Probably because the looming arrival of New York Fashion Week has steered my every purchase for the last three weeks, I assumed that French bloggers Garance Doré and Jeanne Damas would commiserate with me over breakfast yesterday. Instead, I was surprised to discover that neither have stashed away a few special pieces for this season’s shows. "It’s not very French," Garance explained as both ladies shook their heads no. "You try to be yourself everyday. I’ve tried to put a few outfit together, but it’s not something I’ve thought about a lot. It’s got to be natural."
Still, although they haven’t been panic-ordering stuff like me, I have a hunch that both women will be wearing a lot of Maison Jules, a new line at Macy’s inspired by Parisian street style. As Jeanne and Garance are the collection’s respective muse/model and lookbook photographer, the clothes completely reflect their effortless approach to style. Since each piece puts a new spin on a classic, like a scissor printed button-down or menswear shirt with a buttoned flap in the back, it’s easy to mix and match pieces without working at it. I couldn’t help but think that maybe I’d stop planning meticulously planning outfits, too, if I owned a few pieces.
Having the right mindset could also help. While eagerly browsing through a big rolling rack of Maison Jules, mentally making my shopping list, I asked Garance to explain how French girls always get it right. Read on for her answers—and click through the slideshow above to shop both Garance and Jeanne’s Maison Jules picks.
Lucky: One of my favorite columns on your blog is the New York vs. Paris pieces. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the different between New York and Parisian style!
Garance: I think that Parisians have more personality and ease to their style. New York girls love to shop, and always try new trends, whereas a Parisian girl, she shops a lot, but she will always wear her own style. She doesn’t try to go to the style of someone else or what she sees in a magazine. I think that what you see in this collection. It’s very personal: you feel like you’re in the closet of Jen. You feel something very personal. I think that’s the thing with Parisian style, our mothers teach us very early to dress according to our figure. That’s the most important thing! If something is super fashionable but doesn’t fit you you don’t go for it. So, we’re very careful about that. That’s another difference.
Do you think there’s a major difference between Parisian and French style in general?
No, I think it’s pretty [similar]. I think Parisian style is more city. Women wear more heels; they might be more sophisticated in Paris. But I used to live in the South of France, where many people go on vacation. A lot of girls have that [Parisian] sense of style but they change it depending on where they are staying: whether it’s in the South or the North, and depending on their lifestyle.
Even though French girls tend to dress for their own body types and personal style, is there any piece that most all of the own?
This kind of shirt (points to her denim button-down—from the Maison Jules collection!), a men’s shirt. And I do think they have cardigans! Everybody has a skinny jean. It’s mostly things that are easy to combine all together.
I feel like American have this very specific idea in their heads of how French girls dress, even if it’s not totally correct! How do French girls dress if they want to look "American"?
For me, American style is sportswear, perfect hair, a statement necklace. It’s something with sportswear—but it’s not as defined as with France, when you imagine the stripes, the ballerinas—the baguette! We don’t have that precise version of an American girl. I think that America is so big that you have the "California girl," the "New York girl," all very different.