Here are the 10 French fashion staples to transition your wardrobe from winter to spring! Being French, I love to write about French fashion & style! And even if spring might not yet be in the air but it is on the horizon, I wanted to share with you a few French style tips to look effortlessly chic this season, plus the ten fashion staples that are found in every French wardrobe —and on every Parisian street.
There’s no doubt that the French know exactly how to look chic and dressed up in the spring months! From timeless trench coats to classic blazers to comfortable yet chic loafers, these items below will offer you ample versatility while also withstanding the test of time.
Keep scrolling to see and shop the ten French fashion staples you need in your wardrobe this spring.
1. The Timeless Trench Coat
A trench coat is the one item you’ll find in every French woman’s spring wardrobe. And it’s one of the most iconic pieces of clothing of all time, the essential to chic, French style!
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 favorite trench coat I wear on repeat is the Sézane Scott trench coat. This season, I adore the J.Crew New Icon trench and the Weekend Max Mara Canasta. I also have this iconic Burberry The Chelsea cotton-gabardine trench coat on my wishlist.
2. The Classic Blazer
A blazer is one of the French wardrobe essentials for spring you can wear with everything: a dress, an oversized button-down shirt, 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.
Leonce’s top pick of the best blazers:
- Sandro double-breasted suit jacket
- Sézane Michele jacket
- Maje black tailored blazer
- Rosaé Paris Le Bonaparte or Le Richelieu
Also, this season consider opting for an oversized blazer that can be from a menswear closet like this beautiful Loulou Studio oversized wool blazer.
3. The Cardi-Coat
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 fashion wardrobe essential for every season!
This spring, I’m in love with this Sandro classic long-houndstooth cardigan. I bought this Sandro oversized printed coatigan this winter, which will be perfect as a transitional outerwear this spring. Sézane offers great (and affordable) options as well! Consider opting for the iconic Gaspard cardigan or the gorgeous Amance cardigan.
4. The Breton-Style Striped Sweater
The Breton striped sweater is one of my favorite trends of the season! Last season, I bought this Maje Breton-style striped pullover that will be perfectly paired with an oversized button-down shirt, straight-leg jeans, and a pair of loafers.
I have also this iconic Totême striped turtleneck wool-blend sweater on my wishlist. Rosaé Paris offers a great (and cheaper) alternative with its Le Sablons chunky knit. Also, this season I love the Reformation cashmere boyfriend sweater and the gorgeous Francesco cotton polo sweater. It’s definitely an iconic piece you need in your wardrobe this spring!
5. The Oversized Button-Down Shirt
Whether it’s white, blue, or striped, the button-down shirt is definitely a French spring fashion staple! It’s the perfect trans-seasonal item that can be paired with almost anything. This season, tuck your favorite shirt into a pair of high-waist straight jeans, wear it over a dress, or tie it at the waist.
My go-to oversized button-down shirt is the Sézane Max shirt, I absolutely love the one with pink/white stripes. For a simple, clean, and timeless silhouette consider opting for the Reformation Will oversized shirt, the Rosaé Le Grégoire shirt, or the Frankie Shop organic cotton-poplin shirt
6. Straight-Leg Jeans
A pair of straight-leg jeans are definitely a staple of the French spring wardrobe. And there is a reason why this silhouette is so popular: it’s flattering on everyone! The high rise gives the waist definition, and the wider cut balances out the hips and elongates the legs. It’s definitely the perfect shape of jeans for all body types while being way more comfortable to wear than skinny jeans.
If you’re looking for an effortless yet timeless style, opt for a pair of dark blue straight-leg jeans that will go with everything and fits every season like the Totême high-rise straight-leg jeans or the Reformation Cynthia high-rise straight jeans. An iconic is also Sézane’s Brut Sexy.
7. The Pleated Wide Leg Pant
One of my favorite silhouettes for spring is the pleated pant! There’s nothing better than a perfectly relaxed, straight-leg fit, with a touch of menswear-inspired tailoring. Not only this fit is as chic as it is comfortable to wear but this style offers a lot of versatility as well. A pleated pair looks good with loafers, sneakers, and sandals and can be worn casually or dressed up.
This season, consider opting for this Frankie Shop pleated wide-leg cargo pant or this beautiful Reformation Stevie pant. If you’re looking for a pleated pair in linen, I recommend this Sézane Rodrigo trouser or this beautiful Reformation Vesta pant.
8. The 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 or le marché, in recent years, it 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. I have this très chic Loewe x Paula’s Ibiza leather-trimmed woven raffia tote on my wishlist. Also, if you’re looking more for a handbag instead of a tote, I recommend this fabulous Polène Yké édition textured cognac.
While still feminine and slim-fitting, a pair of loafers is a wonderful flat-style footwear option for the spring season. Timeless, loafers will never fade away! Some of the most iconic designs include Gucci’s horsebit-detailed loafers, Prada’s Chocolate brushed leather loafers, and Tod’s Gomma Pesante loafers.
This season, chunky-sole loafers are one the most coveted shoe styles. Styled with socks or tights in chilly weather, they add a very polished vibe to any outfit!
10. Mary Janes
Mary Janes have definitely made a comeback over these past years! Providing the height to get that feminine allure while still being very walkable, Mary Janes are the perfect pair of shoes for spring, especially if you’re looking for an alternative to ballet flats.
I do love Mary Janes and especially those Kina Mary Janes from the French shoe brand Carel. Alternatively, you can consider opting for these gorgeous Reformation crystal-embellished Mary Janes or these beautiful Mallori pumps.
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Bonjour! I’m Leonce, a French native and the founding editor of Leonce Chenal, a modern lifestyle platform for lovers of everything French. With my previous experience working for top tech companies in London and Paris, I created this platform in 2018 to offer discerning Francophiles an authentic experience through carefully curated content about French fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. Merci for visiting, and à bientôt!