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Is 'Parisian chic' in or out? A stylist weighs in on the classic look

Is the French style truly timeless? Here's what one fashion expert had to say.
TODAY Illustration / Flavio Coelho / Getty Images / JohnnyGreig / Getty Images / Westend61 / Getty Images / Jill Ortiz / GAP

Even if you've never been to the City of Lights, you're probably familiar with the fashionable reputation the French city has. From the runways to the streets, the "Parisian chic" style has been around for quite some time, but there seems to be a newfound interest in the look.

From striped tops to pointelle cardigans, staples of the Parisian look are trending, according to Trendalytics. Searches for oversized button-downs are up more than 70 percent from last year and the croissant bag style has jumped in search by over 240 percent. While the Wall Street Journal is saying au revoir to the look for possibly feeling a bit outdated in today's world, it might be growing to meet the needs of fashion today, according to one stylist.

What is 'Parisian chic' style?

"While some people think the Parisian look is cliché, it’s been in fashion for decades for a reason," Carrie Cramer, a celebrity, wardrobe and personal stylist based in Los Angeles, told Shop TODAY. "It embodies effortless, chic style that is timeless and looks good on any aged woman. What’s more French than that?"

In essence, the Parisian style is and always will be about the basics — it's just becoming more inclusive for all sizes, backgrounds and shapes. From tees and sweaters to black jeans, Cramer says the Parisians know how to effortlessly elevate every kind of look. "Parisians don’t complicate fashion. Invest in timeless basics and keep it simple," she said. "It is never overdone but always gorgeous."

If you're looking to get in on the trend, Cramer put together three different looks that embody Parisian style. From simple T-shirts to sleek sneakers, here's how to pull off the look.

Timeless basics

Everlane The Organic Cotton Box-Cut Tee

Sometimes the look can be as simple as a striped tee and jeans. This boxy top from Everlane is slightly cropped, but the relaxed fit and scoop neckline make it look timeless. Plus, the soft, breathable fabric will have you reaching for it every day of the week.

Universal Thread High-Rise Skinny Jeans

If you're going to keep a pair of skinny jeans in your closet, let it be a black pair. They're easy to dress up or down and will most likely match any top already in your closet.

Aerosoles Crystal Ballet Flats

Cramer recommends opting for black leather flats to get you through the day in style. This chic pair by Aerosoles features a rounded toe and quilted footbed but can also be shopped in several other colors and designs.

Melifluos Designed in Spain Geometric Scarf

A printed scarf can seal off your look, as well as add a pop of color to your outfit. This affordable pick can be worn not only around the neck, but also as a headscarf, shawl, wrap skirt and more.

Banana Republic Leather Effortless Crossbody

A leather crossbody isn't just a fashion statement — it's an investment that you'll get a lot of use out of (and can wear with practically anything).

Everlane The Authentic Stretch High-Rise Skinny

Skinny jeans, but make them breathable. These Everlane bottoms are made with a fabric that has a high elasticity, so you can move comfortably and still rock the denim look.

A simple striped sweater and jeans is one way to pull off the look.
A simple striped sweater and jeans is one way to pull off the look.TODAY / Daniella Musacchio

Parisian layers and accessories

Wantdo Waterproof Double-Breasted Trench Coat

"A light beige coat is a must-have Parisian staple that should be in your closet now and until the end of time," Cramer said. "Every Parisian woman has a classic, beige trench coat because it works well in any weather and is a perfect layer to add anytime of the year."

Banana Republic Merino Long Cardigan Sweater

A simple but chic cardigan is the versatile staple every woman should have in their closet. Not only can it elevate an outfit, but it's a stylish way to add extra layers for warmth.

Zara Blazer Charlotte Gainsbourg Collection

Cramer called this coat "perfection." Oversized everything is in right now, but this blazer still has a polished look to it. Plus, the shoulder pads and carefully-placed buttons are details that shouldn't be overlooked.

Asos Design Long Sleeve Striped T-shirt

Prefer long sleeves? This classic tee is perfect for the colder months. Layer it underneath a trench coat or leather jacket to instantly elevate your look.

Vans Spicoli 4 Sunglasses

A pair of sunglasses is one way to accessorize the look — and one you shouldn't forget, according to Cramer. These shades come in a trendy tortoise shell design that will have plenty of onlookers stopping you to ask where you picked them up.

H&M Oversized Cotton Shirt

"You can never go wrong with an oversized button-down," Cramer said of this wardrobe must-have. "Wear it with skinny black trousers to work [or] pair with a pencil skirt and tie the ends into a knot at your waist for a classic look."

"No fuss, all elegance"

Old Navy Mock-Neck Striped Shaker-Stitch Sweater

Striped sweaters also probably come to mind when you think of Parisian style. Cramer recommends pairing the wardrobe staple with a cropped black jean or midi skirt.

Old Navy Extra High-Waisted Cropped Wide-Leg Black Jeans

Skinny jeans are out, and the Parisians know it. A cropped style with a wide leg like this one can give your look a more modern feel.

More Parisian chic favorites

Gap Softest Sweater Midi Skirt

"I am in love with the sweater separates that create a full head-to-toe look," Cramer said. Creating a monochrome outfit with a matching sweater and skirt works for both professional and casual wear — plus, it looks effortless.

Belldini Plus Size Pointelle-Stitch Duster Cardigan

According to Cramer, Parisians can take a cardigan from day to night with a simple outfit change. It can be worn during the day with a simple tee or at night with a slip dress. "Pointelle cardigans add a little extra interest with a subtle design that is perfectly Parisian," she added.

The Drop Janelle Croissant Shoulder Bag

Don't let the name throw you off — croissant bags are a big trend right now. According to Trendalytics, searches for the bag shape are up 243 percent since last year. "I especially love a croissant bag because it feels youthful and adds some personality to chic basic[s]," Cramer said.

Adidas Originals Stan Smith Sneakers

Parisians do a lot of walking, and Cramer says they've started to embrace sneakers in a big way. These Stan Smith shoes don't sacrifice fashion for comfort, and Cramer says the trendy "old-school style" gives them some Parisian flair.

Zara Tailored Straight Leg Jeans Charlotte Gainsbourg Collection

Charlotte Gainsbourg collaborated with Zara to launch an exclusive collection, which includes everything from jeans to jackets. Cramer says she loves these jeans for the "fuller straight leg, which is an updated version of the Parisian black skinny pant."

Zara Double-Faced Jacket

When paired with a striped tee, Cramer says this jacket makes for an updated Parisian "rock-and-roll" look.

For more style favorites, check out:

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