How do French girls do boho jewellery better?
Okay. I admit it. I'm a desperate Francophile. My secret fashion fantasy is to channel French girl style - especially their enviable spin on boho chic. Yup. I study French Vogue like Miss Marple looking for clues to a murder, and shamelessly lurk on Pinterest French It-girl pages to try and decipher the secret of their effortless and unfussy charisma.
The goddess of French girl style, Jane, Birkin, shows us how to put together a casual street-wear boho ensemble. (Photo courtesy: Elle magazine)
French girl style is legendary. So how do they do it? Never a faux pas - always so stylish and yet so 'just threw it together' casual. Especially when it comes to the French girl style with boho jewellery, my favourite jewellery trend, and probably the trickiest with which to achieve the understated sophistication of French chic.
French girls do it better with the unbeatable combo of leather jacket, leopard jeans, stylish designer micro bag and layered boho jewellery (Photo: lesbabiolesdezoe.com)
The sad truth is...well, sometimes boho jewellery can make you look like you've stepped out of a 1960s hippie commune. Which is great if you're on a commune or at a festival, but not so great if you're looking for a contemporary boho look which you can wear anywhere and with anything. Yet by some secret alchemy obviously passed on from French mother to daughter, boho jewellery on a French girls looks so stylish it's as if they've just stepped off a Parisian catwalk. All that enviable je ne sais quoi cool without compromising the gauzy, bohemian free-spiritedness of boho. So, excusez-moi, ma cherie, but what's your secret?
A ooh-la-la class act that whispers 'French to the core.' Fuzzy cardy, vintage velvet cami and strings of leather and chain boho necklaces with the obligatory vintage jeans. (Photo: freepeople.co.uk) For a similar effect try the necklaces below.
French girls nail boho spirit, urban style with these boho necklaces perfect for layering. From right, The Tusk, The Tear, Swarovski Hanging Rock, The Artisan Arrow designed and created by Her Lovely Bones jewellery.
After much hair pulling and failed experiments - to layer or not to layer my boho necklaces, to go gypsy or tribal, how many boho bracelets are just too many, can I get away with that feathered choker I adore and NOT look like a turkey - I think I just may have come up with a few key discoveries.
The French girl boho jewellery style in five easy steps
So how to merge the wild-spirited exhuberance of boho jewellery with the cool, effortless style we've come to think of French girl chic?
Here's my tried-and-true formula you might want to try.
1. Focus - on a single boho jewellery piece and reduce or eliminate any additional accessories. French girl style focuses on a single standout boho piece creating an adaptable outfit that can be worn anywhere. So unless you're heading for a festival, dump the hippy combo of lace top, ugg boots, feather headpiece and a ton of boho jewellery. You're aiming your pony for the city, not the prairie.
The 'wear it with everything' leather wrap necklace is a mainstay of French girl style. (Photo on right: lesbadiolesdeszoe.com. Left: the urban boho wrap with Swarovski wolfs tooth.)
2. Minimise - don't drown yourself in layers of gauzy lace or gypsy skirts and heaped layers of boho jewellery. Choose a body part - arms, neck, or fingers, and concentrate your jewellery in that area. Pile on boho bracelets from wrist to elbow, but leave your neck bare, for example. Or choose a single statement piece. This could be a collection of layered necklaces or a single stunning boho necklace. Then, unless you want to look like the African Queen, ensure the rest of your outfit is urban minimalist. Try sleek heels, skinny jeans, a shearling jacket, a sleek little handbag - Uggs or tribal sandals not permitted! Below are a couple of style suggestions of boho jewellery just perfect to accompany your French girl outfit.
3. Urbanise - when you choose your boho jewellery, imagine if you'd be comfortable walking into a Parisian coffee shop or a gallery opening wearing your selection. Sadly, you don't want to look like you've just arrived from Coachella. Choose jewellery which retains the spirit of boho - its earthiness, the use of sustainable materials, its hallmarks of 'being different from the crowd', and just that little hint of wild free-spirit. Working with those elements, look for them reshaped in contemporary, wear-anywhere designs. You'll find examples of this kind of boho jewellery in the collections of artisan jewellers. Here are a couple of ideas below.
Unique earrings like these artisan handmade sterling, nu-gold and copper gypsy-style pieces are a French girl boho style staple.
Elegant and edgy, these artisan limited edition sterling and turquoise earrings are on the lust-list of every savvy French style fashionista.
4. Contrive - to look absolutely effortless. From the 'oh so carefully arranged' messy hair, to the 'just happened to toss it on' leather jacket, the French girl's boho look never looks laboured or studied. Boho jewellery is the perfect accessory for that casual, tossed-it-on look. Slip on a few casual boho bracelets, Swarovski skull earrings and wrap yourself in a fuzzy coat. You'll look like you rushed out the door without even bothering to look in the mirror. Now that's French girl confidence.
5. Surprise - with the unexpected. Give the traditional lush boho necklace/lace blouse combo an unexpected cool-girl overtone with slick heels and cropped jeans. The more extravagant the necklace, the leaner and meaner the rest of your outfit. A statement necklace like the wow-factor piece pictured below needs nothing more than clean, streamline clothing to put your outfit on a stellar level. Let the showpiece boho piece do the talking. You can bet it'll be talking French.
The ultimate showpiece stunner, this boho necklace dripping with silver and Swarovski crystal contains the edgy urban elements that define the French girl style.
Okay, so sadly your mother isn't French. But now you know the basics, the French girl It-Girl look is within reach. Interested in trying out the French girl style and looking for boho accessories that are in tune with the French fashion philosophy? Check out Her Lovely Bones jewellery for some je ne sais quoi inspiration....
Feature photo courtesy of Paris Vogue (photo: Peter Jansson)