When French Women Wear Leggings, These Are the Outfit Formulas They Rely On

I don't want to make sweeping statements, but you just don't see French girls wearing leggings all that often. At least, not on their Instagram feeds. Of course, they're more commonplace when you're somewhere like Paris, when you're seeing real outfits in motion, but in terms of curating a grid and assembling looks for likes, leggings seemed to be an item that French women didn't want to share. 

However, I'm beginning to notice that French girl leggings outfits are starting to come through on my feed more and more. Over the last year or so, the narrative around leggings has changed. Sure, you'll still find people styling them with hoodies and trainers, but also in the mix are looks involving heels and tailored blazers and shirts. Never before have leggings been considered so versatile or essential to the art of getting dressed. And French women are certainly taking note of this, too, serving up their own ways to wear the once solely athleisure piece. 

Below, I've outlined my favourite French-girl leggings outfits, which have been assembling using what are generally considered to be wardrobe "staples". Of course, the term "staple" is open to individual interpretation, but the general ilk of which I speak involves striped knitwear, leather jackets, camel coats, and tweed. We are talking French style, after all, so classics will always be part of that conversation. 

Scroll on to see how French women are wearing their leggings now. 

French-Girl Leggings Outfits to Try

1. Leather Jacket + Zip Knit + Knee Boots


(Image credit: @annelauremais)

Style Notes: All-black outfits never fail to look chic; Anne-Laure keeps her ensemble toasty by adding in layers of wool and leather. 

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2. Shirt + Vest + Shoulder Bag


(Image credit: @tamaramory)

Style Notes: You heard it here first; cropped, capri-style leggings are going to be big this year, and for optimum French-girl styling, style them with basics including a white shirt and ribbed vest. 

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3. Camel Coat + Crossbody Bag + Knee Boots


(Image credit: @aida.bdji)

Style Notes: Camel jackets and coats have the power to elevate anything you choose to wear underneath them—that same rule applies for leggings and flat knee boots. 

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4. Shearling Jacket + Stripe Jumper + Boots


(Image credit: @slipintostyle)

Style Notes: Who said you need to stick to black leggings? Seeing as it's one of the most popular colour trends of the season, I have a feeling brown leggings are going to be all the rage. Add cosy shearling touches now, then switch in jersey layers when temperatures rise. 

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5. Bouclé Jacket + T-Shirt + Pointed-Toe Heels


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

Style Notes: Tweed and bouclé blazers might be trending right now, but they've long been an integral component in many a French wardrobe. With their ability to make anything look polished as soon as you put one on, their appeal is understandable.

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Next Up: 8 Timeless and Elevated Outfit Formulas French Women Will Rely on in 2024

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.