French phrase of the Day: Bien sapé

French phrase of the Day: Bien sapé
Are you bien sapé? Let's hope so, especially if you're in Paris.

Why do I need to know bien sapé?

It’s definitely an informal phrase, slang even, but’s a nice phrase to hear and even nicer if it’s being used about you.

What does it mean?

It means well dressed or, given that it’s quite a slangy phrase, maybe well turned out or nattily dressed would be a better translation.

So if you want to describe someone who is notably always well turned out you could say En plus, il est bien sapé – Also, he’s quite the natty dresser.

Elle est adorable et toujours super bien sapée – She is lovely and always so stylishly dressed.

J’ai besoin d’un type intelligent et bien sapé pour le mariage de mon frère – I need an intelligent and well-dressed date for my brother’s wedding.

You will hear talk of type bien sapé or genre bien sapé for a well-dressed type.

The phrase is in general a compliment, but among certain crowds it does also have the connotation of being a bit square and dull.

Des professions libérales: médecins, genre bien sapé – I’m talking professional people; lawyers, doctors – the suit-and-tie crowd.

It’s not quite as uncool as being bon chic bon genre or BCBG though.

Any alternatives

As we mentioned, this is quite informal French, so if you want to describe someone as well dressed you could also use bien habillé or élégant.

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