I'm a Brit Living in Paris—5 Easy-to-Wear Trainer Outfits French Women Love

I have an admission, I'm now the proud owner of a cap. Hardly a groundbreaking statement, I know, but long-term readers may know my penchant for overdressing for the simplest of venues. You might be wondering what that has to do with trainers but you could say I've (somewhat) succumbed to the appeal of practicality at the ripe age of thirty-two and I think that my two-piece trainer collection may just follow suit. Despite French women's style being synonymous with dressing up and uniforms comprising jeans, wrap dresses and heels, it also centres on a practical approach to style.

Contrary to popular belief, the Parisian women I see day-to-day aren't always clad in the fanciest pieces, especially not when tending to errands—like frequenting markets or making a beeline for the morning's takeaway espresso. Instead, they often wear practical, easy-to-replicate outfits and trainers are a huge part of the uniform. Biking is a common mode of transport here and many French women I know cycle to and from the office in trainers. Their suave wardrobes encompass trainer outfits, and they are able to incorporate them into classic looks with little to no effort.

The popular trainer choices are streamlined and classic - Adidas Sambas and Gazelles, Vans, Converse and Veja being another well-loved European brand. Colour pallets usually lean towards neutral tones—spanning ecru to grey and plenty of black and white, of course. For ways to wear trainers with ease and sophistication this spring, continue reading for five ways to elevate trainers.

See My Favourite French Women Trainer Outfits:

1. Baseball Cap + Navy Blazer + Straight-Leg Jeans


(Image credit: @leasy_inparis)

Style Notes: Trust French women to make a simple jeans and sweatshirt look chic. To get the look, simple add sunnies and a blazer, and opt for a dark wash denim as opposed to lighter hues.

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2. Red Jumper + Blazer + Leggings


(Image credit: @sabinasocol)

Style Notes: Many of us assume French women's style is synonymous with muted colourways but I've noticed first-hand how much they appreciate pops of colour. I love the juxtaposition of cherry hues with ecru trainers. The addition of socks loans a sports luxe feel.

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3. Navy Jumper + Black Jeans + Vans


(Image credit: @frannyfyne)

Style Notes: This gorgeous look is incredibly refined and oozes the simplicity that French style is most commonly associated with. You'll likely find these individual components in your wardrobe and to elevate dark tones add an accessory in a saturated hue. For outerwear, I'd recommend a camel trench.

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4. Knitted Dress + Monochrome Trainers


(Image credit: @tamaramory)

Style Notes: A knitted maxi dress paired with trainers is a fail-safe outfit combo come spring. Perfect for the weekend, work or a lunch date, it is equal parts comfortable and chic.

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5. Wide-Leg Trousers + Cropped Jacket + Tee


(Image credit: @aidabadji_)

Style Notes: It's not just jeans French women pair their favourite trainers with, wide-leg trousers are also a solid option.

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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.