I may be a patriotic Londoner, but I want to be a Parisian as much as the next girl wanting to ooze charm, mystery and elegance. Even on social media, Parisians are capable in translating their cool attitude. I follow so many of my favourite Gallic icons on Instagram since I always like to find out what they're up to, what effortless chic vêtements they're sporting, or where the new hot spot in Montmartre is. I couldn't help but spot the other day (after a much-enjoyed stalking session, obvs) that each of my favourite Parisians have a running theme when it comes to using Instagram. And since attempting to be French in real life is a little difficult (how does one really look good with unbrushed hair?), let's all fake it 'til we make it on Instagram, bien sûr! Here's a few tweaks to make to your account to also exude that French allure.
Let me start by sharing the accounts of my most-loved Parisians...
It seems every Parisian enjoys a little irony - a photo of a photo uploaded onto Instagram. A polaroid says that they don't care for fancy SLR's where the photo quality is perfect and clear (and makes people think they actually care), they would rather something that captures a fleeting fun moment in a very cool, grainy effect (dare I say - tumblr?). Black and white polaroids of yourself will work wonders a la Sabina and Adenorah, or a few snaps of friends from an evening of wine and cheese like Jeanne is also a good option. Bonus tips if you put on your sassy 'I don't care' French pout.
And don't bother arranging your polaroid in a cute flat-lay (how American blogger of you).
Parisians are known for their chic, navy-and-black style, so it's only natural that every now and then an outfit photo pops up. But it's not quite the posed and styled #ootd's we see crop up on our feeds from our favourite bloggers (we love those too!). Instead, these are (or appear) spur of the moment, nonchalent and effortless. This is all done by them storytelling - their focus isn't just on their outfit (no #armswag here), but of the location aswell. For Adenorah (top left), she showcased the Parisian architecture surrounding her, in addition to Jeanne sharing a snap from some last-minute Christmas shopping.
Stand outside wherever you may be, either look moody or have a cheeky smile depending on your style, and snap away. Make sure your shutterbug pal gets some of the surroundings in the photo and make sure to say something about the location (not the outfit) in the caption. For witty caption-inspo, check out Camille (a.k.a the QUEEN of le caption!).
No Parisian is complete without her quintessentially Parisian apartment. White walls, ornate white mirror above fireplace, large bouquet of flowers on mantelpiece, Dyptique candles in abundance, a messy bookshelf and herringbone wood floors - it all deserves a place on Instagram. Take a photo of your humble abode or even a mirror selfie by your mantelpiece like Jeanne et Sabina. Maybe even take a snap of your balcony. Top tip? Don't tidy! A little clutter or mess is much more real and will ooze charm (and the fact that once again, you're a woman who doesn't care).
When you live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, how can you not stop to smell the roses, take a photo and upload it with #nofilter? Parisians find art in their city through the architecture, skyline, dreamy sunsets and more.
To show that they have humility, humour and don't take themselves too seriously, the Parisian often likes to share a meme. Brownie points if it mocks French culture (self-deprecation, very French et very sexy), and extra if it involves every girl's modern Jesus, Carrie Bradshaw from SATC. Post these sparingly and do not care about them messing up your theme ("a theme, qu'est-ce que c'est???).
Nothing says 'I'm French' more than a cutlural awareness. French culture seeks more value in the intellectual rather than the physical, so sharing your favourite works of art on Instagram will only highlight your charm, intellect, personality and interests. Take yourself to an exhibition and snap away (and maybe peel your eyes away from your camera for just a second, immerse yourself!).
Narcissism is deeply frowned upon in France (a selfie? Haha). Instagram for Parisians is about sharing small moments of everyday life and the things most important to them, so naturally friends are a part of that. Nobody likes an account saturated with photos of just themselves posing (unless you're a true Kim-K lover...). Take photos of you with your friends, of even of your friend and caption it with how beautiful and cool they are (which I hope is true and not just for Instagram). Same goes for photos of family. Share them!
Now it's time for a few extra pointers I've discovered from (yes, stalking) my Parisian icons...
- Do not care too much - worried the photo you're about to upload won't go with your theme? WHO CARES.
- Forget editing - au revoir VSCO Cam.
- Show small everyday moments
- Share the things you love
- Upload frequently but sparingly - once a day will do.
- Instagram stories are fun - use them!
- Do not seek attention nor acceptance via endless photos of yourself - show other stuff too.
- Do not aim to be an It Girl - forget how many followers you have.
- Be creative and show your many different passions and interests.
- Be genuine and authentic.
Phew - I think I'll call it a day and consider myself a Londonienne (part Parisian, part Londoner), voila!
PS: This is all coming from a girl who got Capture Your Style (a guide to perfecting your Instagram skills) for Christmas. Oops, désolée.