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Non, Je ne regrette rien,

That's "No, I regret nothing" to those who haven't ever heard of the classic Edith Piaf tune. 

But on a more serious note. It's Bastille Day. That's the french national day equivalent  to 'Australia Day' or "Fuck Yeah, USA" Day, as "Les Americians" call  it. 

So let's just take a little look at those irrepressible frenchies, and what the hell they do that make them, well, so damn chic. 

It's a not very well kept secret that the French, just well, GET IT. They get life, food, wine, fashion, the art of eating cheese without getting fat, and a general sense of being that other cultures sometimes seem to miss. They have fun, and always look ever-so-chic doing it. 

Yes, they have thousands of years of ballet flats, Chanel, movie star royalty in their sleek back pockets, and they practically invented the Paleo way of life without being as uncouth as to name it.. or any diet in any form.

But what is it about them as a whole, that makes them so, well effortless. We've broken it down for you in ten easy steps; 

1, Simplistic Style. It's the casual ponytail with a ball gown, the smudge of red lipstick with a grey t-shirt, the slightly crumpled white shirt, and the peek of black lacy bra. It's super casual outfits, or at least it looks that way. It's those enviable photos of the french fashion editors tumbling out of Fashion Week looking like the rest of us do when we are over-styling a brunch date. How they make converse sneakers, torn jeans and a white tee look like a fashion forward moment rather than a lazy Sunday, is maybe more in their DNA, than their fashion choices. 

2. Never too much make up. If you're reading this, you already know it. You've probably already Pinterested a million pics of Garance Dore, Lou Dillion, Emmanuelle Alt, or you even might be an old school Jane Birkin kinda girl?  You know THE look. It's messy, slightly 'post sex' hair, not a hair straightener or blow wave in sight. It's a no foundation, yesterday eye-liner kinda look, but in an interesting, yet not trashy way? It's never overdone, yet never bare faced. It's the perfect balance of putting in effort, but not trying too hard. From an strictly analysis point of view, it's probably more about quality skincare, and an inner confidence, than it is about make up.  

 

3. Work/Life Balance. Did you know the french have an actual LAW about not begin able to work more than 35 hours a week? Yup, they are so committed to  not wasting life in an office cubicle, they made a legality around it. Do overtime and you are not only wasting your time, you are breaking the law. Enough said. Cue shiny skin and happy hair.  

4. Cheese. We would try to define why cheese makes you happier, but.. have you ever eaten cheese? These girls eat it as entree, but mainly as dessert, and  they have invented entire restaurants where they melt it on potatoes and call it a meal. Every local street has at least two cheese shops, and it pretty impossible to not glow like a light bulb when you eat enough cheese. 

 

5. Wine. I mean, see above, and include the 35 hour work week, but this is a country of women, men and even children who drink the good drop 24/7 without guilt, during work, and with cheese. White and rosè at lunch, red at dinner, throw in that these guys invented aperol hour before it became trendy, and you can see why they look so happy, right?

 

6. Ageing Gracefully. You know that very famous french actress who has had too much botox? Stop. That was a trick question. Because they just don't. No, honestly, they really just don't. Ever. It's not their 'thing', and they don't seem to need to. Why? Because they age, as nature intended. Maybe it's the wine and cheese, but they tend to embrace grey hair, and a tiny smile line, and slather on moisturiser, and just don't mess it up. They focus on good skincare, and sleep, and country air, and affairs, and it turns out, if you are happy and confident, you really don't need to paralyse your facial lines. 

7, The old 'cinq à sept' Ok, this one is controversial, but the old school french have a cheeky little secret called the '5pm to 7pm''. It's the torrid affair you have on the way home from work, where you 'take a lover', but you still get home by 7pm in time for dinner with the fam bam.

Because, they have class, and wanting sex isn't a secret, and they still respect their family. Shocked? I'm sure you are, but then again, you might be sneaking in a botox session on the way home. Tut, tut, tut. 

 

 

8, Holidays. As in, real, proper holidays. Like, the whole country shuts down in August. Go to Paris during this time, and you will see a whole lot of hand written notes on shop fronts telling you they are shut for a month. No casual staff. No apologies. No care. They all hop on a train, and head to the country for an extended summer break. Don't believe us? Try going shopping during those months. Everyone is down south, babe. 

 

9. They don't give AF about speaking their mind. Dinner parties are full of passionate debates about everything and nothing. It's OK to argue, and disagree, and spill wine, and have a visceral reaction to the world around you. Hell, it's expected. No one cares about anything, and yet everyone does care, about everything. Passion is sexy, non?

 

10. In essence? They don't TRY too hard. Yep, we get this is a pretty general thing to say, but look at every french girl you idolise (and they are a pretty impressive bunch) and the overall sense is: they don't overdo it. It's minimalism at its best. It's loose hair, flat shoes, long holidays, barely any make up and a certain 'je ne sais quoi' (google it, it's 2017) about their look. It's good food, even better fashion, and when all else fails? Well, mon amour, that's what champagne is for. 

So this Bastille Day, raise a champagne flute for those gorgeous French girls with a flirt in their eyes, and a classic breton stripe on their shoulders. 

C'est La Fucking Vie, mes amies. 

CH xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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