I Want My Closet to Look Like Jane Birkin Gave Me a Makeover—5 Items I'm Convinced She'd Vouch For

I recently spoke with a French woman who vented to me about growing bored of “French-girl style.” My friend felt like wearing nothing but the basics gets old. I beg to differ because I think true style comes from a place of energy. Cool-girl energy is equivalent to cool-girl style. You can’t have one without the other. That’s what I think makes Jane Birkin such an icon and master of personal style. She can make a T-shirt and flared jeans look like something you’ve never seen before with the radiant energy that is so loud it translates through a photo.

I’ve been really editing down my wardrobe for the past few years, and while I like to use summer to make a statement, I’ve been dreaming up some timeless outfit ideas. I started wondering what moves Jane Birkin would make if she took over my closet, and it got me thinking about these five staples. Let’s talk about them.

1. Basket Bag

Jane Birkin style moment

(Image credit: Getty Images)

At the peak of her career as a model and actress, Birkin could carry any bag she could dream up, yet she chose simplicity. A series of nameless basket bags followed her everywhere and looked like they'd been plucked out of a random market in the South of France. I've been styling this piece with a variety of outfits, and it's felt amazing.

2. Flared Denim

Jane Birkin style moment

(Image credit: Getty Images)

For a woman of the '60s and '70s, it's no surprise that flared jeans would be in the equation. Birkin certainly preferred them, which could be easily seen in her outfits every time she wore denim. They are the secret to always looking taller than you are.

3. Pretty White Top

Jane Birkin style moment

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you only buy one top this summer, make it pretty and white. Jane Birkin would be egging you on at the checkout counter, so don't be shy. This is the top that I'm always most likely to invest in this time of year since it goes with absolutely everything.

4. Naked Dress

Jane Birkin style moment

(Image credit: Getty Images)

To say Jane Birkin was ahead of her time would be an understatement. Yes, she was wearing the "naked dress" trend that we know and love now long before us. Bold and always taking risks, she makes me want to strut through a crowd with nothing on but a sheer T-shirt dress and woven bag.

5. Lightweight Sweaters

Jane Birkin style moment

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you don't wear sweaters in the summer, you might want to reconsider. Birkin would call this a year-round piece and always invest in cashmere. Whether she threw one over her shoulders during the daytime or wore one on top of her outfit when things cooled down, she almost always had one on her.

Associate Editor

Sierra Mayhew was always destined to work in fashion, but she didn't know it at first. Growing up with no choice but to wear a rotation of school uniforms and activewear, her love for fashion really blossomed when she moved away for college and was able to finally define her very own personal style. Shortly thereafter, she interned at Elle magazine and instantly knew that editorial was for her. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, she worked for ShopBazaar, contributing regularly to Bazaar.com, and finally made her way to Who What Wear, where she is an associate editor. When she’s not working, you can catch her always trying to catch a flight, rollerblading through New York City traffic, or exploring the latest luxury vintage boutique.