exclusive

4 Ways You Can (Finally) Look Like a French Girl

Because we forever want to look like we hang out in the Marais, we’re constantly looking for French-inspired looks. From updating how we wear stripes to redefining what it means to get ‘dressed up,’ our goal is always the same: Project vibes of being unequivocally chic, cool, and as if we didn’t try that hard.

Rima Vaidila and Megan Adelaide, two bona fide style bloggers who covet French girl style as much as we do, came to the Who What Wear studio and styled four essential outfits that make us want to book a ticket straight to Charles De Gaulle. Rather than focusing on the basket-toting vibe of our past, we're here to show you that there's a modern way to do French girl style. To get started, all you need is a genuinely Parisian collection like Karl Lagerfeld Paris (and maybe a tube of red lipstick).

Ready to say bonjour to the ultimate Parisian outfits? Right this way.

Close your eyes and think of yourself walking along the Seine on a crisp autumn afternoon. What are you wearing? Stripes, obviously. Adelaide took cues from her French-girl icon, Caroline de Maigret, because, well, she's Caroline de Maigret. For a classic Parisian look, you'll need a striped sweater, skinny jeans, and a tweed jacket. Accessorize minimally—the metallic details on your earrings, sweater buttons, and shoes (we love the grommets!) all come together to make your effortless look feel a little more French.

"French-girl style means to be confident always," Adelaide told us when she slipped on the faux-fur third piece. And that doesn't mean going over the top—French girls keep things simple even when they're going out. Forget the glam getups we tend to go for stateside; Parisian girls prefer a sophisticated monochrome look.

French-girl style means to be confident always.

Can you see where we're going with this? Black is, of course, the French girl's going-out color palette of choice. (Can you ever own too many black pieces? Of course not.) Start by layering a sheer turtleneck under a statement-making third piece, and ditch the stilettos for this one—metallic block heels add a bit of interest to the look. Don't forget to finish things off with a deep-red lip.

Though this may be the first time you’re hearing the word yé-yé, trust us: You've definitely seen this girl before, even if you haven't watched every single film from the French New Wave (guilty but not apologizing). It's what the French use to define the style of the '60s French pop era—think Catherine Deneuve, Françoise Hardy, and, of course, Jane Birkin.

The little bow tie, the beret, the velvet heeled loafer—all of the little things make simple pieces feel special and chic.

 

One thing French girls always excel at? Striking the masculin/féminin balance that juxtaposes menswear-inspired edgier pieces with softer, brighter accents (very rock 'n' roll, non?). Vaidila topped it all off with (what else?) a grommeted beret, bringing the colorful, fun vibe of yé-yé style into the modern age. "The little bow tie, the beret, the velvet heeled loafer—all of the little things make simple pieces feel special and chic," she gushes.

If all else fails, there's one quintessential French-girl uniform that will take you through a dinner date: a black blouse with gray skinny jeans and a crystal-encrusted pair of heels. "It's all in the details," Vaidila explains. "The pearls along the mock-neck, the shine on the minaudière, and the velvet heeled loafers—all of the little things made simple pieces feel special and chic." (We'll be copying this look soon; no doubt about it.)

Which French-girl outfit is your favorite? Click here to shop more essentials from Karl Lagerfeld Paris to complete your look.