Neutrals – French women tend to gravitate toward neutrals for the basis of their wardrobe. Black, navy, gray, brown…these form the the bulk of the Frenchwoman’s clothing purchases, particularly those quality pieces she will wear for many years. This also allows her to have a smaller wardrobe. No one is likely to notice if she wears the same black slacks 2 or 3 times a week.
Adding color – Just because she favors neutrals doesn’t mean the Frenchwoman totally eschews color in her closet. It’s just that color is added judiciously, making sure it complements the neutral base of her wardrobe. A beautiful, emerald green cashmere sweater can add a stunning pop of color in a mostly black and gray clothing collection, for instance. But she is likely to limit colorful pieces to perhaps 15-20%.
Fit – This is the element I think many American women could use help with. The typical Frenchwoman’s clothes fit beautifully and are selected to flatter her feminine curves. Perhaps it’s because fashion is such a huge deal in France and women are surrounded with good examples, but they seem to do a much better job in this regard.