French Women Always Look Chic in Winter Thanks to These 8 Items


(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

It's not always an easy feat to keep our levels of chicness high when the temps dip low, but who better to inspire our winter outfits than the fashion-forward French, who basically embody the words "effortlessly chic"? In fact, throughout many years of writing about French-girl style, I've kept a close eye on items French women always reach for to look chic and polished through the cold-weather season.

When it comes to French-girl winter outfits, it's all about comfort, convenience, and classic pieces that will elevate an ensemble, and luckily for us, taking a leaf out of their book doesn't require too much effort. Keep scrolling for the eight essential items French girls reach for to stay warm and look chic all season long, from striking long overcoats to cozy cardigans.

1. Long, Oversize Wool Overcoat


(Image credit: @sylviemus)

If there's one item I see over and over again on stylish French women in winter, it's a long, slightly oversize wool coat—usually in a classic color such as navy, black, or camel. There is something so chic about the elongated silhouette, and it works with everything from sneaker outfits to knit dresses, jeans, and more. Unquestionably, it's the number one French-girl essential for looking chic in winter.


2. Walkable Leather Knee-High Boots


(Image credit: @aida.bdji)

When it comes to boots, the French crowd skips the Uggs and instead favors leather knee-high boots with a walkable heel or a flat sole, preferably in versatile tan or black hues. They're ideal for styling with tights and a mini or midi skirt.


3. Turtleneck


(Image credit: @salome.mory)

Whether layered under a blazer, button-down, knit, or all three, a classic turtleneck is a staple in every French woman's winter wardrobe. It's classic, smart, and chic. Nobody layers turtlenecks quite like the French.


4. An Extra Sweater Tied Around the Shoulders


(Image credit: @annelauremais)

There's no doubt basic sweaters are an integral part of a French winter wardrobe, but to add a stylish finishing touch to a cold-weather look, French women like to tie a chunky sweater nonchalantly around their shoulders—over their coat, sweater, or blazer—which provides extra warmth and exudes that effortlessly chic touch they're well and truly known for.


5. Cozy and Cute Cardigan


(Image credit: @monicaainleydlv)

French women wear cardigans on a daily basis, opting for thicker iterations in the winter months. This is the perfect opportunity to add a little pop of color to their neutral hues throughout the cold-weather season.


6. Shearling or Faux-Fur Coat


(Image credit: @annelauremais)

Whether it's a '70s-inspired suede coat lined with shearling, a striking faux-fur coat, or a fuzzy-collar coat, the French love a textured topper. Opt for one in a vintage-inspired silhouette.


7. Statement Accessory


(Image credit: @pomelokiwie)

While we tend to see a lot of dark ensembles in winter, the French like to add an eye-catching element to their look in the form of statement accessories, like a zebra-print purse or a blue beanie.


8. Black Tights


(Image credit: @louloudesaison)

Okay, so this may seem pretty basic, but the French really like to make use of their tights in winter. Whether sheer or thick, we see French women styling them with tweed and wool miniskirts and even city shorts and boots throughout the colder months. Stick to black for a chic look.


Next, A French Girl Walks Into Nordstrom—11 Items She'd Buy (and 11 She Wouldn't)

This post was previously published and has since been updated.

Judith Jones
Senior Fashion Market Editor

Judith Jones is the senior fashion market editor at Who What Wear who specializes in shopping content and trend stories with high-affiliate impact. She shares the coolest, most desirable fashion market finds and brands for every budget. Previous to working in fashion, Judith worked as a TV host on the PBS travel show Globe Trekker (airing on Netflix and Amazon Prime) sharing her passion for travel and culture.