10 "Boring" Basics French Girls Always Have Handy

If you're an avid reader of Who What Wear, by now you'll already be well-versed in the fundamentals of French-girl style (we're Francophiles over here, if you didn't already know!). We keep an eye on everything from their favorite brands to their go-to spring outfits and the jeans they just can't live without.

Today we're charting out the basics of a French woman's wardrobe in an attempt to make day-to-day dressing infinitely easier. While the new season is chock-full of trends for the taking, it's the staples that often get overlooked, yet they're undoubtedly the hardest-working items in our closet.

No one does staple pieces quite like the French, so what do they always have handy to anchor their looks? From high-waisted jeans to ballet flats and classic trench coats, keep scrolling to see and shop the reliable "boring" basics French women can't live without.

Ballet Flats

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Style Notes: Comfortable, practical, and chic, neutral ballet flats will ground any outfit. 

Trench Coat

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Style Notes: What's the one item you'll find in every French woman's wardrobe? A tan trench coat, of course! Perfect for the unpredictable Parisian weather.

Lace Bra

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Style Notes: French women put just as much emphasis on what's underneath their clothes as the outfits themselves. A comfortable and romantic lace bra is a must. 

High-Waisted Cropped Jeans

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Style Notes: You'll be hard-pressed to find a French woman who doesn't own a pair of high-waisted, slightly cropped, straight-leg or kick-flare jeans. These are the anchor to every French woman's look.

Fitted Long-Sleeved Tee 

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Style Notes: A fitted long-sleeved tee or top (always to be tucked into jeans) is a simple yet effective layering piece French women love.


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Style Notes: The staple adds instant polish to the most casual of outfits. It's clear the French are savvy to the power of a great blazer.

White Button-Down

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Style Notes: French girls know a white button-down can solve any dressing dilemma. 


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Style Notes: It may be nondescript, but the humble cardigan is a go-to layering piece French girls love.

Ankle Boots

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Style Notes: These are the hardest-working shoes in a French woman's wardrobe. Go for a neutral hue such as black, brown, or white.

Striped Sweater or Tee

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Style Notes: You make think it's cliché, but the French really do love their stripes. An effortless striped sweater is always on hand.

Up next, nine spring outfits all the cool girls are wearing in Paris.

Judith Jones
Senior Fashion Market Editor

Judith Jones is the senior fashion market editor at Who What Wear who specializes in shopping content and trend stories with high-affiliate impact. She shares the coolest, most desirable fashion market finds and brands for every budget. Previous to working in fashion, Judith worked as a TV host on the PBS travel show Globe Trekker (airing on Netflix and Amazon Prime) sharing her passion for travel and culture.