THE BLOG
31/03/2013 12:20 BST | Updated 27/05/2013 06:12 BST

Parlez-Vous Fashion: In Which I Do Casual-Chic

Casual chic comes with some conditions. Thankfully, they are down to you, every time. There's no set rhythm or glossy-magazine rule to your ultimate style relaxation. Without you, clothes are just that. In the immortal words of Bella Freud, 'inside your wardrobe hang your brains'.

My favourite thing to wear right now? A trusty pair of Topshop jeans, a sumptuous - although initially leaky - navy, not black. They're running a very close race with a certain spotted pinafore I've barely parted with.

Since my recent hair cut, instead of dressing up - as a new style might suggest - I have remembered the basics. In something resembling a Sunday uniform, I've found myself drawn to an olive green jumper over a white t-shirt and jeans. I'm basically Francoise Hardy - I wish. It is disarmingly simple. The French girl within me has tempered down, packed up her kohl-lined-eye ways and relaxed in the pursuit of sartorial security. Not that she really needs to worry, I'm more concerned about the English girl. Thankfully, I have relocated to a happy place where chill and relaxation are welcome - or maybe it's laziness. I have embodied the French chantoozie who inspired my hair cut. It comes with a sense of self-assurance - not to be confused with arrogance - that is redefining.

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Slouch jumper, £42, Topshop

There's something special about weekend simplicity; the knit and jean combination has undeniable allure. While it may be a truth universally acknowledged - and lamented - that the best looks are the simplest, that nonchalance is universally coveted, who actually accounted for being comfortable? Those who are confident and comfortable in their appearance - make no mistake - are the best dressed. It is the undeniable truth of back to basics. The woman with the jeans - and maybe trainers, in this climate - with the demure smile and the no-makeup-makeup is the best dressed. You can parade all the bar jackets, peplums - shudder - and intelligent Balenciaga ruffles you like, but the stand out soul at a party is the pared-back princess.

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Zoe Karssen, £95, netaporter.com

As the discerning shopper governs the streets, the pieces for laid back luxe are increasing in diversity. The casual glamour of a sweatshirt - Kenzo's went-viral tiger jumper or sassy Zoe Karssen's 'Madame' - breaks up the monotony, paired with simple denim, bare ankles and an outdoor slipper. While jeans might be a devastatingly basic piece, there is really nothing like sliding - or squeezing - into your favourite pair, pulling on a favourite knit and gliding down to Waitrose. Or to Somerset House, whichever. I have done both this year, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It might not provide an appetite for street style snapping, but there's no place like home. And sometimes - often - home is a pair of well-worn skinnies - or better still, a loose-fit boyfriend jean for that no-sex sexy.

Casual chic comes with some conditions. Thankfully, they are down to you, every time. There's no set rhythm or glossy-magazine rule to your ultimate style relaxation. Without you, clothes are just that. In the immortal words of Bella Freud, 'inside your wardrobe hang your brains'.