Paris Street Style: Not Your Average Française

Breaking all your French-girl stereotypes.

Every week, we take to the streets of Paris to photograph and chat with the women and men whose sartorial instincts we’d love to steal. Meet the people who are turning the Parisian sidewalks into runways – and find out everything you need to get their look.

Parisian It-girl Jeanne Damas shocked the fashion world when she declared unequivocally (and in the pages of Vogue, no less) that "[she] does not know anyone who wears a beret". To her credit, it's more or less true: whether out of over-exposure or fear of turning into a walking cliché, real-life French girls tend to avoid this iconic chapeau. But that just makes it all the more special when une française unapologetically reclaims the wool. 

We spotted Marina on the terrace of a café in the Marais, where she was taking an apéro — in English: your late-afternoon wine break — with some friends. We immediately fell in love with her romantic twist on a classic Parisian ensemble, complete with frayed hot-pink pants and a crisp white shoulder bag that looked straight out of the '70s. Paired with the beret, her Valentine's Day colors (already unusual for a city whose collective wardrobe consists mainly of neutrals) could have come off as overly saccharine. But Marina sucessfully sidestepped the problem by opting for relaxed, casual cuts - a comfy cotton tee, a 3/4 jean. This Parisienne is smashing all stereotypes about French-girl fashion, and we couldn't be happier about it. Ready to reconsider your stance, Damas?

What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Marina, I'm from Paris and I'm studying communications.

Why did you choose to wear this outfit today?
I bought these pants one year ago but didn't take them out of my closet often. It's sunny today, so I told myself that it was a good time to wear something colorful!

How would you describe your personal style?
Rather simple. I love wearing hats — berets and newsboy caps. I wear jeans often, I own many pairs... I'm really into pants that look a bit unique and special.

Are you wearing any pieces or accessories that are of special significance or that carry a story behind it?
The beret — I was sick and my boyfriend went and bought it for me. He always buys me berets — he went and bought another one for me last week! And my tattoo — it's an illustration entitled "Woman Waiting" by a French illustrator named Frédéric Forest. It's the silhouette of a posed woman — we don't see her head, only her hand, her shoulders and her arm. I was in Barcelona with my friends at the time, and going through a period when I wasn't doing very well. I wanted to symbolize this, and I found that "Woman Waiting" was a good representation of what I was thinking about.

Where did you get your outfit?
The pants are from a thrift shop in London — I cut them myself because they were a bit long. The top is from a vintage shop in Paris, the bag is vintage, the beret is from a boutique in the neighborhood of Strasbourg Saint Denis, and the shoes are Bershka.

Shop Marina's look with the pieces we put together below:
&Other Stories Striped Sweater - $39
New York & Company Soho Jeans Destroyed Boyfriend - $70
&Other Stories Suede Ballet Pump - $95
Botkier Murray Hill Mini Saffiano Leather Crossbody - $198
Forever 21 Wool Beret - $13

All images by Diana Liu.