For as long as I can remember, my ultimate style inspiration is French girl style… of course, I know I’m not the only one – “French girl style” is a universal term and oh so popular on Pinterest too. To me, I’d describe French girl style as classic, simple, practical and chic. To the french, there’s an element of je ne sais quoi that makes getting dressed more of an art than a routine. However, there are key pieces that will help you achieve that universally acknowledged chic French girl style this Autumn, no matter where you live in the world.
Keep scrolling to read all about the wardrobe essentials you need for Autumn that will help you recreate that classic, comfortable and effortlessly chic style that the French are famous for. Now all you need is a spritz of Chanel No. 5 and your own je ne sais quoi – oh, and a pain au chocolat, hehehe! If only we could then click our fingers and be transported to the heart of France, in time for a leisurely stroll through the cobblestoned streets of Paris before stopping for dinner (and a creme bruleé, of course).
Style tip: when thinking outerwear, you want to invest in timeless pieces that will compliment any outfit combo in your closet…
A leather jacket is the perfect everyday layer over casual jeans & a tee or jumper, but also adds a little pizazz to more feminine dresses or silhouettes. It’s such a versatile piece, working well with a wide range of colours, stripes, neutral tones, and of course – a timeless & chic all black ensemble.
There is nothing more chic than a quality classic trench coat, it adds instant classic to any outfit. You don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune either, (Burberry isn’t a requirement), as there are lots of stylish high-street and high quality middle of the range alternatives too.
A classic, no further description needed. There are plenty of style options to choose from too – wrap coat, duster coat, pea-coat, etc. While they can get pricier, a well-cut and classic wool coat is an investment piece in your future chicness and will last a lifetime.
Boyfriend Style Blazer
The perfect way to wear a blazer? Slightly oversized, thrown oh-so-casually over a tee and jeans or with an iconic pussy bow blouse and slingback heels. Oh and don’t forget a statement red lipstick.
Honestly, is there anything more perfectly French than a striped top? I rest my case. I honestly have a big collection of striped tees and tops, and I love every single one (plus, I wear them so often that I can justify it, hehehe!)
Silk White Shirt or Pussy Bow Blouse
A iconic wardrobe staple on just about every country’s fashion radar, a silk button-down white skirt is a must-have. I’ve also read online that silk has this subtle luster that makes you glow while wearing it… I’m in!
I’ve noticed my Pinterest and Instagram feeds are featuring A LOT of cashmere at the moment (and I’m really loving it, and keen to try it myself this season!) Plus, the cashmere sweater can be remixed endlessly – on its own, over button-downs, over dresses, under blazers, tucked into skirts, under neutral toned wool wrap coat. It’s chic, cozy, comfortable and dainty all at once… sounds like I need one stat.
A no-brainer, a white basic tee is an essential to any capsule wardrobe. There are so many different styles too: slightly oversized, boxy, tight, high neck, v neck, etc… so there’s something for everyone’s taste.
Black Ponte Pants
A classic for a reason, black pants and the modern black skinny jeans are a must-have in the cooler months. It’s time to channel your inner Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face! Plus, they’re such a great base to build any outfit from.
Ankle Crop Skinny Jeans
Why this style specifically? Because an ankle crop style is the perfect backdrop for your ankle boots, loafers and ballet flats. I need to add these to my Autumn shopping list!
There’s a common misconception that you need to have a “loud” personality in order to rock patterned trousers, but honestly you don’t. I bought a pair of paper-bag high waisted check trousers last Autumn, and I’m obsessed. You can tone them down with a cozy neutral turtleneck or a white tee layered with a chic blazer to finish.
Such a versatile French cool-girl piece of clothing! For an edgy look, pair it with black tights, leather ankle boots and maybe even a pair of dainty patterned socks peeping out the top for a touch of preppy chic. Or for a more fancy evening out, patent black stilettos, a white blouse and a classic blazer.
Ballet flats are the epitome of classic, dating back to the 16th century. As the saying goes, go for the OG style – tiny bow, two tone and all… I’ll admit I’ve pinned many Chanel and Reppetto styles of late.
I mean, Autumn isn’t really official until you crack out the ankle boots from the back of your wardrobe… they’re stylish, effortlessly cool and very comfortable (quality over quantity!)
A French inspired wardrobe essential, French women are known to pair heels with everything from jeans to formal wear. As a good-quality pair of heels is an investment, I’d suggest choosing neutral colours and luxe fabrics. Also, make sure the heel height is walkable while still giving you that extra lil oomph. I’d suggest a classic sling-back heel (I adore the Chanel two tone style!), a block heel, a mule style, as well as a pair of patent black stilettos, just because…
Another wardrobe essential is a comfortable pair of leather loafers. Opt for a neutral tone for a classic finish to any outfit.
Style tip: a patent finish typically lasts longer than suede.
Not just for Summer, a pair of classic sunglasses are a must for the cooler weather too. I personally prefer either black or tortoiseshell for a classic finish to any outfit. Think Céline or RayBan, maybe oversize, slightly squared off or round; but a chic statement regardless.
So simple yet oh so chic, and it’s an effortless way to add a subtle touch of colour to your Autumn wardrobe. Yes please!
Mini Cross-body Bag
Whether it’s a statement designer bag or a chic design by an independent label, a cross-body handbag is a French girl essential. It’s practical and chic, ideal for slinging over your shoulder whilst dashing out to the grocery store or running errands; yet equally chic enough to wear with a navy blazer and trousers for a more polished look. Some of my favourites include: YSL, Chanel, Mansur Gavriel, and Mimco, *in my daydreams!*
Another must-have is a practical everyday tote bag. There’s nothing worse than juggling 3 or 4 bags on your commute. Plus, it’ll fit your laptop, lunchbox and water bottle (winning!). I’d suggest something leather so it’s still chic enough to bring along to drinks after work if necessary. Some brands for quality tote bag designs I recommend include: Everlane, The Daily Edited and YSL.
Not only an essential in organisation and being on time, a watch is a lovely accessory too. I love a refined leather strap with a touch of rose gold or silver. My favourite watch brand at the moment in CLUSE, specifically their “Minuit” design.
Minimal Gold Jewelry
I’m quite interested in understated and delicate jewelry at the moment. I think it’s the perfect complement to everything from a finely tailored blazer to your everyday jeans and cashmere jumper. Plus it adds a dainty and feminine touch to any menswear inspired outfits too.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s fashion blog post and found some French girl style inspiration for the cooler months of Autumn and Winter ahead.
Do you have any other garments you’d add to this list of French girl capsule wardrobe essentials?