The Mini Skirt
The other day, as I was off to work, wearing a ruffled denim skirt, a navy blouse and magenta suede boots (check out my instagram last week) - an outfit which I felt was overall rather monochromatic and basic - my husband told me I was looking lovely and elegant, and added that I reminded him of our time in Paris. It's always nice to start the day with a compliment from your loved one. But that's not really what sunk in. I have always felt Cover Mum was about the encounter of classic French chic with British fun and extravaganza. But it then dawned on me that I might have lost sight of the former. And this brief conversation has made me want to remind myself what I think it means to be a (former) Parisian and how this translates into the way I (used to) dress. So I have decided to start a mini series on the Parisian style. And since my husband's comment related to the way I was wearing a mini skirt, I will start from there.
Mini skirts have been around for more than 50 years. They were invented by British designer Mary Quant and first hit the streets of London in 1962-1963 but they actually became 'legit' and popular after French haute couture stylist Courrèges put them on the catwalk in 1965. An event later described as a 'bomb shell' in the world of fashion by Yves Saint Laurent. The mini was of course controversial when it first appeared (a TV presenter even got fired for showing her knees and tourists wearing mini skirts were prohibited from entering the Vatican in the 60s). But at a time when women's rights were being fought hard for, the mini soon became a symbol of freedom and emancipation, and a wardrobe icon.
So how do the Parisians wear the mini?
Well, first basic rule, the shorter the skirt the flatter the heels - so in practice ballerinas, trainers or boots - Parisians do no wear minis with heels, that's a rather British thing to do;
Tights wise, it's all or nothing - either super opaque tights or just bare legged - Parisians would not wear a mini with 40 deniers, that would be vulgar;
For a rock / rebel look, any black leather shape (pencil, trapeze) can potentially do but worn with a fitted shirt or a roll neck to make it just a bit more curtailed and feminine;
For a more boho style, ethnic or fringed, minis are usually worn with suede boots, ideally over the knees;
And for a retro chic attitude eg flared and/or print mini (my style on this post), style it with a cropped jacket or a trench coat with a tight shirt or thin roll neck underneath. The skirt I am actually wearing on these pictures, from a French brand bien sur!, is now on the Outnet at almost 40% (see below).
The affordable version
1. Sandro Valeke Twill Jacket, £189
2. Maje Two tone Mini Skirt, £111 (40% on The Outnet) - same as the one I am wearing
3. R Studio Suede Boots at La Redoute, £115 - £50 off when you spend £100 with code XMAS
The more expensive but up to date version
1. Claudie Pierlot Victoria Blazer, £345
2. Maje Jupon Short Skirt, £185
3. Saint Laurent Suede Over-the-Knee Boots, £915
Stay tuned! More on the Parisian style next week...