Whether you wonder what French women wear in spring or how to dress like a Parisian in spring, I’m here to help! As a French woman, I love to write about French-girl style and in this article, I wanted to dive a little bit more into the ten wardrobe staples you need to nail French-girl style this spring.
French women are well known to have a great sense of style and are world-renowned for their impeccable fashion. That’s why, I’ve selected ten wardrobe must-haves that if, for example, you are visiting Paris this springtime, won’t make you look out of place among Parisians. These are timeless pieces that all work together, that are comfortable to wear every day, and which offer versatile use. French women tend to reach for classics that are made of high-quality materials, and that can be worn years after years.
So if you want to know how to get French-girl style this spring, here are the ten best wardrobe essentials that will help you to build the ultimate French spring capsule wardrobe.
The 10 French-Girl Style Staples For Spring
1. Trench Coat
A trench coat is the one item you’ll find in every French woman’s wardrobe for spring. And it’s one of the most iconic pieces of clothing of all time, the essential to chic, French style. As a French woman, I do love trench coats. And I find myself wearing mine whenever the weather permits, but it’s especially in spring that I wear it the most. Indeed, it’s the perfect chic outwear piece for transitioning between seasons that goes with just about everything in your closet.
I’ve had a few different styles over the years, but my two favorites trench coats I wear on repeat are this one from Sezane and this one from Everlane. From classic, camel-colored, to pink pale trench coats, I’ve rounded up some of the best trench coats to wear this season.
A blazer is one of the French wardrobe essentials for spring. Indeed, it’s the one item you can wear with everything: a floral dress, a silk camisole, a pair of straight-leg jeans, or a pair of tailored pants. It instantly gives chic and elegance to any outfit and it can be worn for a day or night outfit depending on the accessorization. This season you can opt for a well-tailored or oversized blazer that can be from a menswear closet. Also, for spring, prefer pastel colors like beige, greige, pastel pink, or green.
A cardigan is a great layer piece that allows you to stay warm this spring whilst not sacrificing style. Cardigans have been experiencing a comeback over the past few years, challenging the classic crew-neck knitwear, and are now considered as a French fashion wardrobe essential for every season. Indeed, cardigans offer endless styling possibilities and serve as a chic and practical layering piece. French girls love to wear them over a basic white tee or a silky camisole and under a blazer. Cardigans are perfect to upgrade your spring wardrobe to a whole new level of French chicness.
4. Breton Stripe Shirt aka Marinière
In 1917, Coco Chanel made the marinière an icon of French couture when she introduced the design in her nautical collection. Today, the Breton stripe shirt is one of the most iconic pieces of clothing you can wear for spring. I’ve had a few different styles over the years, but my two favorites marinières are the Sézane Colette Marinière and the Saint James Meridame Authentic Breton Shirt.
5. Oversize Button-Down Shirt
An oversize button-down shirt is one of the key pieces if you want to get French-girl style this spring. Whether it’s a white, blue, or stripe, the button-down shirt is a French wardrobe essential for spring. And personally, I love the versatile use of this piece. It’s the perfect trans-seasonal item that can be paired with almost anything. This spring, you can tuck it into a pair of high-waist straight jeans, wear it over a dress or tie it at the waist. There’s no wardrobe item that will make you look a little more French than the white shirt.
6. Straight-Leg Jeans
High-waisted straight-leg jeans are one of the key pieces of the French spring wardrobe. And there’s a reason this silhouette is so popular: it’s flattering on everyone. Indeed, the high rise gives waist definition, and the wider/straight cut balances out the hips and elongates the legs. It’s the perfect shape of jeans for all body types and it’s way more comfortable than skinny jeans. In terms of colors, this spring, opt for very light denim or even white, beige, or pastel pink denim.
7. Slip Dress
A slip dress is an ultimate classic staple of the French wardrobe for spring. In terms of colors, French women stick to classic shades like beige, khaki, black, grey as well as pastel colors. So, if you’re looking for a French-style slip dress remember to keep your palette natural. Also, in spring, I always wear my favorite slip dress with a cardigan, a blazer, or a trench. Check out the best French-style slip dresses to wear this spring.
8. Silk Scarf
A silk scarf (un foulard en soie), is the ultimate classic staple of the French wardrobe for spring. French women are famous for always wearing a scarf in all seasons, and even in spring/summer. For spring, a silk square (un carré de soie) is the perfect accessory to complete your outfit and to keep you warm. It can be both an accessory as well as a statement piece. And it can dress up anything casual, looks good with denim, and looks elegant with elegant clothes. Finally, if you don’t know how to tie a scarf properly and how to not feel overly accessorized, you can read my French guide to wearing a scarf like a French woman.
9. Basket Bag
The basket bag or straw bag (panier) is the ultimate staple of the French spring wardrobe. For the little story, it’s one of the “it-girls” of the 70s, Jane Birkin, who made the French basket bag very famous. Now, the basket bag is a real spring it-bag that is seen everywhere: from the streets of Paris to the beaches of the French Riviera to the local markets. Indeed, this basket bag is a very convenient bag and a good alternative to plastic carrier bags. Made of palm fiber and leather for the rim and handle, this type of bag is not only more practical and environmentally friendly but also a whole lot better looking.
10. Slingback Pumps
Slingback shoes are one of the 5 shoe styles that French women wear in spring. It’s the perfect pair of shoes for spring if you’re looking for another shoe option other than ballet flats. They’re perfect shoes for in-between weather and they are super versatile as they can go with anything. You can wear them with jeans, midi skirts or dresses. They’re also a perfect choice if you want more comfortable shoes but still want to wear heels.
The Chanel Beige & Black Slingbacks are one of the most iconic French shoes for spring. But if that’s not in your budget, there are sophisticated iterations available on the high street, too. Like Marc Fisher Laynie Block Heel Pump or Dune Mid Block Heel Slingback Pump.
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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