I Don't Date Online, But This French Fashion Trick Gets Me Noticed IRL

In the past year or two, I’ve let my dating life take the backseat to a lot of things: work, friends, and travel, to name a few. Only in the past six months or so have I slowly started to adjust my priorities and entertain the idea that drinks or dinner with an elusive stranger isn’t as terrible as I’d been making it out to be. But brass tacks here: While I fall squarely into the “millennial” bucket, I’ve come to realize I’m not exactly cut out for dating apps, which means for better or worse, I ascribe to the notion of hanging out with people I’ve met (or my friends have met) IRL.

Now that I’m back on the bandwagon, I’ve tried to settle into a routine of sorts to make things a bit easier for myself. Call me boring, but I’m armed with a list of convenient/decent restaurants to fall back on and more importantly (because I’m a fashion editor after all), I’ve leaned into an outfit trick that makes getting ready pretty much painless. My sense of style would probably be described by my friends as some combination of “lazy”, “sporty”, and believe it or not, “romantic”. So these days I’m trying to encapsulate a little bit of all three, dressing down some sort of floaty, ethereal top with cool denim and edgy accessories.

Upon my adoption of this dating uniform of sorts, I’ve come to the realization that I’m not the only one employing this idea, as it’s in fact been perfected by the Parisian trendsetters that I’ve managed to follow en masse on Instagram. While I may consider it a styling trick intended to curb my pre-date anxiety and take off a bit of pressure, for the French, it’s an embodiment of that je ne sais quoi attitude, a certain disregard for the once-formal rules of fashion.

So how has my outfit of choice has been working out? Very well, thank you. Perhaps chalk it up to the fact that I’m at ease wearing it (making me a generally more relaxed date) or the fact that when it comes to grabbing drinks, a potential partner isn’t looking for someone in pajamas or a ball gown. Whatever it may be, it’s an outfit that garners compliments from both my dates and strangers alike. Read on to see how both the French and myself pull it off and to shop iterations for yourself.

A sweet babydoll top and denim cutoffs strike the perfect balance, reading as neither too fussy nor too casual.
While a babydoll top has a certain delicate feel to it, I tend to want to dress it down by styling it with a denim skirt and sneakers.
Available in sizes 0 to 12.
Available in size S. 
To make a puff-sleeved button-down feel less stuffy, unbuttoning it and styling it with edgy accessories make it feel especially fresh.
Vintage jeans are my go-to when I want to dress down a more refined top. For date night, I’d probably style this look with a pair of mules or fun heels that don’t feel especially fancy but liven things up a bit.
Available in sizes XS to L. 
Available in sizes 34 to 44. 
Gingham toes the line between romantic and preppy, but trendy sunglasses and rough-hem jeans give this classic a more modern twist.
To help dress down a simple gingham tank, I always go for a colorful miniskirt—it’s playful but still effortless.
Available in sizes DK 34 to 42. 
Available in sizes 10 to 18.
Feathers (likewise ruffles or embellishment) may seem overwhelming at first, but the key is in styling.
Since an eye-catching top tends to speak for itself, I like to keep my ensemble simple and just add a basic pair of hoop earrings.
Available in sizes X to 4X. 
Available in sizes 0 to 14. Now you’re all set to try this date-night look too.

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