Jeanne Damas: Elements of Style

Jeanne Damas is the alpha and omega of the whole “French Girl” thing, with over a million Instagram followers.

She grew up in Paris’s decidedly non-fashion-y 12th arrondissement, where her parents owned a bistro. (They’ve since gone on to open a different restaurant, Philou, in the 10th, which is my absolute go-to when I have friends in town and which I didn’t realized they owned until five minutes ago. Go! The Paris-Brest is amazing!)

She’s graduated from It Girl-ness to found Rouje. (C’est quoi, Rouje? “C’est la nonchalance parisienne, le chic féminin, le charme rétro.” C’est … Sézane?) There’s no better way to channel her style than to buy it from Rouje, though personally I like the beauty offerings best.

Actually, there might be one more way: Buy her book, In Paris: 20 Women on Life in the City of Light, written with French journalist Lauren Bastide (the woman behind the excellent, and mostly but not entirely en français, La Poudre podcast.

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You can find Damas and her clothes all over Insta/Pinterest/Tumblr/etc., but she absolutely has some go-tos. Below, 18 buys that make up the ultimate Jeanne Damas shopping list. (For the best French shops you can shop from the U.S., see here.) But for a preview, here are the pieces she returns to again and again:

– high-waist, wide-leg jeans
– cropped sweaters
– jean shorts
– a straw market bag
– a lacy tank
– delicate jewelry
– cat’s-eye sunglasses
– a midi skirt
– and red lipstick, always

 

jeanne damas cropped sweater

This is everything about Jeanne Damas Does Fashion in a nutshell: High-waist jeans, cropped sweater, and that super classic coat (not forgetting the bag with the leopard-print strap). Here’s a variation on this look:

jeanne damas sweater

Note the second take on animal-print accessories.

BUY #1: High-waist, wide-leg jeans.

jeanne damas shorts

Those shorts are just as Atlantic Coast of France as they are Pacific Coast of America. I have, for the record, never seen them in Paris.

BUY #2: Super-American cut-off denim

 

I don’t know if these are actually APC, but I think they are, and they’re the perfect height for that length of skirt: not too high, not too low, the Goldilocks of sandal heels.

BUY #3: Mid-height black open-toe sandals

jeanne damas corduroy

Another take on a high-waist.

BUY #4: High-waist corduroys with front-button details

jeanne damas jewelry

Check out that one, incredibly simple piece of jewelry. Nothing else. No earrings. Well, maybe a bracelet, but I doubt it.

BUY #5: Simple, simple, simple jewelry

jeanne damas denim

The French way to do the Canadian tuxedo.

BUY #6: A fresh take on the denim jacket

jeanne damas skirt

This is far from either the last time we’ll see Jeanne with a straw market bag, and we’re totally here for those open-toe espadrilles. The real focus here, though, is….

BUY #7: A midi-length, below-the-knee skirt

jeanne damas coat

A few things to note here, including those perfectly fitting jeans, which are also the perfect length to fall — perfectly! — at the top of those boots. But that coat! This is the standard Paris coat. It rarely gets that cold there — if it snows, it’ll end up on Instagram, and it won’t stick. So what you’re talking about, really, is a cold for 40 degree weather, and this is it: a basic cloth coat, never buttoned, and falling to hip height.

BUY #8: A basic coat

jeanne damas earrings

I’m pretty sure those are the same earrings that someone bought someone else on the last season of Real Housewives of New York City (when they went to Colombia). And love her rare, high ponytail.

BUY #9: A super-classic denim button-down, opened one extra button.

jeanne damas skirt

OK, so I hate that scarf, and I don’t much like those shorts — and that top seems very wrinkly! But:

BUY #10: What great inspiration to try a monochrome look. Here, it’s paired with the most basic of basic shoes (strappy black heels) and clutch. If this can work in butternut squash, it can work in any color.

jeanne damas market bag

BUY #11: I love that super-heavyweight sweater but oh my God that round market bag. If Jeanne Damas ever comes out with a line of vintage market bags, I’m buying all of them.

jeanne damas lacy top

BUY #12: Here we see a bunch of things we’ve already seen — high-waisted pants, autumnal colors, and the market bag — but now they’re paired with that delicate lacy top. (See the first iteration of this all the way back in Buy #2.

jeanne damas espadrilles

BUY #13: Another forever favorite: those front-tie espadrilles. Here it’s paired with the midi-length skirt, simple jewelry, deep-plunge top, market bag, and cat’s-eye sunglasses.

jeanne damas loafers

BUY #14: Loafers! Something to consider when you’re not in the mood for espadrilles.

jeanne damas trench coat

BUY #15: This trench coat is just too much. The volume and length are just perfect (noting as well that the jeans are cut to the perfect above-ankle length). I think this coat is hard to wear if you’re shorter than, say, 5′ 7″, and only lightweight will do, but if you get it right, it’s magic.

jeanne damas rouje tee

BUY #16: Here’s Jeanne in her own-brand Rouje tee. Is this the best way to wear a T-shirt, tucked into a skirt?

 

jeanne damas vacation style

BUY #17: Quite possibly our favorite vacation look of all time. Buy it all!

jeanne damas outfit

BUY #18: More of the old favorites! Open-toe espadrilles, high-waist jeans, cat’s-eye sunglasses, and that market bag. Added to the list: this floral short-sleeved top. But I don’t love that, so buy #18 is actually the red lipstick that she’s worn in basically all of these photos.

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Filed under: elements of style

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Hi, I'm Diana. I've written about travel for The Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed, The Cut, Travel + Leisure, Outside, and lots of other places. This is my blog.