Not to be nationalistic about it, but let’s face it. French women know how to be feminine, and the rest of the world keeps trying to catch up with them. Just like the cultural secrets French women have for not getting fat (don’t eat between meals, walk a lot and avoid pastry), French women have a cultural secret for their air of mystique. It’s not the way they wear their hair, or their perfume, or how their faces are made up.
It’s what they wear UNDER their clothes.
While most of us wear whatever is the most cost-effective and comfortable, French women spend up to twenty percent of their clothing budgets on foundations, lingerie, and underwear. For many of us who are not culturally French, this seems like a lot, and to an extent a waste, but what it does is gives the women who wear pretty things under their clothes the confidence that they are unique and beautiful.
In La Seduction, Elaine Sciolino says that French women dress themselves (lingerie included) to send the message: “I am on a high plane, in control of my destiny and my beauty. I am not easy to attain. Do you think you are up to my standard? If no, stay away. If yes, come and try to get me.” While France is the land of seduction, many of my French girlfriends have seconded that lingerie is worn to make them feel good. If a guy gets lucky enough to see it, then he should consider himself blessed.
That last sentence cannot be stressed enough for more reasons than unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease.
Yes, there are cultural differences between the rest of the world and France that cannot be copied or breached. However, a woman claiming their rightful place as feminine creatures of beauty is one that can be emulated. It is not necessary to buy the super expensive foundation type garments, but wear what makes you feel like a woman. It will be noticed.