Gown like a Parisian lady – Everlasting Model

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Among the many many pocket-sized books on ladies’s fashion, dressing like a Parisian is a well-liked class. Many, it appears, discover the thought of the Parisian lady who attire fashionably however not fussily, in a manner that’s easy however stylish, interesting.

I used to be skimming one in every of these just lately (within the fantastic Gower St department of Waterstone’s) when it struck me how related the philosophy is to Everlasting Model. Not simply the aspiration to timeless fashion, however the perspective of investing in versatile clothes. 

So I purchased what appeared like a superb instance of the style (Gown Like a Parisian by Alois Guinut) and have been making notes within the margin ever since. 

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The method is remarkably related. As Guinut (above) places it, “the phrases that come to thoughts once you consider Parisian fashion [are] easy, stylish, understated” and “our obsession with excellent fundamentals could make us look alike…however for La Parisienne singularity is all within the particulars.”

The identical goes for the perspective to style: “La Parisienne doesn’t take style too severely and developments do not likely matter to her…But she could comply with fashions once they please her and, so long as she likes them, doesn’t care about sporting the identical.” Relatively much like ‘How I filter fashions’. 

It is good having your method endorsed by somebody from a special world – in the identical manner it will be if somebody from a special tradition admired it, for instance. However extra important is that it may well actually refresh your perspective on that fashion and the way you concentrate on it. 

For instance, within the introduction Guinut writes one thing that might have come straight from Everlasting Model: “What I’ll share with you on this guide will not be ‘guidelines’ however tips…fashion recipes you could select to comply with or break free from”.

However then she makes some extent I’ve by no means fairly managed to place into phrases: “You could possibly consider this guide as being like a cookbook of French delicacies. [And] as with all nice cookbooks, I provides you with simple recipes in addition to extra superior ones.”

It is a helpful metaphor. I typically battle to specific to readers how some seems to be are extra complicated, and subsequently tougher to realize, however that this doesn’t essentially make them higher or worse. A lot of excessive/low dressing falls into this class, as does mixing of robust colors and patterns. 

I’d normally use a time period like ‘superior’ dressing, however that may sound condescending or counsel there’s something essentially superior. However there is not. Identical to a easy boeuf bourguignon in comparison with Parisian haute delicacies, the latter requires extra expertise to grasp however that does not imply it is to everybody’s style, or that there isn’t lots of subtlety in a seemingly easy dish. 


After all a lot of the guide is just not related.

I do know much more than I did earlier than about the way to flatter your legs with completely different shapes, soles and heel heights (so difficult!). And I do know some tips about mixing shiny supplies in eveningwear (lurex, sequins, glitter, metallics).

However a number of the sections are extra related than you’d think about. The best way ladies put on lipstick as a pop of color, for instance, has parallels with how males use equipment. Plus the Parisian method to make up and hair typically is one thing I believe males might study from.

Parisian ladies (apparently) like a pure look, with much less make-up and a easy hair fashion, whereas all the time having a transparent understanding of what flatters them. Males that work their designer stubble into too sharp a form might take observe – however so ought to guys that spend no time at it no matter.

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And all through the guide, there have been some genuinely helpful and sensible factors. 

For instance, Guinut’s definition of a ‘impartial’ color, as one which doesn’t battle with another. This might be black, navy or gray; beige or nude (“heat neutrals”); denim and even “pure leathers”.

It isn’t an idea we (or at the very least I) use very a lot – as a substitute referring to easy versatility or to much less saturation. In Guinut’s view, Parisian ladies ought to work their complete wardrobe round these neutrals. 

She additionally talks properly concerning the color wheel, highlighting the distinction created by completely different sides of the wheel (blue with orange, yellow with purple) however then – extra usefully for menswear – the function of neighbouring colors. So inexperienced and blue, pink and orange. 

Typically it may be onerous to speak to readers which colors ‘harmonise’ with one another when selecting ties or handkerchiefs. With out such an understanding they’re typically lowered to selecting an an identical color from elsewhere within the outfit. This dialogue of neighbouring colors – together with how pastels work collectively, or monochrome and camaieu – creates a pleasant construction for eager about it. 

It’s the form of color mixture we admired in King Charles just lately. 

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Nonetheless, the largest factor all through the guide, is the reinforcement of ideas we discuss on PS, put in numerous and refreshing methods. For instance:

  • Displaying a white T-shirt below a crewneck: “Use white as a highlighter. Layering a white T-shirt or shirt beneath one thing is an effective way to make color simpler to put on and add lightness.”
  • That fashion might be one thing your’re born with, or you could study: “La Parisienne would say she doesn’t care a lot about guidelines, that she is a free spirit. Reality is, they could be so ingrained in her DNA that she doesn’t realise she is following them.”
  • The distinction between extra rural and concrete colors: “Silver, greys and blues will give a cool, city look.”
  • That black can simply look low cost: “In the event you really feel black is just too harsh for you, change it with navy blue, its extra polished, bourgeois brother. Not like black, navy matches nearly each different color.” 

I like using the time period ‘bourgeois’ in that description. One factor traditional menswear might be, by not following youth developments and being extra typical, is bourgeois. It’s one thing to pay attention to and maybe push in opposition to, however in some methods this can be a higher time period than ‘fuddy duddy’ or old style.

The identical goes for the way in which Guinut makes use of phrases like ‘cool’ and ‘horny’, which menswear writers shrink back from. Pushing again sleeves, for instance, is for her simply cool – which is the alternative of fussy. 


Do Parisian ladies really gown like this? Talking to a couple buddies, within the sense that there’s some tendency there that they recognise, the reply is sure. However it doesn’t actually matter – the essential factor is how attention-grabbing or helpful the concepts are, quite than who is definitely following them.

I discovered the guide refreshing – far more so than studying one other menswear information, which is able to all the time have a tendency to make use of the identical phrases, the identical references, the identical ‘icons’. 

That doesn’t imply readers ought to essentially exit and purchase this guide, as a result of a number of the info might be irrelevant. However it’s a superb presentation of the argument for studying from womenswear, and for in search of different views typically. Maybe people who have a classy accomplice might begin by sneaking a take a look at their bookshelf.


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