French women have always enjoyed a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ in the style stakes.
Now a new survey for online beauty retailer Escentual.com reveals exactly why we think French women are so chic.
Escentual.com asked more than 400 customers who were the more stylish and best groomed: French or British women.
And the bad news for Brits is that their French cousins overwhelmingly trounced them.
More than 80 per cent of those questioned - the majority from the UK - admitted the French deserved their reputation for being chic.
Emma Leslie, Escentual.com’s Beauty editor, said: “French women have always had a reputation for head-to-toe style and it clearly hasn’t diminished."
Asked exactly what that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ was, 45 per cent said it was the French attitude that counted - while just over half put it down to Parisian clothes, perfume and make-up.
Three-quarters of those polled said French women got their make up spot on.
When quizzed further, 59 per cent told Escentual.com the French were better groomed than their British cousins - with just a quarter backing the Brits – and a staggering 79 per cent branded French women more ‘classy’.
Despite this, Victoria Beckham emerged as the number one style icon, beating French actresses Vanessa Paradis and Marion Cotillard, and Alexa Chung, who came fourth in the poll.
Emma Leslie continued: “It’s great that we’ve got home grown fashion icons like Victoria Beckham, Alexa Chung and Stella McCartney flying the flag for Cool-Britannia.
“Unfortunately our survey, among overwhelmingly British customers, shows we’ve still got a way to go before we can compete in the style stakes with the average Frenchwoman.
And the age-old rivalry between London and Paris as opposing fashion and style centres, it appears, is still going strong.
However, Regent Street narrowly remained the favourite Shopping destination, beating the Champs-Elysees by 39 per cent to 31 per cent. Thirty per cent of respondents said they’d rather shop online from the comfort of their home.
And British designer Stella McCartney, who created Team GB’s Olympics kit, flew the flag, coming second only to Chanel in popularity among high-fashion brands and beating Jean Paul Gaultier, Dior and Burberry.
In the hairstyle stakes, Brigitte Bardot’s famous French twist beat Mary Quant’s bob and Twiggy’s pixie crop hands down.