I'm a Brit Living in Paris—6 Anti-Trend Shoes French Women Are Wearing With Skirts This Summer

One of my frequently asked questions is "which shoes should I wear with skirts and dresses" and I have to admit, most of my references when it comes to answering this come from French women. Admittedly, they've fine-tuned many sleek, yet easy-wearing pairings from suiting to jeans and tops, however, there's just something about their ability to make the best of shoe and skirt outfits. There's a catalogue of classic shoes championed by French women, including perennial loafers, ballet flats, canvas trainers, and heeled sandals. Likewise are the styles of skirts they enjoy. Recurring favourites include pelmet denim skirts, leather and slip skirts, least forgetting the motifs and for the summer you're guaranteed to see leopard print, botanical prints and gingham in excess. There's somewhat of an archival reference so when summer rolls around sightings of leather mini skirts with bare pins and sandals, or denim raw hem skirts with trainers, or mules. The options are aplenty, so if you're hoping for inspiration when it comes to skirt and shoe pairings, you've come to the right place.

1. Leather Skirt + Heeled Sandals

Sylvie Mus

(Image credit: @sylviemus)

Style Notes: French women have inherited leather skirts — from mini to maxi lengths. Although we're in the midst of summer, the temperatures haven't yet risen enough for leather skirts to be long forgotten. Pair leather skirts with camisoles and lightweight knits as per Sylvie's look.

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2. Full Skirt + Kitten Heels

Franny wears a full skirt, basket bag and heeled pumps

(Image credit: @frannfyne)

Style Notes: Full skirted silhouettes made a resurgence last year and the more classic iterations are celebrated amongst French women. Offset the dramatic circle shaping with refined footwear.

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3. Denim Pelmet Skirt + Loafers

Emmanuel Koffi

(Image credit: @emmanuellek_)

Style Notes: I rarely wear minis, however, come summer Pelmet denim skirts are my go-to. You can wear them with anything from a loose-fitting skirt to a T-shirt. The shoe options are endless—from heeled pumps to sandals.

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4. Linen Skirt + Slider Sandals

Julia wears a slip skirt and Hermes Oran Sandals

(Image credit: @leasy_inparis)

Style Notes: Column skirts and slider sandals make an outfit formula that will withstand the test of time. Add a fitted camisole and loose overshirt to complete the nonchalant summer look.

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5. Black Mini Skirt + Heeled Pumps

Sabina Socool

(Image credit: @sabinasocool)

Style Notes: You can't deny the noughties influence here but perhaps the most charming style element is the choice of Mary-janes and pop of red. Everything is intentional, from the clashing reds to the white t-shirt overlay.

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6. Leopard Print Mini Skirt + Mary Janes

Adenorah wears a leopard print mini skirt and mary-janes

(Image credit: @annelauremais)

Style Notes: This is a quintisentially French outift. Note the refined elements with the jazzy motif. It feels effortless but everything is intentional.

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Freelance Fashion Editor

Avalon Afriyie is a freelance writer and storyteller based in London. She specialises in sustainable fashion, health and the narratives of marginalised communities. She has a background in fashion show production and styling, having previously worked on The Clothes Show and with the Lyst Group. Since graduating in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in English and contemporary media, she’s worked as a feature writer for an independent publication and a contributor for Quill’s creator network. She now marries her passion for words and style, writing for some of the most esteemed fashion and lifestyle publications, Who What Wear UK and Stylist. Avalon also provides copywriting services, creative consultancy, and visual media for independent businesses, including travel guides, interviews, press releases and blog posts. Her work has been featured on Lush, Contiki, Youswim and Ohne. She spends her days writing to her heart’s content for business and pleasure, shooting on film and dreaming of residing a stone’s throw away from the ocean with her love and a pup (clad in a sweeping frock, of course). She’s currently penning ideas for a book of personal essays and free verse poetry on love, life and the stages in between.