The Items French Girls Don't Wear in the Winter

Photo:

Jean Picon

We all know keeping it cool in winter can be pretty tricky. And who isn’t super excited about wearing winter coats, knits, and boots when the first days of autumn start to show their wonderful colors? Even if we do get tired of wearing the same pieces over and over again while struggling with winter-burdened, ghostly skin.

But rest assured, I’m here to help you solve that problem. Ahead, I’m laying out three key rules to follow if you want to tap into French style. I’ll also tell you which popular pieces you’ll never see Parisians wearing in the winter, as well as the staples everyone needs to own. Let’s dive into winter styling à la française!

Photo:

Jean Picon

Rule #1: Don't give into too-comfortable pieces.

I know—Uggs are comfortable. But would Catherine Deneuve wear Uggs? I’m guessing you already know the answer. When it’s been cold for months and the days stay short, it can be tempting to leave the house in a puffer coat and winter beanie. But if you want to follow the French rules of winter styling, it’s best to leave these pieces at home. On a more serious note: I find that for me, placing style over comfort motivates me because it makes me feel good about myself.

I know it sounds weird, but I believe the key to the cool French-girl vibe is to neither overdress nor underdress. Always ask yourself: What would Catherine Deneuve wear? As a sidenote, this tip only works for those who live in the city. I wouldn’t recommend wearing heels in the countryside. I’m not that cruel.

Photo:

Jean Picon

Rule #2: Try not to accumulate winter accessories.

This is much easier said than done. While it’s fun and easy to go accessory-free in the summer (since you’re wearing fewer pieces of clothing), over-accessorizing in winter can make you look like a sapin de Noël, aka a Christmas tree. (Yes, it’s a saying.)

I rarely come across women wearing the full winter package in the streets of Paris (oversize beanies, knitted gloves, oversize scarves, furry boots). It’s just too much. Wear leather gloves (if it’s really very cold) with a turtleneck layered under a large coat to make you appear lighter and more French.

Photo:

Jean Picon

Rule #3: Choose the perfect essentials and be playful with them.

Sometimes it’s cool to be playful and wear your French basics (like a large coat, oversize knit, or the perfect jeans) with some fun items. To me, wintertime is the perfect season to wear glitter, velvet, and furry numbers. Mix these with your everyday essentials. After all, it is party season.

Ahead, shop French girl–approved items à la Catherine Deneuve.

Fluffy Details

Fluffy details are my absolute go-tos for party season. Pair them with a fun pouch and some cute heels (preferably fluffy as well).

Stay warm during the colder months in this shearling bomber jacket. 

Velvet

Velvet can look so chic if paired with something super simple. It’s also perfect for going out.

These pants can be dressed up for a night out or dressed down for a day in the city. 

Style yours over vintage denim and a turtleneck sweater.

We love the silhouette of this dress (and it doesn't hurt that it's on sale).

Elevate your LBB (little black blazer) with this soft-to-the-touch fabric.

Fur Coat

I love furry, vintage-looking coats. You see so many of them wandering the streets of Paris. They pair perfectly with a simple outfit. Wear one with a T-shirt, jeans, and boots.

Trust us—this will be your new go-to coat.

Boots

One can only call herself French if she owns at least one pair of super-cool boots.

Don't be alarmed. Crocodile-effect boots are just as versatile as your brown leather pair, but they pack a way bigger sartorial punch.

Pair these boots with corduroy pants for a ’70s vibe. 

Jewelry

And, of course, pair all your outfits with some cool jewelry.

Let this necklace be the focal point of your look by pairing with a simple white blouse.

You will never want to take off this unique ring.

French girls always wear delicate, timeless earrings.

A classic and elegant piece. 

Next, read about the French-girl styling trick we’re seeing everywhere.