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What to Wear in Paris: 5 Favorite Trends from Vogue Paris’ Fashion Night Out

Thanks to Passport to Paris (admit it, you still love it), we collegiettes all have a soft spot in our hearts for the streets of Paris: their glamour, their beauty, their boys, their cheap wine, and most importantly, their ultra-fashionable mademoiselles. It’s a mystery, really: how do those Parisian ladies look so lovely, so effortlessly? Well, consider the mystery solved, collegiettes! I’ve started off the semester by scouring the French streets for the hottest looks of the season, and now the time has come to bring them to a closet near you! You might not be walking along the banks of the Seine on your way to class every morning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look the part!

My first stop on my hunt for perfect Parisian ensembles was, of course, Vogue Paris’ Fashion Night Out! What better place to find the season’s freshest looks than at a gathering of the city’s most stylish girls? With the help of a few camera-ready party-goers, I found the top five wardrobe staples you’ll need to rock Les Champs-Elysées (or your campus dining hall… hey, an audience is an audience, right?).

Thin Pleats

Before I came to Paris, the words “pleated skirt” meant nothing more to me than a flashback to Britney’s “Hit Me Baby One More Time” schoolgirl ensemble, and while I’m all for a mini and some knee socks when the time is right, I’m learning that there’s more to a pleat than plaid and pigtails.

Parisian girls love their pleated skirts, especially ones that hit mid-calf. Make sure your skirt is loose and flow-y, and that the pleats are thin enough to look like an accordion (which also happens to be extremely French, go figure). It’s best to pair the skirt with a loose top (usually a tank and a blazer), and throw on a simple chain necklace. Voila! Insta-chic.

Geometric Jewelry

Parisians may love the soft, romantic look of the thin pleated skirt, but they also like to keep their edge. Statement jewelry is key, and the best way to make that statement this fall is with hard angles and defined shapes. This trend works particularly well with necklaces: graduated rectangle plate necklaces, multi-layered arrowhead necklaces, and my personal favorite, hollow triangle necklaces. I spotted one on one of the trendiest girls at fashion week, who had paired it with a messy high bun, a loose black dress, sheer black tights, light gold heels that made me swoon, and of course, a bold red lip. Classic, but still creative (and apparently a very fast walker, since she slipped into the crowd before I could ask for a photo).


Speaking of shapes, it should come as no surprise to you fashion-blogging collegiettes that studs are still the word on the street (even if that street happens to be Rue Saint-Honoré). Parisians stud everything: their jean jackets, their leather jackets, their collars, their blazers, their purses, and their shoes (they’ve somehow perfected the studded boot look without resembling Avril Lavigne or Edward Scissorhands). The freshest way to do it: stud the collar of a light chambray button-up with gold studs (rather than silver – too predictable) and pair with a high-contrast, high-waisted skirt or pant. Part Rosie the Riveter, part Madonna… what’s not to love?


Leather Pants

Leather pants: not just for ‘80s hair bands anymore. While leather leggings can get the job done (provided you wear a long top or sweater to avoid the dreaded loose-crotch bunching look), a nice pair of leather pants (complete with zipper and button) looks polished, pretty, and of course, Parisian. The pants look best paired with loose, flow-y, patterned tops or, like this fashionable French collegiette shows, with a solid peplum top to let the pants stand as their own statement piece.

I couldn’t resist snapping of a pic of this lovely lady above not just because she was a prime example of the leather pants trend, but also because she nailed two trends in one; the rich red color, which the fashion world has decided to call “oxblood,” happens to be the “it” color of the season! I spotted three other fashionistas wearing nearly identical leather pants (all of them looking incredibly fabulous, of course), but the color is equally popular for other leather products like purses, jackets, and combat boots.


Of course, this list would be nothing without an homage to the blazer, the secret to success behind almost every envy-inspiring Parisian ensemble. These ladies show how the blazer can work for a night out (yes, it’s now possible to walk to the frat house in a club dress without getting frostbite, and to still look hot while doing it), but the blazer also works wonders in the daytime. Toss one over jeans and a tank, a dress, an interview outfit, whatever you want, and as long as you muss your hair up à la bedhead (bonus points for an ombre dye job!), you’ll look equal parts casual and chic. Parisians stock their closets with these blazers, switching between black, blue, soft gray, and pale pastels so that they never have to go a day with a shoulder uncovered.

You might not have the shops of Les Champs-Elysées at your doorstep this semester, but you can show off the style just as well as (if not better than!) any Parisian. Bonnes chances!

Kate is the Associate Editor of Her Campus. Before joining the staff full-time, Kate was the Campus Correspondent for the HC Skidmore College chapter as well as an editorial intern, Love editor, and national contributing writer for HC. In addition to her work with Her Campus, Kate has been a Sex & Love stringer and digital editorial intern for WomensHealthMag.com and an Inner Circle Trendspotter for MTV. Kate graduated from Skidmore College summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts in English and French. In her spare time, Kate is usually spotted writing fiction, playing tennis, reading pop culture blogs until her eyes hurt, baking cookies, or dreaming up her next travel adventure.
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