Morgane Sezalory, the founder of popular French label Sezane, may be well versed in the art of Parisian style, but she wants to make one thing clear – it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be.
“Parisian women have a uniform and they rarely steer away from that,” she laughs. “It’s not very creative and French women spend as much time getting ready as British or American women – they just don’t tell you. It’s all very controlled. British and Americans are more relaxed with themselves and often more creative.”
With that out the way, Sezalory shares her thoughts on how to master the summer as effortlessly as a French woman.
What five things do all French women have in their wardrobe during the summer?
“The perfect pair of denim cut-offs, which are short but not too short. Then there’s a simple pair of tan sandals – nothing too fussy. Everyone owns a basket bag and a relaxed summer dress that can be worn day and night – French women don’t like to look overly done. A white silk shirt is good too, but it should be loose to keep cool.”
How do French women manage to never look overly hot in the summer?
“They definitely do feel hot, but they’ll never tell you if they do. They’ll go to the bathroom to cool down, but they’ll pretend they haven’t. French women also don’t wear much make-up and that helps in not being sticky when it’s warm.”
What would a French woman never wear?
“It comes back to that idea of having a uniform. Because they have such a controlled, well-cultivated look, French women don’t tend to follow fashion trends. You stick to your signatures. Again, they never wear much or any make-up because it gives the impression of having tried. We have tried; we spend as much time in the mirror as anyone but we pretend we haven’t.”
How do Parisian women stay so slim?
“It’s simple – they eat very small portion sizes. In Paris, it’s seen as important to be slim so it comes down to discipline. It’s not a good thing at all and it certainly isn’t effortless. I don’t want my daughters growing up thinking this sort of thing is important.”
HOW TO WORK SUMMER’S MOST DIFFICULT WARDROBE SCENARIOS:
1. The wedding guest dilemma
“A floor-length bohemian dress with either a plunging neckline that doesn’t reveal too much or a plunging back. Nothing sequinned or sparkly – you want to look good but not upstage the bride.”
2. The summer office look
“The Sezane office is very relaxed, so it’s difficult to speak for everyone. But I’d say good jeans, a silk white shirt and low heels.”
3. The first date
“A loose silk cami, straight leg cropped jeans and heels, so you look nice but not like you’ve tried hard.”
4. The adult festival ensemble
“A floaty feminine dress – it can be the same one you wore when you were 20, but just styled a different way.”
5. The plane outfit
“Being comfortable is important. I’d wear a pair of leggings and a loose sweater or jumper that falls to your thighs, and either cool trainers or ballet flats.”
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.