She comes from the world of fashion, she is a music producer and a DJ. She also wrote a bestseller about how to discover your inner Parisienne. She spoke about less known sides of her life for Grazia magazine: her role as an imperfect mother, a loving partner that overcame jealousy, and a woman that has learned not to hide her true self. The 40 year old Caroline de Maigret is a fashion model, Lancôme’s new muse, and a countess. What inspired her to publish a book? This is what she has to say: “I spent a lot of time travelling around the world due to my professional obligations, and I realised that people are somehow interested in Parisiennes. Whether I was in Australia or in China, people kept asking me, how come we have an innate sense of style, how we balance our jobs and upbringing of our kids, and about love. I spoke to a couple of my friends I know since our school days, we decided to share our experience, and spice it all up with a dash of sass and a big dose of irony.”
Caroline de Maigret is the new icon for French, or rather Parisian, style; she was made an ambassador for Chanel, which makes perfect sense, because she is a big fan of this famous fashion house, and hasn’t missed any of their fashion shows, whether it was held in Paris, Cuba, or anywhere else in the world. Besides, she and Karl Lagerfeld are good friends. Their friendship started in the late 90’s, when Caroline was just a model, more precisely, during the spring/fashion show of 1999. They have been close ever since and Caroline often helps with various projects for the Chanel house. She only recently became their ambassador, just like the sophisticated and extraordinary Parisienne Ines de la Fressange was in the 80’s. Caroline follows some iron clad rules, which you may want to consider, and believe me, you won’t go wrong. I like them, because there are no revolutionary ideas involved, just some basic pieces that are supposed to be part of every woman’s wardrobe. It’s just like we’ve heard countless times: the key is to start building your wardrobe with these basic pieces, and then upgrade it slowly and wisely. So, let’s see if we have some of the pieces Caroline talks about in our closets – and if we already do, we’re on the right track to fitting in the true French super chic style.
Striped T shirts are timeless
Play around with nautical style, because you won’t ever miss. I’m still amazed when I open my closet and see all those striped T shirts. There seem to be too many, but I wear them so regularly I soon realise that there are never too many. My favourites are JCrew: made of compact and high quality cotton, you can wear them with both jeans or an elegant skirt, they’re very versatile. Opt for dark blue, army green, red and black.
Keep your brows neat and well groomed (even more so than your hair)
This is a real vice for Parisiennes, which will always proudly flaunt their perfectly combed brows, as if though they just stepped out of Jean Louis David’s salon, no matter how messy their hair is (and by messy I mean dishevelled or even greasy, sometimes). It all comes down to your personal taste, but you should know that narrow eyebrows make you seem very uptight, and I don’t think that’s your goal. On top of that, they add to your age, and make your facial features somehow sharper. If you don’t have naturally lush brows, at least don’t over-pluck them, and fill them in with colour to improve their shape. Let a natural look be your goal.
Jeans are a life philosophy, always and everywhere
And French women take the trophy for really knowing how to wear them, especially with a blazer and high heels. Choose a good model, wear it in a relaxed and nonchalant way, even style it with long knitwear, just remember to pay attention to accessories: the shoes and bag have to be top notch, high quality, thoughtfully chosen, tasteful and fashionable. Don’t just put on the first thing you grab, and pay extra attention to jewellery.
Keep a men’s cut loose blazer in your closet
It’s a piece that looks as though you’ve borrowed it from your boyfriend’s closet, even if it is made of elegant bouclé or tweed. A short, tight, and somewhat boxy blazer is another must, because a blazer is an indispensible piece in every true Parisienne’s closet. Opt for black if you want a real classic, although personally, I love it in other colours as well: white, dark blue (which looks spectacular with golden buttons!).
Caroline often styles a dress with a bag in this loud, contrasting colour. The bag is the icing on the cake, so even if your budget is limited, try to have at least one great bag. This just means something other than the low budget clothes shops, where materials are usually below-bar, and the quality of the material is lacking ‒ perhaps not right away, but in time this will show. Red looks good in combination with lipstick and nail polish; I don’t wear it, but I still believe that focusing on one special detail is more beautiful and sophisticated than focusing on another, larger piece. All in all, a good investment.