Trust Me—Every French Woman Owns These 6 Summer Staples

There’s no denying we’ve been trying to emulate French women’s style for decades. And considering they possess the innate power to make even the simplest of items look incredible, it’s hardly surprising. Take basics, for example, a gallic capsule wardrobe will consist of elevated separates that look understated yet chic. 

Forget a white T-shirt or blue jeans for a moment, Parisian summer staples consists of a slip dress you can wear for any occasion, the knit top you can style with wide-leg trousers and the mini skirt that looks impeccable with shoes. Add to this the top everyone (not just French women) are relying on this summer and you have the tools to be able to create the outfits French women are wearing on repeat. Keep scrolling to see the 6 basics French women own. 

1. The Slip Dress


(Image credit: @tamaramory)

Style Notes: If there's one dress French women rely on (aside from the floral tea), it's the fuss-free slip dress. Sleek, understated and effortless, Tamara is proof you can still have fun with the staple by opting for soft florals.

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2. The Relaxed Shirt


(Image credit: @thevisuelofgrace)

Style Notes: The anything but basic oversized shirt is a chameleon to embrace into your wardrobe. Keep it sleek like Loïcka Grâce with tailored trousers, throw on over a swimsuit or wear with a mini skirt—the possibilities are endless. 

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3. The Vest Top


(Image credit: @sabinasocol)

Style Notes: Can anyone remember life before the vest top? An integral part of anyone's wardrobe, no matter the season, French fashion queen Sabina keeps it minimal with vintage-style jeans.

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4. The Mini Skirt


(Image credit: @aidabadji_)

Style Notes: French women have been wearing mini skirts way before the Y2K revival. Keep it classy just like Aida with a tank, blazer and timeless shoulder bag.

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5.The White Jeans


(Image credit: @leasy_inparis)

Style Notes: Forget ditching jeans altogether for summer, instead, switch to white and they'll go with every nice top you own. As Julie demonstrates, pair white jeans with a white tank and sandals. Come autumn, layer white jeans with hardened shows and chunky knitwear. 

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6. The Knit Top


(Image credit: @annelauremais)

Styles Notes: Making a case for the knit top, Adenorah proves how knitwear can definitely be a part of your summer wardrobe. A French woman's best-kept secret, a fine, chunky or crochet fabric makes any top style look expensive.

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Next Up: 5 Basics My French Friends Never Forget to Pack for Their Holidays

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

Opening image: @sabinasocol

Freelance Fashion Editor

Harriet Davey is a freelance fashion editor who has been part of Who What Wear's extended team since 2017. She previously worked in print at Look magazine and has since worked across print, digital and social for many other titles, including British Vogue, Stylist, Grazia, Refinery29 and Marie Claire. Also a stylist, Harriet has had the pleasure of producing cover shoots and editorials along with commercial shoots for brands including Boux Avenue, Watches of Switzerland, Benefit Cosmetics and Revolution. To add to this, Harriet also works in live TV styling for ITV’s This Morning. Back to Who What Wear. With hundreds of published stories on site, Harriet knows what the WWW reader wants. Keeping up to date with the latest It buys and runway trends, she can guarantee to keep you one step ahead of the most stylish people. When not writing or styling, Harriet loves to go shopping (yes, more fashion). If she’s not in a local Hackney bar or restaurant, you can find her forever searching for her next holiday destination.