(Me on my mission!)
I served my LDS mission in France and boy did I love it. It really was the perfect place for me to go. Even though most of my energy was spent serving and teaching people, I did a fair share of observing and shopping on our days off. As I got to know the French people, I learned what a wonderful people they are. I made some great friends there and I learned much from them. Here is what I learned from French women though and what we can learn from them and their style:
1. Natural is Beautiful.
I know I have been guilty in the past of using a tanning bed or dying my hair to colors that it should never be (Has anyone seen my high school pictures and my almost blonde locks? Yikes). One thing I truly admire about French women is their willingness to embrace their own unique and natural beauty. Most women don't pile on the makeup or change too much about their hair. I love it. Since the beginning of my mission, I actually stopped dying my hair and I haven't done it since. Not only has it been much more economically friendly, but I actually know what my natural hair color and my husband loves it. Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't dye our hair or wear makeup, but what a great idea it is to appreciate what we were born with once in awhile! Let's sit back every now and again and let other people appreciate our natural beauty!
2. Don't Be Afraid To Try Something New.
I absolutely love Parisian women's willingness to try bold new accessories or clothing. I can sometimes be timid to try something a little more forward thinking, but why? Why should we care what everyone else is wearing? Wear what you suits you, what you like, and what you feel comfortable in (continue reading, however...)
3. Casual Doesn't Have To Be Sloppy.
I'm sorry to say this, but I really wish we didn't dress so casual. I think about generations before us who wore suits and hats to baseball games, dainty gloves on Sundays and never did people ever think of going in public in their pajamas! One thing I really enjoy about European women's style in general, is that their casual style isn't sloppy. I rarely saw girls in sweatpants. Sure they'll wear jeans and a t-shirt but they are paired with an adorable scarf, trendy flats and a well-fitted jacket.
4. Keep It Simple And Effortless.
As I've looked back on what I've worn and yes, even the things I've posted on this blog, I think about how forced and contrived some of my outfits are. I love the French "je ne sais quoi" and that effortless style that I envy. Nothing is overly matchy, overly accessorized, and brand names don't need to be plastered all over. I strive for that "I don't care, but I do" look that French woman naturally have. One day...one day...
5. Be Confident No Matter Who You Are.
I think the whole French style that I admire has got to boil down to one thing: confidence. Be confident in who you are. Nothing is more attractive than a woman with confidence, no matter what you're wearing. Be yourself. Respect yourself. Trust your own instincts and style!