French women dress gorgeously and save money while doing so. Whether you’re a fashion-forward woman or a thrifty shopper, the industry is forcing us put the breaks on spending. If you’re going to update your wardrobe, take a leaf out of the French woman’s book and learn to shop smart.
- Shop with a plan.
Though some women love markdowns and tend to shop impulsively, French women, on the contrary shop with a plan and only head to a clothing store when they need a particular item. “I always approach shopping with a plan in mind. This is what I need, this is what I would like and this is where I can find it. Shopping is rarely the sole purpose of an outing,” said Internet entrepreneur Ludovica Pellicioli. According to her, she plans her wardrobe each season by assessing what she already has in her closet and adding some missing pieces to her collection.
- Shop selectively.
Some women have a habit of splurging for items they don’t particularly need. On the other hand, French women avoid splurges by shopping for just a half-dozen indispensable wardrobe items each year. Reconsider your collection of basics where you can create endless outfit possibilities. “Every woman should have a great pair of jeans, black pants, a perfect skirt, a perfect little black dress and a jacket for each season,” said French designer Anne Fontaine.
- Assess every purchase.
While some women are looking for statement-pieces to standout, French women assess how often they will be able to wear every item they purchase. “French women are not just picking something because it is in fashion,” designer Catherine Malandrino said. “She gives more thought to it. How many times can she wear it? Is it versatile enough to go from day, to work, to cocktails? And will she want to wear it again and again?” According to her, she learned from her French mother how to build a distinct wardrobe, buying only comfortable clothes that were made of high-quality fabrics.
- Know when to splurge and on what.
Building a quality wardrobe doesn’t have to get a closet full of clothes, but it requires spending more on less and investing in great accessories. “French women prefer quality over quantity,” says Fontaine. “This holds true from our fashion choices to the food and wine we drink. Quality of life overall is very important in the French lifestyle.” So, think of pricey items, such as designer bags, a pair of designer pumps, and even silk scarves can last for years.
- Skip the trends.
A great thing about the women in France is they embrace their individuality. Instead of following trends, French women are loyal to the styles and colors that look best on them. “They will never wear what the magazines and celebrities tell them to wear. Instead, they choose and wear clothes that fit their personality. It is more about what feels right and looks good on you. Most of all it has to look effortless,” Deborah Ricard said. However, you don’t have to go for a head-to-toe designer look as wearing expensive designer items and cheap finds can be smart too. By heeding our tricks, you’ll be able to look fashion-forward and at the same time practical like French women.