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Jane Birkin on Her New Album and the Only Three Makeup Products She Uses at 74

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Where do you get your corduroys?

I got them from a man’s shop—not even a particularly nice man’s shop, I don’t think—just down Saint-Germain. I think they were even having [a sale] on corduroy trousers. They were just there in the window, and I liked them because they had fly buttons, so I just got black, brown, and dark green. The luck was that they were quite large at the bottom. Even though I love Yves Saint Laurent and Celine and all those boys shops to buy boy’s clothes, the problem is I can’t do the pencil legs, so I just go for the man’s section. 

Do you know the name of the shop?

I don’t ! Let’s see if it’s written in it, but I don’t think it will be. [Birkin unbuttons her pants.] 

I didn’t mean to make you take your pants off!

No, but I don’t see where it’s written. [Editor’s note: Birkin later emailed to say that she bought them at Darmon.] There’s also a wonderful shop that [sells] working men’s trousers with pockets all the way down that I’ve been wearing for years. One second, I shall dash and look at what they are. Carhartt. Size 33/32. They have pockets, and they fade very well when you wash them, and you can tie your key around the top bit. I would love to make a line of my own of really rather large corduroy trousers for large middle-aged ladies that could make them look slim.

I think that would be very successful!

They’re crazy not to ask me! They’re crazy. I’ve got all the ruses. In the meantime, I get them much too big so they do look as if you’re all fragile inside. I just have to get men’s things, really, but I’d love to do a line. 

There’s a nice thing I was able to get too, which were cashmere tights from Wolford. I like wearing no socks at all because socks I always find are rather nasty around your ankles. But to wear cashmere tights is rather nice. You have to wash them very carefully because they can shrink! But it’s lovely to have your legs warm suddenly in these cold days. Another good thing is to have glasses that tint outside. They actually cover up circles under your eyes and all sorts of things. It’s such a drag to have to have glasses and not to see very well. I’ve had the same ones for nearly 20 years. I think they were Armani, but I don’t know whether they make them anymore. And then the glasses are as small as the little things can be because they’re the first things in the morning that you grab for. When they say, “What’s your first gesture?”—grab your glasses before you actually go for a fall. That and earplugs—the real wax ones—are a wonderful thing too. Those I’ve had for, I don’t know, 50 years. Then you don’t pester anybody about the noise they’re making—or your bulldog snoring, which is more to the point. 

These are great tips, thank you. It’s been so nice to speak with you. 

Take care then! Bye-bye.

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