The Ultimate French-Style Summer Top Is Back for 2020

Some people never really go out of fashion. Jane Birkin is one of them. Held up as a bastion of chic, the star's style, particularly during the late '60s, is a reference point we always go back to. Or to put it more accurately, we never stray from it. Exhibit A is Birkin's basket bag that she constantly toted around. From holidaying in the South of France to shopping, there are myriad shots of Birkin wearing the aforementioned style. No, she won't have been the first person to wear this bag as a fashion statement, but it's indisputable, especially over the past few years, that the reappearance of wicker, basket, and woven bags is due to Birkin's influence. 

For me, Exhibit B is the ruched white top. Worn off-the-shoulder or cropped but always in a nonchalant fashion, this is the ultimate French-style summer top, as seen on Birkin. If you want further proof that this is one of the coolest blouses, then look to Alexa Chung's Instagram account for confirmation, as Chung often references Birkin as her style muse. This leaves only one question: Where can you get hold of this style currently?

The good news is that it's all over the high street—a sure-fire sign that this is trending right now. Both & Other Stories and H&M have plenty of options. I'd also say that while the white versions are great, don't be afraid to opt for colourful or even black styles. For me, this isn't about adhering exactly to Birkin's original style but thinking about the overall effect: If it appears slightly boho and looks good even when wrinkled, you've nailed it. If pushed, I'd say the neckline needs to be soft and round and definitely not high. Finally, cropped styles aren't for everyone, so there are also ideal blouses that will sit perfectly on high-waisted jeans. And if you want a tip on how to style it, I'd always go for true-blue jeans and a pair of espadrilles. Keep scrolling for the full edit of this French-style top that's ideal for summer. 


(Image credit: Getty)

Birkin wearing her signature off-the-shoulder white top


(Image credit: @alexachung)

Alexa Chung wearing a white blouse


(Image credit: @alexachung)

Alexa Chung wearing a cropped white blouse

Elinor Block