French Women’s Real Style Lesson: Embrace Your Femininity


The sensually mysterious French Woman is idolized around the world. What is it about these ladies that conjures up the idea of la femme fatale? How do they achieve that mix of womanly strength, style, and substance? They embrace their femininity.

There are plenty of “How French Women Are Perfect” guides, but this is not one of them. Like women everywhere, French women have their good and bad days. But after having recently spent some time in Paris, I figured out some of the small ways (that add up), that make the alluring French woman so appealing. The good news is, it’s not difficult or complicated and it’s all about natural beauty (something we love to champion at Ecosalon). 

1. It’s not the size of the heel, but the spring in your step

Dressing comfortably in clothes that flatter and fit your body is the first skill to master. Although French women understand the sex appeal of a great pair of pumps, they would rather wear a walkable stylish shoe over a towering heel. Forget about architectural confinement in clothing, like bulging cleavage or tight fitting clothes, and wear whatever brings you a sense of natural ease and comfort.*

*Comfort doesn’t equal sweatpants. Even if you are going to the grocery store, you don’t parade around as if you are going to work out.  Throw on a dress or a skirt, something feminine, but still relaxed.

2.  Once you’re out, don’t mess with it

Don’t constantly reapply your makeup in the bathroom or fidget with your hair at the table. Leave the house feeling as you want to look, and carry that feeling with you. Confidence in yourself and your style is beautiful. With this idea in mind, you’ll spend less time worrying about how you look, and focus more on just having a good time—which is the most attractive accessory.

3. Wear flattering basics

A small, but well-curated collection of basics will take you far.  For example, a personally stylized V-neck silk blouse will last longer than the latest runway knockoff look. Plus, you aren’t a slave to trends, which is very budget-friendly.  And don’t be afraid to wear the same pieces over and over again. Trust me, no one will notice.

4. Go easy on the makeup

Natural beauty comes from the inside and always shines through.  Style icon Audrey Hepburn said that beauty is within the eyes. Those windows to the soul don’t need to be caked in glitter and glam to be sexy.  Blush, mascara, soft lip (and sometime a little eyeliner) is all you need.

5. Don’t strive for perfection

Embrace your femininity through natural beauty, and be content with who and what you are now. As Yves Saint Laurent said, “Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.”  What French women seem to have achieved is owning their beauty comfortably and being happy with momentary perfection, a quality I wish à toutes mes amies.

image: twm1340

Juliette Donatelli

Working in the field of sustainability for over seven years, Juliette is passionate about its intersection within the fashion industry. Juliette began studying ecological conservation, and led consumer awareness campaigns around the world from water usage in southern California, riparian restoration in South Africa, food distribution in Paris and bison habitat in the Great Plains. She has launched her passion--consumerism and sustainability--into a place where it hits home--fashion. Juliette is the founder and editor-in-chief of, Director of Sustainability at Manufacture NY, and loves to read, dance, swim and enjoy the occasional glass of champagne.