H-Town How To

Five Lessons in French Style, Straight from the Streets

Five things Paris has to teach us about late summer style.

By Sarah Gabbart September 4, 2013

Paris in the summer has two things in common with Houston: it’s (1) hot and (2) humid. While we opt to air condition every possible space, they have a different strategy—learn to dress for the heat while looking breezy and cool. Lucky for us, this kind of Parisian style is surprisingly simple to translate for the Bayou City. Here are five ways to get the look before fall blasts through and it gets mad chilly (you know, in the 70s) around here. 

Easy, breezy summer style (From French Voguettes ).

Put Your Best Foot Forward
Ditch the Old Navy flip flops and upgrade to some gladiator sandals, chic thongs, or espadrilles. If your toes are showing, get rid of last month’s chippy pedicure and either opt for a polish-free look or repaint with a metallic shade. 

Harem pants. Yeah, I went there. Find the look on Polyvore.

Hang Loose
When the mercury rises the French don’t go shorter with their hemlines, they go looser with the fit of their clothes. Think natural, breathable fibers like linen and cotton in drapy designs. One of the top looks of the summer in Paris is the much-misunderstood harem pant in all its billowy glory. A bold look, the harem pant is best paired with simple tops (like solid-colored t-shirts and sleeveless blouses) and some major confidence.

Lighten Up
Simple ensembles and fresh makeup are hot-weather favorites in The City of Light. Outfits with clean lines and just a few standout details—like a daring color or piled-on accessories—look perfectly Parisian. Not to mention that your pores will thank you for paring down your makeup to just the essentials: skip the foundation or switch to tinted moisturizer with an SPF, swipe on mascara, and layer on tinted lip-balm.

Dress to Impress
Day dresses are a must-have summer wardrobe staple in Paris. Frankly, it’s too dang hot to wear pants there—much like our fair city. Pick something floral and flowing as a base, throw on some ankle boots, and top with blazer (yes this works for fall too) for a work-appropriate look. Or step into some strappy sandals for a sweet-but-sexy day date.

Wear Your Clothes, Don’t Let Them Wear You
The number one style advantage Parisians have: confidence. No matter what they’re wearing (showing bra straps, short skirts and bare legs, blouses as dresses), they are wearing it—insecurity and judgment be damned! Nothing there—no matter how dramatic (hello harem pants!)—looks costumey because Parisians really inhabit their style. Throw on your ensemble and know that you look amazing when you feel amazing.


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