16 Cool Fashion Tricks That French Women Use and We Can Too
The entire world is fascinated by French women and their style is often described with “je ne sais quoi.” It’s literally translated as “I don’t know what.” It’s about the barely noticeable charm that makes French ladies special. But also, French women think it’s bad manners to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror, they value slightly messy looks, and they allow themselves to have old nail polish.
We at Bright Side have read a lot of French influencer blogs, and we want to share the key features of their local style.
1. A purse should be small
Usually, you can find a lot of useful things for any situation in a lady’s purse. But this is not true for French women. They prefer small bags.
Taking only what you need on a certain day is the indicator of a simple attitude toward life. If you see a French woman with a big bag, she is most likely going to the beach or the market to get some fresh food.
2. There’s never too much “oversize”
In the wardrobes of French women, you won’t find any tight pants or blouses that show off the entire body. Instead, they wear big coats, cardigans, and dresses. They create a more expensive look which is also more comfortable to wear.
Model, writer, and blogger Rouje Jeanne Damas loves oversize, “I absolutely always buy in a bigger size. This is true for coats and sweaters — I always get a bigger size because I think it looks far more chic if it’s loose-fitting rather than tight.”
3. They wear cardigans instead of tops
French women often combine clothes that seem to be from completely different worlds. For example, they often wear cardigans with underwear.
Influencer from Paris, Aïda Sané, thinks that it’s a great idea, “A cardigan can have a little grandma vibe, so the fact that you’re tucking into your jeans, shorts, or skirt is a great update and a way to not get bored of your clothes too easily.”
4. They tuck in their sweaters
To create an interesting look, you sometimes need to wear ordinary clothes in a new way. French girls know how to create an amazing look using just a sweater and jeans. They tuck in the sweater to create a fold.
“Sweater tucking into high-waisted jeans has been my go-to since I was in school, especially when it’s a bit too long for me. It’s perfect on a casual day, paired with sneakers or with kitten heels for an instantly casual chic look,” Aïda Sané says.
5. They borrow more than a white shirt from men.
French girls don’t just wear men’s classic shirts and big jackets, but also pants. Try wearing girlfriend jeans instead of ordinary skinny jeans. They are quite straight but not baggy like boyfriend jeans.
6. They love stripes.
Breton stripes are the first thing you think about when it comes to Paris fashion. And there’s a reason why: in 1856, Breton stripes became part of the navy uniform in France.
7. A little bit of gold instead of lots of cheap jewelry
French girls don’t really care about cheap jewelry. Why wear plastic bracelets and cheap earrings when you need just a simple gold pendant or some small earrings instead.
These accessories are always in trend and they look great with anything. During the day, gold is not very visible, and in the evening, it’s great for adding the finishing touches to a look, especially with red lips.
8. Men’s watches instead of lady’s
Women all around the world try to choose small lady’s watches, trendy fitness trackers, or simply use their smartphone screen to check the time. But French girls love massive watches that look like men’s. Especially if the color is silver — these watches are absolutely timeless.
Writer, artist, and blogger Louise Ebel writes about the secrets of French style and the importance of accessories, “Think about wearing a trench, flats, red lips with a simple white T-shirt, and elegant accessories, like a black beret or a men’s watch.”
9. French women love combining different textures
French women don’t like very bright accessories and colors, but instead, they combine different textures. They could be the same or similar color but a different texture, like satin with leather, or suede with lace. Their favorite combination is silk and cashmere.
10. They love simple colors and matching clothes
If you look inside a French girl’s wardrobe, you are not likely to see a dress in a very bright color. They love neutral colors, like beige, white, black, and blue.
The same is true for accessories and underwear. “‘We don’t wear non-matching socks or lingerie. We want to be perfectly well dressed from head to toe! Almost for ourselves, rather than for the others,” a blogger from Paris says. The same approach is used in interior design.
11. They love dressing like famous style icons
Style icons and ordinary girls from France love the fashion of the ’70s. This is why it’s not surprising that almost every French woman has a simple wrap dress. The silhouette is universal — it’s comfortable to wear for any body type.
Some girls are okay with using the fashion secrets of their idols. For example, Louise Ebel says, “As a Parisian girl, I’m taking my style tips from the most iconic of all, Brigitte Bardot. She incarnates the epitome of French chic, that is to say, simplicity mixed with a kind of natural sexiness, femininity with a hint of boyish.”
12. Suede items are the best
Suede is an extremely popular material among French girls. Pants, skirts, and other items made of suede are classics. On the streets of Paris and other cities, you can often see suede boots with a round front part and a massive heel. Jeanne Damas loves them a lot and there’s a reason: they are easier to wear than high heels and they are great for cold weather.
13. They don’t show too much of their bodies
French women don’t have to wear revealing clothes to be attractive because they radiate confidence. They value comfort which is why they would never wear a top without a T-shirt or a jacket.
14. French women only use lipstick
French women love bright red lips. They are supposed to attract people’s attention. The rest of their makeup is all about simplicity and being natural.
15. It’s better to not wear skin-colored hosiery
It turns out that the skin-colored hosiery that almost every woman has is not the best idea for Paris. French women think that they are a crime against fashion. They prefer to go without or wear classic black.
16. Beauty has to be natural
French women, just like women from all around the world, take good care of themselves: they go to beauty salons and try to stay looking young for as long as possible. But all this effort has to be a secret to others: they don’t like getting tan, lots of makeup, or perfect hair. And French manicures are not actually that popular in France: ladies there love to wear their nails short and with no polish on them.
French women love looking a bit messy, even TV presenters! Just look at the hair!
And even though France is not a very hot country, women there avoid direct sunshine hiding under umbrellas and hats. And when they go outside, they always use sunscreen.
What part of the French style would you definitely adopt and what is something that you just can’t understand or accept?