Here is your ultimate guide to getting French girl spring style. Being French, I love to write about French girl style. And with the arrival of the spring season, I wanted to share with you a few French style tips to look effortlessly chic this spring, but also, the ten fashion staples that are found in every French wardrobe —and on every Parisian street.
But before diving into the ten best French spring fashion staples, here are a few general guidelines on how French women look chic and dressed up in the spring months.
7 Style Rules To Get French Girl Spring Style
- Always shop for timeless pieces that will work easily together.
- Seek neutral spring colors such as white, beige, light grey, navy blue, brown, earthy tones like tan and rust, and khaki. Prefer lighter tones in spring as it gets warmer. Also, you can add a touch of color to your outfit with accessories like a designer bag, a piece of jewelry, a silk scarf or a nice pair of shoes.
- French women generally avoid wearing prints for spring, except classic ones that will always be in style like stripes, polka dots or gingham (“vichy” in French) and simple floral patterns. Just avoid wearing more than two prints in a single outfit.
- In terms of fabrics, always seek high-quality fabrics such as cotton, silk, wool or cashmere for knitwear, and linen.
- French women don’t like to be over-sexy and avoid dresses or shorts that are too short, too tight, or too revealing.
- French women don’t dedicate their wardrobe to new trends but instead, they incorporate different wardrobe staples based on the season.
- Finally, perfumes and fragrances are an integral part of the outfit. So, don’t forget to swap your winter fragrance for a light, fresh and joyful spring scent which will get you in the mood for the season.
With that in mind, let’s discover the ten French spring fashion staples that will help you to build the ultimate French spring capsule wardrobe.
The 10 Best French Spring Fashion Staples
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. 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 favorite trench coats I wear on repeat are this one from Sezane and this one from Everlane. I have also this beautiful Burberry The Kensington cotton-gabardine trench coat on my wishlist.
A blazer is one of the French wardrobe essentials for spring you can wear with everything: a 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, opt for an oversized blazer that can be from a menswear closet like this Loulou Studio oversized woven blazer. Or you can opt for a more feminine shape like this Nili Lotan wool-twill blazer.
Cardigans offer endless styling possibilities and serve as a chic and practical layering piece. They 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. This season, I’m in love with this Sandro classic long-houndstooth cardigan. Add a touch of color to your outfit with this Maje pink belted knit cardigan.
4. Striped Shirt or la Marinière
In 1917, Coco Chanel made the marinière an icon of French couture when she introduced the design in her nautical collection. Today, the striped 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 favorite marinière is the Sézane Colette Marinière. In terms of knitwear, I love this Khaite oversized striped cashmere sweater.
5. Oversize Button-Down Shirt
Whether it’s a white, blue, or stripe, the button-down shirt is definitely a French wardrobe essential for spring! 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. Opt for this Sézane Max shirt or this gorgeous Victoria Beckham striped cotton 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. White Pants
White pants are one of the ultimate French fashion staples stylish Parisians wear in the spring/summer seasons. It’s the French must-have piece in the mid-season wardrobe that can elevate any classic staples like striped blouses, white button-down shirts, or basic tees. White pants are slimming, stylish, and can easily replace your basic blue jeans to hit refresh your spring wardrobe.
8. Silk Scarf
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. For more, check out my guide on how to wear a scarf like the French.
9. Straw Bag
The basket bag or straw bag (“un panier”) is the ultimate staple of the French spring wardrobe. If in the past, this bag has been traditionally reserved just for the beach, in recent years, the straw bag has made a comeback and is now considered a must-have spring/summer accessory. This season straw bags incorporate details like chain straps and leather accents which make them more polished than the classic floppy beach bag. This season, I have this gorgeous Loewe small leather-trimmed woven raffia tote on my wishlist.
10. Slingback Pumps
Slingback shoes are the perfect pair of shoes for spring if you’re looking for an alternative to ballet flats. They’re perfect for in-between weather and are super versatile as they can go with anything. You can wear them with jeans, midi skirts or dresses. They’re also a great choice if you want more comfortable shoes but still want to wear heels. If your budget allows, I highly recommend investing in the iconic and timeless Chanel Beige & Black Slingbacks. For a more modern look, opt for these new Chanel Open Shoes.
Et voilà! I hope this ultimate guide to French girl spring style will inspire you to create your own spring capsule wardrobe! If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below.
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Bonjour and welcome to Leonce Chenal, a modern lifestyle platform created and curated by a French woman for lovers of everything French. I’m Leonce, born and raised near Annecy, France. Through this website, I want to share with you the passion I have for my home country and for the French art de vivre. Merci for visiting and à bientôt! —Leonce