The five rules of Parisian style

The delights of French fashion are never-ending, from contemporary streetwear to delicate details, both French ladies and gentlemen have signature styles. Clean-cut shapes and neutral colour palettes are a must for garcons, and when it comes to how to dress like a French woman, less is most definitely more. Some of our favourite ready-to-wear brands hail from the fashion capital including A.P.C, Balmain and Maison Margiela to name a few.

Read on for the five foolproof rules of Parisian style and who we’ve awarded a place in our top five Parisian style heroes.

danielbrunograndl - Paris Fashion Week SS20

danielbrunograndl – Paris Fashion Week

How to dress like a French woman

#1  Less is more

A simple white shirt and a good pair of quality denim jeans go a long way. Solidified from an early age, French women have nailed the purposely undone look. Making it seem as though they’ve spent all of 10 minutes on their look but effortlessly conveying cool girl vibes – it’s truly an art. Spoiler alert, they actually spent just as long in the mirror as you and I.

#2 Say no to trends

French women tend not to follow trends but opt for more classic pieces that can be paired with the majority of their wardrobe. Think to buy less but buy better quality items that will be in your wardrobe forever, like a classic two-piece suit or some dark wash denim.

#3 Je ne sais quoi

Quite literally that is something that can not be described. French women famously ooze sensuality, a confidence communicated through their clothes and makeup choices (as well as that accent of course). Adding a cat eye flick and a flush to your cheeks will enhance your femininity and finish off your look team with subtle jewellery.

#4 Elegance

You won’t find Parisian women flashing too much of her midriff or revealing too much leg, even when it is 30 degrees in the city. Rather a French girl will head straight to her collection of flattering vintage dresses and pair them with a cardigan and straw basket bag. Teamed with a pair of ballet pumps or kitten heels, rather than a stiletto, she emits elegance into every outfit.

#5 Fun

Prints and patterns, embellishments and fabrics, Parisian women love to play dress up. Each outfit can draw on different influences or time periods. For example, teaming an oversized 80’s style blazer with an animal print dress or accessories.

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How to dress like a French man

#1 Neutral colour palette

A Parisian man will stick to mostly neutral colours in clean simple shapes to create an effortlessly cool look. Think beige, sandy and monochrome tones with a pop of denim. When you’re wardrobe is full of similar tones it makes creating different outfits so much easier!

#2 Overcoats

A classic French gentleman looks, teaming an overcoat with sweaters or hoodies is the epitome of Parisian style for gents.

#3 Streetwear

The streetwear trend is more recently playing a part in Parisian dressing. Think tailored trousers, oversized t-shirts, teamed with fresh sneakers a neckerchief and cross-body bags. As with the Parisian femme, French men also exude a relaxed nature when it comes to dressing, making each outfit look effortlessly thrown together.

#4 Classic Breton stripes

The Breton stripe remains an obvious addition to your Parisian wardrobe. Pair a striped long-sleeved top tucked into tailored pants and some chunky sneakers for an everyday look to take you through the seasons.

#5 Accessories

Accessories are most definitely not just for the girls. The perfect way to enhance your look, add some jewellery, sunglasses and a tote bag and voila!

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Our Parisian Style Heroes

#1 @jaimetoutcheztoi

French fashion couple, Alice and Js have impeccable style and are regularly spotted at Fashion Weeks across the globe. Known for their matching colour palette and artistic flair, take a look their Instagram channel for instant Parisian style inspiration.

#2 @jeannedamas

Founder of Parisian brand Rouje, Jeanne radiates feminine cool girl chic vibes with her undone yet so put-together aesthetic.

#3 @sabinasocol

The face of last year’s Rixo campaign, model Sabina is another of our favourite French femmes. We’re a big fan of her collection of vintage-inspired floral dresses teamed with delicate jewellery.

#4 Simon Porte Jacquemus

Founder of luxury label Jacquemus, Simon Porte Jacquemus is number five on our list of Parisian Style Heroes. Showcasing not only his flawless designs, Simon himself is a regular on the brands Instagram feed showing us why he’s in the fashion business with a wardrobe we’re all envious of.


Words by Emma Bowkett

Emma Bowkett

Emma Bowkett

Writer and expert