Imagine sitting at a café in the most effortlessly chic outfit while nibbling on a buttery croissant and gazing at the Eiffel Tower. You daydream about your plans after work this evening: a dinner party an acquaintance of yours is hosting that will have at least four courses, all divinely cooked. Maybe you’ll meet a charming new gentleman and spend the night flirting up a storm, but you won’t give him your number because he has to work for your attention and should beg the host for your contact info instead.

This is how my inner French girl spends her days. She lives a spectacular life I’ve created in my mind after years of reading books and articles about the special something that French women have. Each day I strive to add a little of her magic into my life and hope that one day I can be as fabulous as her. While I haven’t been to France yet, I’ve studied the art of French living so thoroughly that I have 14 infallible ways to develop your own inner French girl and add a little je ne sais quois into your life.

Photo credit: @theoliviasway

Host a dinner party

The art of the dinner party isn’t a staple in most cultures like it is in France, but something you can easily start within your friend group. Choose a night to gather your friends at your home (make sure to tidy up before hand) and host a potluck dinner with at least three courses. While this may sound daunting, a dinner party doesn’t have to be a fancy occasion and making it a potluck takes off some of the pressure.

Indulge in a nice bottle of wine

I’m all for the delicious $8 bottle of wine, but there’s something to be said for a special bottle of wine on a random Tuesday night. Indulge alone or invite friends over for a wine tasting. Take the time to smell the bouquet and really focus on the flavors. Think of it as your first step to becoming a wine connoisseur like the French.

Practice casual elegance

French women are known for being spectacularly dressed in a casual yet sophisticated way. Numerous books and articles have talked about how French women utilize a capsule wardrobe, but you don’t need to worry about pairing down just yet. Instead, throw together an outfit that you feel both comfortable and confident in. Perhaps mix a casual top with a more luxe skirt. Experiment with different looks that are outside of your comfort zone, and when in doubt, choose Breton stripes.

Embrace slightly messy hair

Many women work hard to get their hair look perfect. We know an abundance of product and heat tools aren’t great for our hair, but we do it anyway. Take a page out of your inner French girl’s book and allow your hair to be a little messy for one day. Let it air dry and let your natural texture shine. If leaving your hair down isn’t for you, use a few bobby pins to create a casual chignon while working with your natural texture.

Photo credit: @alexsandraorlova

Buy a pastry for breakfast

A pastry a day sadly does not keep the doctor away, but a croissant is a lovely treat on a Sunday morning when reading your favorite book. Try to find a local bakery for the freshest selection and indulge without regret.

Flirt with a stranger

French women are known for their flirting skills, but really, they’re just experts at the art of conversation. Practice your skills by striking up a conversation with someone in line at the grocery store or you meet in an elevator. Male, female, dog, or cat—you can chat up anyone and have a lovely conversation filled with word play and compliments. You’ll spend the rest of your day with a smile on your face knowing you had the confidence to talk to a friendly stranger.

Go to a farmer’s market

You can find a farmer’s market in pretty much any town, and this is perhaps the best way to embrace your inner French girl. Head to the local market, preferably with a market tote, and speak to local vendors about their goods. Learn what is in season and the best way to cook your produce. Take this knowledge home and prepare a lovely meal—perhaps for your dinner party!

Slather yourself in your best lotions and potions

French women take their skincare seriously. From a young age, women are taught to take good care of their skin, and if you’ve been neglecting your skin, now is the best time to start. Take an evening to pamper yourself with your finest products. Apply that expensive face cream and coat yourself with moisturizing lotion from head to toe. Finish your pampering with a glass of water and you’ll feel like a new woman.

Photo credit: @leiasfez

Wear matching lingerie

Another rumor we hear often about French women is their matching lingerie. Whether or not it’s true that French women find it inconceivable to not match their underwear, you can still apply this idea to your life to enhance your confidence. Choose your best set of matching lingerie (or if you don’t have any, now may be the time to invest in a set!) and put it on for no particular reason. Wear it all day like a sexy little secret. Worst case scenario? You’ll feel extra alluring when you get undressed at the end of the day.

Take a walk

With ample public transportation in Paris and a café around every corner, French women really get their steps in. To embrace your inner French girl, take your dog for a long walk or forgo your car when your running nearby errands. Not only will you feel more French, but you’ll also get more steps in.

Avoid snacking

The French culture does not emphasize snacking the way other cultures do. If a French woman does snack, it’s usually limited to a piece of fresh fruit. On the day you’re planning your dinner party with multiple courses, see if you can forgo snacking for the day and instead save room for your delectable dinner.

Stay up-to-date on the news

Along with their flirting, French women like to intertwine politics, sex, and religion into even the most mundane conversations. While it may not be in your best interest to start an argument over these taboo topics, make sure to stay current on the latest news in case these conversations do come up. That way you’ll be able to hold your own and be a good global citizen.

Photo credit: @adenorah

Swipe on your favorite shade of lipstick

Embracing your inner French girl is as easy as applying a fresh coat of lipstick. Our idealized French woman often has beautifully pouty red lips, but you don’t have to choose red to get the same effect. Instead, apply whichever lipstick makes you feel most sensuous and wear it proudly. For bonus points, blow a kiss to gorgeous guy that’s caught your eye.

Practice your French

Perhaps the easiest way to feel more like your inner French girl? Practice French! There are numerous podcasts that can help you learn basic conversational French. Your objective doesn’t need to be to become fluent in the language. Instead, simply pick up a few phrases you can use in every day conversation to make you feel closer to your inner French girl.

While most French women may never actually do these things, it’s still fun to dream about our inner French girl and add a touch of her into our lives. Choose one or all of these activities and you’re sure to feel more French in no time!

tips for living like a french girl, effortless Parisian style