10 French Fashion Essentials to Add to Your Wardrobe

You don’t have to live in Europe to nail the French girl aesthetic. Characterized by basic staples, like button-down shirts and blazers (plus a few statement accessories), this way of dressing is timeless and extremely versatile. It’s all about investing in pieces that feel relaxed but can just as easily be dressed up for a more elevated look. 

With the hashtag #frenchgirlstyle having over 95 million views on TikTok, it’s clear women everywhere are looking to upgrade their wardrobes. But that’s easier said than done, especially if you’re aiming to buy items that can be worn year-round. The goal is to buy clothes and accessories that can be mixed and matched to help extend their wear time. Luckily, Parisian-inspired fashion relies on classic silhouettes and neutral hues for pieces that can be used to create a variety of effortlessly chic looks. 

While there are plenty of French-inspired items to choose from, these are the 10 timeless essentials you need to add to your wardrobe ASAP.

Ballet Flats

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Ballet flats are the ultimate French fashion staple, but they’re also trending. Spotted on the Spring 2024 runways for brands like Sandy Liang and Simone Rocha, a ballet flat is a timeless addition to any wardrobe. They go with everything and are super comfortable to walk in, whether you’re in the streets of Paris or Los Angeles. For maximum wear, opt for a simple pair in a black or beige hue. 

A Trench Coat

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A beige trench coat immediately elevates any look and can be worn for all seasons. To style it the Parisian way, keep your outfit underneath very minimal and stick to neutral tones. For an everyday look, opt for a white T-shirt and jeans. Heading out on the town? Consider pairing your trench coat with a black midi dress and simple heels. 

A White Button-Down Shirt

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There’s no fashion item quite as versatile as a white button-down shirt. While it’s considered a French-girl staple, it’s also a foundational piece in any capsule wardrobe. Model Gigi Hadid has worn an oversized version of the look, but you can easily style the shirt to fit your mood. Wear a white button-down over a T-shirt for a classic take on the look, or choose a fitted white button-down that is tied in the front for something with a bit more edge to it.

An Oversized Blazer

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All it takes is throwing on an oversized blazer to look effortlessly put together and chic. Baggy silhouettes are currently on-trend, but an oversized blazer also has a sophisticated quality to it that is perfect for crafting a French girl aesthetic. It feels elegant when paired with a midi skirt or dress but can also add some oomph to a classic sweater and sneakers combination. 

Straight-Leg Jeans

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Straight-leg jeans will never go out of style, which is likely why French women love them so much. With a slightly loose fit, this denim style is comfortable to wear and a no-fuss option for any occasion. If the classic silhouette feels too simple for you, spice up the look with a crossover waistband or a cropped hem. 

A Striped Top

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It wouldn’t be a French essentials list without a striped top, or as the locals call it, the “la marinière top.” This nautical-inspired shirt typically features blue-and-white stripes but can be worn in a variety of other colors. Throw this on with a pair of jeans, a blazer, and some loafers for a casual yet elegant look.

A Silk Scarf

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Trade your beret for a silk scarf if you really want to nail a French-inspired look. This accessory adds elegance to any outfit but can also be considered a statement piece when worn in a bold pattern.

The traditional way to wear a silk scarf is tied around your neck, but for more intriguing styling options, try tying the scarf in your hair or wearing it as a chic belt.

A Little Black Dress

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Convenience is a key factor in French girl fashion, and a little black dress can be worn for every occasion, from a job interview to a fancy dinner party. Iconic French designer Coco Chanel popularized the LBD way back in the 1920s, and it’s still just as relevant today. You can dress it up with pumps and a few necklaces or keep it simple with platform sneakers and a sweater.

A Cozy Sweater

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A soft, warm sweater makes for a relaxed look that is guaranteed to be a top-five item in your fall-to-spring wardrobe. It can be layered over a T-shirt or, better yet, tied around the shoulders to be tossed on later for a preppy look done right. A cable knit cardigan is also another great option to balance out wide-leg jeans and add some texture to your outfit.

A Straw Bag

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French women love a shoulder bag, but if we’re talking spring and summer accessories, there’s no other choice but the straw bag. Jane Birkin embodied French girl style, and it was the iconic wicker basket that she carried throughout the 1960s that popularized the use of straw bags. While her bag of choice was a basket, this purse comes in a variety of styles, from a handle bag to a large tote to suit a formal or casual event.


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