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.
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.
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.