Style Analysis – Brigitte Macron

posted in: Style advice | 26

I know you like my style posts best so here we go!

The Election of President Emmanuel Macron has provided a  bit of relief recently, especially that he is not Marine Le Pen. His private life is a little interesting, because he married his drama teacher, who is over 20 years older than he is. Not that different ages is a problem at all – look at Donald Trump with his considerably younger spouse. But of course the press seems to think that the man should be older, not the women. Who cares?

Anyway, she is over 60 and a mum of three – grandma of seven. Luckily she appears to have a good sense of humour and I think she may need it. But today I thought it might be interesting to have a look at her wardrobe. Brigitte Trogneux comes from a family of Chocolatieres. Obviously she doesn’t eat the stuff herself.

I always like to start with the body outline – silhouette – even if it means showing the person in a swimsuit.

Bridgette appears to have a straight figure with slim hips and broad shoulders (similar to Princess Diana). Many top models have this body shape, and generally this figure (when slim) looks great in clothes as they hang well from strong shoulders. As you can see Mrs Macron is very slim. Her arms and legs are muscular with minimal fat. Her waistline is not very defined.

The Macrons, posing in the sea

The straight figure really looks amazing in trousers as the slim hips and thighs are flattered by an androgynous style. The shape of the navy outfit (below) really looks good on Bridgette in the sense that the shapes are relatively straight and the whole look is streamlined and modern. I like all the textures, the silver collar and the various shades of navy. What is her wardrobe personality, would you say? I am going with dramatic. Leather trousers are such a statement. “I am young! What is age? I am interested in fashion and I can wear up to the minute looks! I am confident of myself and what I am doing!

Her spectacle frames are quite heavy and slightly shaded. She is showing her strong intellectual side – the thinker, the strategist, the teacher.

Brigitte Macron
Brigitte Macron in navy leather trousers

Some further images of Brigitte in pants illustrate the point. She likes the leather trousers and shiny shoe boots, combining them with a more formal tailored jacket. She does the same with ultra skinny jeans and sporty trainers. Overall she knows how to dress for her body shape – her slim legs give a long, straight silhouette and make her appear tall and sleek. Personally I would wear a slightly fuller leg, especially with the jeans. The smart jackets are really nice and create a message that this person knows how to dress, what suits her and the jackets give a strong message of authority and competence. I really like the grey one with its interesting cross body strap – classic with a twist.

With this body shape the ideal dress is a straight dress in a firmer fabric. The white dress meets the requirement although personally I feel the black tights are a bit heavy, and I think the coat is too ordinary with this dress. Black tights flatter fuller legs – she could wear patterned tights or lighter colours, and not many women can. The blue dress is also fairly straight, with a high waisted look that is quite flattering on a woman without much indentation at the waist. The black dress has been chosen to give the appearance of a waist and it is a really nice dress. But I don’t think the full A line skirt is doing much for Brigitte. The extreme thinness of the legs is emphasised by a wide skirt. I would have suggested a pencil skirt shape with the skirt ending at just above the knee. Although slim arms and legs are enviable it is sometimes better to wear tights and perhaps a sleeve. Maybe show just your arms or legs, rather than both. I like the choice of accessories, which are a little bit “discordant” in a good way. The orange shoes with the black dress and the beige bag with the blue dress. This is a woman who is confident of her style.

Let’s have a look at Mrs Macron in a skirt. I am not wild about the blue or the pink one. The blue skirt – a sort of hipster kilt doesn’t look great with that white shirt and high heels. It looks a bit like a school uniform to me – not the best look for an ex-teacher. Her narrow hips and wider shoulders would look better with a darker blouse and a narrower, light coloured skirt. The skirt is on the hips rather than the waist but this just makes her shoulders look larger than they are. The pink skirt is potentially good in that it is a narrower cut, and not many women suit a pink mini with side pleats. The blouse is not too bad although the heavy shoulder line emphasises her shoulders. A simpler skirt and a neater top in a darker shade would work better. On the other hand I feel the blue suit/dress and jacket is great. The narrower skirt, the important military style jacket, the neat tailoring and the beautiful shade of light blue looks both presidential and stylish. Although her legs are both tanned and toned I would prefer them hosed. However my hunch is that this look, with the tamed hair, more subtle makeup and elegant accessories mark the transition from rock chic to First Lady of France.

What do you think?

26 Responses

  1. Stephanie

    Great post, Kate. To be honest, I can’t get past the dried out straw helmet hair! If only she embraced a more natural colour and modern style. I love the first, rocker look on her, with the leather.

  2. Christine

    I love your analysis. I think her look, toned, tanned, blond and slim is one many women in Paris (especially those over 60s) aspire to and the designers will be falling over themselves to deliver samples to the Elysée Palace.

  3. Anne

    Very interesting. I didn’t know anything about her. I like the first look and agree that the last is more presidential. I’m not keen at all (understatement) on last but one and last but two looks. I couldn’t have told you why exactly – that’s where your analysis helps. I think the skirts are too short in the photos I dislike.

  4. Annie

    Interesting analysis, breaking looks down like this really helps to see what works and what doesn’t. Apart from obvious style and shape choice that give a cohesive impresssion, I have a few self imposed rules, as I’ve aged I’ve avoided showing too much bare skin as some areas are a dead giveaway of age and are frankly uglly. That fold of skin where arm and chest meet and old knees are two that spring to mind and I see both in some of those photos.

    I agree with Stephanie, I noticed the hair first, she is blessed with great bone structure but her hair? Doh!

  5. jay

    Mostly I do like her style, and it’s encouraging that someone older isn’t feeling constrained about what she can wear. I think she manages to avoid the over dramatic, but still finds clothes which aren’t boring. I agree that of the three last photos, only the dress and jacket works. I’d like to see a longer straight skirt. Melania Trump wears that well.

  6. Sarah

    Great analysis, and so glad you mentioned hosiery! I know it is *fashionable* not to wear any, and maybe I am just showing my age, but each look would be markedly improved with some very fine hose. I too loved the first ( navy leather ) and last ( periwinkle blue military style jacket and dress ) outfits.

  7. Elaine Sabin-Simpson

    She has the legs, but I’m with you on tights/stockings- they ALWAYS look better, and also deal with the slight scragginess around aging knees! [I have good legs, but don’t do bare legs other than on a beach]

    Looks like she spends a lot of time in the beach, hence the hair. I’m sure the spin doctors and stylists will get her sorted pretty quickly though. I’d like to give her a slap up meal though, being thin may be seen as a good thing, thanks to Chanel, but as you get older, you’re actually healthier with some flesh, especially once the oestrogen goes!

    Nice one Kate, you always find interesting pics to comment on.

  8. Caroline

    I think she looks great in trousers, and I’d agree with Stephanie – the rocker look rocks! Skirts don’t seem to do her any favours. My shape is similar and I really struggle with skirts – they just seem to chop up your body shape too much. Empire line is great though and she does look very good in the pale blue ensemble in the last picture. Do you think there is still a distinctive French style? It used to be easy to spot a French woman, but I’m not so sure nowadays.

    • Stephanie

      I have a similar shape, apart from the shoulders and I agree – I have more difficulty looking good in skirts. I tend to look best in a narrow pencil ending just at or slightly below the knee.

    • fabrickated

      I don’t think the French look as French as they used to. But there is still a (from the British point of view) an overly classic, somewhat boring approach to be found which, like the food, resists change and foreign influences. Mrs Macron look a bit English to me, if you know what I mean. A bit more willing to challenge the accepted orthodoxy, although I am sure she understands it thoroughly. She can look a bit “Essex” from time to time.

  9. ceci

    Interesting analysis and discussion; so much of the press coverage here seems to be focused on the losing candidate and on Ms. Macron’s age and background vs any actual foreign affairs implications and yet we see the same one or two pictures over and over. Surely at some point how a long established couple met could become water under the bridge? She looks refreshingly happy and self confident, long may that persist!

    ceci

  10. Sue

    Another great analysis Kate. I found it interesting to look at a woman in her sixties and see what looks good and what doesn’t, and I agree about the skirts. She is certainly not defined by her age, so bravo to her.

  11. Peggy

    You nailed it, Kate. You have such an excellent and discerning eye for what works and what does not.

  12. Bunny

    Awesome post, Kate! One glaring attribute is, IMO, her legs. Yes, they are slim and tan. But like many post meno women, they are baggy and varicose. I get why she may not want to wear hose. Who likes that? But there are great make ups out there to cover and flatter aging legs and the ravages of gravity and a lifetime of standing. Don’t ask how I know, but this stuff works. I do think in the flattering blue suit photo she is using some as her legs have a much more youthful look and just prettier.

    I do like her rocker efforts and feel she can really carry that look. I think the straw hair goes with that and it works.

    Great post, Kate. Your views are so informed and enlightening.

  13. Dagmar

    It is wonderful to see someone so comfortable in her skin and with the image she is projecting even if it is not the one that others would choose. Such self confidence should be applauded in this modern time of abundant choices and options. While I personally am self conscious about my scraggy knees, spider veins and the flesh that has appeared out of nowhere near my armscye despite being quite slim, it irritates me to be this way and to feel that my signs of a life well lived should be hidden away or subjected to cosmetic treatments. In the ultimate of contradictions, I love women who are strong enough to wear what they want, when they want even if I wouldn’t be caught dead doing the same! At the same time, I also adore an elegant look of feminine beauty that is not detracted from by a too short skirt or missing sleeves. It will be very interesting to see how this dynamic woman develops her public image in the next few years as she moves into a somewhat more visually sensitive role.

    • fabrickated

      I am very sympathetic to your view Dagmar. While I absolutely endorse everyone’s right to wear what they please, I do believe looking as nice as one can is a kindness to others.

  14. Michelle

    Another interesting style analysis. Ms Macron seems very comfortable and confident with who she is, and that comes across in her choice of outfits. She certainly looks great in the leather trousers, although I’m also a little unsure about a couple of the skirts!
    As always, you give helpful pointers for particular shapes, and as someone with narrow hips, I’ve taken note of what styles might suit me better. Thanks, and enjoy your weekend.

  15. antoinette ford

    I fell in love with her. Everything she wears looks great on her. Forget all that big boobs and ass. she looks amazing. Very classy.

  16. Jenny (the lilac cat)

    Oh yes we do like your style commentaries….

    Like Annie and Stephanie I also share broad shoulders and slim hips but there sadly any similarity between Bridgette Macron and myself ends. I certainly don’t have a husband many years younger or that absolutely fabulous confidence and sheer va va voom she seems to have. But it’s great to see a woman so comfortable in her skin and in her relationship. And isn’t it good to see a power couple that isn’t one where the wife is so much younger like Mr and Mrs D Trump – so cliched.

    One comment I’d make is about the neckline on some of the clothes e.g. the blue and black dress and the white top (with the pink skirt) she’s wearing. Being curvy up top I always think necklines up to the neck can look matronly. It’s not so bad in the top photo with the leather trousers because of the jacket but when there is an expanse of material -covered chest it just looks too heavy. A lower neckline would look more flattering. Would you agree?

    • fabrickated

      Great question. The bigger the breasts the more there is a need for a lower cut. Polo necks are best on flat chested girls, and look terrible on someone with a E cup. A V neck, or a surplice top looks nice and has the effect of dividing the breasts visually, emphasising the cleavage area which is obviously better than the kind of “mono bust” look that comes with a heavy wooly.

  17. Vanessa

    Hello,

    I enjoyed your analysis very much. Being French, I just feel I need to tell you that “Emmanuel” is the male name and “Emmanuelle” is the female version. And the French President is male 😊. Just a very commun French thing with names that are unisex but spelt slightly differently to differentiate the male from female version. That’s all. Thanks for great article!

    • fabrickated

      Opppps. Big sorry. I sort of thought I knew the name and didn’t check. We do that lots over here. It’s crass, and I apologise. This masculine/feminine thing le/la – some of us struggle. I have now corrected it. Thank you Vanessa.

      • Vanessa

        Haha! I’ve just noticed you did! Yeah, Frenchies are very confusing with names and feminine/masculine things!

  18. Marie Noëlle

    Thank you Kate very interesting to know our our 1st lady is seen abroad. I would say that her style is not conventional even for French people. The 1st and the last outfit were designed by Nicolas Gesquiere for Louis Vuitton. Apparently this is the designer she chose for her official wardrobe

  19. Catherine

    I really enjoyed reading this – and the comments. I have to say, I much prefer the rock-star chic to the first-lady image that you identify in more recent pics here. When she’s sparky and relaxed she looks as if she’s enjoying herself and has a great sense of humour (which I kind of assume, anyway). It seems to me that anything that draws attention to upper arms and knees is something to avoid for women of a certain age, even Mme Macron. On the other hand, the high neckline/military collar frames her face really well, I think. Let’s hope that she hangs on to her undeniable style.

  20. Brenda Marks

    Thanks for another insightful post. It seems to me that frequently what is most “flattering” is a clothing silhouette that follows a person’s own outline. Is this a common perspective in the stylist world?

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