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7 Elegant Dresses French Women Wear in Summer

7 Elegant Dresses French Women Wear in Summer

french style summer dresses

Here are seven summer dresses (“les robes d’été”) or sundresses (“les robes bain de soleil”) French women wear all season long. Dresses are undoubtedly one of the most versatile pieces to wear in summer, as long as you have the right accessories to dress them up and down. And this season, there are a handful of dress styles to look forward to wearing this summer: white midi dresses, oversized linen shirt dresses, floral dresses in vibrant hues, or maxi dresses in neutral colors.

So whether you’re preparing yourself for beach days (on the French Riviera), vacation plans, or wedding season, in today’s article, I’ve compiled a list of the chicest dresses to wear this summer. Plus, being French, I’m sharing with you a few tips for choosing the perfect summer dress to combat the heat in style ;).

french summer dresses
Source: Launchmetrics Spotlight.

First, when choosing the perfect summer dress, prefer the easiness and breeziness of loose and oversized fits. Not only are they more comfortable to wear during the hottest days, but they will also keep you feeling cool. Then, prefer natural fabrics like cotton, silk, and linen, which are lightweight and more breathable than synthetic fabrics. Always invest in high-quality materials that will stand the test of time and last you more than one season.

In terms of colors, French women generally prefer to keep their palette color classic for more versatility. Think white, beige, brown, khaki, black, or navy blue, but also earthy tones like tan and rust. Regarding prints, seek seasonless patterns like stripes and simple floral patterns that will always be in style. As for styling, add a chic pair of espadrilles and a straw bag, and you’re instantly styled!


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1. The Floral Dress

The floral dress is the perfect dress to wear in summer for every day and any special occasion. And this season, many lovely floral dresses come in various patterns, from bold and bright to super soft and delicate.

If you worry about looking too “girly,” seek modern iterations and contemporary shapes. Think effortless midi-dresses with V-necklines like this gorgeous Isabel Marant Ruched printed satin-jacquard midi dress. Or maxi dresses like this fabulous Sézane Belladonna dress.

For a bohème-chic look this summer, consider wearing your favorite floral dress with leather knee boots like these Isabel Marant Lispa suede knee boots or these Sézane Gabrielle low boots.

2. The Wrap Dress

Easy to wear and flattering on absolutely everyone, wrap dresses have always been an iconic piece of the French wardrobe, perfect for workdays and weekends. The design has been around as a stylish option for busy women since the start of the 20th century, but it really became popular due to Diane von Furstenberg’s signature jersey designs. Plenty of designers and brands (like Rouje or Reformation) have their own variations of the wrap dress that range from classic to trendy.

This season, I love this gorgeous Cortana Martina silk-crepe maxi wrap dress (locally made in a small atelier in Barcelona), which will look very chic with this pair of Castaner Chiara 80 canvas wedge espadrilles.

3. The Maxi Dress

The maxi dress is the perfect summer dress to look a little chicer. And it’s probably the only thing you want to wear when it’s too hot for clothes ;)! Thanks to its length, the maxi dress transitions incredibly well from day to night. Indeed, you could as easily wear the same dress to a beach day, with lace-up flat sandals or sneakers, as you could to a summer soirée with espadrilles.

From minimalist silhouettes in neutral colors to floral and printed maxis, there are options for every style and aesthetic. This season, I love this Hannah Artwear Luna floral-print silk wrap maxi dress. Wear it à la Française with a straw bag, a straw hat (like the Gucci color-block straw-effect boater hat), and a pair of strappy leather sandals like these beautiful Sézane Adeline sandals.

4. The White Dress

There is no better summer go-to than the white dress! Indeed, the ease and sophistication of a white dress is a summer staple for any scenario, whether it’s a beach day or a summer all-white soirée. From romantic maxi to bohemian-chic mini dresses, white dresses allow endless accessorizing options. Just pair your favorite with espadrilles or leather flat sandals, add a canvas tote or straw bag, et voilà! You’ll be able to wear this classic in about a million different ways this summer.

I love this beautiful Farm Rio embroidered linen-blend mini dress, perfect to wear with these Isabel Marant Jools studded leather sandals and this gorgeous Loewe x Paula’s Ibiza Petal basket.

5. The Slip Dress

Fluid, light, and breezy, this 90s-inspired dress has become a staple of the French summer wardrobe. Minimalist by design, this dress is made to flatter any silhouette! Versatile, you can layer your favorite slip dress over a white T-shirt or alone with strappy heels, perfect for a summer date night. The slip dress can be made of satin or silk, but I would recommend opting for silk if your budget allows it.

I love this Joseph Clea slip dress, made of 100% silk. Wear it with these beautiful Capri leather sandals by French shoe designer Souliers Martinez and this cute Loewe x Paula’s Ibiza Square Pocket raffia bucket bag.

6. The Little Black Dress

This summer, consider opting for a little black dress (LBD) for timeless elegance. Whether minimal, sleek, or bedecked in rhinestones, black dresses never fail for timeless chic. And to avoid the heat, simple breathable cotton dresses or silk-satin slips (like this ba&sh Siara dress) are failsafe options.

I love this very chic Totême silk crepe de chine halterneck maxi dress (which reminds me of Nensi Dojaka open-back cutout cotton-voile maxi dress). Style your favorite with classic sandals (like these A Emery Evia leather sandals) and a stylish straw bag (I love the Loewe x Paula’s Ibiza raffia tote).

7. The Shirt Dress

A summer wardrobe isn’t complete without shirt dresses! Not only are they very comfortable to wear when temperatures are too hot to wear pants, but they are also super versatile. Indeed, shirt dresses are casual enough for a weekend at the beach (worn as a cover-up) and sophisticated enough for days in the city. Also, they can go with a wide variety of shoes, from suede knee-high boots to wedge espadrilles and sneakers.

In summer, consider opting for a shirt dess in light linen (like this Everlane The Way-long linen shirt) or cotton-poplin (like this Monse striped cotton-poplin shirt dress). Pair your favorite with flat espadrilles like these Castaner Kenda canvas espadrilles and a cute basket (have you see this fabulous Sézane Justine basket ;)?). This is definitely one of my favorite French-style dresses to wear in summer!

Et voilà! I hope this guide to the most beautiful French-style summer dresses will inspire you! If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below.

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