Love to nail authentic French Chic? Here are the two steps you need to know

Love to nail that infamous French Chic? Who better to learn from than French Personal Style Consultant and bestselling author Marie-Anne Lecoeur?

You know to look your best for meetings. Whether it is in the boardroom of a city firm, a Skype call from your kitchen table office or a seminar’s networking event: style matters.

Your business faces stiff competition, so looking the part is important.

Yet, I still get laments from clients about not knowing how to create good outfits.

Simply put, and I like to keep things simple, many women still do not realise the power of basic outfit principles.

Knowing the basics is what we French women excel at, and it is why we are still recognised as amongst the most stylish in the world. So, I’m going to give you a simple one-two combination to ‘knockout’ style outfits.

First step – your silhouette

It’s essential you know your body shape. A balanced silhouette is the foundation of a good outfit. Why?

Well, you know what this is.

And this.

How? Because, in most cases, an object is defined by its silhouette. The internal details within the silhouette aren’t important. A giraffe in union jack pyjamas still looks like a giraffe. A house painted with huge flowers still looks like a house. Try it!

Likewise, when it comes to outfits, their silhouette tells us, even subconsciously, if it is well balanced and therefore harmonious and pleasing.

Yet, many women ask me about an outfit’s details. How many buttons or where should pockets be. These are unimportant. Get the silhouette right and you are 95% there.

In authentic French Chic, there are five basic body shapes:

  • Apple.
  • Pear.
  • Rectangle.
  • Inverted Triangle.
  • Hourglass.

These shapes are defined by four simple measurements: shoulders, bust, waist and hips. With that information you aim for a visually balanced silhouette which, aesthetically for women, is an hourglass.

A woman who already has an hourglass figure aims not to disturb that balance. The following are the most basic style objectives for each shape:

  • Pears: Learn how to make your shoulders look wider and your hips narrower. 
  • Rectangles: Learn how to create a waist.
  • Apples: Learn how to disguise your middle section and tummy.
  • Inverted Triangles: Learn how to make shoulders look narrower and your hips wider.

Knowing your body shape, then applying your style objectives creates a pleasing silhouette and a knockout outfit. Concentrate on this basic matter before focusing on detail. If you don’t know your body shape my free ecourse Shape Up! explains it all for you in two simple and easy ways. 

The next most important basic is more difficult but, as with any style problem, there is a simple French Chic solution.

Second step – colour

Colour is the most subjective element of an outfit and can cause the most confusion. One of my clients had been to three stylists. Each professed a different colour palette for her: none of which she liked or felt suited her. But, she dutifully carried around swatches and lists of colours. Result: she was paralysed in the shops, unable to make simple purchasing decisions.

I will tell you what I told her.

To know if the colour of a garment suits you, take it to a mirror. Bring it to your face in natural daylight. If the colour makes you look bright and healthy – it suits you. If it makes you look pale and washed out ditch it.

This works every, single time: for everyone, everywhere, for every garment, fabric, colour, shade or tone. Armed with this simple technique, my client was no longer paralysed and found for herself what colours worked for her.

So, there you are, two simple, authentic French Chic tips from a French Woman. Creating stylish outfits for success has never been so simple.

Marie-Anne Lecoeur is a French Personal Style Consultant, living in France. She gives consultations via Skype.

Specialising in authentic French Chic, Marie-Anne has written two No 1 Best Selling style books available on Amazon. She regularly gives free styling tips on her Youtube channel and is a member of the Federation of Image Professionals International.