If you sit in a Parisian cafe to deconstruct what makes a French girl so stylish, you'll quickly conclude she's made a scarf an integral part of the outfit. Whether for a day at the office or a night on the town, the stylish French girl will have a scarf knotted around her neck.
Anyone who's spent time in Paris can tell you one thing: it's not cheap! And being naturally frugal, the French needn't spend a fortune. She's got a few staples, mostly black. The scarf is a quick, inexpensive way to provide pop. With such panache, who'll know she's wearing the same dress?
She's also used to walking long distances outside. A scarf, wrapped around the neck in winter, provides warmth for the exposed area that the coat doesn't reach. A light organza will cover bare shoulders at a wedding, and a beaded or embroidered scarf instantly dresses up a work dress.
Choose a printed carré for a traditional ("bourge") look. Hermes set this style, which typically uses equestrian, military or nautical themes. Almost prohibitively expensive, these will be found on ladies who lunch in the 6th and 7th arrondissements. One can find a knockoff in either silk or nylon. Try a brightly colored African weave or batik print for a younger, hipper vibe. Pashmina knockoffs for less than twenty Euros can be found outside on the Rue de Rennes in a wide array of colors. A friend wears a baby blue pashmina to match her Converse tennis shoes.
The scarf can be wool, silk, cotton, rayon or any blend with a suitable drape and appropriate weight for the season. Take a trip to your local fabric shop and have a yard cut of your favorite chiffon, finished with a handkerchief hem. Another hip way to keep warm is to knit your own. It should complement the skin and enhance the colors in the outfit or overcoat. Wrap one around your neck nonchalantly and stroll the Paris boulevards or where ever you live like a real flâneuse!
Websites: Scarves and Scarf Tying Lessons
For some Paris style inspiration, check out this cute store - Antik Batik.
There's also a cool store on the corner of Rue de la Verrerie and Rue Vieille du Temple - former horse meat seller with a red mosaic facade. You can't miss it. It's full of brightly colored Indian scarves and jewelry.
African weave or batik print scarves - The African Waistcoast Company.
If you dare buy Hermes, then check out the lesson on how to tie your Hermes scarf - Tying Your Hermes Scarf.
Here's how to wear a French twist - Brooks Brothers.
The definition of flaneuse (tiny French lesson) - Wikipedia