Coco Chanel once said, “fashion changes, but style endures”. This seems to be the motto for most French women as many of them wear basics that can be found in a capsule collection. They make these particular items of clothing work in a myriad of ways, all the while looking stylish and chic. In particular, Parisiennes embody the sentiment by forgetting the trends and sticking to the classics. Below are ten pieces that most French women have in their wardrobes.
1. Le Smoking Suit
Iconic French couturier Yves Saint Laurent introduced his Le Smoking suit in 1966, pioneering tailored, minimalist menswear for women. It wasn’t long before the pantsuit was popularized by ready-to-wear designers all of the world.
Again, Coco Chanel’s advice resonates with French women. She said, “A woman with good shoes is never ugly.” French women appear to heed this advice as they know that good shoes aren’t just about fashion, but also function.
3. Silk Scarf
For those Americans in New York City, Chicago, and Boston, scarves may seem like a winter accessory only, but the French treat a silk scarf as a year-round accessory and have perfected the everyday wear of thin silk.
4. Moto Jackets
Rather than buying into trends that tend to fade fast, French women embrace big-ticket items—like this leather moto jacket — that will last a lifetime. One way to instantly build a French closet is to invest in long-lasting, versatile pieces.
5. Trench Coat
Parisian women have embraced the trench coat as their everyday outerwear. The wear-with-anything coat can be paired with jeans and sneakers or a skirt and heels and while it’s perfect for warmer spring temperatures, it can also be layered for winter wear.
6. Cross-Body Bag
Quilted bags are well-beloved by Parisian women, but rather than spending $5K on a classic Coco Chanel bag, show off your style with this cross-body from the brand COACH. There are other brands that look and feel very much French-like besides this COACH bag and are more affordable as well.
7. High-Waisted Jeans
Yoga pants and loud bottoms are pretty much frowned upon in France. To fit in with the locals, opt for well-fitting skinny jeans—preferably high-waisted. They’re fashionable, functional and easy to wear.
8. Neutral Layers
Having a multitude of muted layers is essential in crafting your chic wardrobe. To change things up, play around with different textures and subtle design details like silk, cashmere, bows, and collars.
9. Bold Sunglasses
Thick-framed sunglasses are a favorite among the French. Go for a slight cat eye pair for added appeal.
10. Ballet Flats
Flat shoes are a Parisienne’s best friend. The chic footwear can be paired up or down with jeans, skirts, and dresses and they ensure you can traverse the city in comfort.