The spring months can be a tough time for personal styling. After months of ice and snow many of us long to store away jackets and boots for good, to feel the warmth of the sun on our skin and maybe even emulate some of those West Coast looks we’ve been envying and romanticizing via our Instagram feeds over the last five months. With temperatures fluctuating between warm and cool, often within the same day, transitional dressing can get tricky. As eager as I am to pull out the sundresses I’ve been stockpiling over the course of the year, I’ve taken to asking myself a simple question when in doubt; what would Françoise Hardy wear? The French songtress’ signature 1960s style has me excited for opportunities presented by overcast skies and unpredictable climates.
Hailed by many as one of the ultimate street style stars before street style was even a thing, Hardy has served as inspiration to many great artists, like Bob Dylan and Mick Jagger, a designer favorite among the likes of YSL and Courrèges, to inspiring the name behind Comme des Garçons.
Unlike style stars of today, her iconic 1960s looks are authentic and elegant, showing recurring elements, key pieces and a signature style which can also double as a how-to guide when it comes to building a stylish wardrobe. For example, the same gold linked chain belt can be see draped along her trim waist in a couple snaps, she often paired her signature white Courrèges ankle boots with miniskirts, understated fitted dresses and pants. She had this perfect bohemian folksy authenticity, even tying scarves over her sleek brunette locks. Which drives home the point that Hardy was poignant and impactful in her accessorizing. She added the perfect embellishments to staple pieces like white collared shirts, A-line dresses and street wear.
Hardy’s looks demonstrate just how stylish pantyhose can be. If deliberating between bare legs and tights before hitting the town remember that a pair of textured, colored or white tights can pack the perfect punch.
She made a simple trench, leather biker jacket, knee-length coats and lengthy furs look like a million bucks. The key seems to lie in tailoring and proportion. Transitional dressing provides the perfect opportunity to sport statement coats that can anchor and elevate a classic or basic ensemble.
The most inspiring component of Hardy’s effortless elegance is her use of basics particularly slim-fitting turtlenecks, plaid skirts and collared shirts.
Even though she was all understated class the gamine French beauty had a graphic element to her style that defines her heavy sartorial influence. Whether sporting her signature straight fringed hairstyle with large sunglasses, donning sport caps or sporting striped body con dresses, there’s a timelessly cute component to her classic French girl chic.
(R) Wearing a Courreges coat, 1960s.
(L) Wearing Paco Rabanne, 1967.
(L) in Courreges boots (R) in Courreges
(L) Wearing Courreges, 1965. (M) Wearing Paco Rabanne.
Photo by Jean-Marie Périer, 1960s.