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5 Secrets of French Style

Secrets of French Style

When it comes to pretty winter clothes, we always turn to Sézane. Their beautiful pieces are easy to layer and add a French touch to your wardrobe. This week, our friend and designer Maud met up with Anne, the manager of Sézane’s NYC store, to try on five favorite looks. Here are Anne’s styling tips…

Secrets of French Style

Sweater, crossbody bag, white jeans, ring, gold boots.

“French style is all about balance,” Anne explains. “For example, we’ll try to balance something really dressy, like gold boots, with something cooled down. Or we’ll mix something really feminine with a more masculine piece.” She also suggests pairing a bright color with neutrals, like this sweater with black pants.

Secrets of French Style

Secrets of French Style

Cardigan, floral dress, boots.

“There is a French word — dégaine — which means to be effortlessly chic. We want the overall look to be a little rumpled,” Anne says. “At the Sézane office, all the girls will tuck one half of their shirt in, and leave the other half out. Or we’ll pair an oversized piece, like this cardigan, with a pretty dress, to add volume.”

Secrets of French Style

The Secrets of French Style

Sweater, skirt, boots.

How gorgeous is this outfit? When it comes to knitwear, it’s all about the details. “This season, our sweaters have different silhouettes, different knits, different sleeves, and pretty details like buttons,” Anne says. This jumper is designed to be worn forwards or backwards, so it’s like getting two looks in one. “Also, don’t be afraid to tuck in a piece you might not otherwise,” says Anne. She suggests trying a chunky piece, like this sweater, tucked into a streamlined one, like a skirt.

Secrets of French Style

Jacket, sweater, jeans, sneakers.

Always roll the sleeves. “Cuffing your pants or rolling your sleeves adds a touch of life, like your outfit has a little more personality,” explains Anne. “For French girls, something is almost always cuffed.”

Secrets of French Style

Dress, boots.

Above all? Her best advice is just to play. “At the end of the day, we don’t take ourselves too seriously!” Anne laughs. “Have fun. Try new things. It’s only fashion.”

Secrets of French Style

Secrets of French Style

If you’re looking for lovely winter pieces to wear for the holidays — or to gift to someone special — the Sézane store has so many beautiful things right now. See everything here.

Great news: Sézane is offering a surprise gift with purchase to the first 100 shoppers in their NYC store (just mention the code CUPOFJO). And for all readers, they are offering free shipping using code CUPOFJO, good through December 25th. Thank you so much!

(Photos by Sylvie Rosokoff for Cup of Jo. This post is sponsored by Sézane, a brand we’ve loved for years. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Cup of Jo running.)

  1. Hilary says...

    I feel like there has been a LOT said about the poor choice of illuminating Sezane – a lot of which is valid – but if I could offer a counterpoint, however feeble:

    – I’m not the same size as these models either, but I think of fashion like art and these models are merely the frames.

    – COJ’s love of French style has long been a part of this blog and is what drew me here in the first place many years ago. French women are known for their style the world over and there are hundreds of books defining French style and teaching it to others, so it’s not like COJ is alone in idealizing the French woman. This seems less about upholding all white european women as THE standard of beauty and more about upholding French style as one globally prominent and definable style. I’d be just as apt to read a post called “Singaporean styling tips” or “Tanzanian styling tips” because I’ve lived in both places and wowza are the women in those countries ever so stylish! There is a certain something about the French woman, the Singaporean woman, the Tanzanian woman. It’s fun to read perspectives on what makes a country uniquely stylish.

    – While I cannot afford Sezane clothing either, it’s fun to see pretty clothes and new ideas about getting dressed. I’m short, so I’m afraid to cuff. Now, I just might try it. I have always appreciated that this blog has a mix of faces, voices, bodies and tones. Some posts tackle deep, hard topics and others are meant to be light and fun. I can sometimes feel like in these dark days of climate change and political corruption that we can’t have any fun, but I am here for fun wherever we can get it, and I bet others are too!

  2. Gabby says...

    Please, please, please, CupofJo I love you, but you have to stop supporting Sézane. I’m French and I’ve been calling them out for YEARS about their lack of representation (there has been NO women of color represented in their ad campaign since the brand was created), plus, they don’t go over a size 42 (French size), which is a (really) small US size 10. Also their clothes are made in Asia or in Eastern Europe, while being crazy expensive. We have so many amazing cool French brands that feature every king of women (like Make My Lemonade : https://www.makemylemonade.com/)!
    xxx

    • Gabby :)

      Will you please share more of the brands you speak of? I like the clothes of Sézane and would like other options that you speak of.

      Thanks!

    • Gabby says...

      Hi Ashley :) You can have a look at Balzac Paris (they do not have a wide range of sizes unfortunately but the sizing is good, meaning a size 42 is an actual 42) + they’re really trying to have limit their environmental impact. I also really like Noyoco, but it’s crazy expensive. There’s also of course Hopaal, Veja, Ekyog! And if you’re in France, you can shop on Vinted (which is a huge website of second hand clothes, and what’s best than buying clothes that were going to be wasted :) ?)

  3. Rebecca says...

    I’m confused by the comments that seem to regard critiques of Sezane as critiques of Cup of Jo. People aren’t “blasting” COJ (to quote one commenter) — they are telling COJ why they choose not to shop at Sezane. No different than if my friend told me she loved Sezane and I responded that I am trying to shop only at brands that are not body-type exclusive — I’m not criticizing her, I’m criticizing the brand. And this is presumably helpful feedback for COJ since they can’t make money on sponsored posts if their readers don’t like the sponsor and won’t shop there.

    • M says...

      Actually, I would assume Sézane pays COJ to have their products featured, and any sales made using the code are in addition to the paid ad.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for your notes! we charge a flat fee for sponsored posts and don’t make additional earnings from sales through the code. hope that helps. thank you again for all this great feedback. we are definitely listening and hearing your thoughts.

    • Rebecca says...

      Thank you both for the clarification. My point about who is being criticized here stands, though — or at least, I can say that when I commented to criticize Sezane it was directed at the company and not at COJ.

      And whatever the compensation model, it still seems helpful to the business to find out that many readers strongly dislike a sponsoring company, no?

  4. Donnia says...

    Hi everyone, French woman here. I’d like to add to the conversation that Sézane also gets a lot crap here in Paris for lacking inclusivity and catering to higher-class thin white women. And here too, the “French girl” clichés feel tired mainly because they do not represent the diversity of French society, nor the lived experience of the average French woman (Pamela Druckerman’s articles on France in the NYT make my blood curdle). French fashion journalist Alice Pfeiffer recently published an interesting book on the subject, “Je ne suis pas Parisienne”. If you’d like to read about it in English, I recommend this article from the New Yorker : https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-french-authors-puncturing-the-myth-of-french-women-dont-get-fat

    And if you’d like a bit of diversity in French fashion, I’d recommend checking this small designer : Make My Lemonade (https://www.makemylemonade.com/). A different style from Sézane, which also explores Frenchness and tends to be much more inclusive.

    • HMB says...

      Thank you for recommending make my lemonade! Having actually been to France and walked the streets, I feel like what sells as being “French style” outside of France and what French style looks like IRL are completely different. Make my lemonade actually looked like things I saw people wearing. French style as I walked the streets seemed much more cheerful and having a wink-and-a-nod than Sézane’s marketing and store atmosphere convey. I fear we fall prey to the same things that dog Americans outside the US: many of the things people outside the US see packaged and sold as American style still, ironically, consist of faded Levi’s with long blonde hair and cowboy boots. Not necessarily what all of us wear or look like here, but still considered quintessentially American almost everywhere. Hopefully, Sézane will listen to their customers on this point, and I encourage Cup of Jo to pass this feedback to them. Until then, I wonder If Make My Lemonade ships to the US…

  5. Skye says...

    These comments have been so illuminating. As an Asian chick, I completely get the fat=bad bias/barrier to entry to aspirational fashion, but I’ve also always faced the additional barrier of accessibility due to geography. I’d been so used/conditioned to perusing US or UK e-commerce sites and just accepting that hardly any of them (save for global behemoths like Amazon) bothered to ship to my corner of the world here in South East Asia, or if they did it would always be with astronomical shipping charges, that I never stopped to question why this was so. As some here have said, I used to be totally ok with that too. But after reading all the other posts by other far more eloquent women than I, I’ve come to realize that maybe I’ve been selling myself short all these years in not expecting these companies to serve my market/demographic. As others have pointed out, thin, rich white women continue to be idealized as the ultimate gold standard to emulate in “aspirational” fashion. So I can’t help but feel that in addition to geolocation factors there’s also the post-colonial reverberation to unpack, in which any market other than predominantly white is deemed not worthy of catering to. Further proof of this is in the type of models these sites invariably showcase, namely more thin tall white women. I hardly ever saw any models that looked like me. I may not be white or thin or tall, but my money is just as good as anyone else’s. And honestly if any company wants to do well in this age of globalization, it would behoove them to take note of everything the commenters here have said and enact asked-for changes accordingly.

  6. M says...

    I find it fascinating that commenters cite average woman statistics when averages are notoriously skewed. They are unreliable. Where is the research into the mode or median size? This would be a lot more telling. I’m curious whether this coupon will be used by 100 shoppers.

    Additionally, I think it’s interesting that people are annoyed that Cup of Jo used a French contact as a model and because she is ethnically European the choice was derided. I suppose if she were a French woman with brown skin it would have played better with everyone. If you actually look at the models on the site they look like they could be of middle eastern or Turkish descent- who knows? To note, France actually does not collect statistics on race/ethnicity as it is against their law which is a different way to organize society and is in contrast to the American way of doing things.

    With all that being said, Sézane is out of my price range and when this happens, I glean any useful bits and move on. With such a wide readership, ads will only ever appeal to a portion of the audience, but perhaps this’ll be the last we see of Sézane.

  7. Katie says...

    I am 61, so outside of your age demographic. But what has drawn me to your blog is the sense here that we can move past the outside/inside framing. Thus I am moved to add, rather belatedly, to the discussion: ageism is real, too. And it stings. I almost never see older women portrayed in fashion or lifestyle media. Eileen Fisher and Elizabeth Suzann have used older models, and I can’t right now come up with a third example. The unrelenting message is, older women are no longer attractive enough or cool enough to display consumer goods. If we were shown in an ad or feature, younger women might be turned off from the brand in question.
    My own discomfort helps me to understand my sisters’ issues around size, race, etc. I have hope from blogs such as this that inclusivity may broaden and deepen to include age diversity as well as so many other aspects of our awesome human variance.

    • Sandra says...

      Well said. I’m 52 and SO agree about ageism! Even though the COJ demographic skews younger they have featured an occasional “older” model here and there (I can think of one Week of Outfits example off the top of my head), which I appreciate. I don’t know if you follow Accidental Icon on Instagram, but she definitely turns the idea of beauty/fashion being a younger woman’s game on its head. I wish advertisers would follow suit. She is so fashionable and aspirational.

    • Natalie says...

      Katie and Sandra, thank you so much for adding this important perspective!

  8. Fred b says...

    Waouh…it’s the very first time I feel bad when reading COJ comments. Maybe because I’m French, I’m a size S and I like this brand?

  9. Jessica says...

    Here’s the main point about Cezane…. NO ONE CAN AFFORD IT. Will this get published and “taken to heart”? Doubtful. To be clear I adore every piece of theirs, but yeah on a teacher’s salary… could never afford one piece.

  10. Jessica Ireland says...

    Sézane is gorgeous!! Unfortunately most of us can’t even come close to affording it. Something to think about .

    • Amy says...

      I bit the dust and purchased two tops, with duties, custom fees, taxes and conversion the price was insanely absurd. However, those two pieces are frequently worn and I do love them because they are timeless. My brother was in France this year and I asked him to purchase a top for me. I was so disappointed, it looks horrible on me. The return would be insane and unfortunately, it is way too expensive to wing it again!

  11. Oh wow, just came back to this article and read the comments – I find it very fascinating from an entrepreneur point of view, because this shows how hard it is for a brand to go international! I totally inderstand claims for more racial diversity and diverse sizes. I don’t think this is intentional at Sézane: please bear in mind that, in terms if ethnic diversity, the US case is unique! Immigration in France has represented about 2% of the population until 1960s, and we still have to totally adjust to this very recent change (recent in terms if history time). So, te, Sézane does have a very white, Parisian, fashion inspiration – that’s how the brand was born… and that’s much more acceptable in France (even if not totally) than in the US. I hope that their brand managers are reading these comments – this is gold!!

    Regarding the size – very honestly, most people I see around Paris are between sizes 34 to 42/44 (so sizes 2 to 10/12). As a society, we haven’t had this wave of body positivity where we are led to believe that being overweight can be healthy, and we also have a much healthier diet and way of life (not for long, as obesity rates are getting higher here, too). But from a brand’s point of view, I am amazed that Sézane has not embraced size/style diversity when opening shop in the US!

    • agnes says...

      Acoording to INSEE, 20% of french people are from non caucasian origins.

    • Agnes, yes! It’s about 20-25% today (20-25% French people are from out-of-France origin, if taken on 2 generations – actually, both my husband and I are in this category, as his grandparents were not born in France!) But this number is very recent, and up until the beginning of the 20th century it was just 2% (this is from an article in le Monde about a month ago). I was just pointing out that historically, the American society is much more diverse and has been constituted from immigrants of all countries, which is not the case in France, but merely a very recent development that has yet to be incorporated in many brands representations.

  12. T says...

    The comments on this post give me so much hope for a return to a community where we can disagree and learn and grow from each other. Joanna has deliberately created this space for us where people from diverse backgrounds can gather to share their vulnerabilities and world views. Each and every comment on this post is a gift to a small business owner, there’s no mystery to why readers disappeared – because they stayed, and they trusted Jo and her team to listen and to enact changes. We’ve already seen these changes in the Week of Outfits and Beauty Uniform posts. Thoughtful feedback in an engaged and constructive way always trumps the other recommended advice of ‘if you don’t like it, leave’, that’s how businesses die. As a small business owner myself I hope to receive the same level of respect and trust when I make a misstep or take a turn in a direction not favored by my audience.

  13. I think this post is showing how we are all probably desiring the same thing beyond a sweater that fits- a sense of belonging.

    The sizing, diversity etc. are symptoms but the actual problem could be that we don’t feel like we belong and this is a fundamental human value / need.

    Whether you’re on the size 12+ end of the spectrum or on the XXXS end, we’re all wanting the same thing- inclusion, a sense that we belong and consideration.

    And as a petite woman that was born in this body and has always struggled to not have to shop in the kid’s department, please be kind to us too.

    • Owl says...

      So perfectly put. Thank you.

  14. Steph says...

    Ooops, I meant for this to be a stand alone comment, not a reply to another comment, not sure how that happened. My comment below:

    For everyone saying these comments are on the whole too negative, remember, nobody owes it to the world to like everything. And as long as people communicate their dislike in a respectful, constructive manner, they’re not doing something wrong and they shouldn’t be chastised for expressing their opinion on a clothing brand of all things. Brands like Sezane exist to make it profit; they are not owed the approval of the masses, especially if they make so little effort to include them.

    • Gwennan says...

      I completely agree with what you are saying Steph! I couldn’t find a way to express it, but I think it’s a very important message, and you have worded it perfectly!
      Thank you !

    • KJ says...

      This. Seems like cancel culture is infiltrating the comments here. The world doesn’t owe anyone anything. This is a blog. There are sponsored posts that don’t appeal to me or offer anything I want to purchase. I shrug and move on.

  15. CS says...

    I love that first dress with those boots! Absolutely classy and beautiful!

  16. Claire says...

    the clothes wouldn’t work for me due to sizing, but the accessories are quite beautiful. I especially love the jewelry and scarves.

  17. Kara says...

    I learn so much from the COJ comment section. I actually set time aside to read every comment on posts like this because I know it will provide me insight into a variety of views. If I feel discomfort when I read something, I try to dig deep and understand where that discomfort is coming from. This community has so much to offer. Thank you as always, Joanna and COJ team, for creating it!

    • S says...

      Thank you for your great comment! I am inspired by your comment on digging deep on discomfort.

    • florence says...

      Yes, this! Discussion is so important in broadening our own views and seeing things from another’s perspective.

  18. Cait says...

    As a 6’0 woman with a size 12 shoe, a lot of the fashion brands profiled on this blog don’t carry things that would fit me, and I’m honestly fine with that. I also grew up being maligned (I was 5’10 at 13) and feeling isolated because I couldn’t dress the same way as other girls my age (I literally had to wear men’s jeans) and it was painful. But I don’t expect others to operate from a place of catering to that. Honestly I’ve gotten things from Sezane and I LOVE the items, including their perfume. Do their jeans and shoes fit me? Nope! But that doesn’t just cancel this brand out for me. And when other brands that are profiled have nothing for me or are too expensive for me, I move along.

    Not every single thing on this blog has to appeal to everyone. CoJ does a fabulous job of trying to appeal to everyone with at least some posts and is so inclusive. I’d hate for them to feel bad because one of the many, many posts they provide free of charge didn’t resonate with some readers.

    • Anon says...

      You are awesome, Cait! Thanks for sharing your perspective.

    • Lauren says...

      Yes! Many of the calls for more inclusive sizing are arbitrarily exclusive themselves. There are 3′ tall women, 7′ tall women, women who weigh 700 pounds, women who are conjoined twins, women who don’t have limbs, and so on: why isn’t excluding those bodies just as offensive as excluding others?

    • Lainey says...

      I wholeheartedly agree with this comment. As a tall woman who wore a size 11 shoe by the 7th grade, I can’t buy shoes (or basically anything with long sleeves or legs) at most standard clothing stores, except maybe in a very limited online selection. I think because I grew up and came of age with this expectation, I sort of shrug at this point? That’s not to say that brands shouldn’t be more inclusive, but CoJ does such a wonderful job of promoting inclusivity in general, an odd post from a less size inclusive brand doesn’t bother me so much.

  19. Samantha says...

    i LOVE the idea of picking readers to model the outfits!
    i also think, even if the CoJ model can’t always be inclusive, the company website should be. it should be looked at as part of the sustainability initiative- if people have a better understanding of what the clothes will look like on them, there will be less returns, which means less carbon emissions.

  20. Joaquina says...

    Will I live to see the day when fashion blogs, articles, and companies
    wax poetic about “Mexican style”? Where women that look like me and my family members, are profiled for their “chic style” and asked for tips such as mixing colors and patterns? I doubt it.

    It is refreshing to read others’ dismay about a brand like Sézane being profiled. This company has so much hype and yet lacks inclusive sizing, models, or environmentally-friendly practices. It’s overpriced fast fashion.

    This company is skinny white woman. Nothin’ to see here, fellow
    working class/bigger than size 6/women of color.

    • Esperanza says...

      @Joaquina- I love your comment. I am a Latina as well and live for the patterns and color that women in Latin America wear but it is not being hailed as a style. That’s the thing that bothers me about the French Woman stereotype- it’s about elevating the same white, thin standard as something to aspire to and it’s tired in 2019. It’s not so much this particular brand and their sizing for me; for me it’s representative of a much larger issue that is still a major blind spot for most upper middle class white women, to take for granted that black, brown and indigenous women are never the “luxe” aspiration. Sorry for the rambling comment but your comment moved me!

    • Lorena says...

      👏🏻❤️ Joaquina and Esperanza –
      I enjoy COJ, understand the financial need of sponsored posts, especially for a small business, and that fashion, fast or slow, at the end of the day is a businesses selling a fantasy, like car companies or high-end espresso machine manufacturers, in order to promote sales. The larger picture has existed for decades. Thank you for speaking to that. I am a size 4 morena Latina public school teacher in LA, married to a French national. I stand happily in many worlds. Both your comments and the comments from the French COJ readers ring true for me. Thank COJ for allowing this conversation on your platform.❤️

    • Leia says...

      Thank you for these words! I am South Asian and feel the same way. Black, brown and indigenous bodies are never exalted as inspirational in the way that “French” style is. It is incredibly Eurocentric and perpetuates the tired idea that only White,skinny women are worthy of emulation.

    • Lorena says...

      Oops and Ack! Have to correct the typos “…fashion is a business…” and “thank you, COJ, for allowing this…..”
      Thanks again, everyone. I really enjoy the comments section, btw.

    • Megan says...

      Yes, women all over the world have distinctive, unique fashion and I admire the style of many non-white cultures.

      But I have an honest question: as a white woman, can I really wear clothes, fabrics, or styles from other cultures without being accused of (or it actually being) cultural appropriation?

      I had a lovely West African print top I loved and bought at an African market in Harlem but was told by one of my students it was cultural appropriation for me to wear it. I’ve always been drawn to Mexican embroidery, Indian silks, and colorful African prints, but I don’t want to offend anybody, so now I only wear these pieces at home or on weekends where they’ll still privately bring me the joy of their colors and style because I don’t want people to think poorly of me if I wear them in public. I’ve stopped purchasing these styles since maybe, as a white woman, it’s inappropriate for me to wear these items at all?

      Though I’d like to support beauty ideals outside of the typical Caucasian ones marketed to us, I won’t spend money on clothes I can’t wear outside the house. And I certainly don’t want to subvert anyone else’s cultural identity by wearing these types of clothes!

  21. M says...

    Maybe it’s bad optics for this business to not have more size inclusivity, but prestige brands do cater to those with more money. If you look at the CDC’s demographics on obesity in America, the top tier earners in the US ($88k+) are significantly less obese than both mid and low income brackets. If profit is the bottom dollar, then it makes sense to keep a traditional range of sizes if the majority of your clientele are wearing below size 14. Another way of looking at it is that they are ignoring 30% of their potential consumers and could increase their profits…It would certainly be a good PR move for Sézane to extend their sizes if this group of commenters is any indication.

    Personally I am not in their targeted income demographic, so I am not fired up about this issue. Prestige brands exist to set people apart from others, which is a luxury I can’t afford. Right now rent is the priority.

    • Thanks so much for sharing this perspective!

  22. Claire says...

    Pour some tea and settle in for this one, y’all:
    -Many women can’t just shop elsewhere. Most brands and stores offer very limited sizing ranges, which means fat and curvy shoppers deal with a lot of discrimination and lack of options everywhere they look.
    -It’s also frustrating messaging. This sells an idea that you should be thinner and whiter to achieve a desirable aesthetic. In short, it’s toxic whether or not you shop here.
    -Extended size options sell. Choosing to not offer them is choosing to restrict your customers and your lofty, desirable image to a certain small size range.
    -It’s much easier to say “just be positive” when you aren’t the one affected. I’m still working on this myself. I’m white, thin and upper middle class; I can’t fully understand what it’s like to have my basic existence questioned and negated. But I can choose empathy over and over, and I can put my dollars toward companies that support real diversity and size inclusivity. And I can amplify voices of those who are often ignored.
    -Smaller, thinner people do often have issues finding clothes, and their bodies are judged. So are the bodies of fat folks. That does not mean their struggles are all the same, or that we must pick between brands carrying size 00P and size 4X.
    -Expressing disappointment and frustration is not disrespectful to the CoJ team. We respect them enough to level with them about our concerns. It is also part of how we advocate for greater inclusivity.
    -Jo has mentioned previously that the team is selective about brands that partner with CoJ. This is wonderful for all of us, and I hope the team reads this in the same way as they read positive comments on posts featuring diversity — as helpful feedback.
    -To the CoJ team, thank you for your work and for listening.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for all these thoughtful comments and feedback. they mean a lot to us.

    • Amy says...

      Claire–YES YES YES! All of this. I was disheartened to see so many dismissive, misguided, and defensive responses to well-articulated criticism of Sezane and its place with CoJ. All the “Don’t get your panties in a bunch” “Calm down!” “You all need to CHILL!” “Don’t shame petite women!” just seem to be operating under the status-quo constructs used to keep women down.

    • Natalie says...

      Yes! I’m shocked at this deluge of women telling other women to basically sit down and shut up. I’ve seen this comments section be so incredibly, beautifully gentle and supportive and understanding and forgiving. I think it says something about how deeply ingrained body hatred is in our culture that people feel that they must shut down this discussion so completely.

    • Sasha L says...

      I don’t have much to spend on clothes, and I don’t do *fashion*, but I am a size that I can shop anywhere. I won’t anymore. I won’t buy from brands that don’t feature diverse people in their advertising or feature a very wide range of sizing options. If companies don’t care about these issues, I don’t care to shop from them.

    • Nina says...

      Claire: Thank you for articulating all of this so well. So often when we offer up an objection or a varied POV, we are labeled as being negative almost immediately. I appreciate your critical thinking/expression, and how you spoke up. Kudos!

  23. Shannon Bell says...

    /rant

    Ughhhh these are neither “secrets” nor inherently “French”. “Effortless” and the concept of trying not to look like you tried too hard: it’s not the French who necessarily invented this and I am so tired of seeing this perpetuated. Also, generally tired of people being forever dazzled by the myth of French women doing everything better: raising children, eating, dressing. Nothing against French women, but every time I have mentioned this “North American obsession with French cultural superiority” to actual French women (and I know many! There a tons of French ex-pats here in Québec) they laugh and talk about how crazy Americans are for this. Also, none of the real-life French women I know are size extra-special-small like this either.

    I will concede that the one stereotype that holds up with the French women I know is the general “DGAF” attitude about most things. “Blasé” is a French word for a reason. But that often gets misconstrued for effortless and those are not the same thing.

    On a more Sézane-specific note: I have ogled their stuff since discovering them on this blog a few years ago, and while I can appreciate the aesthetic of beautiful clothes on small-framed women as much as the next normal-sized gal, it all makes you realize how much of a crapshoot online shopping is… I’m a pretty average size, but have had difficulty coming to terms with realizing that usually the reason I am drawn to a piece of clothing is BECAUSE of how it DRAPES ELEGANTLY on the small-framed model, and that it will not necessarily look that way on me. It’s really hard to tell if you like a piece because you like the PIECE, or because of the way it is being modelled. I appreciate the brands that at least admit to what size is actually being shown on the model in the photo; sometimes they will even give the model’s dimensions. Now THAT is actually helpful!

    I second those who have suggested CoJ gravitate toward showcasing more size-inclusive brands. And just brands who not peddling some kind of “ideal” but rather understanding the needs of the Common Woman.

    /end-rant

    • Sarah says...

      I agree with most of your argument. But you know what I’m tired of? Women who make comments like “size extra-special-small.” Please, there is a way to support ALL sizes without taking a jab at small women and their bodies.

    • Shannon says...

      @Sarah, I see your point. It was more meant as commentary on size small being the “standard ideal” rather than bashing the size itself. But I get you.

    • Nora says...

      THANK YOU! I stopped ordering online because of that same issue.

      Now I am *much* more likely to order something I’ve seen modeled on a variety of shapes and sizes. (Well, when I say “variety” I usually mean one standard super-skinny model and another plus-sized but fairly tall and well-proportioned model, and never anyone short and curvy and long torsoed like me – but it still helps a lot.)

    • Treat Everyone Kindly says...

      The woman in the post is not a model. She is just a “real-life” person who sadly is being treated very unkindly by many commenters simply because she is petit. Yes, she is a “real-life” regular person, just like so many other women featured in other COJ posts – including (to name just one of many examples) many full figured women who have been featured in Beauty Uniforms. This is one post, with one slim woman. Are slim people not allowed to exist?

    • Blandine says...

      I fully support your rant about French culture being stereotyped and even fetichised over and over again for profit. Of course this aura around French women contributes to tourism and sales of French brands so this tired sexist image contributes to the country’s economy. But oh boy as a French woman living abroad, how tired this makes me.

  24. FFK says...

    As an English teacher, I talk to my students about books being mirrors and windows—some will reflect something personal and some will show you a different glimpse of the world. Let’s not forget that there are mirrors and windows everywhere (even sponsored blog posts). This one is not a mirror for me (and it sounds like it’s not a mirror for some other readers), but just treat it like a window—look out if you want, shut the shade if you want and move on. But, if we are always expecting our windows to be mirrors, what do we think we will see except a distorted version of ourselves?

    Also, I hope that everyone who has left a scathing comment here has also taken the time to fry some bigger fish (like contacting their congressperson in support of impeachment or doing something IRL to roll up their sleeves (like a French girl!) and be kind, accepting or encouraging.)

    We all need some mirrors in our lives in order to look ourselves in the eyes, but needing to be surrounded by mirrors (whatever they are made of) is still just a form of vanity.

    • Sarah says...

      I love this comment so much. Thank you. I’ve never heard the windows vs. mirrors way of looking at life, but it really resonates with me. I wish you were my teacher! :)

    • Lisa T says...

      Well said,

    • Akc says...

      Very good points. You must be an excellent teacher.

    • Kara says...

      This is an amazing comment that I agree with in every way.

      You sound like a great teacher :)

    • Amy says...

      While this mirrors and windows idea can apply to a lot of things, I think its application here is off the mark and actually kind of demeaning. It is implying that the people leaving these “scathing” comments are being vain or demanding that they be put on a pedestal over over someone else (i.e. skinny, wealthy white women) which is not the case at all. Millions of women grew up in this country feeling marginalized because of our weight and/or race and that is largely due to the fact that all we were given access to were windows–and we’re tired of standing from the outside looking in.

    • AJ says...

      What a fabulous response. Thank you.

    • Natalie says...

      Thank you, Amy, for your eloquent reply. This is it exactly.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I have to say, comment threads like this make me love and admire the Cup of Jo community more than ever. There are so many thoughtful points and such respectful discourse. I feel really grateful to have you here and to be learning/growing always.

    • CS says...

      Thank you for this! This comment is spot on!!!

    • Amanda says...

      Please rethink how you use this concept. What Amy said is correct, the way you’re trying to use it here is really demeaning. I hope you aren’t teaching your students that exclusion of historically marginalized people is okay.

    • Pinky says...

      I didn’t really see any scathing comments, unless of course it was people criticizing other’s constructive criticism. Not one that I read said they were done with COJ or $&#@ Sézane using derogatory language. I think the bulk were well bought out and pretty calm. I can offer criticism AND keep calling my senators and representatives. These things aren’t one or the other. I can care about the impeachment AND also wish this brand were more inclusive on their website.

    • Emily says...

      This comment bums me out so much. It’s not vanity to want to see yourself represented in the media that you admire, or to feel pained by messages that elevate white thinness as definitive of beauty. And I’m so incredibly grateful that some readers pushed back on the message of this sponsored post. I love Cup of Jo, have been a reader for many years, and really appreciate the way the team graciously accepts and responds to feedback. They deserve SO much credit for this. I haven’t read every comment on the thread so maybe some got especially testy, but I’m so grateful that we are having these discussions now. If people had been willing to push back against the message that thin and white was the most desirable aesthetic when I was in my teens and twenties, I believe my life would have been dramatically different.

    • Nore says...

      I strongly agree that we should stop expecting everything to be a mirror.

      But I’ve spent my whole life looking through this EXACT SAME window at a tall, skinny, conventionally pretty girl wearing cute clothes that would not look remotely good on me.

      Bored already! Show me something new – please!!!!

    • Jessica says...

      FFK, I am an art teacher and am also familiar with the concept of using imagery as windows or mirrors for students. What you have said might be appropriate if it were directed at those in power being asked to look through a window. Suggesting that a whole thread of women, whose comments suggest that they have been frequently historicially underrepresented, that their criticism is a form of vanity is just gaslighting. And who are you to decide what is a bigger issue? I can’t imagine getting this sort of criticism from my students and responding the way that you have. Emily Style wrote “Curriculum as a Window and a Mirror,” and it is clear that it was born in response to the harmful white male dominant culture and curriculum in schools. It’s about moving forward in a multicultural society and redistribution of power. It’s not about asking those without the power to give up even more.

  25. M says...

    I’m so disappointed to see my comment edited out. Is that what COJ does now, censor their readers? Im not sure I will be a reader anymore as a result, what’s a community of you’re not welcome

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i don’t think it was? i’m going back to look, we welcome constructive criticism in all ways!

    • Claire says...

      I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion. Most of my comments are not making it through to post these days, and I don’t believe I am being edited out (and I know from being a long time reader that censoring comments rarely happens on this site). I suspect it’s a tech glitch of some sort.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i looked back through the comments and yours is there, M! :)

    • CS says...

      The comments take a little while to get displayed. Wait and check again later. It will be there.

    • Kiersten says...

      M, you’re not alone. My comments were disdained not once but twice for the Mrs Field’s oat chocolate chip cookies recipe posted a while back. They weren’t even disparaging; merely stated my disappointment that the recipe as written just didn’t work for me, along with some suggestions for tweaks. I know they weren’t merely overlooked or due to a tech glitch because a few other comments were approved shortly after mine were submitted. As a site that normally welcomes feedback, both good and bad, being purposefully muted felt like a slap in the face.

  26. Rachel Adrianna says...

    I get that the blog has GROWN since Joanna began and that a wider platform comes with more responsibility… but she has always seemed to admire/ post about the ‘French look’ and that continuity is fun to see! It is a cup of JO, after all… not cup of EVERYONE-WHO-READS-THE-BLOG.

    Definitely hearing both sides of the comments section, but as a plus-size woman I enjoy getting inspiration from these posts even if I don’t plan on ordering specific pieces from the sponsored ones.

  27. Anna says...

    I’m from EU country (disclaimer for those who think that this post is too European, whatever that means, lol), own a few beloved pieces from Sezane (pricey, but items have been well made and flattering, though have not ordered recently) and have never had negative feelings about sponsored posts on CoJ (make. that. money!), but this post did feel off/subpar.
    There might be a few harsh or just salty comments, but there are those that I definitely agree with (diversity, sizing, hype). And, sorry, styling of the pieces does not look good, it looks off and uncomfortable even on this beautiful lady. Well, except the first/last look, that one’s quite fun for a date night, but not in this weather (-3 C), lol.

  28. EL says...

    Wow, so many of these comments… while y’all are not wrong, can you calm down a bit? This is simply one post out of THOUSANDS that are the most inclusive and diverse I have seen on any blog. Please remember that A. sponsors are needed to keep this great content free and B. it’s not easy to find sponsors. Also – C. just because you may not buy it doesn’t mean you can’t find it beautiful and pull inspiration from it. I don’t have plans to buy from Sezane right now, but I 100% use them for my pinterest board to plan outfits.

    I just feel like people are making it sound like CoJ never includes anything with diversity in size or models and that is SO FAR from the truth. If you don’t like it or it doesn’t work for you, don’t buy it or skip the post. There are tons of posts, sponsored and otherwise, about motherhood and kids and while I’m not a parent I don’t get my panties in a twist that it doesn’t apply to me. I just move on. Give them a freaking break.

    • jrg says...

      thank you! i was not so elegant in my own reply but you hit the nail on the head.

    • Anna says...

      I agree wholeheartedly. I was disappointed reading all those hypercritical comments….

    • Elle says...

      Could not have said it better! Also, I can’t help but hear Taylor Swift’s “You need to calm down” in my head after reading your comment. lol

    • Lisa says...

      100% agree with this comment. Well said. People need to calm down and live their life and not expect everything to be about them.

    • Anon says...

      Thank you for saying this. Not every post is for every person, for goodness sake. How do people not get this??
      This is an extremely inclusive site.

    • Sasha L says...

      Why is it so bothersome that others are criticizing this post? Why is there such a need to demean their arguments and tell them to be quiet? If you’re happy to just move on wherever you see something you feel strongly about or disagree with, super. Why do you think others must do the same? The lack of ability to withstand a different opinion, and not just that, but to actively silence it, is so troubling to see here. Usually so much kindness and empathy, but when some feel excluded always this impulse to call them selfish.

    • Annas says...

      Please don’t attempt to manage my feelings.

  29. NRS says...

    To everyone here who thinks these comments are overly harsh or negative, can I gently ask that you try and really hear what these other women are saying instead of trying to silence them? We live in a world where fat=bad, and the vast majority of women’s clothing brands reflect that value system by offering sizing that is not inclusive to most women. We’re not complaining because this ONE time this ONE store doesn’t have sizes that fit us. We’re expressing genuine hurt and frustration that this is just one more in a list of DOZENS of stores that have told us THOUSANDS of times that we are not good enough to wear their clothes, and a company we love (CoJ) seems to be sharing those values by promoting their brand. I agree that what makes the CoJ comment section amazing is the sense of community, and I wish we fat people could be given the space to have a voice in that community.

    • Emma says...

      Yes. This. You’ve explained this better than I could have. Thank you!

    • Anna says...

      Do you really believe that coj does not give space to larger people based on this post?this notion is ridiculous in my eyes.
      I am quite short, does that mean that I should boycott stores that do not cater to my short-legged self (which would be most)? Of course not, Haiti could be absurd.
      I understand your frustration with society’s narrow minded picture of beauty, but to complain because coj features sezane, come on, relax a little fellow ladies. Let’s not ruin this lovely corner in the internet.

    • Claire says...

      This is so important. I hear you! And I am sending you a mental hug or high-five!

    • NRS says...

      Thank you, Emma and Claire! Anna, I was literally just asking for a tiny bit of consideration. I’m not sure why that warranted such an unkind reply from you.

    • Kiersten says...

      Agree 1000%, NRS! You’ve encapsulated the reason for a lot of readers’ rage and frustration succinctly. CoJ normally does such a good job with their sponsored posts and being welcoming to all that this (honestly rather hollow and seemingly slapdash) post really struck a tone-deaf and off-putting note. I have to add my voice to the long list of readers who’ve been left feeling disappointed and frustrated by this indirect endorsement of a broken fashion system that, instead of aiding/allowing all including plus sized ladies to dress to achieve their most fabulous selves, denies them the opportunity to feel good in their skins and intentionally leaves so many on the outside looking in.

    • Sasha L says...

      So well said Nrs.

  30. Maria says...

    I read this post eagerly since Sézane usually has great style, and I thought I could find inspiration for the upcoming Christmas season. I have to say that these outfits seem sloppily put together and not very interesting. Boots too big and the sneakers and denim combo is just blah. These clothes are expensive but nothing in the outfits justifies the price and I definitely wasn’t inspired by them. You usually do great sponsored posts but sorry, this one doesn’t work.

  31. Alina says...

    I don’t understand this extreme backlash for a company that does not provide clothes beyond a certain size. So what? Go shop somewhere else. I wouldn’t go into Torid and through a fit because they don’t have a size 4.

    • Kim says...

      “EXTREME BACKLASH.”

      That seems like a *tiny bit* of an exaggeration.

      “Go shop somewhere else?” And then bringing Torrid into it? I made a comment and I’m not plus sized, but that honestly shouldn’t even matter. I can care about inclusion without trying to insults others, even though I might not be one of the excluded.

    • Anon says...

      I think what Alina meant by “Go somewhere else” is simply to go shop somewhere else if Sézane doesn’t work for you. Which is a very reasonable idea.

  32. Christine says...

    I’m jumping in on this “salty” comment trend – but I have to say that I am really tired of the “French Women Dress Better” narrative. Having just returned from several months in Paris I can assure you this is simply not the truth. Maybe it was decades ago, but the world is a much different and more global place. Let’s face it, we are all shopping the same global brands these days and we all enjoy our leggings and trainers – yes, even while running around town. In reality I saw more French women wearing American brands like Nike and Levis than anything else. I do love Sezane’s clothes, but not because they are French. They are not that unusual or special, just pretty things that I happen to like. I know CoJ is trying their best, and most days you are nailing it ladies. But please, let’s stop with the French Women are Better Dressed thing. It’s tired, it’s inaccurate and simply not the best message because it implies that Americans (or anywhere but France) are all slobs and missing some “secret” thing. We are ALL stylish.

    • Cheyenne Rae Wagi says...

      I respectfully disagree. I enjoy a global perspective on fashion and like the French way of dressing. I too have spent time in France and was inspired by the way French women would transform mundane items like Nike and Levis into something more beautiful through styling. Saying French women dress well is not admonishing American women or saying they are less stylish, it’s just a different perspective.

  33. Yulia says...

    I remember when you first visited Sézane’s New York store two years ago and featured two diverse models in that lovely piece: https://cupofjo.com/2017/10/sezane-what-french-women-wear/

    Not many people were upset then. But the skin color of this particular model (and her size) seems to have touched a nerve. I understand the company’s website isn’t racially diverse and its range of sizes is small, so the pressure on the nerve is even more intense. Like so many others I think diversity in representation is important. To dive into these comments, however, is to see the macro in the microcosm. The comments reflect a growing collective anger from women about an issue that is clearly so much larger than Sézane. Inclusivity, diversity, representation–these are elements of a growing cultural backlash against a lot of norms that are dying right now. The most successful businesses are ahead of the curve and are already responding to it. It’s businesses like Sézane that are maybe realizing only now that the times are a’changing. It will be interesting to see how they respond.

    • Sasha L says...

      Yulia, this is so insightful. I feel too that this post seems like it’s from another time. A time I personally feel very done with.

      I hope companies like sezanne catch on.

  34. Brittany says...

    GUYS! Cup of Jo needs to work with sponsors so they can continue to post the things we love. 1) these outfits are gorgeous, 2) Cup of Jo cannot simple make a sponsored post the specific brand you suggest and 3) Chill!

    Also, I am of a size where I can wear these outfits, but I could not afford to. I will not get mad at COJ for working with brands that are not inclusive of all incomes. Not all brands made all sizes. Some brands only make clothes for sizes 10 and up, etc. If you don’t like a particular sponsor COJ works with, don’t support that sponsor. Unless COJ starts to work with brand like, I don’t know, chic fila, who have ties to discriminatory practices, I understand that they work with a variety of sponsors to support doing the work they love. On the posts COJ does that are not sponsored, they DO include women in a variety of colors, sizes, etc. This sponsored adds allows them to do so. Chilllllllll.

    • Maggie says...

      Agreed!! You’re doing a wonderful job CoJ.

    • Cheyenne Rae Wagi says...

      Thank you Brittany! I agree with everything you said.

    • Taylor says...

      Oof, going up to a size 10 is a discriminatory practice? It’s literally discriminatory against the majority of women in America?

      I want to support Cup of Jo. I literally cannot do that with this sponsor because I do not fit into their clothes. I’ve used Jo’s codes on Madewell, Nordstrom, I even tried the CBD stuff! I’d like Cup of Jo to stick around, I can only support them if they have sponsors that sell stuff I can buy.

  35. Haylee says...

    I do feel that the comments here are unduly harsh. NOT because of their content, as it is a conversation that we need to continue having. I just feel that CoJ’s intent here was very intensely critiqued. After finishing the post, yes I shared the thought that there were some tips I wouldn’t be trying. I knew it wouldn’t look the same on me. What of it? Sezane is a brand loved by many on the internet. Their sponsored posts show up all over Instagram and other places on the internet and I have never seen such recoil before! All of us have very different bodies, we adopt some looks as we don’t others—styling is so personal, when it doesn’t work for us we think “Good for her, not for me.” Also, can we please acknowledge that “adding volume” is a proportion thing. It makes me said to hear woman say “their sizes don’t fit” and then “I don’t need to add any more volume” in the same breadth. It is a mixed message. You all are BEAUTIFUL regardless of what clothes fit and don’t fit you, you can wear whatever the hell you want that makes you feel good! Add volume if you like the proportions and it makes your body look good, regardless of your size! Something fitting our bodies is an issue had across all sizes. Sezane is a European brand and that’s the context they’re living in. They will have to make adjustments as they come to the US where the people
    are different. I imagine they will do so as their resources are continuing to increase, otherwise they are limiting their own progress. CoJ does SUCH a wonderful job on here and I just don’t tolerate “zero tolerance policies” toward their content because these woman are so very thoughtful, considerate, open-minded, and kind. Gentle nudges are appropriate, but not full-on blasts. This is a community, let’s maintain that as we express ourselves here.

    • Maggie says...

      Again – Agreed. CoJ is a wonderfully welcoming, progressive, well-intentioned blog that also needs income to keep doing its thing. The sponsors they work with are clearly vetted for many conscious considerations – be it environmental, ethical, etc. Finding sponsors that appeal to every reader demographic is simply an impossible expectation. Go CoJ!

    • Anna says...

      Well said. I agree with everything! I am a little shell shocked about the level of negativity in response to this post.
      Coj team, you do a great job of featuring such diverse women, its greatly appreciated. Hope joanna and team are not taking the negative comments to much to heart.

  36. Jess says...

    Whoa Nelly, these comments! Feel like I have ventured off of CofJ to some other corner of the internet… So I have really big boobs (not a humble brag– it’s annoying), and there are many clothing styles that I have NEVER been able to wear: strapless, slit in back, halter, off the shoulder, TURTLENECKS, bikinis (not without major discomfort anyway), and that’s just something I have always had to consider when choosing my attire. I don’t get mad at the retailers selling those clothing options that do not work for me. There are SO many amazing brands that are so size inclusive now (and sell more than turtlenecks-LOL) , and CofJo features a lot of them. Just because you don’t personally like Sezanne’s style or feel like their clothes are for you, should not be an indictment of Joanna and team or something they need to apologize for or fix. This site often features Everlane–I think most of those clothes look like something Elaine Benis would have worn in the Seinfeld-era– doesn’t make me mad at CofJo, just not for me. “Good for her, not for me.” Can we please remember that?

    • Cheyenne Rae Wagi says...

      Thank you for this comment. I wholly agree with you on many points: feeling like I’ve ventured into YouTube comments, understanding that not every post has to be relevant to me, and not liking Everlane’s clothing. I will also echo your final statement. “Good for her, not for me.”!

    • Taylor says...

      Your Seinfeld equivalent is super disappointing, it’s not that I don’t like Sezane’s style, it’s that I literally cannot shop there because I’m three inches thicker than their largest size.

      Saying “there are other clothes for you” stings. It’s not about style, it’s about literal utility and access. I’m not mad at Jo, I literally want to support this site, but I cannot shop the store that sponsors her.

    • Natalie says...

      Actually, in this case, it is “good for her, completely inaccessible for me.”

    • Kiersten says...

      Spot on, Natalie! I couldn’t agree more.

  37. Laurie says...

    I think this piece by Amanda Mull is really spot on for discussions like the one that is unfolding with this post, if you are interested in a deeper dive:

    https://nylon.com/articles/skinny-privilege-myth-pulling-it-off

    I’m all for people making their own brand choices, but it’s a little tone deaf to suggest that it is handy to use clothes to add “more volume” to their body.

    The majority of women have spent their whole lives being told to turn their body volume DOWN at all costs… And around my house, it’s never gonna happen. My feet actually do “go to eleven” !

    • Cheyenne says...

      I often use clothes to add “more volume” to the upper half of my body to balance out my hips. We cannot make assumptions about all women’s bodies and experiences.

  38. Don’t bother looking if you’re over a size 12! Frustrating when brands don’t accommodate everyone (written by a 5’11” babe who was probably a size 12 in high school).

  39. jrg says...

    who hurt all of you? it’s so salty in here today. i think the outfits are super cute and you can certainly tuck a sweater in (or leave it out!) no matter what size you are. don’t like these outfits? no one is forcing you to buy them.

    • Laurel says...

      No matter what size…but only if you’re size 12 or smaller.

    • becky says...

      Laurel, no one says you have to buy their clothes. Consider some of the advice if you want and apply it to where ever you shop

    • NRS says...

      I came here ready to write a different comment, but, wow, your words stopped in my tracks. Who hurt all of us? I’m sure you meant this as a rhetorical question, but I would like to take a stab at an authentic and genuine answer.

      I’m 36 years old, and I’ve been fat since elementary school. That means I’ve spent almost my entire life hating my fat body, because to be fat, I quickly learned, was to be disgusting, worthless and bad. I was taught that the best thing for me to do was to disappear, because merely existing as a fat person is offensive to people.

      That was confirmed for me almost every time I’ve gone shopping for the last 20 years.

      As one example: Anthropologie was my absolute favorite store from the moment I discovered it in college. I can’t describe how painful it was to WANT to buy something there, to HAVE the money, but to be shown and told time and time again that I wasn’t good enough. The majority of their brands didn’t even acknowledge that I existed by carrying my size. Even when brands had my size, they wouldn’t carry them in the store. (Maybe they were available online, because they’d take my money just as long as they didn’t have to look at me.) The catalogs didn’t show anyone who looked like me, and a myriad of sales associates either didn’t deign to talk to me or treated me like I was a fool for thinking I deserved to wear their clothes.

      This experience was repeated a hundred times over at department stores, Banana Republic, J. Crew and Madewell, Express, American Eagle, Urban Outfitters, and on and on and on.

      Luckily, things are slowly getting better. Thank goodness for Modcloth, Universal Standard, Boden and M.M. LaFleur. It’s still a challenge to find clothes that fit and flatter my body, but thanks to women like Marielle Elizabeth, I’m learning that the problem is not me, but these companies.

      And yet, there are still stores that I can’t shop at and posts like this that remind me that most of the world thinks I’m disgusting or unworthy because I’m not a size 10.

      So, I hope you can understand that these comments aren’t unreasonable, irrational, or “salty.” This is a community of women expressing their rage and pain over being told for their entire lives that they are less than or lacking in some way.

      Fat women are people too, and just like everyone else, we want to feel attractive and feel seen by the world. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

    • Rae says...

      JRG, your first sentence says it all: these comments are filled with hurt. The vast majority of clothing companies do not make sizes that fit average American women. I suspect that the hurt in this case comes because this sponsored post is showcased here at CoJ, a place that typically feels inclusive, welcoming, and like a community. Being excluded hurts. Being left out hurts. Your other points still hold – yep, super cute clothes, Nope, no one is being forced to purchase anything. But don’t those two things increase rather than decrease the feeling of being left out? Statistically most women in the US will at some point fall outside of the size range available here. At a size 6, I am still able to purchase these clothes. I was a size 2 through my teens and 20’s until my pregnancies. I only weigh a few pounds more than I did at a size 2. I am very aware that only 10 lbs stands between me and being sized out of most women’s clothing brands. This hurt should be relevant to all of us.

    • Lucy says...

      NRS — I completely get where you’re coming from. While I wasn’t “fat” fat growing up, I had enough “puppy fat” to get constantly bullied for it by my insensitive and frankly cruel family. The message both overt and subliminal was that because I wasn’t born slim and fair and traditionally pretty, I really identify with the being made to feel “less than” and unworthy of love or affection because of my size/body. For the longest time I bought into that. Constantly Saying things like “there are no ugly women, just lazy ones” to me just contributed to my body dysmorphia. Even going shopping was like a slow torturous exercise in being invalidated as a person because the judgement from salespeople and clothes manufacturers is both overt and insidious. In Asia where I live, ppl are generally smaller sized and so I stood out — there’s this thing here called “free size”, which basically means UK 6-12, and anything bigger than that is considered plus size! As a size UK 14-16 now, I really struggle to find affordable yet flattering things for my body. So to have CoJ inadvertently pile on to that with their support of Sézane’s non-body inclusive messaging was really hurtful and disappointing, particularly after all the good work they’d done earlier in featuring women of all sizes, shapes and Colours. Please seriously reconsider any or all future collaborations with such brands. I think the majority of your smart, passionate and erudite readers have spoken!

    • Sasha L says...

      Rae and Nrs, thank you for such thoughtful comments. The hurt expressed just makes my heart hurt. I’m sorry that many comments have taken on a mean spirited tone and a silencing and negating tone. I want to hear everyone’s voice here.

      Rae, your point that size exclusion and lack of diversity hurt ALL women is an astute one. Whether or not our bodies fit into a size 10 or smaller, these beauty standards hurt all of us. Who among us WANTS to be judged for our size, or color, or texture of hair? Who wants our worth to be reduced to a number on a scale? The continuation of these standards hurts every woman and the patriarchy is depending on us clawing at EACH OTHER rather than at the system that oppresses us all.

  40. Andrea says...

    How about a sponsored post from Universal Standard, a truly size-inclusive brand? Their Fit Liberty program is genius – exchange an item for a different size within a year of purchase. I have two fresh pairs of jeans in a different size heading my way right now. I know they’ve been mentioned on CoJ before but I don’t think they’ve been featured.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Yes we ADORE them and have featured them a lot. We would love to collaborate on sponsored content with them. Thank you!

  41. Margaux says...

    dégaine absolutely doesn ‘t mean effortlessly chic — it’s a neutral-ish term for allure, mostly used when someone looks a bit weird or off. There’s enough bad French on the internet as is, meuf.

    • Thanks for saying this! Have been living in Paris for 20 years and never heard dégaine in a positive context!

    • Blandine says...

      Merci! I was puzzled when I read that. Next thing you know, we will read article about ‘how to achieve a French degaine’ !!! I have always heard that word used in a pejorative sense.

  42. Another French girl says...

    Agreed on the Sezane overhype. I used to really like their clothes, but they have started to use subpar fabrics and it’s overpriced for what it is. Also, agreed on the French Girl Chic trope being overdone. There are 70 millilon French people, approximately half of which of female. We come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, skin colors, style preferences and income levels. There is a general emphasis on dressing well in France and I like that, but these articles feel a little blah and I don’t really see anything particularly French or inspirational about these clothes. For the record, there are a number of French girls of color, and/or plus size, on Instagram for those of you seeking more diverse inspiration.

    • Paris resident says...

      I thought I was the only one feeling Sezane’s quality is dropping. I haven’t been happy with the quality of the fabric in the last few years that I just don’t want to invest in them anymore.

  43. Elizabeth PFB says...

    I would have no problem fitting into any of these clothes. However, I have a gorgeous fourteen-year-old daughter who is 5’8” and a size 20. She already loathes shopping because it’s hard to find clothes that fit her. I refuse to patronize a business that doesn’t recognize the importance of making girls and women of all sizes feel beautiful and worthwhile! Because the message my daughter has been receiving is that she she simply doesn’t matter.

    • NC says...

      Try Anne Taylor Loft for nicely made / trendy-ish Plus size pants. I’m a 20 and their pants fit true to size. I wear XXL in their tops / dresses (their Plus tops run baggy and long). They are always having a sale. Much of it might be a little business casual for a 14 year old but you could find some cute / trendy pieces for her that are decent quality, and there’s ALWAYS a sale. I never pay full price for anything on their site.

    • Elizabeth PFB says...

      Thank you so much, NC!! She actually loves the look of trousers, so this is a great tip!

    • Natalie says...

      Thank you for being such an amazing advocate for your daughter, Elizabeth! She is lucky to have you!

    • Elizabeth PFB says...

      Natalie, your kind words have absolutely made my day! Thank you!!

  44. Sharon in Scotland says...

    I don’t think this isn’t “French” style, as such. It’s an organic style, that naturally evolves and emerges………………..I roll up the sleeves on all tops and don’t do up the buttons on the cuffs of my shirts unless it’s cold, I like the way it looks and prefer the way it feels on my arms………………but I am not thinking “style”.
    As an English size 18, 5′ 6, 36 H, 55yr old black woman, I’m used to not seeing myself in magazines and get very excited when I do. I tend to look past the model, look at the clothes and then see if they have my size, (they mostly don’t, which is why I’m trying to do more dressmaking)

  45. Amanda says...

    I love the style of these clothes, but it’s really off-putting that sezane’s models are almost exclusively very thin, white women. It says something about who they see as their customer, and who they don’t. I know Cup of Jo has made strides towards inclusivity, and I’d encourage you all to consider how your sponsors reflect that.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you all so much for your notes and smart, thoughtful feedback. We are hearing everything you’re saying and appreciate your thoughts.

    • Amanda says...

      I appreciate you taking the time to respond, Joanna. I’ve been reading this blog since 2008 and I’ve seen you make big shifts toward developing a more inclusive, socially just platform, and I really appreciate that.

  46. jessica says...

    Dearest Cup of Jo Team and community, I have been a follower for quite awhile, and it is one of the few places where I dare read the comments. I fully feel and understand the negative comments on this post, yet the tone is different than the respectful disagreements in the past. I have 2 dresses from Sezane, and each time I wear one, I get compliments from women of all ages, size, shape, and color. No post is going to satisfy every consumer and Cup of Jo does a darn good job of offering content to a wide audience.
    Wishing everyone a restful and peaceful weekend.

    • Hilary says...

      Agreed. Every brand (and sponsored post) cannot be everything to everyone nor should it try to be. A lot of these posts are unfair to Jo.

    • Anon says...

      Well said. I was disappointed and taken aback by the negative comments. Cup of Jo has had posts exclusively addressing the perspective of overweight women. They include people of all sizes, races, and gender preference and identity. So please, show a little grace and understanding when one post doesn’t suit your preference.

  47. Julia says...

    Reading all those critical comments, I find that Joanna and her team can be proud to see that her audience is sensitive and reflective, and cares about society and environment. Your readers are smart and they are questioning things – we need people like this to eliminate grievances like pollution, discrimination, etc. Smile, Joanna! :-)

    • Cheryl says...

      I agree.
      We are in an exciting time when things ARE changing, we are starting to outright expect more inclusivity, we’re seeing more embracing of cultures, women are speaking out and marching, it’s absolutely wonderful. Because of that forward momentum we are simply demanding a constant evolution all the time! There can be no going backwards. I just read here about a woman who always wanted to shop at her favorite store, Anthropologie, and never could… but you know, now they are finally carrying a plus sized line! So why not expect MORE and stop settling for the old ways?
      The air is ripe with possibilities and having this intelligent forum for sounding off against any backward momentum -of any kind -just feels necessary.
      I didn’t get it at first but after reading a lot of these comments, I get it and take up my sign and march and say Let’s Get Salty and Keep Evolving!

  48. AM says...

    Literally the ONLY post by CoJ that’s put me off completely. Super non-diverse, privileged, over-european sounding content with absolutely no substance to all the fuss (I mean their clothes. Extremely boring and not unique at all.)
    Sorry if I sound rude. But after all these years of amazingness from CoJ I guess I expect more :) Thanks!

    • Kiersten says...

      You’re not alone, AM! My main feeling after finishing this post was “really??!” I can’t help but feel that the styling tips were, to put it bluntly, a joke — is there any woman alive who cares about fashion today who doesn’t already know about balance, proportion, hemming/cuffing pants to fit and rolling up sleeves etc? These so-called styling tips are basic at best and condescending at worst. As a child of the grunge-inspired 90s I was already doing the half-in half-out tuck with my clothes and would never have thought it could be considered French, “posh”, or the height of fashion to do so. The clothes in the post were no better either — boring and blah, and not “aspirational” or inspiring at all. Certainly nothing that makes me want to bust out my credit card! Honestly there was nothing shown that would work on anything but an ultra thin body like the model’s. Like another commenter said Earlier, the “true” prerequisite to rocking Sézane’s clothes seem to be ultra thinness, which is the only way one gets to be truly “effortlessly chic” as espoused by the brand.

    • Hailey says...

      I agree that for those of us who “care” about fashion, as you put it, Kiersten, these tips weren’t revolutionary and we’ve likely been doing them for years. BUT- not the case with every woman. It might have sounded trite to us, but someone could have learned something. Based on comment sections of all previous “fashion” posts, there’s always someone mentioning they learned something new or found inspiration.

      I also disagree that these outfits wouldn’t work on any other body…as a proud size 12, I tuck in a sweater to a skirt all the time. I feel like the desire to speak against featuring Sezane is blending “cancel culture” into your view of this post in its entirety. Yes, we’ve seen better from CoJ. It’s okay if you didn’t like it. It inspired me to break out a dress/tights/boots combo tomorrow, realizing I’ve been in a jeans/sweater rut.

  49. Melanie says...

    Can you start featuring Scandinavian style and brands? Canadian? British? Different regions in America? Yes, French styling can be nice, but my goodness, women in other countries and regions in the US also have fabulous style. I respect their styling, slightly undone, messy hair….but I also like looking really put together with smooth hair!

  50. Sharon says...

    I love Sezane! They have all the little details that make each piece extra special. I can appreciate a lot of these comments, but I would also say, petite women with no boobs also deserve clothing options! Not everyone is tall and large. I appreciate the push for inclusive sizing, and I think it’s coming, one brand at a time. Additionally, as Americans, we are often much taller. That makes us bigger by default. French people (men and women) are often smaller. In an effort to be inclusive, there’s no need to shame petite women in the process.

    • Haylee says...

      I agree with all of this! I have a very petite friend that struggles to find clothing that looks feminine on her. She LOVES sezane.

    • Bee says...

      ‘In an effort to be inclusive, there’s no need to shame petite women in the process.’ – yes, totally! As a small woman with no boobs, Sezane is perfect for me. I find a lot of comments on this post overly-critical, just like that post about the sustainable (yet pricey) bag a while ago. Just because you specifically don’t/can’t buy an item, doesn’t mean the Cup of Jo team shouldn’t post about these brands at all, there is always a target audience that will want to buy these brands. So cup of jo: please don’t stop, I really liked some of the pieces (especially those gold boots!)

    • L says...

      I dont see how anyone can say these comments are critical of petite women.. they are just envious of all of the options thin women have compared to the majority of the rest of us. Its time for that to end.

    • Anon says...

      Exactly! Being inclusive means you also need to include smaller people. Otherwise, you are right back at discrimination. Please, step back and look at coj posts… they ARE inclusive and this is part of that, too.

    • Kate says...

      https://cupofjo.com/2019/09/brooklyn-apartment-home-tour/

      I wonder how many readers clicked on Maud’s name? She is not a professional model. She is beautiful and real. She has shared a piece of herself with this community. It’s possible to be “curious and kind” in our comments.

    • Sasha L says...

      I’m a petite woman with no boobs and I haven’t felt shamed or attacked by a single critical comment. What I have felt is pain. Just the pain of so many women feeling left out. The pain of an oppressive system reducing humans to some arbitrary beauty standard. My heart hurts for the very real pain and anguish others here feel.

  51. Rebecca says...

    I am here for everyone’s comments about the lack of racial/ethnic diversity in Sezanne’s marketing and their body-type exclusiveness, And for Andrea’s comment about the use of the word “girl” to talk about women – it makes me crazy! (I’ve started calling this out, at least when I hear men do it. “You just saw a ‘girl’ you went to college with? So she’s your age — 33? She’s a woman, not a girl.”)

    I am also exhausted by the whole idea of “effortlessly chic.” On the rare occasion that I manage to look chic while parenting two kids and holding down a full-time job, you are damn sure going to know that I tried!

    • MELISSA says...

      I don’t know…I’m 50 and I kind of enjoy being referred to as a girl (or when older gentlemen call me “young lady”) . I still feel exactly the same as I did when I was 20 and feel that I encompass the qualities of both a girl and a woman. I’m not insulted by the term.

    • Agnes says...

      Hahaha me too. I’m 47 and if anyone wants to call me young lady, I’ll take it! I especially like it when young men call me ‘miss’ – seriously.. hahahah!

    • Sasha L says...

      Rebecca, thank you. I am a 46 yo woman who doesn’t appreciate being referred to as a girl, a chick, a babe or any other diminutive term. Go ahead and refer to me as a lady, but don’t expect me to behave like one.

  52. Emma says...

    As a Brit who’s lived in France for ten years, I can safely say that I don’t recognise this ‘French girl’ style – it’s like saying all Americans’ wear baseball caps and chew gum.

    • Shannon Bell says...

      Amen! Or that the Kardashians represent American style… UNTRUE. I just think you’re falling down a rabbit hole to generalize any kind of style as inherently “national” these days.

  53. Awads says...

    add volume??? i’m trying to SUBTRACT volume!!

    Pretty stuff, though!

  54. Bee says...

    The size discussions are soo interesting to read. As someone living in Europe, most women (and men) here are ‘thin’, so to me, it seems like Sezane is simply sizing for the majority in Europe! I think most women are naturally lean here because we walk sooo much and few people own a car. Imagine going down 3 flights of stairs when you leave home (as old buildings don’t have elevators), walking 10-15 mins to the nearest train/metro station then taking train then walking another 10-15 mins to get to your office every day- all that walking makes you lean. Note I say lean- you won’t find many people walking around with super-toned, muscly bodies from the gym. I’ve lived in the US too and the variety in sizes is much much greater in the US than in Europe. For instance, in the US, petite sizing is much more common and it’s not really a thing in Europe. Just my two cents from someone who’s lived in both places :)

    • Amanda says...

      Hi Bee, I am a woman who lives in Chicago, a metropolitan city in America. I walk to and from the train every day, and go to the gym a few times a week. I live in a 3 story walk up and work in a 2 story walk up. I am not “lean”, and unless I starve myself I do not think I will ever be “lean”. Genetics play a big hand in how our bodies are formed, not just how many stairs we climb a day. Just wanted to share some insight from America.

    • l says...

      Bee, that’s insane. I literally run 30 miles a week and do yoga every morning (except Saturdays – girl needs a rest day) and bike to work. I live in Washington, DC. I am fit but Sezane’s styles are not meant for my curvy body type. This has NOTHING to do with my activity level and everything to do about brands only catering to one type of body that only a few percentages of people have. Your comment is basically implying that not thin women are just not active enough and that’s wrong.

    • ak says...

      You say “Europe” but you mean “major European cities like Paris.” Europe isn’t all well-connected metros. See, e.g., the gilets jaunes.

    • Kiana says...

      Bee, I’m American but I lived in Barcelona for many years. It’s true that we walk more in major European cities and also that your food is less processed than ours, generally speaking. But most European countries are not very diverse in terms of their population. People are thin, not just because of their environments but because of their genes. Spanish girls I knew had no breasts or butts and no hourglass shape. Not because they were more fit than I was but because of their genes.

    • Sarah says...

      Hi Bee, I liked hearing your perspective from someone who’s lived both places. I also agree with other responders that weight and size often have nothing to do with exercise level. I think ignoring the genetics factor and saying all you need to do is exercise more can sound like fat shaming.

    • Bee says...

      was not my intention at all to body-shame or imply that not thin women are just not active enough. I’m sharing my observations from living in both places- maybe its not activity thats the differentiating factor then, maybe it’s genetics or diet like another commenter mentioned. Whatever reason it is, I see that the body shapes in Europe are a lot more homogenous than the US.
      There was an interesting article I read ages ago that said something about how the average size is 12/14 (can’t remember the number) so why don’t stores stock more of the average. But an average or mean doesn’t work for stores, they need to ensure that they stock for the median and I think this is what Sezane is doing too.

    • Anon says...

      Thank you, Bee. Really appreciate you sharing that perspective. I think it’s quite accurate, actually.

  55. Hannah says...

    I must say, I’m a bit surprised at the very critical comments to this post. While I completely agree with the need for diversity, I don’t agree with (many of) the comments regarding sizing. Yes, the sizing stops at XL, which is not inclusive, and it should include larger sizes/different bodyshapes. But apart from that, these sizes are completely standard for Europe. As a European, I will be able to order a 38/M on the Sezane website that’s about the same as the sizes at H&M and Co.
    Additionally, yes, these clothes aren’t cheap, but they are sustainable and most of the clothes are manufactured in the EU. And if I want those marks to be ticked, then all my fashion choices will be rather pricy.
    And one last thing as to availability of pieces: It is my understanding that they only produce a limited number items in each size. And if they’re gone, they’re gone. Now that might be a clever marketing strategy (I ordered the day the collection launched) and/or it might be a sustainable way of manufacturing clothes. Of course, I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to buy that pretty electric blue sweater from their autumn collection, but am I really bothered by it? Hardly.

    That said: I love Sezane – they have so much pretty stuff!

    • Cara says...

      Well said, I completely agree. Yes, It is problematic that there isn’t more size inclusivity, but Sézane is a much more sustainable brand than a lot of other fast fashion retailers. I’d rather buy one high quality piece from Sézane than a bunch of cheap, fast fashion clothes.

    • Kim says...

      The things I saw on my quick perusal are made in China and Morocco.

    • Hannah says...

      I just bought a skirt that is made in Bulgaria (Dino skirt) and two jumpers that are made in Italy (Willy jumper and Serena jumper). When you live in the EU, transport of the clothes and materials is done by road – obviously that’s not the case when it has to be shipped from France to the US.

      And to quote from their page:
      “It’s about the made how rather than the made where. More than 2/3 of our models are produced in Europe, the rest all over the world, depending on the origin of raw materials, expertise, working conditions and production capacities. The modernity of the ateliers is an essential element in our choices, in order to guarantee the very best working conditions for employees.”

      That said, in commerce consumers can decide through their purchases if they want to support a company or not. And since all of us have a free will, we can decide if Sezane is for us – or not.

  56. Aude says...

    Ouch.

    The problem with having an audience of smart, educated and outspoken women is that they hold you to such high standards. And CoJ readers are one fierce community you’d better hope is in your corner.

    Someone in marketing at Sezane is having cold sweats right now reading the comments over this sponsored post, especially as many are valid (sizing issues, availability issue, lack of model diversity etc, clothes made further and further away and of lower quality) and wondering how come they so badly misjudged their audience.

    This is a partnership that goes back years on CoJ and I believe part of the issue is that the match between the two is less successful now that the brand is much bigger, targeting a broader audience and most likely keen to increase margins now that’s it massively investing in bricks and mortar stores and international expansion after years of being online.

    For future co-operation–if there is to be any as CoJ also needs to evaluate whether this is indeed a brand it desires to be associated with– it would be more interesting to see:

    1. CoJ readers –in all their awesome diversity– picked to model a few outfits from Sezane that they get to take home. The tone and look of the post, with the store manager posing, just feel too tightly controlled and heavily edited. You can almost see the re-writing hands of the marketing people dropping keywords throughout the text. The pictures are posed and lack spontaneity.

    2. A better understanding from Sezane of the market they seek to expand in (which, if it’s the US, isn’t only major coastal cities with pockets of huge wealth where owning a “different” body is simply not an option). This isn’t bourgeois Paris –where I live now, after 20 years abroad–, where most women never stray from a 36/38 (XS/S) size and continue to dress like “girls” even as they older. CoJ readers, as they have loudly expressed, want to see more flair and originality than this “bland” international look already peddled by a million other upscale French brands. The problem is that French style as worn at the office and on the street is very subdued and conservative, black for the office, lots of navy, beige and grey at the weekend.. No bold colours, no bright makeup, no funny shapes and eccentric accessories. The streets of Paris are very uninspiring if you subscribe to a more “fun” sense of style/fashion, which I understand is in sharp contrast with the mental picture many readers will have of it from photos taken outside fashion shows. So I believe CoJ isn’t the right audience for Sezane, or perhaps only 25% of it, especially as readership spans a big age range while few women over 40 would ever dress at Sezane.

    3. I know the team will take it on the chin, as they always do, and reflect upon what went wrong and what they could have done better or not done at all. But they’re only human and I believe they didn’t see that one coming, and let’s remember they DO need to sponsored posts to support all the great writing that is done here. As more diversity has been represented in recent years in the outfit and beauty posts, the expectation of readers have increased. The upside is that you are doing an important and generally great job. The downside is that there is now a zero tolerance policy to making choices that aren’t in line with the values you advocate.

    • JB says...

      This is such a reasonable and well-thought out response and hope CoJ team takes note.

    • jules says...

      I like how you said this…. My main thoughts about the topic are similar and stem from the fact that the main reason you sell sponsored advertising (I’m in advertising and sold it for years and now work for a major retailer) is that the brand your promoting FITS your audience and their values. The whole purpose is to try to introduce a brand to them that they will love and SHOP an repeat. This audience is showing to be ‘zero tolerance’, as you’ve mentioned, now and most likely won’t shop it. I get that fact that the sponsorships pay the bills… obviously. But its a no win if your market doesn’t buy the product. And worse if you lose your market or they decide to start breezing over your sponsored posts… which is what I normally do.

    • Shannon says...

      Well said! I left kind of a ranty post and I like yours much better. :) Cheers!

    • Natalie says...

      “The problem with having an audience of smart, educated and outspoken women is that they hold you to such high standards.” Yes! It’s a great problem to have and why this blog is so beloved!

    • Kiersten says...

      Brilliantly written, Aude! Agree whole-heartedly with your statement on how the “fierce CoJ community” will no longer tolerate posts that don’t align with the high standards regarding inclusivity and sustainability, to name but a few, previously espoused on the site. I’m actually really heartened by the fact that so many amazingly erudite women have spoken up and advocated for the excluded and the marginalized in such an incredibly smart manner.

      I also second what Jules said about how CoJ now needs to give serious thought as to whether pushing brands that don’t speak to their audience will instead alienate them and erode their support base. I get that Sponsored content is the new necessary evil in this Internet age but even so they must still be executed with a delicate touch. If it’s getting harder to find an original angle with which to promote long-time brands like Sézane and still appeal to readers, perhaps it’s time to rethink the partnership altogether, especially in light of all the issues other readers have brought up with the clothing carried by the brand itself.

  57. Laure says...

    As a loyal and loving CoJ reader and a French girl living in Paris, I wanted to comment because I don’t want Sezane to become the symbol of French style and I also don’t feel it’s aligned with CoJ’s mission.

    First because, as a lot of readers pointed out, not all of us are skinny and white. And French brands are SO behind on diversity it’s embarrassing, and really not aligned with CoJ values.

    Second, because there’s much more going on than Sezane in the French fashion scene. I’d love to see a more diverse image of “Parisian women” on CoJ, I see sooo many cool people walking around the city, experimenting with their style and not conforming to this super Sezanesque beauty ideal of what a Parisian woman looks like. Check out second hand brand shop_charlie on instagram for example :)

    Lots of love from Paris and thanks for this great community, Jo xxxxx

  58. Love French style. But, one question, how is Sèzane sustainability-wise? Thank you,
    Marie-Theres

    • Kim says...

      Very interested in how they are “sustainable,” too.

  59. SR says...

    Boy! Never have seen CoJ readers coming down so hard on a sponsored post.

    • Milou says...

      I agree. Maybe every brand doesn’t have to be for everyone? And if you don’t like French style, maybe skip the post?

    • Claire says...

      Hi y’all. I think the issue for many people is less “this style isn’t for me” and more “this sizing and modeling style explicitly exclude so many people who are already excluded by Western society in a number of ways.”

    • Kim says...

      I don’t think people expressing their opinion in a calm and measured way is the masses “coming down hard” on a post. I haven’t seen any foul language or harsh comments. It’s good feedback for the company to see that their demographic looks at their ads and models and wants to see more diversity. It’s not like we’re on twitter blowing up the brand or trying to cancel them. I think COJ and Joanna should feel good that their audience can express these things in the pretty respectable way people have. I haven’t noticed any outrageous comments.

    • Shannon says...

      I don’t know, did you see the response to the Clare V partnership awhile back? That was pretty brutal….. I *sort of* feel like this one is tamer…

      (PS I wonder what happened to that sponsorship/partnership because I don’t see those bags available anymore… or maybe they just sold out.)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thanks for your notes! the clare v bags sold out. we learned a lot from that partnership — we LOVE clare v and her designs, but heard clearly from readers that they wanted a more affordable price point when it comes to CoJ branded collaborations. we’re definitely going to keep that feedback front of mind for future collaborations. thank you!

  60. Sarah says...

    Love these outfits and I love her style! I love the outfit with the pleated brown skirt and the brown boots. The one with the gold boots and the white jeans is awesome too- makes me want to break my white jeans out again despite having put them away for the winter. This girl is gorgeous!

    • Cait says...

      The pleated skirt and boots is my fave look too. Seems super cozy but still chic :)

  61. Karina says...

    There isn’t much I can add as the majority of readers have already expressed how tired they are with the ‘french girl’ style and the exclusiveness of this brand.
    I am in the UK and I find there is less of an obsession with dressing like a french girl here and I am so glad about that. It seriously makes me gag every time I come across a title like the one above and as much as I love reading Coj I think it’s about time they drop the french obsession.
    Why not do a series on what women wear in different cities around the world. Real women with unique styles but influenced by the city or country they live in. And i’d Skip Paris.

    • Amy says...

      I think that’s a great idea Karina! Obviously no one person’s style will encapsulate a city or country, but it’s still interesting to see and to hear what their perspective of style in their area is.

      FWIW, I have no interest in dressing like a French woman because I live in the PNW and plan to stay warm and dry this winter ;)

    • Samantha says...

      i second this idea- especially cities that get a lot of different/ winter weather. i live in Maryland, and we get literally ALL of the weather. super hot and humid summers, hurricanes, extreme wind, ice storms, thundersnow, tornados….. everything.

  62. Sonja says...

    I personally love the Sezane posts! Beautiful pieces. My only comment would be not once have I clicked through and found something in my size. I have not purchased anything because of the lack of availability. I do enjoy CoJ posts and I am not at all bothered by sponsored posts. As with any blog if I enjoy the majority of posts I keep returning.

  63. Alex says...

    I’m enjoying the schooling that this company is getting (free!) from coj readers. They will be better for it.

    • K says...

      Yes, Alex! This whole comment thread could be seen as Sézan getting so much for their sponsorship money: access to a community of whip-smart CoJ readers who are articulate, opinionated, strong, hold companies to high standards, and have today chosen to devote some of their precious free time to giving this company honest feedback. You’re welcome, Sézan.

      CoJ, you’re an incredible site and I am so appreciative of the way you value constructive criticism. It’s great to see Jo in the comments saying that she’s following along and welcomes the feedback. I look forward to being a loyal reader for many years to come as CoJ continues to get better and better.

    • Natalie says...

      I love this perspective!

  64. Amy says...

    It’s ironic that Sezane is expanding to the U.S. without any regard to ethnic and body diversity present in the U.S. Their prices are high considering the quality of their products. As a medium sized American, I can barely fit into the large size from this brand. Overpriced and ignorant about the U.S. market? No thanks, there are too many other brands that are priced fairly and produce with more quality.

  65. S K says...

    Scrolling through the comments and SO proud of this community for calling out the French girl trope and actively saying we want to see more inclusive less stick-thin white women brands.

    Hoping the CoJ Team responds to our respectfully written feedback and takes it into account for the future

  66. Melody says...

    Women how is it kind to be saying all these negative things about Sezane. It’s great to be inclusive and to want to seek out companies that are inclusive in sizing and diversity. BUT do you have to drag a company through it just because they don’t? We don’t have to shop there. We don’t have to support them monetarily but how has it become ok to talk down about people and heap on top of so many other comments saying the same thing. You in turn are not being kind. People in this day and age could learn that you don’t have to say everything you think online. Me included as I type this message out. But I hope that this can be read as constructive criticism.

    • NRS says...

      With all due respect, I do not have to be kind to a brand that does not acknowledge me as a human being. This is not hysterical raving, this is thoughtful, justified, well-reasoned anger and frustration. Why is Sezane more deserving of your kindness than all of the real women who are voicing their legitimate experiences and looking for support?

    • Kim says...

      Drag? Or are we calmly pointing some things out that their chosen demographic sees? Pointing out room for improvement isn’t harsh criticism, and we aren’t talking down about a person, it’s a brand. Constructive criticism is exactly what it is.

    • Anon says...

      You make an excellent point, Melody. And let’s remember that companies do have to make a profit, and that can be tougher if they are a responsible company that tries to be more ethical and sustainable. It makes sense that they offer pieces that fit the majority of people.

    • Amanda says...

      I don’t think it’s “great” to be inclusive of women with different skin tones and body types/sizes.

      I think it’s essential. There is no excuse for excluding women of color and women of average/larger sizes.

  67. M says...

    Tired of hearing about this brand and everlane. They are crappy brands that produce items you can find elsewhere for way cheaper. Agree with other commenter, pushing these brands continuously is verging on tone deaf. Love seeing real womens actual style. Please find other ways to fund the blog which actually resonate w your readers

  68. Lindsay says...

    I find a lot of style inspiration from french women on instagram as well as looking at Sezane’s online website. I adore Rouje. Both are very expensive so I like to get ideas and then find similar pieces elsewhere. But to be honest, these outfits in this post do not have that french look. ( Also Maud is really beautiful and could look good in anything!)
    I think french style is a mix of playful feminine and sexy with masculine structure. These gold boots with white pants and a baggy Babaa type sweater doesn’t have that look to me. I think the black and white tunic outfit is the most french looking.

    • yet an other french girl says...

      lindsay, sorry, but there is no such thing as french style. there are diverse french woman, with different bodies, tastes and budgets.

    • Lindsay says...

      Maybe to you…..but to a lot of us, there IS a French style! Just like you might see a Scandinavian style or Spanish. it doesn’t mean every French person dresses that way only! It’s a stereotype.

    • Anon says...

      I agree with you, Lindsey. French style is lovely!

  69. CaraM says...

    My heart always sinks when I see, yet again, another place that I won’t feel welcome at because it doesn’t carry my size.

    • Heidi says...

      Same. I wear an 18 and a D cup bra, so add Sezane to the list of stores I can’t shop. It’s great that stores are adding more sizes, but rarely are they ever in the store to try on and only online (like Madewell, for example.) I don’t have the money to buy multiple sizes online to try on and return the ones that don’t fit when I am in between their posted measurements. Why don’t these stores carry wider ranges of sizes when the need is clearly there? It just seems so impersonal and out of touch.

    • Jane says...

      Caram, I am so sorry. Although I’m not a big woman myself, my favorite person in the world, my mom, is a size 3XL.

      On her birthday this year, we went to a large fancy spa together. They handed us both robes to change into before the massages. When we went to change, I heard my mom sobbing in the other stall. I came over to see what was wrong and she said the “one size fits all” robe wouldn’t completely wrap around her body.

      I had to hold my 60-year-old mom in my arms on her birthday while she sobbed. I kept saying “It’s not you, it’s them. It’s not you, it’s them.”

      Sizing inclusivity affects people more than just finding cute clothes. I would encourage those saying “just shop somewhere else” to consider this. It affects the spaces people can enter and things they can do.

      I am planning to make a complaint to the spa, but I would love to know more ways we can help push for more size ranges.

    • Natalie says...

      Jane, hugs to you and your mom. That sounds like such a terrible ordeal, and I’m glad you had each other there to lean on. I’ve been inspired by some of the body-positive voices on Instagram (like @shannydoots) and how they firmly, respectfully and unapologetically reach out to these companies directly to ask for change.

    • Jessica says...

      Jane, your reply just brought me to tears. Sending love and support through the wacky strange anonymous internet to you and your mother.

    • yet an other french girl says...

      jane, i am so sorry for your mom, what an awful experience :-(

  70. Curvy in Connecticut says...

    Oh wow! I think I just found my tribe in this comment thread!

  71. Andrea says...

    I lost all interest when Anne referred to the staff at her store as “girls.” Not a girl, not wanting to be a girl nor look like a girl. I, like many of the commenters, will shop at stores that make clothes for women.

  72. Rosie says...

    I’m sorry, but you can buy all of this at J.Crew. There isn’t anything unique here. Put the same outfits on a girl with a shiny brown ponytail and coral lipstick and it could be the J. Crew catalog. The whole French girl aesthetic isn’t really a thing anymore because this is basically just how skinny, white Millenials dress. That denim jacket looks like one my wife bought at Madewell last spring. It’s all pretty, but there is a reason we don’t see women from your Week of Outfits dressing this way. You feature real people with cool sense of style. This look is everywhere.

    • Taylor says...

      Agreed.

    • Lauren says...

      Actually the clothes on their website are really pretty compared to the ones in this post, and some of their blouses in particular I think would look great on all sizes. . . I can understand a small size range for a small company (inclusive sizing is way more expensive than many people think: try googling ‘dreamstress inclusive sizing’ for a great article by a woman who patterns up to a 50″ bust but doesnt expect that from everyone), but sezane could probably do better!

  73. Amelie says...

    Dégaine does not mean effortlessly chic. It is more like the opposite: a weird/ strange look or a weird way of walking/standing.

  74. Jessica says...

    Sezanne has more than a few problems, to me:
    1) They only carry smaller sizes. Others have discussed that problem, so I’ll only just mention it.
    2) They sell out of their size runs very quickly. I don’t know how this business model works, but these slightly-to-actually-high-end brands like Sezanne and Doen seem to really thrive by not having what you want? How does that even work? There are some beautiful sweaters on there that I would totally buy, and finding a size and color I want is near impossible.
    3) Are all “French Girls” white? Thanks, CoJ friends, for seeing that off the bat because, really.
    4) Why can’t they just show the clothes? I get having styled photos, but what about one or two just plain product shots as well? What does the sweater look like untucked? How long is it? It’s IMPOSSIBLE to tell!
    Anyhow, thank you for listening to my TED talk. I’ll probably buy one of those sweaters, someday, and instantly regret it because their poly/merino/mohair blend turns out to be scratchy or something.

    • Jessica says...

      OK, and one more things about “French Girl Style” – I don’t see it!
      These outfits look very nice, with a little creativity here or there, but nothing about it looks particularly French. It all looks “French As Imagined By Anthropologie.” Nice outfits (that skirt/boot combo!) but not particularly French. It’s just not cutting edge enough, nothing cooler than we could be.
      OK, I’m actually done now.

    • K says...

      Jessica, I feel all of your comments!

    • Élodie says...

      Completely agree with all of that, Jessica! I would add that I find super annoying that customers can’t leave any reviews – it seems that sezane keeps the stuff obscure and sold out on purpose. Don’t like this marketing strategy and don’t find it “sustainable” at all (as they like to say the brand is).

  75. Ann says...

    I love those gold boots! I thought we had this store in Michigan a while ago. Is it only in New York?

  76. Pie says...

    I love your blog, and I know you have to make revenue from affiliate links, but the articles have been very commerce heavy lately. Also, Cup of Jo has an overall admiration with French style and this brand in particular (and the founder who I admit is very intriguing and beautiful), but you should read the recent articles about how ‘French’ style is overwhelmingly white, body exclusive, and privileged. It doesn’t actually reflect how France looks like now, which is very diverse and increasingly income stratified. I love your blog but these recent articles feel very tone deaf to me. Thank you!

    • lindsay says...

      Cup of Jo constantly has non white and plus size guests and models from all over the world. Seems like they really can’t please everyone. Also – maybe in Paris and the big cities french women are not typically white and skinny and privileged but if you look at the whole country and surrounding countries, there is a very specific look of slender brunette women and so maybe that is why that is the look we see when we look at french style. Anyone from anywhere and any size can be inspired and copy these looks,no matter how privileged or not. Cup of Jo has shared examples plenty of times :) I feel like Cup of Jo does posts for everyone but the people complain when its not THEIR thing being posted! Not every post needs to be budget friendly. Variety is good…..

    • Amanda says...

      Yes yes yes. Please, Cup of Jo, stop perpetuating the racist, classist image of “french style” as a thing, wealthy white woman.

  77. Abigail says...

    I’d much rather support brands that work to represent more than white, thin bodies. This has become increasingly important to me in recent years, and I only wish that I’d had this perspective when younger, more insecure me felt “less than.” Hard pass.

  78. Alexandra says...

    Just adding to the choir here. Cute clothes, but won’t fit most women. I am normally a size 10, and granted that I am tall, Sezane even in their size 12 is tiny. Makes me feel like an elephant. Also, most French women probably can’t afford their prices ….
    Tucked-in look is seriously only for very skinny people. It’s kind of insulting to a regular sized woman to see only the super thin, white, young models. Do get a little more inclusive. (Same applies to Nisolo, whose shoes end with size 10 and are small cut.)

    • Elena says...

      I agree with so much, but I have to disagree: tucked shirts look great on many body types! I’m a size 10, 5’6” and just now at age 41, I’m not afraid to tuck my shirt. It can really give you a little curve, even if you don’t feel you have any. It took me a long time to break out of my comfort zone on this… Don’t be afraid to try!

      I’m a personal stylist and I always ask my clients (size 00 -24) to try a tuck, or even just a half. It can be a game changer.

      Everyone’s body is worth showing off and showing some love.

    • “Cute clothes, but won’t fit most women” that’s exactly the way we French do it, very frustrating for non skinny persons. I just can buy the bags !

  79. Nan says...

    I finally figured out that the #1 secret to French style is no boobs. Let’s be honest. Some of us will never be so stylish (without a reduction, anyway). I’d LOVE to have that silhouette, it instantly makes clothes look so much more chic.

    • Rashmi says...

      Totally, right???? I am tall with long limbs and until I was in school everything fell on me like it did on models and then suddenly one fine day I grew boobs and a butt and nothing looked the same way again!!!

    • siri says...

      True that.

    • Em says...

      I understand your opinion, but you don’t need to cut down another women’s body to share your thoughts

    • Naomi says...

      My thoughts also!

    • Nan says...

      Em, if you mean me, I want to apologize – I see where my words were a cutting-down. I’m happy about voluptuousness and size coming back as a fashion silhouette. I’ll never be flat-chested and drape-y but body-positivity is happening and it widens the perspective of what is stylish and chic. Rightfully so.

    • jules says...

      I have no boobs unless they come from padded bras haha Might seem more “chic” BUT you do gotta worry every time you bend over with some shirts that people will see your belly button because there’s nothing filling that shirt out!

    • Sasha L says...

      I’m completely puzzled by this idea that the clothes look good because no boobs. I’m a 32 AAA (that’s not a typo). Almost all clothes look, well, different on me. And not in a chic French way. I’m 5’6″, thin but not at all like a model – my legs and butt are strong from hiking and riding. Almost nothing fits me right. I can find my size, but almost everything looks odd. I can’t wear formal wear AT ALL.

      I think the standard of beauty here, that these clothes *fit*, is tall, long legs, no hips, broad shoulders. No curves. Very thin. Which is all lovely. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could all feel lovely, regardless? Feel like there were pretty clothes for us, even with our AAAs or size 20 pants or whatever?

  80. eveange33 says...

    French woman here.
    I’ve been shopping to Sezane even before it became … Sezane: it was then called Les Composantes. Then and for the first few years of Sezane, the company was small, trying to find it’s target with good quality clothes in parisian french style. I own several silk shirts from more than 6 years ago that are still looking very good. At that time, most of the clothes, leather and shoes were still made in Europe, in countries like Spain, Belgium, Poland, Portugal and even France.
    Since they have found their success, clothes quality wise have been going downhill, with lot of artificial fabrics (like polyester, acrylic and such awful things) but the prices are going up, up … and most made in China.
    Also what you have to know about french sizing is that it is much smaller than american size. For example, I am sure a lot of you know the blogger Extra Petite, who is a size xxs for about 5″ frame. In France, she would be an xs or even a S. I do order some trousers from Banana Republic (the Sloan) and when I order from the US site, I must order a 0p (I am very petite, more than Extra Petite) BUT when ordering from the European site, I need the 2p.
    Is that what you call vanity sizing?
    As for the diversity representation, I would not comment
    For the record, I live in a very close suburbs of Paris, North, one of those that one of your TV channel, Ah yes the Fow News, call a place where the white are forbidden and very dangerous … Anyway, one where, of course, tourist won’t go
    It is nice to say that one would like more diversity but, on the other hand, when coming to visit France, most tourist would limit to Paris and, not only Paris, but only some “secure” places all situated in the same close areas. Who would dare to go and see the diversity that is Paris and France in the others places in Paris? I am still to see any tourist in the 18th, 10th, 17th … arrondissements of Paris.
    I apologize in advance as English is, obviously, not my mother tong and, I might not be politically correct.

    • Elle says...

      EVEANGE33, I don’t understand the connection between a request for diversity and the 18th, 10th, and 17th arrondissements. Since English is not your mother tongue, I will ask in French: Est-ce qu’il n’y a pas des françaises de couleur hors de ces arrondissements? Est-ce qu’il n’y a pas des françaises de couleur qui souhaiteraient voir des mannequins qui leur ressemblent? It’s not nice to ask for diversity; it’s tiring and absurd. One shouldn’t have to ask at all.

    • Nathalie says...

      Bravo!
      Si cela continue, on ne pourra plus faire d’article avec des jeunes femmes minces et blanches…

      Nathalie

    • Awads says...

      I want to come to Paris and stay in your neighborhood! do you have a couch? ha! I live in Washington, DC, in a neighborhood tourists avoided forever. I will say, though, that with AirBnB, more tourists are popping up on my street. You may find that to be the case where you are as well. In any case, love your comments.

    • Kat says...

      The first time I traveled to Paris alone (over a decade ago – I was only 20 haha!) I spent a lot of time in the 18th. I really liked it! The only thing I ever consistently noticed about French style back then was 1. people always had intentionally messy hair, which looked very cool, and 2. EVERYONE seemed to wear Converse sneakers.

  81. Sylvie says...

    Love the jeans. Is she wearing her size or a size up? The model on the site is seriously not human so love seeing how they look on a Anne but curious about the size Anne is wearing in the dark wash?

  82. Jessie says...

    I’ve had three children. I’m a 33 year old stay at home mom, in good shape, 5’6/130 lbs & cannot even imagine tucking a sweater in. I love the style but I think most of these looks work if your body fat percentage is less than 10% (if yours is-not hating! but I think it’s a MAJOR exception). I also cannot imagine spending this amount unless I found it on eBay or Poshmark for less than 50% of retail! Maybe if I made more money and weighed less it would work…but I personally am so tired of that message.

    • Ashley says...

      “Maybe if I made more money and weighed less it would work…but I personally am so tired of that message.”

      –Wow, what a profound sentence. Struck a major chord. (and just to be sure since it is just text and easy to miscommunicate, no sarcasm intended whatsoever!) also makes me think, I know this blog has a certain demo but it’s funny– it can be so diverse with weight/race/nationality etc. but it all revolves around upper middle class women without ever saying anything outright.
      “Not gentrifying your city’s neighborhood? Well then maybe you don’t belong here” ;)

    • Calla says...

      I am a half-tuck evangelist. I’m 5’4″ 135 lbs with a pretty straight build and think that tucking things in at least partway is so flattering. It might be because I have short legs so I like to do anything to expose the top of my high waisted pants and make them look longer. I guess it does always look a little bulky from the side but I just decided that I don’t care haha

      I think everyone should at least try it , if you don’t believe me ask Tan France.

    • Jessica says...

      So I saw a twitter thread that I didn’t know I needed yesterday that explained how all of these influencer types “tucked” giant sweaters into little skirts/pants: they don’t. They belt the sweater at their true waist (above the pant line, usually) and fold over the belt so it looks tucked. That or they pin it together in the back and tuck the extra up inside the sweater. Some even tuck the end into their bra. It’s never tucked into the pants for exactly the reason you state – it doesn’t work and makes you look bulky.
      Mind. Blown.
      Anyhow, I don’t mind the prices – knits just cost money, if they have any detail. But then, I only really buy one really nice sweater a season and otherwise only buy consignment anyhow.

    • t says...

      Hi Jessie, I just want to say that you sound beautiful and I am sorry that you feel like you can’t tuck in a sweater. I am 5’3″ and 160 and I tuck in sweaters and I am super chic according to people who see me. Yes, my outfits don’t always flatter my body (usually don’t) but I now dress to my aesthetic rather than to try to look as thin as possible. I personally love it!

      In terms of money I totally get it. I can’t afford these pieces either. Best to you and know the message is not that you should weigh less. It’s that you do you.

    • Kat says...

      I’m 30% body fat and I love the half-tucked look. “Flattering” is whatever you think looks cool!

    • Elena says...

      @Jessie, I’m 5’6” and have at least 25 pounds on you (guesstimate, I don’t know how much I weigh), wear a size ten and do both a half tuck, full tuck and wear baggy clothes. Ironically, I’m a personal stylist and only just got over my own tuck phobia at the age of 41 on my post baby body. (Eeeeks. Just being honest)

      I style people from size 00-24 and think that everyone should try a tuck: it’s super flattering on all body types, in most situations. Most people think they can’t (even size 00), so I find it’s just a mindset. It can really add curves if there are none, give proportion or give that extra something to an outfit.

      Over the past couple of years, I’ve really learned to dress to please myself and no one else. The first step in that is not giving any f#$&% and it’s hard! Some days I might wear boyish, oversized pieces, other times I might dress slinky in something sexy, but every time I clothe my body I am wearing something that pleases me.

      This next part is easier said then done and takes practice: wear what you love regardless of how big/small it makes your body look, love your body as it is and try new things and have fun. (It’s only clothes)

    • Court says...

      T: “I am super chic according to people who see me” is the best thing I’ve read ALL WEEK LONG. I haven’t seen you but I must agree.

    • Kara says...

      Here for all the commenters encouraging the “tuck” no matter your body type!! (And also the tuck “hacks,” because, yeah, sweaters get bulky, so know your tricks.)

  83. Laura says...

    ” … to add volume.” Thanks, but no. I don’t need any help with “volume” on this body.

    • Francesca says...

      My thought exactly!

    • Sarah says...

      I lol’ed at that. ; )

  84. Kim says...

    Wow, I have to agree their website is predominantly white, extra thin models. I only looked at a few categories before skipping back to make this comment. I like some of the sweaters, but noticed the ones I looked at are made in China. I have to agree with other commenters that they could stand to be a bit more inclusive.

  85. Kathleen says...

    I find the American obsession with “French girl style” a bit baffling and trite (even as a fan of “French girl hair” and the general notion of not trying too hard!). I’m interested in what other commenters are saying about the lack of size and racial diversity and wonder if there’s an opportunity to feature style trends from other parts of the world as well – as a Canadian i see a lot more Scandinavian and UK fashion here (climate driven, I suspect) than I do in the US, and I’d love to see more fashion and brands from around the world!

    • Shannon Bell says...

      Need a “like” button on this platform! I totally agree – Canadian here, as well. Like, some fashion examples that admit weather limits everything. We’re not walking around in tights and skirts in -20C up here, amiright?

  86. amy says...

    the skirt is to die for!

    • Hilary says...

      I love Sézane and would totally recommend their clothes, but if you want a budget version, Target is selling almost these same skirts for very cheap!

    • jules says...

      ASOS also has the same type of skirts for more affordable prices too!

  87. After almost 20 years living in Paris, I only recently understood how to explain Parisian style: one shouldn’t look like one tried too hard. This explains why we can always spot an American or a Russian girl, for example: hair too perfect, dress too pretty, eyelashes so beautiful there’s no way they’re real… and when you have so many of these « red lights », boom! You’re a foreigner. I work at an opera house, and our director once joked about American singers always coming to audition in a cocktail dress and full on make up & hair. Styling is a very subtle business here, and I’m not sure I’ve mastered it yet!!

    • Kristin says...

      Well said, Daria. I’ve visited France (Paris and other towns and cities) about 5 times. It’s frustrating to hear Americans comment that they feel French girl style is thin with no breasts when that’s not the case at all! Perhaps Sezanne’s imagery is pushing that but I find true French girl style to be exactly what you’ve said – slightly undone and never perfect (beauty found in your imperfections, if you will). This is actually something that Americans should embrace, I think!

      Anyway, despite living in NYC for 17 yrs and London for 3, I recently stopped by the Sezanne store in Soho for the first time. I was disheartened by the fabric content (as another French reader mentioned) but did find some lovely prints. I disagree that they are the same as J Crew but do agree about the subpar materials and high prices that don’t reflect that.

  88. Candice says...

    Those boots in the first pic!! They sort of make me think that maybe my husband isn’t really ‘the one.’ Ha!

    • Michelle says...

      Lol!

  89. Kristina says...

    It just occurred to me that the true number one “secret” to French style is to be thin. The oft used keywords chic or effortless are just covering up what is really implied – that thinness is a prerequisite. It goes without saying that Sézane’s clothes are gorgeous, but by being inaccessible to anyone outside straight sizes the brand is making a much larger statement of who is allowed to be “effortlessly chic”.

    I know it’s difficult for smaller brands to scale their size range. I know they are afraid of their clothes looking bad on larger bodies. But as someone who lives in a larger (yet average!) body, I am just plain tired of not seeing myself represented in 99% of fashion brands.

    • EllaY says...

      I was thinking the same thing! Every time this brand shows up here I think it should start off “be very thin and small chested.” Then, maybe, “slouch.” Then the things they always say if they must. I’d really like to see an article about how to dress like a French woman using clothes you already own or as a curvier woman or something like these stylists showing how they’d use the same piece 10 ways to make it feel worth the money.

    • Taylor says...

      Same, they had an absolute gorgeous almost electric purple sweater for sale in the Fall and I refused to buy it despite salivating over it because I ordered one of their white dresses in a Size 12 (their largest size and my normal size) in hopes of wearing it to my rehearsal dinner and it was comic how small and ridiculous it looked on me. So, now, my general rule is, if there’s not someone with a similar body as me to see what it will look like on me (love the work Madewell has been doing on this end), then I can’t waste my money on it.

    • Frankie Rose says...

      I agree with you. These keywords are just subtle dog whistles for being thin, white and “conventionally attractive” I would have preferred to see a few different woman/body types try on the clothes. Also- I am just over the whitewashing of “French Girl” when there are many black, Muslim etc woman in France. I love that Cup of Jo has evolved and become more representative/inclusive over the years and appreciate the efforts, I’m just tired of the French Girl trope and know you guys have more interesting content/ideas. Thank you for listening!

    • Sarah says...

      THIS.

    • K says...

      Thank YOU. This 100%. All of those French girl instagram accounts have one thing in common and it’s not the straight out of bed hair, red lipstick, or perfect outfit… they are so, so thin.

    • Erin says...

      I don’t really buy into the idea that it’s difficult to scale up clothing items to larger sizes. Other brands are doing it. Anthropologie, for example, now offers many items in more sizes, and I think the models wearing those items on their website look fantastic.

    • Kristina says...

      @Frankie Rose, you are so right. I would definitely include whiteness right alongside thinness in the prereqs for being a “French Girl”. I would love to see the French Girl title used to accurately represent who a French Girl is.

    • Lauren says...

      Totally agree, Kristina (and other commenters on this comment). I was warming up my brain+fingers to type out a similar response, but you (all) already did such an eloquent job.

      I absolutely Love CoJ, but I don’t love brands that “subtly” use being thin as a fashion “tip”, enforced by their limited size offerings.

    • Laura says...

      You are spot-on. Some brands can be so out of touch. I don’t have any interest in French style or French beauty; it takes too much effort to look effortless. This also feels more like Parisian style than French style.

      The herringbone floors are pretty.

    • Sarah says...

      Yes – completely agree with Frankie Rose re whitewashing. This has bothered me immensely since I’ve been interested in Sézane (and I can never pull the trigger on their website because I’m so annoyed). I want to see the beauty of my family reflected too.

    • Rose says...

      I never really understood this angle. I’m a small size. But I had to help my mom look for a dress in a size 12, and I could, not, believe the lack of options. It’s really lame that companies, then, sell this really expensive clothes in sizes other than what most people need.

    • Colleen S says...

      @Taylor- I tried the “real body” feature on Gap for a pair of jeans, and though the girl resembled my body, the jeans were grossly too small. Maybe Madewell is different.

    • Kristina says...

      @Erin, you’re so right. I totally agree that seeing clothing on average and larger bodies on brands’ websites is AMAZING. I’m loving what Madewell, Aerie, Elizabeth Suzann, Universal Standard, and many other brands are doing to serve a broader customer base. And the women look absolutely stunning. You better believe if I see a piece of clothing on a body similar to mine I’m wayyyy closer to clicking that add to cart button.

      Re: scaling the size range – I’ve just heard the argument from smaller brands – Jesse Kamm was one I remember seeing this from – that because size grading is an expensive endeavor, many shy away from offering sizes above the normal cap of 12 (side note: Jesse Kamm has started offering sizes 14 and 16 since the sizing debate). So they keep their size ranges within the 00-12 range because they like that customer best. There is no other reason to keep the sizes in that range other than excluding larger bodies. We know that the average woman is above a size 12. So from a business standpoint, it would make the most sense to offer sizes where the “medium” size is a 14-16. Universal Standard does an amazing job with this. The only reason note to shift the available sizing is an inherent fat phobia and bias.

    • claire says...

      Totally agree with this and all comments in this thread. This is a broad “French girl fashion” problem, but I think the sizing and representation issues are particularly problematic at Sezane, and even worse (in terms of size and style availability) in their Manhattan store. I wish CoJ would reconsider sponsorship and partner with more inclusive brands.

    • Kristina says...

      I also wanted to add that I have been so so happy to see the increase in size and race diversity on CoJ in the past couple years. Seeing posts from Kelsey Miller, Beauty Uniform from Lindy West, and many others has been incredible.

      I would love to point the editors in the direction of Marielle Elizabeth (@marielle.elizabeth on Instagram). She writes and speaks so eloquently about the body positivity movement and would also be an awesome person for A Week of Outfits!

    • Calla says...

      Couldn’t agree more. I read a similar post somewhere recently where a French fashion guru recommended recommended sizing up in all your clothes for a more expensive look (?) Which like, sure yeah, adorable and quirky on a size 00 but on anyone else it would just look ill-fitting and apologetic.

      @Ella Despite the mostly unhelpful advice in the post I do actually think the half tuck and the cuffing sleeves and pants tips are super super good ones. I do both of these things all the time and am always shocked at how much more put together I feel when I do

    • K says...

      I completely agree!! You are all spot on re whitewashing and the exclusive use of thin models. It’s 2019! Lots of French people aren’t white and aren’t a size 2. I agree with people saying that it is really starting to stand out that Sézane does not feature diverse bodies. I hope they change their approach ASAP.

    • Mims says...

      The epitome of french style (to me) is a my friend Monique who is born and lives in Paris. She is a solid size 12/14 (USA size) and embraces her curves. She is the master of tasteful decolletage reveal, knows how to style a scarf a zillion ways, has impossibly curly hair she casually ties up or rolls into a french knot. She owns a classic trench and gorgeous wool winter coat and always wears spotless red leather gloves. And actually she does not have that many clothes….as has a small closet and tiny apartment. That is winter french style to me.

    • Eva says...

      YES!

    • Amy says...

      Completely agree with Kristina and Frankie Rose!

    • Meg says...

      Completely agree with the other commenters. This brand does not represent the diversity of France, and the whole notion of “French style” is infused with racism, classism, and the idealization of often extreme thinness. The ideals that this brand (consciously or not) embraces should be part of the (very ugly) history of fashion, not the present or future that we are working towards. I hope that CoJ will be a lot more careful in considering what brands they team up with and what messages they send to their readers in the future.

    • Natalie says...

      Another vote for Marielle Elizabeth! She is my hero!

  90. French girl says...

    I’m so fed up with this brand… :-(
    it’s all over the internet and I don’t understand the hype. The products are overpriced, not made in France, not sustainable. A lot of greenwashing on their website but no organic cloth, no local production, a lot of animal leather…
    I’d love to see more small designers on the blog with a less aggressively commercial approach and a stronger commitment to the planet.

    (I hope this message doesn’t sound aggressive but I did not find a smoother way to word it… Bises!)

    • KL says...

      clap clap clap!

  91. mb says...

    Do they restock frequently? I love the navy blue jacket but they don’t have many sizes available in most of the colors.

    • Elle says...

      This is the main reason I don’t shop at Sezane anymore, it’s so annoying that everything always sells out in 10 min. At this point, it’s definitely a marketing strategy and it’s just plain ridiculous. Also: add one size to your normal size. a 6 everywhere else is most probably an 8 in Sezane size.

  92. Heather says...

    How is it that her knee-bumps in the pants (black pants, orange sweater fabulous lady) look just fine and chic, but on me, it looks like I’ve been wearing my pants for two months? Does anyone else get these awkward bumps on the front of their pants when they stand? I sit behind a desk 40 hours a week, so when I stand, boom, knee bumps.

    • nadine says...

      Hahah me too!! And I didn’t knew it had a name or it was even a thing. Sometimes I have them with leggins too, oops
      I’m going to think they just look fine and chic from the outside ;)

    • Naomi says...

      Pull your pants up a bit at the midthigh, as you sit down, to create more fabric and less pull over the knee as you sit. Men do this all the time with suit pants (no stretch). I do it and it helps eliminate knee bumps. Now, you do need to sometimes pull the pants back down when you get up, especially if the pants are a bit tight… If they don’t cling at the calf (mine do – big calves), then the pant will naturally fall again as you stand up.

  93. AR says...

    So chic. I LOVE, LOVE that floral dress, is she wearing it back to front as it looks different online?

  94. Calla says...

    I couldn’t agree more about the cuffing. I refuse to let anything cover my wrists or ankles. It is somehow very alluring and looks a little more polished to have them showing. Also I am on the short side and am convinced that slightly short pants make me look taller (like I just grew out of them haha)

    • Rosie says...

      When you’re tall with long arms and no shirts are long enough it stops being alluring for your wrists to show.

    • beth says...

      hahaha…I think the same thing!

      Oh, and I love Sézane! I bought a pair of jeans and a blouse online earlier this fall, and it came in a very cute box, with a super cute scarf tucked in as a gift. My wish list is a mile long…

  95. That first outfit with the white jeans and gold boots is so lovely!! I ordered a pair of brown Sezane chelsea boots a couple months ago and love them. <3

  96. liz says...

    I looove Sezane’s style but its so clear that so much of their clothes is made for skinny/non-curvy types that I’m reluctant to order anything :/

    • Calla says...

      I totally agree. Every once in awhile I remember them and go check out the website to be like “Oh right, they only use super thin white models” It’s interesting, I’ve gotten so used to brands showing clothes on a variety of body types that Sezane really sticks out as a little antiquated and out of touch to me. But that’s French beauty for you

    • Ashley says...

      I agree- I have a hard time finding good style suggestions for size 10/12. I can find lots for smaller framed people and (recently) a good amount for 14+, but this mid-size seems difficult.

    • Luci says...

      Ugh, I agree! The looks are lovely but I can’t imagine it looking as good with my big bust.

    • Meghan says...

      I agree, I love their clothes! It’s interesting to note that if you scroll through the blouses, size 12 is the most frequent sold out size. I wonder what would happen if they added size 14 and 16?

    • Sylvie says...

      Thanks! I’ve got hips so the jeans might be a no go!

    • Lauren says...

      Ashley, I hear you! I’m a size 10-12 and sometimes feel wistful looking at both skinny models or extra curvy models, like, I’m definitely not the only previously-skinny, now-kinda-lumpy shopper! I guess being skinny or extra curvy are both more interesting, and my body is ‘boring’, but still . . .

  97. ali says...

    I can’t get used to calling a sweater a jumper. I know the
    English call it that but I wasn’t aware that the French do.
    I keep expecting to see a corduroy tunic type thing worn
    over a blouse or sweater.

  98. Adrienne says...

    Ahhh…my favorite! I love Sezane! Their dresses are dreamy.

    • Jas says...

      I am completely taken aback with some of the comments here. I mean, not everything has to be for everyone. And, if any blog celebrates diversity, it is Cup of Jo! You do realize that you are reading this blog free of charge and that they have to earn money in some way as this is really hard work, to maintain this platform? Come on, give them a break! Sezane is an ok brand and I really thought photos looked great and two women seemed like “real women” not models. They do not have my size either, but it is ok, I shop somewhere else. For sure I am not going to blast the hardworking women of Cup of Jo for this post, knowing how much they contribute to a lot of important causes every day.