I've Lived in Paris—5 Summer Dress Outfits French Women Always Wear

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(Image credit: @sabinasocol)

Although the allure of French style spans all seasons, regions and decades, no one excels at effortless styling for warm weather quite like French women. Laid back, subtle and bearing the essence of the no-make-up look (but for clothing), every element is intentional but quietly so. They create and model some of the most sought-after dress styles that are celebrated across the globe.

French women's dress style exceeds the floral print, wrap and tea dresses that are commonly associated with Parisian women. In recent years, they’ve inherited noughties-inspired pieces and made them a permanent fixture. French women are typically fashion-forward and accustomed to a trend or two but when they do, they adopt them for a lifetime and are admirably discerning about their acquirements. Take Y2K, its reformed eveningwear and the svelte shapes have a distinctive French characteristic, which makes the style slot seamless into a French women’s capsule. French women are also often seen donning risqué fabrications, long silhouettes, full-sleeved bias cuts and of course, minis thrown in for good measure. It was the stomping ground of style maven Bridget Bardot, after all.

There are several style notes I’ve made whilst studying fashion types in Paris. There’s a prevalence of pointelle, on-the-knee garments and downplaying floral motifs. Bloom-adorned clothing which would otherwise be destined for weddings are worn daily with trainers and down-to-earth ballerinas, loaning it a laid-back appeal. Other non-traditional styles are made wearable with worn-in denim and hardened materials, like leather. Like many, I’m enamoured by the effortless appeal of French women's style. Keep scrolling for five easy-to-wear French girl-inspired summer dress outfits I’ll be wearing this season.

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(Image credit: @vikilefevre)

There's an effortless appeal to this outfit. Although the fabrication is detailed the oversized shirt and flat shoes make it a piece you can wear during the day. Remove the outer layer as the weather starts to warm up.

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(Image credit: @annelauremais)

French women wear knitted dresses and maxis year round. They can be worn at home, for day events and events alike. Simply add your footwear of choice.

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(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Classic slip dresses are integral to the French aesthetic, especially when worn minimally. 

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(Image credit: @tamaramory)

French women are adept at giving dresses a low-key spin, which often involves styling them with classic trainers. 

Shop French Summer Dress Outfits Inspired By the Streets of Paris

1. Crochet Midi + Denim Jacket

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(Image credit: WHO WHAT WEAR UK)

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2. Semi Sheer Dress + Ballerina Pumps

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3. White Mini Dress + Heeled Mules

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(Image credit: WHO WHAT WEAR UK)

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4. Floral Dress + Sandals

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(Image credit: WHO WHAT WEAR UK)

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5. Tea Dress + White Trainers

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(Image credit: WHO WHAT WEAR UK)

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Opening Image: @tamaramory

Freelance Fashion Editor

Avalon Afriyie is a freelance writer and storyteller based in London. She specialises in sustainable fashion, health and the narratives of marginalised communities.

She has a background in fashion show production and styling, having previously worked on The Clothes Show and with the Lyst Group. Since graduating in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in English and contemporary media, she’s worked as a feature writer for an independent publication and a contributor for Quill’s creator network. She now marries her passion for words and style, writing for some of the most esteemed fashion and lifestyle publications, Who What Wear UK and Stylist.

Avalon also provides copywriting services, creative consultancy, and visual media for independent businesses, including travel guides, interviews, press releases and blog posts. Her work has been featured on Lush, Contiki, Youswim and Ohne.

She spends her days writing to her heart’s content for business and pleasure, shooting on film and dreaming of residing a stone’s throw away from the ocean with her love and a pup (clad in a sweeping frock, of course). She’s currently penning ideas for a book of personal essays and free verse poetry on love, life and the stages in between.