Thursday, July 23, 2009

What Shall I Wear?

It's the universal question, every day and sometimes more than once each day. It's no different for Frenchwomen than it is for the rest of us. 

However, I have always had the firm conviction they do not try on dozens of outfits in a mad frenzy trying to figure out what goes with what, what's appropriate, what makes them look their irreproachably chic selves.

All that fussing was done, if at all, long before they purchased the clothes hanging in their closets. They bought them in the first place because they know their personal style and figure whatevers and they already own things that go with their latest additions. They'd rather set aside their precious time in three or four intelligent shopping expeditions than stand daily in front of their armoires crying: "I have nothing to wear!" 

(I say four times a year because often two of the trips are scouting and reconnaissance missions, the other two planned for a couple of months later when they hope they'll find their favorites on sale. If they fall hopelessly in love with an item at its regular price they might not take the risk.)

This brings us to today's question and another new series of posts: "What are your favorite clothes this summer? What do you turn to time and time again to feel bien dans votre peau?


A simple beige linen short sleeve dress. It falls from a squared yolk. I can wear it in several ways from morning until night. I can also wear it as a tunic over jeans or linen trousers. I can belt it with a fringed wraparound belt in a bright color or a scarf. In the evening I add sandals with heels, a shawl and lots of beads. I may or may not belt it. I also wear it with flat sandals during the day and once with a pair of cowboy boots.

I plan on wearing it until it falls apart.

A super large and long V-neck black cotton and cashmere sweater I wear with jeans, all my linen pants and sometimes as a beach cover-up over my classic, black maillot and a pareo.

And every season I buy myself a few pairs of tres, tres jolie petite culottes. They make me feel beautiful.


My Chanel sunglasses with my prescription in the lenses.

One pair of white linen pants and one straight, knee-skimming white skirt.

An inexpensive white watch because it shows off my tan better.

Silver Spartan sandals.

A red and beige print flowy dress by Stella Forest.

Red patent leather Repetto ballerinas I can wear with everything I mentioned when I'm not wearing the sandals.


Levi's 501 jeans. What can I say? I've worn them all my life and when in doubt I just reach for them.

A simple natural linen skirt I wear with just about everything from a classic shirt with rolled-up sleeves to a polo in a variety of colors, plus white of course; a black peasant blouse; and any number t-shirts from my huge collection from Petit Bateau. I have V-necks, U-necks, crews, boat-necks, deep Vs -- I have them all. In the summer I wear short sleeves (on the day I interviewed her she was wearing a pale gray puffed sleeve, round-neck tee) and in the winter long sleeves.

When I go to a dinner or other event where I need to be "dressed" I wear my simple black dress. I've had it for years. It's straight, knee-length, sleeveless, round neck. There's nothing you can't do with it and I wear it all year 'round.

Edith: You'll see tomorrow. . .


knitpurl said...

Oh my, so many good things in all the posts this week! It's been fun catching up. I'm with Christine on Chanel, only mine are my 24/7 glasses. Caroline and Levi 501's? I agree 100%.
P.S. New issue of VK is super good. Trisha Malcolm has another hit!

Bonjour Madame said...

Another interesting wardrobe insight post. I really like those Repetto flats.

Marsi said...

I love finding out exactly how these chic women think. Such practical advice.

I would love to know what your own summer essentials are, Tish. What can you not survive the summer without?

tishjett said...

Yes, Stephanie, aren't those flats fab? I'm sure Marsi has her eye on them.

Oh, Carole, glad you approve. Passed your message along to Trisha, she was very pleased.

Marsi, maybe I will tell you what I can't live without and then have Edith draw everything for me. Since my sources are not getting back to me at the rate I expected for my various surveys, it might be a fall-back post.

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