This Is How French Women Really Dress in Winter

No heels on the metro here.

This Is How French Women Really Dress in the Winter

Packing for a work trip to Paris in January was all kinds of complicated. The forecast wavered between snowing and simply freezing which made me seriously contemplate a huge puffer coat and waterproof duck boots. But I also didn't want to feel très frumpy in the most fashionable city in the world—there were colleagues to meet and a bajillion touristy photos to take! In a compromise between fashion, warmth and comfort, I settled on a sort of "uniform" consisting of a long wool coat and flat knee-high boots.

Upon arrival, however, it was comforting to see that when it's cold out the women in France didn't dress all that differently from us (despite my Pinterest feed telling me otherwise). In fact, a puffer would not have been out of place at all. Here were the key things I noticed about French fashion in the winter.

1. Oversized Coats

I felt a little silly for tailoring my coat before we left as all the girls rocked roomy outerwear that looked both effortlessly chic and comfortable.

2. Skinny Jeans

All that talk about skinny jeans being "out"? Hearsay! At least according to Paris. In fact, it was the only style of jeans I noticed anyone wearing.

3. Short (Flat) Boots

Moto to Chelsea, the most common footwear I found people wearing were some form of black flat leather boots. No heels on the metro here! And none of those over-the-knee variety that have taken over the States.

4. Beanies

Big slouchy knit hats were everywhere and I even spotted the occasional charming beret (no, it's not a mythical accessory!).

5. Messy-Chic Hair

When the hats were off, it appeared to me that all Parisian women had mastered the "I woke up like this" hair. Not a strand looked overly styled or prim. It looked casual, unfussy and, for lack of a better word, cool

6. Minimal Makeup

Along the same lines, I didn't once see heavy-handed makeup. While I covered my redness with pressed powder and coated my lashes with mascara, the girls I came across looked fresh-faced and completely natural. I concluded they either were pros at No-Makeup Makeup or had the best skincare in the world.

As for warmer months, well, I'll just have to return in the summer to further investigate.

Editorial Director of Livingly's lifestyle group.