This or That: American or Française?

3 years ago by

In Partnership With St. John

Years before I ever realized that I would actually end up working for her, Garance was my introduction to a certain kind of fashion.

At the time, she wrote a lot about Parisian style and New York style. As a college student from New Jersey, I possessed neither, but was infatuated by both.

This or That: American or Française?
This or That: American or Française?

Black Jacket, St. John; Knit Top, St. John; Leather Pants, St. John; Shoes, Model’s Own


Back then, I developed a stereotypical perspective of both styles. The New York girls, in my mind, were more masculine and monochromatic. There is this cliché about the New Yorker who only wears black. She’s a bit more “get shit done.” She wears flats for all of the meetings that she needs to go to.

The Parisian stereotype is more feminine and classic. A red lip, a tweed jacket, a good white blouse. Since she’s quite casual and “je ne sais quoi,” she of course dresses it down with messy hair or a pair of jeans. The cliché Parisian woman is equal parts ladylike and cool.

I find myself utilizing both looks in my daily wardrobe, so I took this opportunity to show you how I like to style them with pieces from the St. John spring collection. I was able to pull both a few classic tweed jackets along with utilitarian black pieces to create two looks to support the American and French version of myself!

When it comes to all black outfits, I tend to find mixing textures — such as these leather pants with a knit top — create a more dynamic look. While I follow the French rule of never trying too hard when wearing tweed, and always dressing it down with the perfect pair of jeans and white tee.

This or That: American or Française?

Pink Jacket, St. John


This or That: American or Française?

Pink Jacket, St. John

Blue Jacket, St. John


Now, all these years later, I live in New York and, through my job, have the opportunity to meet a number of Parisians. And while my youthful assumptions weren’t totally wrong, they were not totally right either.

The truth is that there are Parisian girls who dress with the essence of a New Yorker and New York girls who are totally infatuated by French style. It’s less about where you live and more about what you like. Are you classic or cool? Ladylike or more of a tomboy? Do you like to dress up or dress down?

Or maybe, you’re like me, and you like to take a little bit of both.

This or That: American or Française?

Blue Jacket, St. John


This or That: American or Française?

For more style inspiration, we highly recommend you follow our friends at St. John on Instagram. You can find them here!


Add yours
  • A little of both is perfect, like this delicious story. :)

  • Un melange des deux styles + des touches persos.
    La 3eme photo (le portrait) est magnifique.

  • Wow, now I need a tweed jacket…you make everything look so great!

  • Elizabeth March, 19 2019, 2:40 / Reply

    Love this so much! You look amazing, Christina!

  • A 100% française pour moi. J’aime ce chic décontracté. Beaucoup plus joyeux !
    Merci pour ce joli article.

  • Yes I love a combo of both! Gorgeous jacket!

  • I love both of your looks. Since I adore luxury leather goods, these black leather pants impressed me very much. But, of course, nothing can compare with Parisian chic!!!

  • Jorge Alexandre Teixeira March, 20 2019, 7:25 / Reply

    The Stylist becomes THE Model !!!*_*

  • Deborah Downs March, 24 2019, 12:48 / Reply

    The first person I ever saw dress this way was Tina Turner. In concert in Salt Lake City in 1988, she wore faded Levi’s with a pink Chanel jacket….and spike heels,of course!

  • I love this site, but I’m wondering why are we still having this conversation? As if anyone in her adult mind would want to be classified as a geographic type. You like what you like and live how you live and if you feel and ideally look amazing in it, then who cares. Just saying. Clearly, I’m a NYer! :)

  • Liz|
    You look gorgeous! I enjoy both styles, but mainly NY.

  • Wish this wasn’t an ad for St Johns. Makes it feel much less authentic:(

  • I’ve been a fan of Garance’s blog from the very early days, always drawn to the beautiful honesty of her stories/conversations and the celebration of authentic personal style. I’m so deeply disappointed to see commercialism creeping in, not so subtly, in recent posts. This is an ad for St. John, full stop.

  • Veronica McCarthy April, 1 2019, 10:33

    Hi Manue! This is indeed an ad for St. John. When we do partnerships we clearly state that at the top of the post where it says “in partnership with.” We aren’t trying to trick anyone. x Veronica

  • Most definitely agree with mixing and matching my professional pieces with more casual pieces! I love to wear jeans to the office with one of the best blazers I have ever brought called the Clarkson Blazer at Of Mercer. It is so amazing, that my coworkers see me in it almost weekly!!

  • The Parisian stereotype is more feminine and classic.

  • Tatite May, 13 2020, 7:54 / Reply

    Nice post!
    It´s funny because the style you describe as American, for me, that´s the Scandinavian style, especially the picture you posted.
    I am French and live in Denmark. My French friends do say I dress differently since I moved to Denmark. It sneaks in! I am more and more attracted to their relaxed -but-still-stylish way of dressing, with a lot of black, flat shoes, and hair in a low bun.
    But then I go back to France on a holiday and all I want to wear is a flower blouse with straight jeans and espadrilles :D
    I think it´s great to do according to your mood and taste!

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