Here are 10 French winter fashion essentials that are as warm as they are chic. Winter is just around the corner! That’s why in today’s article, being French, I wanted to share with you a few tips on how to dress effortlessly chic this winter, plus the winter 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 winter months while staying warm. From the timeless wool-blend camel coats to the luxury cashmere turtlenecks to comfortable yet chic cavalier boots, these items below will keep you warm while also offering you ample versatility and withstand the test of time.
Keep scrolling to see and shop the ten French fashion staples you need in your wardrobe this winter.
1. The Timeless Camel Coat
The classic camel coat is definitely the ultimate fashion investment. This elegant style of outerwear will keep you warm while elevating your most casual outfit. Also, the camel coat is the perfect shape for a smart event, ideal over a slip or evening dress with a pair of heels.
Whether belted, double-breasted, masculine, or classic, this coat is a classic piece you will return to year after year. And the beauty of this time-tested piece is that there are no rules when it comes to styling. Throw it over jeans and a cashmere turtleneck with classic loafers and you’re instantly chic.
For a timeless camel coat that will last you more than one season, Max Mara is definitely your go-to brand! This season, other brands have designed gorgeous camel coats like Totême’s Doublé virgin wool scarf jacket or the signature wool and cashmere coat and Khaite’s Phelton wool coat.
2. The Elegant Longline Black Coat
You can’t go wrong with a classic longline black wool coat! Like the little black dress, an elegant black coat is truly a winter wardrobe essential.
This kind of classic and timeless outerwear can be the ideal option for work, but it can also be the perfect coat for evening soirées. This season, I love this classic Max Mara Madame wool & cashmere-blend coat and this sharp Wardrobe.NYC double-breasted wool coat.
3. The Faux-Fur Coat
The faux-fur coat is one of the chicest outerwear options to wear in freezing temps. Worn over a slip or evening dress with a pair of heels, the faux-fur coat is also the perfect coat for evening soirées.
If you want to invest in a timeless and versatile faux-fur coat, consider opting for classic colors like black, navy blue, dark brown, or beige. Avoid leopard prints that could look a little bit dated. Also, prefer short or medium-length styles to long ones that can age.
Each winter, I wear this fabulous Sézane Isée faux-fur coat in navy blue (only available to shop in winter) which I bought several years ago. I have also this gorgeous Maje double-faced fur-effect coat on my wishlist. Finally, for luxury and elegant faux-fur coats, I recommend the Parisian label Yves Salomon.
4. The Turtleneck
A turtleneck is definitely a wardrobe foundation! And whether worn alone or layered, it is just as functional as it is chic. You can pair it with anything, like under a cardigan, a sweater, or a dress, for a stylishly warm and layered look.
It also always looks polished under a blazer or simply tucked into pleated trousers. You can also wear your favorite turtleneck under a button-up shirt for a chic-décontracté style.
This winter, consider opting for a slim turtleneck in cashmere to keep warm and stylish. In terms of colors, prefer classic shades like black, camel, or navy blue so you can pair them easily with any of your winter coats.
I love Sézane’s Jacob jumper, which is made in Merino wool and that I bought in navy blue and black. I have also Maje’s cashmere sailor-style sweater and this cashmere sweater with stand-up collar on my wishlist.
5. The Chunky Sweater
Whether roll-necked or half-zipped, round or V-neck, the classic chunky sweater is an ever-green everyday staple for the coldest months of the year. This winter, consider opting for chunky sweaters that came in creamy and neutral colors.
There’s nothing more comfortable and effortlessly chic than wearing a cozy chunky sweater! Wear it with tailored trousers and sneakers for a “chic-décontracté” look, perfect for the office. Or just throw on a pair of jeans with ankle boots on those days when you don’t know what to wear.
If you’re looking for incredibly cozy yet chic chunky sweaters, opt for Sézane’s knits. I bought a few of them over the years and I can tell that, if you take care of them properly, they’ll still look brand-new. I love the Micky jumper or the Gaspard jumper.
Also, for luxury cashmere sweaters with a Parisian twist, I recommend the French brand Eric Bompard.
6. The Wool-blend Pants
Whether wide or straight, a pair of wool-blend pants are one of the most important foundation pieces in a winter wardrobe. Not only this fine-looking pair of pants will keep you cozy all winter long but it can also make anything you wear look polished.
For a very chic office outfit, tuck a turtleneck sweater in a pair of wool-blend straight or wide-leg pants, and add a white button-up shirt and a pair of loafers or ankle boots.
7. The Wool Fedora Hat
There is no chicer winter accessory than a wool fedora hat! This hat, inspired by vintage menswear, is the one style that anyone can wear. It complements any face shape and is available in various brim sizes. When choosing the color of your hat, make sure it ties in with the tone of your coat.
If this winter you’re looking to invest in a fedora hat that will last you more than one season, I highly recommend the Parisian label Maison Michel —which is part of Chanel’s Métiers d’Art collective.
8. The Leather Gloves
A classic pair of leather gloves are the perfect winter accessory for anyone who doesn’t want to sacrifice style. And if you want to invest in the right pair of gloves that will survive for decades, I highly recommend the French brand Agnelle.
This brand has been creating top-quality leather gloves in the same Saint-Junien factory since the late 1930s. Meticulously handcrafted using tools from the 19th century, each pair takes over three hours to complete.
9. The Classic Ankle Boots
The ankle boots are one of the most classic and safest footwear options for the cold winter months. Coming in leather, the booties are unquestionably one of the most versatile shoes for everyday winter outfits and occasions alike.
For better comfort, consider opting for flat black leather boots like these Aeyde Jack leather ankle boots. If you’re petite, prefer black leather block-heel boots like these Isabel Marant leather Chelsea ankle boots. I love also these iconic Chloé Susanna studded leather ankle boots. See my edit of the best ankle boots for every day, which pair flawlessly with jeans to knit dresses.
10. The Chic Cavalier Boots
These cavalier boots or equestrian-inspired boots are a great shoe option if you want to stay warm in the colder months but still want to look stylish and pulled together. Spotted during the Chanel Fall/Winter 2020-2021 show, this classic shoe style available in black, chocolate, or cognac leather adds an upgrade to the most casual outfit.
Wear them à la Parisien with black stirrup leggings —black plain cotton legging that looks more like black skinny pants, a cashmere turtleneck, and an elegant wool coat.
Et voilà! I hope this shoppable guide to the best French winter fashion trends will help you create a wardrobe full of stylish staples this season. Let me know in the comment below if you have any questions.
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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