‘Effortless: adjective, done or achieved without effort; natural and easy’ (OED)

I’ve just spent the day with my french friend. Her style can be stated in one word that to me embodies French chicness; effortless. She always looks so cool and stylish but somehow so uncontrived and as if she would never bother wasting a moments thought on clothes or even a second in front of the mirror. Her petite frame is draped in loose boyfriend jeans and a beautifully fitted tweed blazer or her A.P.C duffel coat hangs over a red pinafore dress.  When I turn up in my oversized costume jewellery, my clashing prints, or my sequins I feel so…well…English. I don’t feel chic, I feel overdone – a bit like wearing too much blusher. There are lessons to be learnt from this girl: simple, effortless and understated. She aches cool in a way my English/London inspired punk/rocker heritage simply won’t compute.  My love of leather and studs as well as 70s flamboyance, not to mention deco detailing, gets in the way of me ever being effortless or understated.

Today she was wearing the perfect example of her typically French (or what I personally associate with French) chic. It was this Zadig & Voltaire jumper (A French label, bein sur). When sitting opposite with her over lunch, it looked just like a black jumper. Although I did notice a line of light blue stitching on the inside of the seam, but it was very slight. Yet, when she got up to pay, on the back of the jumper in the same light blue stitching is the word ‘Elvis’. It’s cool, charming, it makes you smile and it’s so lovely how it’s on the back. You might never see it, but that’s not the point. The jumper is indeed effortlessly cool: it is simple and it is easy to wear. It requires no thought or careful planning.


What I admire most I think is how she dresses so much for herself: she is utterly uninfluenced by what magazines/blogs say we should or shouldn’t be wearing. Perhaps her style is so apparently effortless because it is such a natural and honest expression of herself.



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2 responses to “‘Effortless: adjective, done or achieved without effort; natural and easy’ (OED)

  1. A

    Now, its funny that you should write about this as I’ve just got back from Paris and I spent a lot of time thinking about French chic whilst I was there.

    In my three days, I saw plenty of Parisian women pull off this effortless look and they definitely looked good. My bright red coat, brooch and bracelet definitely felt like a bit much, and I felt a bit ‘foreign’. But even on my second day, I realised that the effortless aesthetic is definitely one that Parisians aspire to otherwise what could explain the sheer number of women I saw dressed in this way? I also enjoy the simple luxe feel of it all but I was soon tired of seeing dark leggings/shoe boots and jumpers – it would be the same if you walked around Shoreditch all day and say lots of bouffant hair, flamboyant prints and massive specs – a little bit ‘same-y’.

    No doubt, it looks great but I’m just too fond of colour. And I think London has a less rigorous ‘look’ which makes it a bit more fun but also a bit more scuffed around the edges, and less chic.

  2. The French Voice

    The real difference between a Frenchy and a Brit girl?

    A Frenchy woman wears simple, classic, fashion outfits with ONE excessive accessory.

    The Brit one wears total excessive outfits with ONE simple accessory.

    It’s a simple balancing issue…

    PS: J’adore Zadig et Voltaire.

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