12 Elegant French-Style Outfits to Help You Dress Like a French Woman

We all know that French women have an innate sense of style, but if you’ve ever wondered how you can recreate French-style outfits easily yourself, then this tutorial should help. I’m going to talk you through the fashion essentials of how to dress like a French woman.

How to dress like a French woman 101

What is it exactly that makes French women look so chic and elegant? Firstly, French women are typically less fussy about following trends. They prefer to invest in quality pieces that stay in their wardrobes over longer periods of time.

I think that it’s the self-confidence to wear something that’s maybe five seasons old, but know they will always look amazing in it, that really shines through. So, the bulk of your rail should be items that are truly your personal style, whether they’re on trend or not.

Ladylike purse in a neutral tan color

1. Ladylike bag

A ladylike bag paired with any simple outfit will elevate the look. If you’re investing, I would say go for neutral tones; that way, you know you’ll have it in your wardrobe forever. 

French-style tailored blazers

2. Tailored blazers 

A blazer adds instant sophistication to any outfit; it’s the simple icing on the cake to nailing that Parisian style. One thing that I’ve noticed time and time again is that French women love to pair their tailored blazers with a simple pair of jeans.

For daytime, add a simple t-shirt, ballet flats, or loafers, and for nighttime, put a pretty top underneath and add a pair of strappy sandals. The combination of denim against tailoring works so well.

The classic LBD in a French style

3. A little black dress 

The trick to giving your little black dress some French girl style is to keep your accessories to a minimum. The magic all lies in simplicity.

With a dress like this, I would accessorize with maybe a pair of hoops, and I would get my hair up out the way, so I’ve got this clean line across my chest and neck area, and that would pretty much be it. 

French chic Breton top

4. Breton top 

Nothing says French chic like a beautiful Breton top - everyone should have at least one in their wardrobe. Whether you want to look French or not, a Breton top will always look classy, elegant, and chic in any outfit.

Wearing loafers for laidback French style

5. Ballet flats or loafers 

For footwear, we’re talking ballet flats or loafers. Did you know that Coco Chanel invented the classic ballet flat to disguise her big feet? The key to getting that perfect French style is to keep the color neutral.

Finding the perfect fit of t-shirt

6. T-shirts 

If you find the perfect t-shirt, buy it in every single color! The designer is not important; it’s all about the quality and the fit.

Denim jeans that suit your shape and style

7. Denim jeans 

When it comes to denim, finding the perfect shape that suits your style and shape is far more important than going for something that is a particularly French look. I would highly recommend that you stick with what suits you best.

That being said, there are a couple of things I’ve noticed come up in French women's fashion. When wearing distressed jeans, they’ll always contrast it with a little polish, maybe adding a tailored blazer or a beautiful handbag.

To dress like a French woman, pair straight jeans with a little crop cardigan, or maybe a pair of ankle boots, and balance out slim jeans with a beautiful oversized coat, or a classic French staple - the trench coat.

Strappy kitten heels with denim jeans

8. Strappy heels 

The key to making strappy heels look effortless is keeping the heel mid or even kitten. The point is, they need to be comfortable; you need to be able to run your errands in them with ease.

Wearing statement sunglasses - big is best!

9. Statement sunglasses 

Sunglasses are the perfect accessory to add a little more polish to any outfit. Aside from hiding tired eyes, the right pair of sunglasses can look oh-so-very chic. The mantra here is "go bold or go home."

A crisp white shirt with denim jeans

10. A crisp shirt 

When it comes to finding the perfect shirt, the color doesn’t really matter; it’s all about the crispness.

I prefer cotton poplin, as it gives that smooth, cool, and crisp feel. Oxford cloth is an alternative if you want a more durable shirt, or dress like a French woman in summer with a light linen shirt.

Oversized coat, trench coat & leather jacket

11. Outerwear 

When wanting to dress like a French woman, there are three pieces I can highly recommend: an oversized coat, a trench coat, and a leather jacket. Go for quality over quantity, invest in the classics, and they’ll last you a lifetime.

Tip: When shopping for investment pieces on a budget, I recommend going vintage and shopping out of season for the best value. Summer is actually the best time to shop for these coats and jackets!

Applying light makeup like a French woman

12. Beauty and makeup

Like with investing in quality clothing pieces, French women really invest in their skin; expensive, quality products, plus a great diet and plenty of water. The authentic "au naturale" look is celebrated in French culture, whether it's a beauty mark or a wrinkle or two.

Hair and makeup are usually minimal. When you dress like a French woman, I only wear a lick of mascara, a little blush, and some red lipstick. Classic, laidback, and effortless.

How to dress like a French woman tutorial

Whatever you’re feeling or whatever you’re wearing, hold your head up high. The most French element you can add to your style is confidence!

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Have a great week everyone, Jess x 

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