Wednesday 08 July 2020

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Cork Independent

So Last Season

Ooh la la!

Wednesday, 4th September, 2019 4:50pm

Well I’m back from Bordeaux and I’ve officially turned into a bottle of wine. It was such an unexpectedly great spot for a few days away, and having only ever been to Paris, I didn’t know what to expect from another French city.

I have to say I would prefer Bordeaux with its quirky restaurants, cute little squares, hip boutiques and stylish people.

The pace there is perfect for a relaxed break and we were so lucky with beautiful warm weather, so we were able to stroll around taking in the sights while enjoying the outdoor café culture.

Now what I was most fascinated with was people watching. I know people go on about the French style and I have to admit I always thought it was probably people being overly enthusiastic about it, but no sir!

Everything you’ve heard is true. I have come back completely inspired by how effortlessly stylish the vast majority of people look there.

I feel like I’ve drank the Francophile Kool Aid but it’s really, quite amazing to see it. Upon being in the country for less than an hour, I immediately wanted to move there and buy a bicycle with a basket to carry my shopping in.

These things I have observed during my brief time in Bordeaux: French people, especially men, are very fond of exposing an ankle. Most trousers are slightly cropped to show off a perfectly formed, tanned ankle and the footwear of choice is either a simple white plimsoll or a soft leather loafer. Absolutely no sock is on show, so I assume they have wonderfully discreet trainer liners or they have no sweat glands in their feet.

Navy is the new black. From what I could gather, navy is king when it comes to neutrals but perhaps this was just in the hot summer months. Simple navy tops, trousers and summer dresses all looked chic and stylish when worn in classic shapes and with simple jewellery.

Navy is so much less harsh than black and much easier to wear, especially on Irish complexions. I’ve never been one for having much black in my wardrobe anyway and I’ll certainly be investing in more navy neutrals from now on.

My trip away has also reignited my love for a good floral dress. Everywhere I went in Bordeaux, women were wearing such a gorgeous selection of floral dresses, in particular, this one style which had little flecks of metallic running through the floral. I managed to pick one up for myself in a boutique, and while it was tempting to go for a lighter summer colour, I ended up getting one in navy, blue and green with gold flecks that I can wear coming into winter with ankle boots and my leather jacket.

When it comes to accessories things are very understated. Heels are never too high so expect to see lots of block heels and mid height espadrilles and in winter a suede block heel ankle boot is essential.

Jewellery is also kept super simple with lots of layering of delicate gold or silver jewellery, and wearing one statement piece like a pair of drop earrings, is then the focal point of the look.

What strikes me most, though, is just how practical the sense of style is here and how unbothered they are by following trends which in turn makes every look comfortable but with a real air of cool to it all.

These styles never date, and while clothing was definitely more expensive in France, you do get the feeling that people invest more in classic pieces that they have for many years.

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