8 style rules French women swear by

The secret to Parisian chic

audrey tautou french style rules

The secret to Parisian chic

We've been trying to figure out the secret to French style for decades. There's something about how French women dress that's completely understated yet always chic and just the right amount of trendy.

And it's not just about pairing a Breton top with a Longchamp bag, there's something else we can't quite put our finger on.

So we asked four French style bloggers - Marta of Life of Boheme, Louise of Miss Pandora, Freddie Harrel and Kenza of La Revue de Kenza - to share their tips on mastering French-girl chic.

Don't wear a tight outfit

'Never wearing a tight bottom with a tight top, always mix and match' - Marta

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'Never wear too many trends in one outfit, always mix them with your own rules, which makes the difference and your uniqueness' - Marta

Emulate your icons

'As a Parisian girl, I'm taking my style tips from the most iconic of all, Brigitte Bardot. She incarnates the epitome of french chic, that is to say simplicity mixed with a kind of natural sexyness, feminity with a hint of boyish' - Louise

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Dress in opposites

'Think trench coats over girly outfits, flat shoes with flirty dresses, 3/4 jeans with ruffle blouses, red lipstick with a simple white shirt, and of course elegant accessories like black berets, men's watches, bags that are more timeless than fashionable' - Louise

Leggings are a big no no

'About leggings: wearing them as an outfit is like wearing pyjamas. It's not really elegant... But we wear it everyday to go to the gym' - Kenza

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Do wear matching items

'We don't wear non-matching socks or lingerie. We want to be perfectly well dressed from head to toe! Almost for ourselves, rather than for the others' - Kenza

It's all about confidence

'French women dress up with elegance and assurance, never to be seen. I guess it's exactly why it is inspiring in all ways, it's an attitude' - Marta

Do clash prints

'I'd say prints love company! Clashing them is always a good idea :)' - Freddie

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.