that 'je ne sai quoi' look by mixing patterns," says Nicole Pollard Bayme, celebrity stylist and founder of Beverly Hills-based luxury styling firm LalaLuxe. "The easiest way to mix patterns is to pick the dominant color in your outfit and then pick a purse with the same color in it." For example, Cotillard's dominant colors are black and white, so even though there are multiple prints happening, the clutch still complements the dress.

Nicole Pollard Bayme; Celebrity Stylist, Founder of Styling Firm LalaLuxe; Beverly Hills, Calif.

Aim for Effortless Chic
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Aim for Effortless Chic

French model, singer and actress Lou Doillon has mastered the Parisian skill of effortless chicness. "Just look at this perfect marriage of a low cut LBD -- le-petit black dress -- and wavy, unfussy beach hair," says Bayme. "The secret to creating your own LBD moment is to find a black mini-dress with either lace or mesh that covers a low-cut bodice. That way you're wearing a low-cut sexy dress without showing too much skin." The beachy hair offsets the sexiness of the dress, balancing it out perfectly.

Try Androgyny
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Try Androgyny

"This classic cape and oxfords look worn by actress Audrey Tautou is perfectly androgynous for the fuss-free French woman," notes Jene Luciani, a nationally acclaimed style expert, TV personality and author. She suggests recreating the look by pairing an oversize top -- like the cape Tautou's wearing -- with tailored black pants that stop at the ankle. Complete your outfit with menswear-inspired shoes and you've nailed that androgynous vibe.

Jene Luciani; Style Expert, TV Personality, Author; New York City

Wear a Quality Trench Coat
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Wear a Quality Trench Coat

A creamy white trench, like the one worn here by actress Melanie Laurent, is a classic French fashion do. Bayme says the key to emulating the look is to not skimp on the cost and to buy the nicest trench coat you can afford. Then, pair the coat with a pointed, single-sole heel in a fun color such as royal blue or raspberry. Not being able to see what's underneath adds to the intrigue and inherent sexiness, she adds.

Pair Extremes
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Pair Extremes

Carine Roitfeld, former editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, understands how to pair extremes. "In this case," says Bayme, "her fitted pencil skirt and oversized cropped sweater create a perfect balance." To recreate this look, Bayme recommends a black or grey pencil skirt to show your curves paired with a loose, cropped sweater or sweatshirt. "Add some neutral, strappy heels and you're ready for front row at Paris fashion week."

Channel Darkness and Mystery
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Channel Darkness and Mystery

"All eyes are on French actress Eva Green with this dramatic look that's perfect for a night out in Paris," says Luciani. "Everything from the charcoal-lined smoky eyes to the messy updo to the perfect-fitting dress that shows off a very thin waist is very French." To steal the style, Luciani says to "think dark and mysterious from head to toe." Opt for a smokey black liner, a black and blue shift dress and accent with moody accessories.

Make a Statement in Classic Tweed
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Make a Statement in Classic Tweed

"In the 1920s and the height of Coco Chanel, women in Paris would wear her iconic tweed jackets with matching skirts or pants and long layers of pearls," says Bayme. "I adore how actress Clemence Poesy paired her classic Chanel jacket with worn jeans and boyish loafers." Bayme says that she often warns her red carpet clients against wearing one designer from head to toe and that Poesy's ensemble is the perfect example of taking a statement tweed jacket and making the look her own.

Embrace Vintage
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Embrace Vintage

Scour flea markets, vintage shops and antique stores for the perfect textured, brightly colored pieces, such as the bright red gown actress and model Elisa Sednaoui's wearing here. "While the French are known for being subtle, this burst of color is a welcomed surprise," says Bayme. She recommends taking your findings to a local seamstress to achieve the most tailored, flattering fit. For example, this dress is hemmed just above the ankle, showing off both a little skin and those pointy black heels.

Accent Your Shoulders
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Accent Your Shoulders

"France sets the fashion trends first and this season it's all about shouldering," says Luciani. "A classic fur in a fun color -- whether faux or real -- placed delicately atop shoulders and paired with a contrasting cami and pencil skirt has this look, worn by model Caroline de Maigret, pushing boundaries." Both the primary color blocking and shoulder fur play makes this ensemble distinctively French.

Keep it Feminine and Ethereal
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Keep it Feminine and Ethereal

This ethereal, goddess-like getup -- worn with confidence by actress Laetitia Casta -- is as glorious and pristine as the Eiffel Tower, says Luciani. To create a similar, but more dressed-down version, Bayme suggests pairing an oversize gold bib necklace with a white maxi dress. "Then add matching gold cuffs on each wrist to create the illusion that your dress came with all the jewels."

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