[Alternative Muses] Writerly Style: Françoise Sagan

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.”-Yves Saint Laurent

Françoise Sagan was the ultimate cool girl writer. If you believe that style should be effortless and detached, then she is your muse. Even today, a wardrobe like hers can take you almost anywhere, and anywhere it can’t you probably don’t want to go.


The writer looking brilliantly modern. Oh, that skirt! That shirt! That hair!

Her uncomplicated look remains fresh more than five decades later. Who needs nail varnish and lipstick when you can look like this? She is proof that decadent lives do not need visible gilding.


Pondering life with a cigarette and the perfect pair of heels.

Minus the cigarette, this is the ideal uniform for the beautifully jaded thinker: useful, comfortable, elegant and great for doing after-hours double duty at a shadowy jazz club.

Francoise Sagan by Jeanloup Sieff. St. Tropez, 1956.

Françoise Sagan by Jeanloup Sieff. St. Tropez, 1956.

What do you get when you combine gingham and polka dots with a soupcon of insouciance? Beach chic at its finest. This shirt and 2-piece bathing suit ensemble can take you from girlhood through death, and every decade in between.

Francoise Sagan

At the typewriter with Françoise Sagan.

Her jaunty scarf (polka dots again!) is the only accessory a serious but style-minded writer needs whilst working. Although I’d probably rip it off and toss it across my desk after 5 minutes, I admire her restraint-and fashion sense.

Sagan and Seberg

Françoise Sagan with Jean Seberg, who played Cecile in the 1958 film adaptation of the former’s novel, Bonjour Tristesse.

This is what smart casual looks like: comfortable, easy, understated and timeless. Sagan is my ultimate style crush, a natty blueprint for (almost) everything I try to accomplish when I dress myself. Attitude included.

12 thoughts on “[Alternative Muses] Writerly Style: Françoise Sagan

  1. I agree entirely. She looked great, very understated. Like the haircuts, too, although I can’t do that now – I did when I was young. I have a shirt like Jean Seberg’s. I should wear it this weekend. Today I wore my Lucky Brand very distressed capris and a white T-shirt with Mexican designs on it and white Donna Karan strappy sandals. I think it was rather cute.


    • You sound like quite the stylish artist, Judy!

      I can do the haircuts (and probably always will), although mine makes Jean Seberg’s look long by comparison. I just adore Sagan’s understated approach to style. It is hard to pull off convincingly, though.


    • Her look seems so effortless, doesn’t it? Given her character, I think her look really was this casual and easy. Sigh.

      I LOVE the idea of the scarf. I so want to try it, even if I am almost completely sure that it would bug me after a few minutes. It is just so chic!


  2. Pingback: Bonjour Tristesse | One quality, the finest.

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