Here's the New Wave of French-Girl Style

When she’s not working as a journalist and social influencer, It girl Sabina Socol also shares her fashion expertise in our French Girl column. Come back each month for her perspective on Parisian style.

Photo:

Sabina Socol by Chloe Bruhat

I’m pretty sure I’m not making huge assumptions by saying that most of us suffer from the same condition, which consists of a “scrolling on Instagram to find the best stuff to wear” addiction. Am I right? Well, I’m here to free you from this burden by showing you the result of my endless scrolling. Without any further ado, let’s dive into my list of “Instabrands” that are so good right now that I can’t even deal. And (should I even mention this?) here’s how to style them like a French girl.

Trend-forward brands

Ugh: Why so good? These are completely and utterly driving me straight toward bankruptcy. And I know some of them might come across as pretty “non-French”. New York–based brand Area, for example, is super on-trend in the U.S. and not at all known in France. But my scrolling addiction drove me right toward it, and I couldn’t help but fall in love. Full disclosure: I actually bought that hot-pink skirt a while ago, but I knew I had discovered a treasure when Instagram explorer sent this photo of Kendall Jenner my way. Not that I need any celeb validation to fall in love with a brand, but I don’t know, this dress just popped.

How to style trendy brands like a French Girl

Wearing super on-trend, flashy clothes is not really a French-girl move. To style them effortlessly, I’d pair them with a very classic French designer for accessories (like these hot-pink sandals from Michel Vivien that I wore with this velvet suit from Bogdar) or with a high-waisted pant from another French designer (like this Monogram T-shirt—another U.S. brand that I love for tees—tucked into jeans from Nathalie Dumeix). Also, I’d try not to overdo it with the hair or the overall accessory choices.

Photo:

Sabina Socol by Chloe Bruhat

Photo:

Sabina Socol by Chloe Bruhat

Photo:

Sabina Socol by Chloe Bruhat

Unexpected hair accessories

Styling your hair like a French girl is not as easy as it may seem. I’ve heard foreigners talk about French girls’ “effortless" hairstyles many times, but do I know the “I woke up like this” perfectly styled bangs and waves are not that effortless to achieve. Putting that fact aside, I wanted to talk to you about hair accessories. I’ve been noticing brands like Seoul Import and Donni climbing their way into my feed for a while, and (just like for clothes) even if they don’t seem super French at first (and let’s face it, they’re not), I thought they would be perfect to give a little je ne sais quoi to any hairdo.

How to style hair accessories like a French girl

It’s simple: To wear colorful and childlike hair accessories like a proper French girl, I think you just need to get inspired by Bardot. I’d pull my hair up and through a clip or try to make a messy bun with a cute scrunchie. By the way, am I the only one who thinks about that Sex and the City episode when Carrie and Berger have that super-uncomfortable vibe every time I hear the word “scrunchie”? I’d love to know.

Photo:

Sabina Socol by Chloe Bruhat

An alternative to basket bags

I was going to start this one by advising you to throw all your basket bags away. Let’s face it: Basket bags are still a thing this season, and for the sake of super-cool brands like Bembien, I sure hope it stays that way. So I won’t digress anymore on how and why a basket bag worn in the city would make any girl look super French. But if you’re into cool bags and want to stand out, I’d also try to alternate the basket bag (or any woven bag) with one of these super-cute pearl beaded bags from Susan Alexandra. This is simply my go-to ever since I put my hands on it. I can’t emphasize it enough. And if you’re on a budget, this brand from Spain called Chivatas makes very cute tiny market bags as well. Did I hear cuteness overload?

How to style beaded bags like a French girl

Just like the classic basket bag—which means without thinking about it too much. Just wear it whenever, wherever. Own it. Nothing is more French than that.

Photo:

Sabina Socol by Chloe Bruhat

Photo:

Sabina Socol by Chloe Bruhat

Nightwear for day

This isn’t really nightwear, per se, but the following pieces of clothing are pretty revealing, so I’d still put them in that category—which is absolutely not preventing me from wearing them as regular clothes. Wearing night stuff as your day outfit is pretty French—or at least, not caring about it is absolutely French. Ahead I’m bringing you these three amazing brands I discovered on the world wide web. Like Priscavera, for example, a brand that simply makes stuff that I wouldn’t even have dared to dream of (like the flame dress below). As for the rest, I think the images speak for themselves.

How to style nightwear for day like a French girl

These are statement pieces. To make them more French, I’d style them in a super-simple way—a pair of flats and very few accessories to keep it low-key (if that’s even possible).

Photo:

Sabina Socol by Chloe Bruhat

Photo:

Sabina Socol by Chloe Bruhat

Breaking outside of classic swimwear

I know it may seem like I’m contradicting myself, as I’ve been on and on about classic, well-cut brands like Matteau Swim or Eres (see my swimwear piece from last month). I am into these classic pieces, and I’ll probably wear them a lot this summer, but I’d also like to stand out and mix it up a bit. And if you’d like that too, I’d recommend you go toward brands like Roxana Salehoun that will make you look like a oneiric millennial mermaid. Yes, that’s a thing. I also think it’s nice to start your holiday with something simple (to minimize the tan lines) and finish with some more original cuts such as high-rise briefs or an underwire bra, for example.

How to style fun swimwear like a French girl

With an undone bun, a scrunchie, and a Susan Alexandra bag.

Photo:

Sabina Socol by Chloe Bruhat

Classic jewelry with a twist

For jewelry, there’s the now classic (and a little overrated if you ask me…) gold medallion. It’s cool, but brands like Missoma London (from its collab with Lucy Willams) are making me want to trade it with a less-seen pendant: the coin. It’s cool and super cute worn with a deep V-neck top or your swimsuit. Paired with some very refined and colorful jewelry from Sophie d’Agon, a more “fun” piece like the hoops below from Alison Lou (otherwise known as the Instabrand seen on every cool girl on the planet), and a gold anklet—you’ve got your jewelry attire for the summer.

How to style new jewelry like a French girl

Photo:

Sabina Socol by Chloe Bruhat

Photo:

Sabina Socol by Chloe Bruhat

Read more about where French girls find their inspiration.