French-style lingerie, glamour or comfort?

French lingerie is often associated with charm and seduction.  In point of fact, while French women like their lingerie to be traditional, comfortable and particularly good quality, they also like to be daring and provocative if inclined, and wear ‘femme fatale’ lingerie.  From the renowned Petit Bateau briefs to the Dita Von Teese retro look, where lingerie is concerned, French women look good and exude charm…

French paradox

French women like traditional lingerie but know when to be daring with a touch of Hollywood vamp or provocative style glamour…  Although the sophisticated, sexy or even erotic lingerie market has been growing fast over the past few years, the byword in France is still elegance.

Lace, lace and more lace

An essential component of French lingerie.  The pattern, quality and all the features of this material are chosen with the greatest of care for a luxurious, refined finish.  This year it skims the skin without any lining for a subtle, seductive transparency effect.


lingerie-p3Fashionable but…

It must be elegant: whether the blue is midnight blue, baby blue or peacock…  above all it must give a glow to the wearer’s skin texture, enhance her figure or her eyes!

Thirties retro style

With bodies, high-waisted briefs and lace -  refined sets of lingerie but still with sexy details.  It has to be elegance all the way if the wearer is to look like a Forties Hollywood star!

Bright red

If seduction is in their minds, French women have a preference for red: a passionate, vibrant, bright red for state-of-the-art seduction.  Lace is essential and good quality if possible.

Animal prints?

A delicate subject as, traditionally, we perceive this as bordering on perversity and opt for soft or pastel colours – a tad demure and slightly juvenile. 

French men – what they particularly like…


- hi-cut “sexy shorties” for a sexy effect moulding the curves, preferably worn in a lace fabric.
- “Petit Bateau” briefs with a matching bra, very demure in the “demure girl” style.
- a pin-up style - sexy, black or red but, primarily in white for a paradoxical look…



French lingerie has undergone a veritable metamorphosis over the eras, in terms of materials as well as women’s figures.  The first bras that emerged in around 1910 marked the initial turning point in attention being paid to women’s comfort.  This went one step further in the Thirties/Forties, with the advent of the girdle.  At the time, one of the main functions of lingerie was to sculpt the body.  It was in the Fifties that a more aesthetic dimension became popular.  As women began to do more sport, the need for “artificially” modelling the body waned.  However, it was in the Seventies that veritable liberalisation of the body began.  Finally, from the Eighties onwards, there was a technological boom as far as the materials used were concerned and the cups of bras.  It is funny to see how breasts have been displayed over the years – very flat in the Twenties, pointed in the Sixties and rounded from the Nineties to the Noughties.  At the present time, styles have been combined and are being interpreted in new ways.


© Pictures: front page istock, inside page lingerie blu Chantelle, lingerie white stock

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Charlotte - Style & fashion

Bonsoir, my name is Charlotte. My mother, ex-model for Saint-Laurent, is American but I’ve lived in Paris since I was 4 years old. Since my mother was often abroad for fashion shows, my French grandmother, a dressmaker for Chanel, taught me the way to become a real Parisian. Today, I’m a wedding-planner and my husband directs a famous fashion magazine. I don’t have to tell you that I have a front seat at all of the fashion shows and I’ve developed a good general culture about fashion. Although I’m the personal shopper for my friends, my strong points are marriage and elegance.

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Edizione Italiana

Edita da RIZZOLI, Sophie la Parigina è una guida di stile moderna su PARIGI. Illustrata dai disegni di Alessandra Ceriani, completata da un elenco degli indirizzi preferiti dalla parigina e arricchita di ricette gastronomiche.


English Edition

Published by RIZZOLI New York, Sophie the Parisian'sis a modern life style guide about PARIS. Illustrated with color drawings, complemented by a list of Parisians' favorite locations and enriched with gastronomic recipes.

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