How to Look French

[trip style = urban]

Editor's note: This guest post is written by Katie Mogan Graham, a Canadian expat who is spending a year in Provence, eating her weight in discount Monoprix cheese, bread and wine. When she isn't butchering la langue française in her adopted home of Aix-En-Provence, she and her husband can be found touring Europe, keeping their eyes peeled for interesting fashion and their stomachs alert to all things gastronomically new and exciting.

French fashion is about an attitude more than an item of clothing—pout, look bored, walk with confidence, NEVER move for anyone or anything on the sidewalk. That said, it's also about the appropriate accessories: dog, cigarette {e-cigarette allowed}, large purse and sunglasses. 

My last post touched on what I observed in Paris in May. Those planning a trip to any part of France may want to consider the following "national accessories" as a way of seamlessly blending in with their surroundings. Here's my take on looking French in three easy steps.

1/ Le Chien
Dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds are nationally adored, and are frequently seen accompanying their owners into cafés and clothing stores {and most likely even doctor's appointments}. You really can't go a block without spotting a faithful furry friend perched in a bicycle basket or straining to eat the final crumbs of a forgotten croissant. My favourite chien-spotting experience happened in Nice, where we saw a man walking with two dogs: the first, a Retriever, carried a baguette in his mouth, while the second, a Chihuahua, carried nothing but wore a snazzy red cape with the word "DIVA" bedazzled across its back. Vive la France!

2/ La Cigarette 
By no means am I promoting smoking, but the truth is if you want to look French, hold a cigarette. Despite the laundry list of health issues this pastime promotes, smoking is still very popular throughout France. Interestingly, e-cigarettes enjoy almost as much popularity here, which many claim to be good news for the environment {no butts!} and non-smokers.

3/ La Moue et La Bise
The French are very expressive and are strong believers in using the whole body when engaged in conversation. For the sake of brevity, I’ll stick to the face, and how to use it when interacting with friends—or foes—in France. If you wish to convey displeasure, indifference or any emotion other than joy, extend your lower lip {la moue, or pout} and give a slight shrug of the shoulders. If you wish to greet a friend, family member or recent acquaintance, lean forward and quickly kiss the air beside each cheek of said person {faire la bise, or kiss}. Both of these maneuvers are Gallic in origin, and will be sure to impress your fellow travelers.

If you're able to pout or kiss with a dog in tow and a cigarette in hand, you’ll be well on your way to being mistaken for a true French{wo}man.

Trip Styler Tip: If you've already read the books {literally} on how to eat and parent like the French, you may want to pick up How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are, a tongue-in-chic guide on Parisian style, culture, attitude and men written by four Parisian "it" women, including Chanel "ambassador" Caroline de Maigret.

Jetset Style :: How to Dress Like a Parisian
Jetset Style :: The Everyday Sneaker
Jetset Style :: Scandinavia-Inspired Jackets
Paris, Now and Then

[images via @jeannedamas, the sartorialist, gq, sipa press,, harper's bazaar, splash news, @valentinehello, @carolinedemaigret]