Denim Tips: A La Francais with Emanuelle Alt

I think my obsession with all things French dates back to around 1990, when I started learning the language in kindergarten. Little words like beaucoup, magnifique and pain-au-chocolat have been in my vocabulary for decades. When I spent time in Paris in high school and college, I fell deeply and irrevocably in love with the city, the people, the language and of course, le mode.

I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago that emulating celebrity style is not really my thing, but getting inspired by editors, bloggers and industry leaders certainly is. If you were to marry these two loves of mine (French and fashion editors) you’d end up with Emanuelle Alt, the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Paris. (She succeeded Carine Roitfeld in February of 2011). If ever there were a proper time to use the adjective chic, it would be to describe Alt’s personal style.

With fashion week close at hand, I am totally having a moment for Emanuelle Alt’s effortlessly Parisian looks. I’m envisioning myself flying between Milk Studios and Lincoln Center in impossibly skinny jeans and the perfect jacket as if I were born in them. Alt has a pitch-perfect formula for a sexy, sleek and utterly cool ensemble. The best part? It starts with denim. Here are three key pieces for attaining her denim style with ease:

1. The stovepipe jean: The basis of Alt’s go-to look is her amazing and skinnier-than-skinny pants. She favors dark denim and leather pants, to the ankle or with a bit of bunching. Denim leggings are not the look here, you want sturdy jeans with a sharp fit. Find a brand with an inseam that works for you, but something like these Genetic Denim Shya jeans are a great place to start. (See also: the James Icon moto jeans.)

2. The structured jacket: Layer a well-tailored blazer-style jacket over a loose, comfortable t-shirt. I love how Alt wears a white dinner jacket like this Tory Burch blazer with her jeans. Depending on the temperatures where you are, you may have to opt for something warmer, like this cool Gryphon coat or this insane Helmut Lang jacket. (A girl can dream…)

3. The pointy-toe pump: To finish off this look, pull your your most dangerous (and probably a wee bit uncomfortable) open toe pumps or boots. A shoe like this conveys power, confidence and that certain je ne sais quoi of women leave trends for the birds. Get the look with these Kate Spade heels or go even more edgy with these Boutique 9 pumps.

*Bonus Tricks: Go for a low-slung pair of jeans, add a belt and tuck your loose t-shirt into your pants, but just in the front. Consider a minimal make-up look and let your hair just do it’s thing.

Et voila, French (denim) style a la Emanuelle Alt.




  1. January 31, 2012 / 12:34 pm

    Gorgeous. Perfect style. I definitely am on the lookout for a great blazer and pointy pumps. Love it!

    Rebecca (hearts)…

  2. January 31, 2012 / 1:42 pm

    Hi there!! She is just so inspirational and stylish and I love this post, will endeavour to adopt some of these looks, especially with a sharp blazer and pointy boots!

  3. February 1, 2012 / 6:22 am

    Love her style – skinny jeans and pointed court shoes are totally the look I love!!

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