Dresses are a universal thing, of course, but I've been studying French style for nearly a decade, and something I've noticed is that the French wear dresses a lot, both day and night. Because dresses are on such heavy rotation for them, it's to be expected that they're going to experiment with their shoe pairings.
Based on my extensive French-girl research, there are six specific dress-and-shoe combinations that you'll see them wearing more often than not. Some are very classic and broad, and some are a bit more trend-forward. Either way, every one of these six shoe styles looks amazing with dresses. Below, I've highlighted these French girl–favorite shoe styles, the best pairs to shop right now, and the types of dresses they're most often paired with.
Scroll to take mental notes for the next time you're deciding which shoes to pair with a dress.
Sweaterdress + Knee-High Boots
This one's for all of you who have begun thinking about your fall wardrobes. Let this French outfit example serve as a reminder that a sweaterdress and knee-high boots are one of the chicest, most timeless fall outfits you can wear.
If you live in Paris, you probably do a lot of walking, so sneakers are an essential pairing—especially with minidresses. Just be sure to opt for sleek sneakers as opposed to chunky ones if you want to look more "French."
Slip Dress + Ballet Flats
A slip dress with ballet flats is the quintessential French-girl outfit, as it was even before these items were trendy. You can't go wrong with this simple, versatile outfit formula.
Maxi Dress + Thong Sandals
This may come as a surprise, but French women love flip-flops (elevated ones, that is). More often than not, I see them paired with maxi dresses on warm-weather vacations.
A short, swingy dress with Mary Janes is a look that's straight out of the '60s, but it looks just right on the streets of Paris in 2023. Like ballet flats, Mary Janes are trendy, but they've long been a French-girl staple.
Midi Dress + Mules
For evenings out, French women love wearing midi dresses with a pair of elegant high-heel mules. It's a look you'll see them in for dates, weddings, and every other somewhat-fancy occasion.