The Fashion Girl’s Guide to Creating the Perfect Online Dating Profile

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An important PSA for all the single ladies out there: Summer is right around the corner, and you’re officially out of excuses to postpone your dating agenda. All your lackluster cold-weather claims (My sweats are too cozy, I would rather watch Scandal, and Who needs real men when you have Fitzgerald Grant?) are now rendered invalid. In fact, these days, dating is nothing if not a total joyride for the homebody, providing anyone with a functional smartphone with the tools to spark up a connection from the comfort of their very own athleisure ensemble. Since your romantic future may now hinge on the few carefully selected photos you present to the online dating world en masse, here are some key tips for creating an online dating profile that will put your best foot, angle, and outfit forward, all while effectively relaying the message you want to send out into the world. Welcome to the fashion girl’s guide to your online dating profile.

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The Chic Freelancer’s Wardrobe Does Not Include Sweatpants

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A longtime proponent of the office job with an affinity for planning my next-day work outfit as a sort of meditative bedtime mantra in lieu of counting sheep—blue jeans, blazer for client meeting, those stacked-heel booties for that post-work date, ommm—I recently switched professional gears and found myself simultaneously juggling a few freelance projects, most of which could be easily managed from the comfort of my living room. The initial couple of months were fantastic: My skin was glowing from its makeup-free regimen, I relished in being the only one of my friends not to need snow boots during the winter storm, and a small fortune was saved that would have otherwise been spent at Barneys. I realized that with a few notable exceptions, I had pretty much survived the entire winter in one stretchy pair of Frame Denim jeans and an assortment of cotton marinières—and not of the cool La Ligne variety. The real wake-up call came when a guy I was seeing asked me to a benefit and seemed quite relieved when I arrived looking relatively put-together in an ensemble (Thakoon pencil skirt, Céline heels) left over from my days of chic Parisian office attire. Later that evening, he confessed. He had been worried. Apparently, during a recent mid-work session rendezvous at the Bowery Hotel, I had “looked a little rough.” Rough how? “Oh, you know . . . like you hadn’t washed your hair.” A small part of me died. Had I really fallen subject to the standard cliché of the millennial freelancer: in perpetual pajama party mode, schlepping around coffee shops with a Carhartt beanie masking her dirty mane? Redemptive measures had to be taken, and quickly. I decided to ask my other freelancer friends, all poised women whom I had never seen leave the house sans manicure, on how they manage to avoid the seemingly inevitable sartorial slump that comes with having nobody to answer to but yourself.

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French Girls Do Everything Better, Even Instagram (And It’s Because They Don’t Care)

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Selfies. Engagement. Follower ratio. Digital footprint. Previously reserved exclusively for the blogger set, self-marketing terminology has become an essential part of our daily vernacular. Admit it: How many times have you gone somewhere “just for the picture,” or made your friends reenact a fun moment so you could capture it in better lighting? And for those of us who feel kind of awkward posting that new Loewe bag on Instagram, there is now Snapchat, where shameless self-promotion can be subdued via a few cleverly placed emojis! In the moments that we aren’t posting, we are watching (read: stalking), observing, and building a bizarre viral fascination with people we have never met in person. While I understand that this is the name of the game, it occasionally scares me when my New York friends know what color Gucci loafers Chiara Ferragni has in her closet. This is a phenomenon I never really encountered in my years of living in Paris. And so I wondered: Is it just that I never noticed, or is it possible that our social media epidemic somehow bypassed the trend-resilient French, kind of like ’80s fitness-mania and athleisure?

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Would You Date a Man Who Wore More Jewelry Than You?

04-men-jewleryIn the Venn diagram of men and jewelry, there used to be but a narrow overlapping sliver reserved exclusively for rock stars and Johnny Depp, those few shining examples of men granted public permission to adorn themselves with more sparkle than a Vegas showgirl—without jeopardizing their masculinity. Up until recently, that is, when this space began rapidly expanding to welcome men from all walks of life. The proof is everywhere: A dating app swipe session yields innumerable man-bunned surfers displaying their tanned, tattooed, accessorized forearms; a visit to a Williamsburg, Brooklyn, bar has me asking a guy where he purchased the coin pendant hanging from his neck (so that I might snap one up as well); a ride up an escalator in a midtown office building reveals a banker channeling his inner Burning Man aficionado via carefully curated Miansai bracelets. (Let’s not even get started on Depp, whose accessories game officially jumped the shark when he collected a People’s Choice Award with no less than four safety pin–style earrings—in one ear!) And while I’m all about men embracing fashion, this particular manifestation leaves me slightly conflicted: Is mutual accessory approval yet another evaluation criteria to add to the already complex endeavor that is modern dating?

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The French Girl’s Guide to Holiday Gifting

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Note to self: Never buy a French woman a water pitcher for Christmas.

Last December, a Parisian girlfriend received a simple glass carafe from a man she had just started dating, his reasoning being that she was “always thirsty.” This well-intended household object served as a running joke for months to come, earning the poor fellow endless mockery among her inner circle. The gift, she explained, was “impersonal, generic, and banal,” making it the worst of all French evils. Turns out, holiday gifting is yet another endeavor that the French have elevated to an intricate art form, one that doesn’t stand for shortcuts—or, evidently, water pitchers.

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The French Girl’s Guide to New Year’s Resolutions

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It is often said that nobody does life on earth better than the French. If this is true, then the holidays must be the pinnacle of this journey, complete with gluttonous feasts and debaucherous parties to rival no others. But what comes after, when the Dom Pérignon buzz fades and the New Year rolls in? Does the accompanying spirit of new beginnings and quest for self-improvement reach French turf, or is this yet another banal pursuit that this nation is (enviably) resilient to?

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