By Jaime Cat Callan

You see them all over Paris—the elegant femmes d’un certain age (women of a certain age.)  They may not look exactlyyoung per se, but they definitely look beautiful, stylish, intriguing, and sexy.  That’s the trick, really.  These gorgeous women don’t care so much about lookingyoung. They are much more interested in looking alluring, but in a very subtle, grown-up way.

french-womenAnd, there’s another advantage the femmes d’un certain age possesses—money.  Yes, it’s true.  Oftentimes, as we get older, we have more disposable income and so we can spend our euros (or dollars) on skincare products, spa visits, clothing and accessories that we might not have been able to afford when we were younger.  More than this, a femme d’un certain age has the power and the allure of a woman who has lived and learned, who possesses experience and a whole lot of self-knowledge.  A femme d’un certain age has a lot more confidence and this can be very appealing.  No, we no longer possess the look of a fresh-faced ingénue, but with just a little mental adjustment, we can take possession of the look of an elegant woman who has obviously lived life, also knows enough to keep all the specifics a mystery.

And now that we have lived and loved and survived, how can we take on the allure of thefemme d’un certain age?

Pack your suitcases and go.

Through travel, we find style and beauty inspiration.  We have the opportunity to see ourselves from a new point of view.  We reconsider what is beautiful and our assumptions are turned upside down.  Travel is the true key to re-invention.

Mystery Trumps Wide-Eyed Innocence.

 Yes, there’s a great appeal to the ingénue, but any man will tell you, youngsters can get a bit wearisome, especially if they’re half your age.  Rather, a woman of a certain age has the allure of mystery, experience and self-knowledge.  French women know that beauty and brains go together.

Woman, Know Thyself

 Yes, past a certain age, you know what looks good on you and how to accent your best features.  You know your colors.  You know how to conceal what you want to hide and what to flaunt what you what to display.  Whether you can wear ballet flats or high heels, you know how to walk with your head held high, knowing you look your best.

Time is on Your Side.

 You remember your younger years—there was a whole lot of rushing going on.  Work, children, chores, more work, and then suddenly, you were free.  You have time—time to take care of yourself.  Get spa treatments, travel and consider your next steps and what will bring you joie de vivre.  Ah, the luxury!

You are brilliant.

Even if you haven’t had a whole lot of education, by the time you reach a certain age, you know more than a few things.  You’ve lived life and you have a degree in survival.  There’s nothing sexier than a confident woman, who doesn’t feel the need to prattle off what she just learned in her World History seminar.  Think: Mona Lisa.  Why was she smiling?  Because she was a femme d’un certain age and she didn’t need to prove a thing. And neither do you!

So, rock the ages–French-style.