How to Wear Color Like a French Girl

It’s difficult to pinpoint what makes Parisian girls so chic. They’ve mastered undone cool, understated elegance, and effortless style. But what gives them that je ne sais quoi? One thing we’ve noticed is that they usually stick to neutrals—their wardrobes mostly consist of white, black, navy, and nude. But they reach for one bold color time and time again: red. Their fondness for red makes sense. The shade is both an enduring classic while completely modern. And it commands attention in a way that’s never flashy.

Whether they’re matching a punchy crimson bag to their lipstick, injecting strong color into an all-black ensemble, or throwing a poppy coat over a simple top and straight-leg jeans, it’s the color French It girls always wear.

Want to see how chic Parisians like Jeanne Damas and Caroline de Maigret wear red? Keep reading to get inspiration from their outfits, and shop our favorite pieces to get their looks.


(Image credit: Style du Monde)

Jeanne Damas sticks to the basics but brings a pop of red to her outfit with a quilted Sonia Rykiel bag.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Opt for a bold coat like Caroline de Maigret.


(Image credit: Sandra Semburg)

Emmanuelle Alt offsets her menswear-inspired all-black outfit with feminine kitten heels.


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Actress Alice David doubles up on denim, and she makes her outfit pop with patent Mary Janes and red details on her jacket.


(Image credit: Style du Monde)

Blogger Anne-Laure Mais sticks to shades of blue, and she brings pops of red in with her accessories.

Next, read about the one piece French girls can’t live without

Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.