The Chic List: Why my essentials need attitude

Fashion columnist and influencer Joanne Hegarty on the fashion lessons she’s learnt from France.

All I want for Christmas is something chic and Parisian. After a recent work trip to the French capital, all wrapped up for Christmas in twinkling lights, I came home with a wish list as long as my arm. But I also picked up some tips about what the très sophisticated French women are wearing as everyday looks this winter. And the good news is these can easily be incorporated into our own wardrobes…

A Christmas coffee run in a vintage check blazer from Merci in Paris, shirt by Cefinn, trousers from Cos, bag by Saint Laurent

I fall madly in love with navy all over again every time I visit Paris. No other city celebrates one colour so enthusiastically and, as a result, Parisians now practically have copyright on the shade, which was originally associated with their nation’s firefighter uniforms.

Just ask famously stylish Parisians like model and music producer Caroline de Maigret and aristocrat and fashion icon Inès de la Fressange and they’ll wax lyrical about the joys of navy. In a typical act of style rebellion, Parisians wear it religiously with black. And you can’t possibly be considered a native unless you have at least one navy knit or navy peacoat in your wardrobe.

Of course, there are good reasons why navy is so popular in Paris. It’s a flattering colour for most skin tones and effortless to wear. Nothing looks more chic than a navy roll-neck tucked inside a pair of high-waisted black trousers coupled with some simple gold jewellery. It looks equally fabulous with a pair of white denims and a flick of red lipstick come dreary January.

Pinstripes and checks are alive and kicking this winter, too. French women do both supremely well, usually in the form of a trouser suit teamed with a white shirt, slim knit or a black polo. You can work your pinstripe or check blazer and trousers as separates, and charcoal or navy pinstripe trousers look great with denim and cosy colours like a grey, cream or camel chunky knit.

READ MORE: The best sun, moon and star jewellery

There’s a pavement-pounding move towards the comfy shoe. This is especially true in Paris where it’s almost considered vulgar to wear an uncomfortable shoe. The loafer or the return of the humble Converse boot is where my Parisian loyalty lies.

The cross-body handbag is something I’ve always loved. And the desire to have one casually flung over my shoulder has been reignited thanks to Parisian brand Céline’s new bag collections. Jennifer Aniston has one firmly attached to her body all through Apple TV’s The Morning Show as well as in real life.

Imagine how good one would look under the tree!

Team this pinstripe trouser suit with a slim knit or white shirt and you’re practically Parisian. Trousers, £199, and blazer, £299,

French women love an APC cross-body bag and so do I. Bag, £465,

Layer this blue striped polo with everything. Top, £55,

A perfect timeless knit for navy lovers. Jumper, £175, 

Pavement-pounding loafers from the high street. Shoes, £89.95,

Main image: Victoria Metaxas. Follow me on Instagram @thestylistandthewardrobe.