Here are the five swimwear styles French women love to wear to a trip à la plage. If you’re constantly on the hunt for that cool French girl style and you’re wondering how to look a little bit more French on your summer vacations (Vacances d’été), keep reading to see French women’s favorite swimwear styles.
At the beach, French women like to play the intellectual card and they don’t like to be over-sexy with swimsuits and bikinis that are too revealing. For the French, swimwear must show off while remaining elegant and chic. And minimalist one- or two-pieces, the most flattering style for all body types, are favored above all else.
As a French woman, I like to keep it really simple toward swimsuits. I like one and two-pieces equally, and in classic colors or patterns, as long as I can still swim well in it. My priority is comfort at the beach (and to look chic as well), and I don’t like anything too flashy or neon colors. I really like simple one-pieces from French swimwear brands like Sézane, Eres, Leslie Amon, but I have a new crush: swimwear from the Italian brand Oséree. It depends on my mood, but I usually switch between one and two-pieces. Also, I will always prefer a high-waist bottom and a ‘60s-style top to a string bikini. Finally, I’ve never been into the trikini trend, it’s a bit too sophisticated for the beach and it gives the worst tan lines.
So, whether you’re heading to the French Riviera this summer or staying in your back garden, find out exactly which swimwear styles French women wear and how to replicate their style this summer.
French Women’s Favorite Swimwear Styles
Swimsuits and bikinis are an essential part of the French summer wardrobe. And there are five swimwear styles all French women have in their closet: the one-piece, the minimal, the high-waist two-piece, the underwire, and the print swimsuit. Not only are these swimwear styles flattering to all body shapes, but they’re also timeless and easy to wear. If you’re wondering which swimwear trend you should adopt this season, keep reading to shop swimwear styles handpicked by your favorite French girl.
When it comes to swimwear, it’s good to always have a classic or two in your luggage. And the one-piece swimsuit is one of the classic French swimwear you need in your closet. This swimwear style suits all body types and is the most flattering swimsuit shape for large and small chests. You can wear it as a bodysuit as well. Just pair it with high-waist jeans and a pair of espadrilles. This style of swimsuit is really classic, timeless, and chic at the same time. It’s definitely an investment worth making. I’ve had a few different styles over the years, but my two favorites are this one from Sézane and this WeWoreWhat Vintage Danielle one-piece.
2. High-Waist Two-Piece
The high-waist bikini is the French chic girl’s go-to option this summer. This swimwear style is flattering to all body types. The curve-enhancing and waist-defining contours combined with a leg-lengthening cut make these bottoms a winning look for all body shapes. Pair it with your favorite cat-eye sunglasses, a straw hat, and a pair of espadrilles, and you’ll be the chicest woman on the beach this summer. Personally, I have this Oséree Jacquard Bikini Set on my wishlist.
3. Printed Swimwear
For French women, classic prints and vintage shapes never go out of style. So this summer, go for printed swimsuits with polka dots, pink or blue gingham, animal prints, and vintage flowery prints. If you’re not used to wearing colors or prints, swimsuits are a fun way to play around with bold prints and colors. French women avoid flashy and neon colors and prefer classic (navy blue, black, deep red) and earthy tones (tan, faded yellow, nude). See and shop my favorite printed swimsuits to wear this summer.
4. Minimalist Two-Piece
A minimalist bikini is another French swimwear staple that you need to add to your summer wardrobe. Indeed, French women love minimalist two-piece in neutral colors (tan, faded yellow, nude) or in classic shades (navy blue, black, deep red). In addition, if you’re an A-cup, the shape of the minimal two-piece is perfect as triangle tops suit better to the smaller breasts than bandeaus tops. Make sure to opt for a two-piece that fits perfectly and accessorize it to make the difference. Pair it with your favorite oversized sunglasses, straw bag, and espadrilles for French-girl chic.
5. Underwire Two-Piece
The underwire bikini trend is everywhere and is probably the trendiest bikini style of the summer! Inspired by the shape of your most classic bras, this style of bikini incorporates underwire and seaming into the design itself. There’s something undeniably retro about the lingerie-inspired shape, especially when paired with high-waisted jeans and a pair of espadrilles. In addition, it’s a great option for those who need much more hold than triangle bikinis can offer. The underwire bikini is perfect for both small and fuller busts and is the sexiest swimwear style French women love to wear at the beach.
Personally, this is my favorite swimwear style! It reminds me a little of the white bikini that Ursula Andress (as Honey Ryder) wears in the first James Bond film Dr. No. I’m in love with this Oséree underwired bikini, this one by Mango, and this classic Madewell underwire bikini top.
Which one of these French swimwear styles is your favorite? Which one will you incorporate in your wardrobe this summer? Please add your comment below.
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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