The Edgy French-Girl Aesthetic Is Here—5 Pieces That Define the Look


Since the dawn of time, it seems like everyone wants to dress like a French girl. And who can blame them? Whether it's the perfectly imperfectly coiffed hair or relaxed approach to style—there's something highly enigmatic and effortless that makes us all want to capture it for ourselves. 

By now the established archetype has been studied, analyzed, and reported on ad nauseam that we all pretty much understand its key elements: the basket bag, the cropped sweater, slim fitted jeans, mary-jane heels, etc. All those things were the first to pop into my head too until I ran across a group of cool women who've shattered all I thought I knew about French-girl style.

Like the new generation of experimental and adventurous French designers, these tastemakers similarly adopt an edgy take on the classic style with a new array of trends and perspectives—think Marine Serre, Jacquemus, and Coperni. Ahead, I'm running through the five key pieces that define the look, as well as shopping recommendations if you're out to give it a try. 


(Image credit: @theblab)

You can leave the double-breasted wool toppers and classic trench coats alone; the new approach is to embrace unique outerwear that feels almost like a vintage find. Whether its colored faux fur or a leather trench, you'll want to go for something distinctive rather than simplistic.

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(Image credit: @aliceviolier)

Matching sets are a girl's best friend—especially if you're French. Vibrant colors, cool patterns, and dramatic silhouettes are on the menu if you're looking to replicate the effortless cool of Paris's fashion crowd.

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(Image credit: @emnitta)

The popularity of Jacquemus simply can't be ignored, so of course, it makes this list of key pieces to the edgy French-girl aesthetic. The designer has a way of creating pieces that are not only innovative but accentuate and highlight your curves in the best way possible. But not only that, a Le Chiquito is basically the It bag of the decade. 

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(Image credit: @maria_bernad)

While this new take on a classic aesthetic is different in many ways, one line of continuity is the importance of a minidress. Styled with cool tights and jeweled heels, it's a less buttoned-up approach to formal dressing.

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(Image credit: @soleneoj)

Risqué cutouts have been trending for a while, and they've made their way into the closets of cool French girls everywhere. Part of its prevalence stems from brands like Jacquemus and Mugler who've featured cutouts heavily within its past few collections. 

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Next: And Now, the Micro-Trends You Need to Know in 2022

Fashion Market Editor

Indya Brown is a fashion editor, stylist, and writer living in Los Angeles. While going to school at Columbia University in New York City, she got her feet wet in the fashion industry interning at Elle magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and New York magazine's The Cut. After graduating in 2016, she joined The Cut as a fashion assistant, eventually working her way up to fashion editor. There, she worked on a multitude of projects, including styling inbook feature stories for New York magazine's print issue, writing and pitching market stories for The Cut, and serving as fashion lead for The Cut's branded content. While New York has been her home for over 10 years, she moved to Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic in 2020 for a new chapter. Now she is a fashion market editor for Who What Wear, focusing on emerging designers, rising trends on and off the internet, interior design, and BIPOC creatives and brands. Aside from her duties as a fashion market editor, Brown is also a freelance stylist and writer, working on national print and video commercial campaigns for Sephora, The Independent, and Cadillac. Her bylines also include Harper's Bazaar, Vox, and The New York Times. But once the computer goes down and the emails turn off, she's likely eating her way through Koreatown, hunting down vintage furniture, scoping out new outrageous nail designs to try, or taking a hot cycling class.