It should come as a surprise to no one that we have a few Francophiles in the Who What Wear office. And while there’s nothing wrong with appreciating another culture for all its cool, creative, sometimes game-changing contributions to fashion, we’re also not to assume that all French women possess that same outlook on style. Perhaps you’re familiar with more of a Parisian style stereotype—a person who wears vintage dresses and ballet flats, who carries a perfectly worn-in Chanel bag, and whose beauty routine consists of La Mer and good genes—but in order to begin to celebrate what makes each French woman unique, we first asked them to turn some common myths on their heads.
Looking to some of the French women we love to spot in our Instagram feeds today, we asked seven of them a simple question: What’s a French fashion myth you’d like to set straight? Most answers varied but quite a few fell into a similar theme that the effortless French-style cliché—the one that says great personal style is more about geographic location than thoughtful choices, creativity, and expression—has got to go.
Scroll down to see what else these unique style leaders have to say about French fashion clichés, and shop a few pieces that have earned their own stamps of approval.