How to Emulate Left Bank Chic. We know you want to..

With its roots in an intellectual mindset, left bank, or more correctly Rive Gauge style has come to mean a certain, hard to define ‘Frenchness’. It is a particularly Parisian aesthetic that defies fashion, is always relevant and somehow never out of place. It is a look that is never overdone…if anything it is about being just a little underdone. And therein lies its allusiveness.

However, while it may seem as though you need to be born French to ‘get it’ we have decoded the look to the following don’ts and more importantly the do’s…


Do not over fixate on luxury logos. Logos can be worn but they must not be the mainstay of this aesthetic.

Do not wear overcomplicated manicures, makeup or hairstyles.

Do not go for garish colour combinations.

Do not over accessorize. Keep it simple and leave something behind for another time.


Invest in a classic well-tailored black blazer in a slightly relaxed fit. Wear this with everything from jeans to dresses.

Wear a mixture of investment or designer pieces with older vintage treasures to create the, hard to pin down, left bank allusiveness. It is this combination which underscores nonchalant, effortless chic.

Never leave home without a silk twill scarf. Tie it to your bag or drape around your neck. Maintain a small collection in different neutrals and a few to inject colour. A hand rolled edge to the scarf may seem like a detail too far but it whispers volumes… in French.

Keep to a mainly neutral colour pallet… black and navy are easy. Beige is crucial but it must compliment your skin tone which is less easy and requires experimentation.

For a casual look a blue and white Breton top is always a good idea especially worn under a beige trench coat. Ditto a simple black crew or polo neck knit.

Shoes should be simple and never uncomfortable. Ballet flats and loafers are the staples of this way of dressing.

Do look to role models such as Carine Roitfeld, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Ines de la Fressange all of whom embody the spirit of the left bank.

Above all, do dress with confidence. This might be the hardest ingredient to attain but it is that Gaelic attitude which truly underpins French chic and in particular that edgy sought after left bank style.

Bon Courage!


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