Here are the best French wardrobe essentials to Frenchify your closet. As a French fashion blogger, I’ve always wanted to talk a little bit more about the Parisian fashion style. And more precisely about the French wardrobe essentials and basics that are found in every French girl’s closet. If you’ve always wanted to know how to dress like a French woman, you’ll need first to curate those 10 French wardrobe basics below.
But first, you need to understand the philosophy of the French fashion style. It’s stylish, simple, and chic, and it’s all about the basics. French wardrobe essentials should be made of high-quality materials, that will last for a very long time. In addition, those timeless pieces usually all work together, are comfortable to wear every day, and offer versatile use.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of the French wardrobe staples that will never go out of style and can all be worn together. If you have a thing for French style, need reading to shop my selection of the best French outfits from Sézane, H&M, Mango, Other Stories, ASOS, Reformation, and more.
10 Wardrobe Essentials To Acheive French-girl Style Anywhere You Live
1. White Button Down Shirt
One of the first key pieces of the French girl’s wardrobe is a well-fitted white button-down shirt. Whether it’s a cotton or silk shirt, having a white, blue, or striped shirt is a French wardrobe essential. I love the versatile use of shirts! Indeed, you can wear them to go to work, or during the weekend or for any special occasion. It just depends on how you accessorize your outfit and what shoes/bag you wear.
For the day, French girls combine a button-down shirt with a pair of high-rise straight jeans, sneakers, and a black leather bag. It’s definitely the French girl’s favorite outfit that is effortlessly chic! For the night, French girls switch sneakers for a pair of black high heels or they just add a well-fitted blazer to the look.
2. Plain T-shirt
White, light grey basic T-shirts are another staple of the French wardrobe. For the day, Frenc girls love to combine a white T-shirt with a well-fitted blazer, a pair of high-rise straight jeans, and a pair of white sneakers. It’s the perfect combination to create a very French effortlessly chic outfit for the day. In addition, French girls love wearing T-shirts during the weekend or on holidays, just to chill at home as well. Just make sure the basic T-shirts you choose are 100% cotton, it’ll look more expensive.
3. Silky Camisole
Silky camisoles are one of the French wardrobe basics that you need in your closet. It’s the perfect top that you can wear under a sweatshirt or a cashmere cardigan during winter. And it’s the perfect top to layer under a masculine blazer for a night time look! Indeed, the silk fabric adds a very elegant, feminine, and chic touch to all your outfit. For a more sexy outfit, you can even wear a silk lingerie camisole with lace under your favorite blazer. Silk camisoles are a great alternative to T-shirts.
4. Well-Tailored Blazer
If you haven’t one already, you need to invest in a high-quality blazer in order to Frenchify your closet. Indeed, you can wear a blazer with everything; a basic T-shirt, a silk camisole, a pair of straight-leg jeans, or a pair of tailored pants, etc. It instantly gives chic and elegance to any outfit and it can be worn for a day or night outfit depending on the accessorization. French girls prefer a well-tailored or oversized blazer that can be from a menswear closet. Navy blue, grey, or black versions can work with any outfit. Finally, seek a high-quality fabric like wool for winter, or linen for summer.
5. High Rise Straight Jeans
Jeans offer a very versatile use; they can be worn with every outfit and for every occasion! The trend now is more toward high rise straight jeans or mom/boyfriend jeans, which remind the 90’s. It’s the perfect shape of jeans for all body types and it’s way more comfortable than skinny jeans. In terms of colors, you can opt for very light denim for a casual and effortlessly chic look. Or you can opt for a very dark blue pair of jeans layered with a navy blue oversized blazer for a night out outfit.
Cardigans are the French wardrobe staples for all seasons. French girls love to wear it over a basic T-shirt or a silk camisole and they layer it with a blazer. It’s so warm and so comfortable! And you can wear it over a dress, a skirt, a pair of skinny or straight jeans. Opt for a high-quality fabric that will last for more than one season like merino wool, cashmere, angora, or mohair wool. Finally, choose neutral colors such as white, grey, navy blue, black, or dark green that work together easily.
7. The Little Black Dress
The little black dress is a classic wardrobe essential for all French girls. This dress is reserved for special occasions such as cocktail parties, Parisian nights out, or date nights. There are no rules regarding the shape of the dress; short or long, with or without sleeves. Just opt for the shape that you are most comfortable with. French girls love the 90’s style little black dress: short length with very thin straps. Perfect to wear under a masculine blazer and to accessorize with your favorite black leather handbag.
8. Black Leather Handbag
If you don’t have one already, you definitely need a good quality leather handbag in your closet. It’s one of the best ways to accessorize any outfit! To do so, opt for a black high-quality leather handbag. Indeed, the color black will go with every outfit. The size of the handbag will depend on your budget. However, you do not have to spend a fortune on a designer handbag. If you do so, avoid all the designer bags with big and recognizable logos. Indeed, French women do not want to look rich but they want to look chic.
9. Trench Coat
If you’re going to Paris, you’ll see all the Parisian girls wearing an elegant and chic long beige trench coat. It’s definitely one of the French wardrobe essentials to have in your closet. Even if a trench coat can be pricy, it’s definitely an investment that worths it! A high-quality trench coat will keep you warm all seasons and will add chic to any of your outfits. Opt for a beige, navy blue, or light grey color and this season the longer the more fashionable.
If you do not have a pair of loafers in your closet yet, you definitely need one! All French girls have one. Why? Paris is well known for its beautiful cobblestone streets and the capital is small enough to go anywhere on a walk. Indeed, for the French, walking is a part of normal everyday life. And French girls love walking through Paris to do shopping, or to discover things they wouldn’t normally see otherwise. So, French girls need a comfortable and quality pair of loafers. Regarding the color, black can never go wrong with your outfit and add instant chic to your look.
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Bonjour! I’m Leonce, I’m French and I’m a Parisian expat currently living in the city center of Amsterdam (I previously lived in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, on the Ile-Saint-Louis). I created Leonce Chenal back in 2018 when I was living in London and missing my home country way too much. Because I truly believe you don’t have to be French or to live in France to experience the French art de vivre, Leonce Chenal is a French digital magazine to help you live your French life, wherever you are. Enjoy <3