Inspired By: Classic Parisian Chic (Encore)

Parisian chic: a modern classic look in black and grey with attention to details.

I thought it might be fun to periodically document some looks I’ve spied on real women that have inspired me in some way. It’s not about copying someone else’s style wholesale; it’s about identifying what elements might translate well to one’s own style, and finding ways to incorporate them.

Modern Classic: Parisian Chic

This look was inspired by Jeanne, the young woman I introduced you to in Monday’s post, Paris, With Friends. I thought she looked very polished and soignée, without a hint of fussiness. Her outfit was timeless and ageless. There was that nice balance of masculine and feminine elements. She managed to look quintessentially Parisian yet modern. (And yes, she’s French.)

Shown above: beret | lipstickturtleneck | pants (similar) |
jacket (similar) | bag (similar) | shoes (similar)


  • When in doubt, wear black. It simplifies getting dressed, yet looks polished. Don’t worry about matching your blacks, rather mix textures to add interest. (I know many of you have sworn off black, or just never liked it. You could also put together something similar with navy or dark grey.)
  • Simple doesn’t have to be boring. It’s all in the details: the pinstripe on the pants, the gold buttons on the jacket, the edging on the bag, the distinctive buckle on the shoes.
  • A red lip counts as an accessory. I saw more women of all ages wearing red lipstick in Paris this fall than on any previous visit, and I loved it. Satin or matte finish usually, never glossy.
  • Structure. It doesn’t have to be stiff or formal, but including a piece or two with some structure ups the polished factor. I’m a big fan of a softly structured jacket. Bags and shoes like the ones shown above can also be a way to incorporate structure.

I get that this minimalist look may not appeal to everyone. If you prefer more color, pattern, focal points, you could also use an outfit like this as a starting point, and add color with a sweater or scarf, and change up the look with other accessories.

Get The Look

Striped Pants

Liverpool | Karen Kane | T Tahari |  NY Collection (Plus) | Banana Republic

Easy Jackets

Halston Heritage | J.Crew | Vikki Vi (Plus) | Lauren Ralph Lauren | Everlane

Buckle My Shoe

Paul GreenRoger Vivier | Via Spiga | Aquatalia | Isaac Mizrahi | AGL

Have you met or seen someone lately whose style has inspired you?

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  1. Have you re-thought the beret? You don’t really see many French women in them; or men, for that matter. The beret on an American seems like “Tourist Trying too Hard.” (A scarf, on the other hand, is essential.)

    1. Hi Lyn, while I agree that berets aren’t commonly seen, the French woman I met who inspired this outfit was wearing one. Last year, Dior (I think) featured them on the runway and they were more of a fashion item.

  2. Loving those striped pants, particularly with the beautifully cut blazer. As the years go by, I am finding harder to wear black as I feel it drains my face of color (my coloring is similar to yours) and I’m not so convinced about mixing it with other colors other than some shades of grey. Same thing with basic white; I look terrible. However, my staples are now grey, navy, khaki and some tan/leopard print with ivory/off-white to lift it all, and I feel like I suddenly have a huge choice when I open my wardrobe door! My go to pattern (other than the leopard) would definitely be stripes of the vertical variety!
    Enjoy reading your posts so much, thank you!

  3. I still love black and wear it more than anything else (I’m caucasian, darker complexion and eyes, dark brown/silver hair, so black works). I’ve never, ever felt it was boring. I love everything about this look, Susan. Even though my lips seem to be disappearing with the years, I also still love red lipstick. It’s just a bit more complicated to find the *right* red. When I don’t feel like doing anything with my eyes (more often lately), putting on just blush and red lipstick awakens this old face. And with that gorgeous black and grey outfit you put together above–snap!

  4. I am a fairly new reader. I think you are a lovely classic woman! And I love BLACK. I have recently cleansed my closet of seldom worn clothing, and am making black my “color” for the winter. I have pinstripe, checked, and solid black slacks, black long sweater, jackets, plus my classic jeans. I have incorporated RED and Navy blue for the other colors and will bring in color with scarves and jewelry. So I want to thank you for your consistency with your blog. I cannot always afford the clothing you feature, but I hunt for similar things that are more within my budget. I am a woman of a certain age, love everything Italian, and having fun comparing your love of France to my love of Italy. Brava!

  5. Minimalist… That’s so me! I haven’t worn a lot of black until the last few years. Since starting 1010ParkPlace I’ve gone to NYC on a regular basis, and that in itself is a lesson in fashion. Love your advice and your choices.

  6. I’m looking at my wardrobe for pieces to take to the Netherlands in December & find that I am picking tunics & blouses of black & gray. The funny thing is my blazers are pink leather, salmon colored corduroy long blazer & a camel colored wool double breasted blazer & colorful scarves; that . I have made some awesome purchases this summer for my winter wardrobe. The price was on point for what I wanted to pay & the pieces are so on trend for this season (I didn’t know what the trends for fall/winter 2018; but I guess I have a good eye. I could definitely wear the Persian outfit (except the lipstick; I like more neutral colors on my thin lips); it’s comfortable, well put together & can go with so many different occasions. I love your posts!! Thanks for the guidance!!

  7. Hi Susan – I enjoy your blog tremendously! I was hoping you could tell me what lipstick you’re wearing in your picture on the upper right of this webpage. Your makeup looks terrific!

  8. Love the French look and this post. I have been wearing a black beret ( not the same one)since I was an au pair in Paris in 1974. It keeps me warm enough and looks cute. One of the great joys of being older and having a sense of self and own style is not caring what other people think.
    Having said that, Susan, I think you always look great. Thank you for your fun blog

  9. I don’t think it’s a sin to love black. I wear it, but add color near my face. I just don’t love navy, and it seems too summery to me. Charcoal grey is fine, though.

  10. Love your blog! We’re doing a Viking cruise beginning of Sept, would white capris be appropriate? I was sticking with your Fall capsule & now rethinking as weather will be low 70’s to low 80’s. So appreciate your answer.

    1. Hi Chris, thanks! You don’t say where you’ll be cruising, but if the weather’s warm I don’t see any reason why capris wouldn’t be fine for daytime sightseeing.

  11. Hi, Susan,
    Just love all those looks and especially the red lip. Looks so finished, polished and comfortable. Thanks for all the great ideas! Love looking at your site.

  12. Black and navy wool berets are one of my wardrobe staples, which come in handy for foggy San Francisco summer mornings.