The Affordable Basics French Girls Secretly Love


(Image credit: Style du Monde)

There’s no question that we look to French girls for fashion inspiration. They somehow manage to always appear effortless while still looking on trend and cool. There’s no better example of this than how they style closet basics. Wearing a simple T-shirt and pair of jeans, they can still look like the best dressed person in the room. So this made us curious. What are their go-to wardrobe staples? Specifically, what are the affordable basics they wear over and over again?

We posed this question to four cool French girls who continue to work well-cut basics into their wardrobes. Ahead they’re sharing the inexpensive pieces in their closets that they swear by. One interesting observation we made from their responses: Uniqlo is a favorite among French girls. Three out of four included a pick from the retailer. So if you want to tap into Parisian style, you might want to browse through its pieces.

Keep reading to see the affordable basics French girls secretly love.


“I think basics are a huge part of the French wardrobe, as they are for many, for sure, but in France, you kind of grow up with them, and they become like a trademark. I’ve noticed these are THE basics pretty much all of my girlfriends own.”


“I am a big fan of casual looks. So if there is one affordable masterpiece you need to have in your winter closet, it’s the cashmere pullover from Uniqlo. You can have it in every color. They are the perfect companion from day till night. For a white (not so) classic blouse, I would definitively go for Maison Cleo! The brand’s items are just perfectly done. If you are looking for a cool T-shirt that you can wear during the day with a Levi’s or a cool night out with a vinyl skirt, this is your shop: The Blou shop.”


"I always pair designer pieces with high-street basics. I have some favorites that I buy regularly like Zara black and white T-shirts, Uniqlo men’s linen shirts, April77 black jeans, & Other Stories sweaters, and a pair of black Chuck Taylors. It’s the kind of foundation you need to build up your wardrobe every season.”


“I’ve got a lot of basics in my wardrobe—it has always been part of my taste. Sometimes I dress in total basic looks when I don’t have time to think about an outfit, or I can mix with one ‘stronger’ piece. Indeed, I think that it’s better to not accumulate several strong pieces in a single outfit, it could be too ‘busy,’ and it’s quite risky. One ‘strong’ piece or accessory will be enough to make the outfit different and unique.”

Next, read about the fall trends French girls will be wearing.

Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.