In our how-to section, we help you understand how to dress for occasions. Here we explain and understand how to dress like a French woman
France is a country lauded for many things; its incredible food, the beauty of its landscapes and being the land of Haute Couture, the highest form of fashion.
Taking into accounts all these elements, it comes as no surprise that dressing like a French woman has become in the mind of fashion followers and adorers on a global scale the ultimate goal to aspire to stylistically.
French women benefit from the fact that fashion has always been historically linked to the history of the country and even nowadays, showing a collection in Paris is a big deal for any designer.
This reflects in the way French women dress, their style is the perfect middle ground between effortless and elegant.
Here we decode for you what makes the French woman’s style and how to adopt the spirit which makes her style so fascinating every woman aspires to it.
Discover how to dress like a French woman in our edit très français.
What makes French women’s style stand out is the fact that every outfit is curated and a mix of good quality basics.
Take their approach to outerwear for instance. Nothing beats a great standout coat however it can’t be worn as regularly as a good basic.
The one coat which embodies effortlessness and yet makes you look polished is the trench coat.
Fitting for every season and almost every kind of weather, the trench with is without a doubt a key part of the French woman’s wardrobe.
It is a classic which flatters and elongates your silhouette, something French women understand and this is the reason why it’s such a must-have.
For summer opt for light cotton and powdery silk fabrics and in the winter experiment with darker colours and thicker materials.
The Breton T Shirt
Named after the inhabitants of the Brittany region, the Breton t-shirt is another example of a classic with real success.
Horizontal stripes are timelessly elegant as they are reminiscent of seaside living but with high fashion.
Breton stripes became popular after one of France’s most eccentric couturiers Jean-Paul Gaultier used the print on many of his creations, most notably the perfume bottle of his famous fragrance Le Mâle.
They are synonymous with Parisian chic and French women are very well aware of that.
Blouses are the paragon of femininity.
In silk, they become a drop dead sexy weapon. French women are well aware of this fact and style their silk blouses with the top buttons undone, making their look effortless yet put-together.
What makes the styling so chic is the fabric of the blouse. The neutral colours normally associated with them and the beautiful (and covering) lingerie worn underneath.
Popularised by Yves Saint Laurent in 1966 when it was frowned upon for a woman to wear trousers, Le Smoking (the suit) opened up the eyes and the wardrobe of French women of the time.
Le Smoking became iconic after Helmut Newton’s photo of an androgynous model in the streets of Paris smoking a cigarette at night time wearing Le Smoking. The photo was published in Vogue Paris and the rest is history.
This story sums up the attitude of French women towards many areas of life, including the way they dress: freedom, liberation with a touch of defiance.
This explains the raging success of the blazer jacket, which to this day is till made of the same fabric as it was in the 60s, and its inclusion in every French women’s wardrobe.
Denim with Flair
Interesting fact: the name denim comes from the French language.
Indeed, the fabric comes from Nîmes which in French translates as “de Nîmes” (de-nim, denim).
While the fabric encountered success with American workers at first, it is now a favourite among the French population too.
Advertised as the de facto casual garment, it is also a favourite of the French woman wardrobe whether high-waisted or flared.
The French twist? French women opt for quality over quantity and just like skirts and any other clothes, finding the shape that works for your silhouette is key.