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10 “Frenchie” Tips Every Non-Frenchie Should Know

A Non-Frenchie's Guide to Becoming a "Frenchie" in HK

Beauty & Fashion

by Jobie Soo

Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza

Becoming a “frenchie” in Hong Kong is not a one-and-done thing, so forget about rocking a red cashmere beret if you think that’s all it takes, because you'll end up looking like a try-hard “frenchie”. When it comes to the french style, be it beauty or fashion, less is ALWAYS more. Trust me, this rule-of-thumb is approved and confirmed by every “How to look like a French Woman” article I found online.

As your French Guide, it is my duty (and my pleasure) to guide you through the process of becoming the ultimate “frenchie” in Hong Kong. So, here are 10 head-to-toe beauty and fashion tips you need to know to enchante everyone with your “frenchie” charisma.

1. Rock the messy bun!

Photo credit: Pinterest

Part of being a “frenchie” is to be proud of the tousled bedhead hair, the roll-out-of-bed natural look that perfectly lends itself to a messy bun.

Super easy to manage AND...

It looks good on anyone, especially the over-sleepers!

And it’s okay to be lazy sometimes because not everyone has the time and energy for the full wash-and-dry hassle every morning. Yes, I'm talking about you, you and you...

Go ahead and try this effortless and chic hairdo next time you oversleep and thank me later!

2. Lips and lashes speak louder than a full face of makeup.

French women are known for their subtle “au naturale” look.

Instead of applying full makeup to their faces, French women keep their everyday makeup pretty simple and light.

Mascara, lipsticks and you’re ready to go!

Always remember: LESS IS MORE.

If you feel like rocking a bold red lip every once in a while, just go easy on the eyes so your makeup does not look too done-up.

Photo credit: ImaxTree

3. Don’t hide your imperfection, embrace it!

A true “frenchie” does not shy away from her flaws and imperfections, instead she embraces them! And so should you. Feel good in your own skin and learn to love those "naughty" freckles on your cheeks. Simply focus on the right skin-care products and stick with a consistent routine that works best for your skin.

No amount of makeup can compare to that unique complexion of yours.

4. Always wear perfume.

Photo credit: Pinterest

"No elegance is possible without perfume. It is unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory."

- Coco Chanel

To French women, perfume not only is the key to elegance, it also defines who you are. People will remember you more likely by the way you smell than the way you look. So, never leave home without a dab of perfume.

Carry a rollerball perfume in your purse during summer because the smell of sweat can be a huge turn-off.

5. Wear your heart on your sleeve (or your dress).

French people believe that fashion is a form of art, and art isn’t art without self-expression. Wear whatever colors, patterns or prints that can reflect your mood, or anything that makes you feel good and speaks to your character.

A “frenchie” does not follow rules and trends, she SETS them.


Photo credit: Cris Fragkou (L) / ImaxTree (M) / @kenzasmg (R)

6. Flashy logo is a NO-GO.

Try to avoid fashion items (like clothes, bags or accessories) that show the name of the brand in plain sight.

Always go for the subtle and nonchalant look that speaks with an undertone.

Follow the "frenchie" minimalist logic then you're halfway there!

7. Matching on the inside, mixing on the outside.

Matching your lingerie is one thing but playing safe with your outfit is another.

If you’re already wearing something super sexy or girly, don’t go overboard.
Try adding a bit of gender-bending twist to it and offset it with something boyish, like a leather biker jacket.

The “frenchie” style is all about balance.

Photo credit: Caroline de Maigret

8. Stride in your stripes.

“Stripes are a staple in your wardrobe – they are classic, like leopard and camo.”
– Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert

Breton stripe shirt is known for being a wardrobe staple of every "frenchie" in the world.

There’s really no excuse for a “frenchie” like you to not have one lying around, right?

Photo credit: Madewell

9. Keep it simple, don’t bedazzle.

Photo credit: Pinterest (1st) / Mehdi Lacoste (2nd)

You don’t need a thousand pieces of fashion items in your wardrobe to create a “frenchie” look. Just a few basics here and there will simply do the trick.

French women never over-accessorize.

Hear it from the ONE AND ONLY Ines de la Fressange, the French style icon, who published a book called Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange. She said every "frenchie" needs "The Magnificent Seven", which are:

1. Man's Blazer

2. Trench

3. Navy Cashmere Sweater

4. Tank

5. LBD (Little Black Dress)

6. THE Perfect Jeans

7. Leather Jacket

10. Flats or heels?

If you’ve ever faced the struggle between flats and heels, cement this "frenchie" rule into your daily life:

Flats for above-the-knee hemline; Heels for below-the-knee.

Photo credit: Fashion Diplomacy (L) / Pinterest (R)


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