Parisians Know Better Than to Wear These 6 Things

I'm no stranger to wardrobe mistakes. As an avid trend follower who's tried just about everything, I have been left with regret many times. This mainly dates back to my time before I was a fashion editor, of course. In middle school, I didn't shy away from hot-pink and purple highlights or ripped-up tees. (The 2000s had a hold on me.) Today, we're going to discuss a few less obvious fashion faux pas, and as I thought about who I trust most as an expert on the subject, I knew it had to be a Parisian.

Paris is the home of the fashion industry's most influential designers and incredibly stylish citizens who have that cool, easy, and effortless vibe so many of us hope to emulate. They know one thing is true: Center your wardrobe on timeless staples, and everything else will simply fall into place. I make sure that my Instagram feed is filled with chic Parisians, but lately, I've been especially loving everything that Franziska Nazarenus has been wearing. So I dialed her up to share with us the six things that Parisians would never be caught wearing and some chic replacements that we could all be investing in. Happy shopping!

Toss: Sweatpants

Invest In: Timeless Denim


(Image credit: @franziskanazarenus)

"Sweatpants are a must-have at home. But I almost never see Parisians wearing them with their daily looks. However, Parisians wear their beloved pair of denim always and everywhere. For a good reason: It can be styled super basic and casual or rather chic and elegant. For myself, jeans lay the groundwork for a lot of my outfits." — Franziska Nazarenus


Toss: Berets

Invest In: The Little Black Dress


(Image credit: @sabinasocol)

"When in Paris (or France in general), wearing a beret is not compulsory. The beret is indeed from France, but not too many Parisians wear it on a daily basis. Instead, euphoric (and very cute) tourists, who take their souvenir photos with a selfie stick in front of the Eiffel Tower, wear them way more often. We stick to the classics. The fashion philosophy 'simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance' by Coco Chanel still meets today's zeitgeist. That's why I love a simple and ageless Little Black Dress."


Toss: Athletic Jackets

Invest In: Trench Coats


(Image credit: @annawinck)

"A typical French outfit is comfortable and effortless chic. An athletic jacket is for sure comfy but not very elegant. So Parisians might wear them when going to their fitness class but won't combine them with their daily outfits. Focus on the high-quality basics. That's probably the secret of a timeless Parisian wardrobe. One must-have of my closet that I keep and wear from season to season is the beige trench coat. You could say a Parisian without a trench coat is like a boulangerie (bakery) without a baguette."


Toss: Bombers

Invest In: Oversize Blazer


(Image credit: @melodiebance)

"I've never seen one of my Parisian friends wearing a bomber. They (and I) rather stick to timeless jackets and coats like a trench coat, a leather jacket, or a wool coat. The iconic blazer has stood the test of time. I love this sophisticated and timeless essential as you can combine it with everything. Night-out look or the OOTD? It works for both!" 


Toss: Leggings

Invest In: Miniskirt


(Image credit: @emmanuellek_)

"As Parisians tend to dress rather elegantly, leggings might be too sporty for them. In my opinion, they also optically shorten one's leg and aren't too flattering on everyone (myself included). After all, the most sustainable fashion advice I've learned from French girls is to stick to what you own and wear it for decades. One of my all-time classics is a classy black miniskirt. I love it with black tights and cute Mary Janes."


Toss: Maxi Totes

Invest In: Shoulder Bag


(Image credit: @aude_julie)

"The bigger the bag, the more stuff will be put in it, right? Well, Paris is made for walking, and believe me: It is not very comfortable to carry a huge bag with you for a whole day. Accessories are everything in Paris. I especially love to upgrade a basic outfit with an elegant shoulder bag (like my vintage Chanel Flap Bag, for example). These kinds of bags are super practical!"


Up Next: This Is The One Item I Guarantee Every French Girl Has in Her Closet RN

Associate Editor

Sierra Mayhew was always destined to work in fashion, but she didn't know it at first. Growing up with no choice but to wear a rotation of school uniforms and activewear, her love for fashion really blossomed when she moved away for college and was able to finally define her very own personal style. Shortly thereafter, she interned at Elle magazine and instantly knew that editorial was for her. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, she worked for ShopBazaar, contributing regularly to, and finally made her way to Who What Wear, where she is an associate editor. When she’s not working, you can catch her always trying to catch a flight, rollerblading through New York City traffic, or exploring the latest luxury vintage boutique.