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Epitome of style: Ines de la FressangeA visit to Paris always brings about combined thoughts. While i enjoy the architecture, the parks, the stores plus the Marais region, anytime we board the Eurostar, the butterflies in my own stomach return and I also begin to hate every thing I’m wearing.

This trepidation mostly is due to many years once I was the editor of Marie Claire along with to journey to Paris four times a year to wait board meetings.

The female company directors wielded breathtaking ink pens, and constantly had a scarf gnarled effectively you might say I became never quite able to learn.

These were pencil-slim, but constantly took hours over a three-course meal washed straight down with red wine. They never ever dyed their particular hair or tried to look younger than these people were. They made myself feel very little and provincial.

Possibly if, then though, I had been armed with this brand-new design book, i might have trapped the task a little longer.

Ines de la Fressange, a former model and muse to the loves of Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint-Laurent, has actually written the greatest guide to getting dressed the French way.

Unlike many design books, which is often terribly unclear, Parisian Chic results because it is hugely, arrogantly (in a helpful way) detailed and dictatorial, along with containing dozens of secret Parisian details when it comes to wonderful shops you can never find on your own.

But in which Ines is really helpful is with the woman advice on simple tips to look stylish and eternal once you get to middle age. Unashamedly 53, this woman is super-useful on thorny topic of things to use as soon as you pass that half-century milestone.

French women evolve their particular style as they age, she claims, instead of clinging desperately as to what worked when they had been 30. The woman advice will be look closely at styles, cherry-pick something which might suit, but not to be a slave to style: nothing many years a woman above following every driving craze.

This black outfits from Cos features an origami shape, £129She claims you should auction any crocodile bags on e-bay and not wear top-to-toe deluxe labels, but rather mix fashion designer with countless high-street.

Converse shoes are excellent for over-50s, versus staggering around in platforms. A round-neck cashmere sweater is essential, also: it seems perfect for the night with a pencil dress, covering up your arms and decolletage.

But most essential of most should drop within the odd shock. It is all very well adopting an uniform that meets, but this will be just a little fatigued and dull.

As opposed to regularly wearing a predictable sharp white shirt be effective, take to a bright fuchsia one as an alternative. Ines is a big lover of floaty printing scarves, too, that are an effective way, even yet in summer, to pay for a crepey neck.


  • Choose the most useful trench coat you really can afford and scrunch up the sleeves. Never belt it properly or add any such thing armed forces.
  • Always put on a bra.
  • Wear pearls with a rock ’n’ roll T-shirt.
  • Use black with navy.
  • Roll the sleeves of one's cotton clothing throughout the sleeve of sweater. Extremely Parisian!
  • Use a complete dress with a strong top; or a pillowy top with thin pants or a pencil dress.
  • Store into the menswear divisions, especially if you aren't petite. M&S and H&M have great blazers, knitwear, white shirts and scarves.


  • Never put on a necklace AND earrings.
  • Matching bags and footwear following the chronilogical age of 30 adds 10 years.
  • Backpacks and bumbags — no!
  • Never wear jeans with trainers.
  • Never put on heels with a pen dress.
  • Eliminate any such thing nude, particularly if you're older as you will look washed-out and many more invisible.
  • AND LIZ'S DON'Ts: No vintage if you should be over 50. It's going to age you.
  • Do not feel you have to adhere to just flats if you are short. People that have model numbers look good, most people have a tendency to look stumpy.

But I beg to differ on some points. Ines is an admirer of flats all the time, although they appear wonderful on somebody who is 5ft 9in-plus, the rest of us can look dachshund-like (lengthy human anatomy, stumpy, chunky feet).

A compromise are black colored biker shoes with chunky heels or kitten pumps with pointy toes.

I would personally include another don’t: if you're over 50, avoid vintage. Those retro bags, swing coats, Fifties prom clothes, twinsets, ropes of pearls and huge clip-on earrings will age you.

I’d sum-up Ines’s accept French design as definition it should look effortless. Make your clothing suit your lifestyle and character, not others means round.

French females seem to get better with age, and I believe this might be exactly about attitude. Never ever mind scarves and blazers, here is the book’s biggest example.

The most amazing woman could be the person who oozes self-confidence, delighted in her own skin — which is Ines de la Fressange right down to a crisp white T.

Parisian Chic by Ines de la Fressange (Flammarion, £19.95). To order, tel: 01903 828 503.

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