As you know, I have a deep love for anything and everything French. If you’re a new face here, welcome! Or rather, bonjour! Alongside fashion, studying the French language has been one of my lifelong passions. I was lucky enough to spend the third year of my undergraduate degree living and learning in Paris, FR. Ever since, I’ve continued the love affair with many, many visits back– and when I’m home, following French bloggers, watching French TV (Plan Coeur and Je Ne Suis Pas Un Homme Facile are hilarious) and shopping French brands.
For all of my Francophiles there’s no better place for French girl style than Sézane. Its name is even a homonym for the French impressionist painter. The cult French clothing label creates beautiful seasonal capsules that feel like they were taken out of a Brigitte Bardot film. But since we can’t spend all of our days strolling around St Tropez, how does Sézane measure up to the needs of the average gal on the go? With a mid-level price point, a focus on sustainable and ethical fashion and that effortlessly chic French style, it has an ardent following. Today I’m looking at aesthetics, customer experience and timelessness. I’ve invested in four items from Sézane over the past two years and each of them are still in my closet.
Baskets Jack– I’ve owned these blush sneakers for nearly two years, and they are the perfect casual shoe year-round. Aside from the first week or so, I hardly had to break them in. I’ve worn them with everything from sundresses in summer to faux-leather pants in winter. They’re pretty enough to complement a nice outfit but not so fancy that you can’t throw them on to go to yoga (nor so expensive- I can’t imagine spending $1000 dollars on these Louis Vuitton sneakers but to each their own). Sézane rotates the colors and materials available seasonally but their Jack sneaker design is a staple. For a classic pair I’d go for Noir or Écru and for a statement (wait for it) metallic gold/silver OR if you want to take a walk on the wild side- LEOPARD.
Chemise Boy– This exact black silk shirt is no longer available but do not despair, the Chemise Ann, is very similar with the added bonus of a subtle polka dot pattern on the black jacquard fabric. I think there are few things more sexy or sophisticated than a silk shirt. I’ve worn mine dressed up with wide leg black trousers, for work with a royal blue pencil skirt, and on a date, with boyfriend jeans and heels. It’s one of the most versatile pieces in my wardrobe. For spring/summer it would be perfect with cream linen shorts and loafers for rooftop happy hour. As the weather over the next month turns warmer, it’s equally perfect for pretending you’re on your boat in the Mediterranean rather than at your kitchen-table-turned-desk.
Gilet Gaspard– this cozy cream sweater is not only the softest thing I’ve ever worn, it’s also reversible. You can wear it with the mother of pearl buttons in front, cardigan-style, or reversed with the buttons going down your spine. I’m also personally a big fan of tying the cardigan up with a midi skirt or over a sundress to help transition through mercurial spring weather. In these photos I wore it with my leopard skirt and black boots for a brunch and museum day. I bought this sweater at one of the boutiques in Paris, but you can trust in Sézane’s size guides when you order online– I’ve never had a problem. There’s something so lovely, feminine and timeless about a cream sweater in my mind. But you also can’t go wrong with the kaleidoscope of color-ways. Lipstick bright Rouge, classic Camel or daffodil-yellow Jaune are all good choices.
Collier Astre– Every guide to French style will tell you that accessories are key. There’s no better way to add some je ne sais quoi to your white t-shirt and jeans than a mix of eclectic, vintage-inspired jewelry. This necklace was my most recent purchase from Sézane, on a weekend trip to New York in mid-February. Like moths to flame, we wandered into the Nolita boutique– the only brick and mortar Sézane location in the US. I valiantly restrained myself from a gorgeous shirtdress and a dreamy croco-leather bag, but I succumbed to this lovely necklace. Though they have different designs for each Astrological sign, I went for the Virgo design because it reminded me of an ancient coin (I’m a Cancer but didn’t fancy wearing a crab around my neck). Sézane’s approach to accessories is like that of a fabulous, world-traveling godmother, whose jewelry collection you’ve been wanting to steal since you were old enough to point at the shiny thing. Currently I’m swooning over these twist hoops and these lovely enamel bracelets.
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The only criticisms I can give Sézane (besides not having a Washington DC location) is that while I want more or less everything they create, unless you work in fashion or a creative/casual field, it may be hard to wear certain pieces to work. If you’re looking to maximize your buy and your budget, stick to classic pieces. That being said, they do have marvelous designs should you have a bit of mad money for a fun top for your birthday or for a dress to wear on your next vacation.
We’re all daydreaming of the day we can once again picnic in the park, visit a museum, sunbathe on the beach, raise a glass with friends and board a plane to new adventures and unknown horizons. Until then, I’ll be living vicariously through old photos, classic films and online shopping for the perfectly chic French inspired outfit. Currently in my Sézane basket? This red floral wrap dress that looks how summer wine tastes, bright, bold and flirty!