I like to browse through Net-A-Porter for styling inspiration, and loved seeing Charlotte Gainsbourg in this week’s “The Edit” (their weekly e-zine). I’ve always adored what’s often referred to as “gamine” style, originally exemplified by Audrey Hepburn in “Sabrina” and “Funny Face” (featuring the now-iconic dance number in the smoky bar), and Jean Seberg in “Un Coup de Foudre.” The images of Gainsbourg in this article bring a modern (and ageless) sensibility to a classic gamine look.
While often including some masculine elements, the true gamine look is to my eye more feminine, just a little softer than a straight-up tomboy, sporty or menswear style. For a long time, I thought that this style was exclusively for the young and very svelte. And maybe in the most literal of Audrey-esque interpretations, it is. But those of us with curves or more than a few grey hairs can learn from and incorporate some of the best elements of la mode gamine.
What’s not to love, anyway?
It’s comfortable. No need to squeeze yourself into stiff fabrics or body-con styles that require shapewear. Especially with today’s fabrics with a bit of stretch, you can find slim pants that still allow you to move, bend and sit. Soft sweaters or blouses, low-heeled or flat shoes…nothing that constricts or constrains.
It’s versatile. With a few tweaks and thoughtful accessorizing, you can go from weekend to office to evening.
It’s classic but modern. Does a pair of slim pants ever really go out of style? Or a perfect cashmere sweater? Yes, hemlines and cuts may change, but this look relies on simple classic items that are almost always available in some form, and can often be updated with a fresh accessory to look totally modern.
It’s elegance without fussiness. In fact, anything too frou-frou or stiff or overwrought will ruin the effect. It’s meant to be fresh and uncomplicated. Done right, this look can hit that perfect balance of polished and insouciant, which leads to…
It’s quintessentially French. The simplicity, reliance on a few good core pieces, the mix of masculine and feminine elements, the absence of anything overdone…it’s everything we admire about French style.
Are you inspired by gamine style? Have you found ways to incorporate into your wardrobe?
TRY IT ON…
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