Marie Jordan is passionate about the French language, passing on her knowledge and skills to others as a French teacher at Alliance Francaise, Auckland University and Continuing Education. If you've ever listened to a French iBook you have probably heard her voice too: she works on French translations and voiceovers for children's story books for iPhones or iPad.

Originally from Dijon in Burgundy, Jordan lived mainly in Paris where she studied French literature and wrote plays, worked as a professional actor, taught drama and directed short films - before moving to New Zealand 12 years ago with her Kiwi husband.

She went back to France in 2008, where she worked in the town of Antibes for a few months while her daughter went to college.

"My husband was about to join us and we were going to stay for good," explains Jordan, "but we suddenly preferred our life here and decided to come back".

Here she talks about her uniquely French approach to style.

French women are celebrated for their sense of style; why do you think this is?

Seduction and beauty awareness are an important part of the puzzle of French society. You learn this as a child. A sense of style is maybe a matter of being aware that someone is looking at you and maybe judging you. So it is just an awareness that you must please whoever looks at you.

Who are your favourite designers?

I would wear everything from Beth Ellery. I also love Tanya Carlson. Her designs are stylish, simple, chic and elegant - her style is a celebration of the lines of the body and a piece of art in itself. I also love Rohmana - she is my sister-in-law and I have always admired her work. She makes gorgeous wedding and ball dresses to order.

What do you want to buy next?

A nice raincoat. It looks like it is a must for this winter.

What's your biggest indulgence/guilty pleasure?

Buying really expensive shoes.

What's the one thing everyone should have in their wardrobe?
A nice simple jacket, well-cut, that can be casual or dressed-up according to what you are wearing under it.

Your favourite shop?

I like Storm on Ponsonby Rd because the style of their clothes is both classic and creative. It is good-quality and comfortable.

Your favourite accessory?

My grandmother's ring.

What is your beauty routine?

I am addicted to Dr Hauschka products. So, cleansing milk every evening and morning, and day cream. I use only organic products for my skin and my hair. And masks once a week. I try to keep it simple.

Whose wardrobe would you most like to raid?

The French President's wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, because she has several lifestyles. She is able to be formal as well as wear jeans.

What do you wear to work?

I tend to wear dark trousers and light-coloured tops.

The one rule you always dress by?

The two-colours rule. Except for July 14, where I wear blue, white and red!

You feel best wearing?

Stretchy, comfortable light clothes.

Most cherished item?

A little cashmere jersey that my mother-in-law gave me.

Most stylish city?

Paris! Of course.

How would you describe your style?

Simple, plain, classic.

Describe the best outfit you have ever worn.
A peach suit, in a very fine fabric, light and soft to touch, called "peau de peche" with a white T-shirt underneath. I saw recently that Ines de la Fressange, our French fashion celebrity, was wearing one too (only the jacket).

What's in your handbag?

Makeup, comb, notebook, pen, money, cards, tissue, sunglasses, diary and phone.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?

It depends on what you call getting ready. For me, physical beauty comes from how you feel, so I start my day at 6am with 45 minutes of yoga. After taking my daughter to the bus stop I go for a walk on the beach in the rising sun. That's what I call getting ready for a beautiful day. It helps me feel at my best to wear whatever will please my mood of the day.