4 British Fashion Trends French Women Just Don't Get

We talk a lot about British style, and we talk a lot about French style, but it recently occurred to me that we very rarely compare the two side by side. Being something of a Francophile, but also someone who is very proud to be British, I decided I'd rectify this by creating the exact sort of content that would interest me. If you've found yourself here, that likely means it's of interest to you, too; something for which I'm very grateful. 

Recently, I embarked on a bit of a fashion history lesson, chronicling the typically British items French women have adopted as their own. Today, however, I wanted to look at our respective aesthetics from another angle. Surely there must be some British trends that French women just don't get? So I set out to discover what these are. 


(Image credit: @ruerodier)

Perfectly positioned to help me on my quest is Marissa Cox, otherwise known as Rue Rodier. Cox, a born-and-bred Brit girl who has resided in Paris for years, began showcasing her flourishing style in the French capital by way of Instagram. Fast-forward to today, and she's still documenting French style on the daily and even has a book under her belt (Practising Parisienne, should you want to brush up on your Gallic charm). Lately, she's become my girl on the inside for all things French, and today, she shares her insight on what she believes the biggest disparities are between British and French style. Scroll on to read her thoughts on the matter.

1. Wax Jackets


(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

"I'm quite partial to a Barbour jacket and have my eye on recent editions in collaboration with Ganni and Alexa Chung, but I've never seen my French counterparts sporting one on the Parisian streets. Opt instead for a trench and go for leather, an updated take on the classic outerwear trend," suggests Cox


2. Wellies


(Image credit: @aida.bdji)

"While it rains just as often in Paris as it does in London (it wasn't me who told you), wellies are another clothing item that doesn't seem to have made it across the Channel, despite recent releases from the likes of Superga. Most French women tend to wear leather riding or chunky knee-high boots instead," says Cox.


3. Cargo Trousers


(Image credit: @tamaramory)

"Brought to the furore by Brit '90s fashion and Scary Spice, there's a lot to be said for an item of clothing with ample storage, and a few of my fashion-forward Parisian friends are already donning them, but I don't see the comeback of cargo trousers sparking a legion of Parisians to pound the pavements in them. Right now, the aesthetic is still very much geared towards pleated tailored trousers; the sort you find at The Frankie Shop, House of Dagmar or Totême," says Cox


4. Grunge Clothing


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

"Parisians tend to opt for daintier, sleeker and more elegant shoe styles than the heavy clomping Dr. Martens boots, a standout grunge item, and I can't see many donning ripped hems or tartan any time soon. Still, they are not afraid to flaunt some flesh, so expect to see some barely there, sheer and cut-out pieces to be higher up on their agendas," says Cox.


Next Up: 3 Outfit Formulas French Women Always Rely On to Be Impeccably Dressed

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.