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How To Dress Like a French Woman in Summer

How To Dress Like a French Woman in Summer

french summer style

Being French, I love to write about French summer style —you can check out my previous articles about the French summer capsule wardrobe, the 5 summer shoe styles French women adore, the French Riviera style, or the perfect beach vacation capsule wardrobe.

In today’s post, I want to dive a little more into the French summer style by giving you a few style tips and by listing the ten fashion staples that are essential for a French look this summer. From the perfect linen blazer to denim shorts to charming canvas tote bags and chic white pants, these pieces will emanate that je ne sais quoi all season long.

Keep scrolling below to learn how to master the French look this summer and shop my edit of fashion staples that should unequivocally have a place in your wardrobe this summer.

5 French Tips to Dress Effortlessly Chic in Summer

Here are five fashion style tips French women follow religiously to dress effortlessly chic in the summer season.

Stick to neutral tones

First, when it comes to the summer wardrobe, French women stick to neutral tones like white, beige, grey, greige (a mix of grey and beige), khaki, and olive as well as earthy tones like tan and rust. These types of colors generally pair well together.

Opt for timeless patterns

In terms of prints, always go for timeless patterns like polka dots, gingham (“Vichy”), and simple floral patterns which will always be in style.

Avoid anything too revealing

French women, in general, don’t like to be over-sexy and tend to avoid summer dresses or shorts that are too short, too tight, or too revealing.

Seek natural fabrics

In terms of fabrics, seek cotton, silk, or linen which are light and breathable summer fabrics, perfect to wear when the weather gets hot.

Review the latest trends

Finally, French women don’t dedicate their entire wardrobe to new trends, instead, they review the latest trends and select one or two to update their overall look. It could be the latest it-bag, or the trendiest shoes or accessories.

The 10 Wardrobe Staples That Define French Woman’s Summer Style

The Classic T-shirt

A classic t-shirt is probably one of the prettiest things you can pair with jeans, skirts, shorts, and everything else in summer. In terms of designs, prefer a well-fitted type of T-shirt. And, in order to get that très chic French look this summer, make sure to choose a plain T-shirt or tank top without any details —no pleats, flounce, or buttons—.

The Linen Shirt

An oversize linen shirt is an absolute must for summer. This French summer staple is so versatile! You can wear it at work, on vacation while you’re traveling, or over your shorts in the evening for a refined look.

The Linen Blazer

The linen blazer is the perfect lightweight jacket for summer. This season, linen blazers come in fresh colors such as beige, pastel yellow, or pink and light blue. Lightweight, they are made from breathable materials and look good over just about everything in your summer wardrobe. From classic and tailored to trendy and forward, there’s sure to be a linen blazer you’ll love in the selection ahead.

The One-Piece Swimsuit

This swimsuit style suits all body types and is the most flattering swimsuit style for large and small chests. Lean into Parisian chic by wearing your favorite one-piece swimsuit as a bodysuit and pairing it with white pants and a pair of chic sandals. For more, check out the swimwear styles French women swear by.

The Shorts

A great pair of shorts is the item that probably gets the most use throughout the summer months. This summer, opt for a pair of denim bermuda shorts, white denim shorts, or classic denim shorts. Prefer something that is not too short or too revealing.

For an easy, effortless daytime look, you can pair your favorite shorts with a classic white t-shirt and a pair of slide sandals. Or you can wear it with a gorgeous white top and a pair of espadrilles.

The White Pants

If linen pants are a beloved summer staple, there’s no chicer way to master the French summer style than a nice pair of white pants (whether in linen or jeans). You can pair them with a white down-button shirt, a fitted knit tank, a lacey bralette, or a linen button-up vest. For an evening look, drape a tailored linen blazer over your shoulders and finish with a sleek pair of sunglasses.

See Also
french wardrobe basics

The Sundress

A sundress is an iconic piece of the French summer wardrobe, perfect to wear for both workdays and weekends. An elegant sundress dress, whether in crochet, eyelet lace, or broderie-Anglaise looks flattering on absolutely everyone and on almost any body type.

For a French look, pair your favorite sundress dress with a pair of slide sandals, or espadrilles, and with a straw bag. For more, see the best summer dresses French women wear on repeat.

The Tote Bag

Whether you’re preparing for a day at the beach or a long day at work, a canvas tote bag is the perfect summer bag to carry all your daily essentials and to make your summer outfit look classic and stylish. For more, check out the très chic French designer tote bags to shop for.

The Straw Hat

The straw hat, also known as a boater, straw boater, or skimmer, is definitely part of French women’s summer accessories repertoire. Lightweight, breathable, great for keeping the rays off your face, and with a light summer look, these hats were made for summer, and are great for traveling given their minimal weight.

The Sandals

This summer, opt for the classic espadrilles or the modern slide and strappy sandals. These are elegant and comfortable alternatives to flip-flops and other rubber options. For more details, check out the 5 summer shoe styles French women adore.

Et voilà! I hope this ultimate guide to French summer style will inspire you! Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions.

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View Comments (7)
  • Bonjour. I love reading the articles as the Parisian style is something I definitely find to match my taste of clothing. I was wondering if you could do a parisian airport style guide sometime, so we could be fashionable even when travelling. Merci

    • Bonjour Emma! Thank you very much for your comment. Yes sure, I’m adding this idea to my to-do list and I’ll come back with a detailed article! xo

  • Bonjour! I love this style and this list but I’m wondering if our climates are different… with 90 degrees and 80% humidity, I can’t imagine wearing a long sleeve blouse or blazer. Is it cooler where you live? Maybe I could do some adaptations!

    • Bonjour Kacey! Thank you very much for your message. Indeed, the climate in France is different (the daily averages in summer range from 17/18 °C (63/64 °F) to 24/25 °C (75/77 °F). So, we can easily wear long sleeve blouses or linen blazers in the evening, when the temperatures drop 🙂

  • Hello! I too love these styles only wish my body type matched. I’m a little plump as many American women are but I can still adapte these styles as I accept my body type. Someone mentioned weather differences. We are able to have some difference in clothing options in Los Angeles especially near the beach as it can be cooler. Like today we have June gloom and sprinkling rain a natural phenomenon here right after May gray! Have a beautiful weekend and stay healthy and happy.

  • I love the blue dress pictured at the beginning of your article. Could you tell me who makes it and where I could purchase it?

    • Hello Barbara! Thank you very much for your comment! I assume it’s a Dior dress but I’m not sure 🙂 xo

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