It's no secret that French women possess a knack for a polished style that reads as effortless and cool. Over the years, they really refine their personal senses of style with wardrobes stocked with incredible closet essentials. French women are truly in the know about which building blocks will last for years ahead, so it's no surprise you'll spot many of them wearing the same staples.
You'll be sure to spot elegant tweed pieces on both Carla Bruni and Isabel Marant. The same goes for ankle boots, which you'll see Nadège du Bospertus and Juliette Binoche styling with their looks. And it doesn't stop there. Ahead, take inspiration from stylish over-50 French women, and see the six pieces you'll spot in all of their closets. You can also shop the items for yourself to replicate their chic looks.
No matter what season it is, trench coats are an easy staple to make any outfit look polished. Whether layered over Bermuda shorts and a tee in the summer or a sweater, trousers, and boots in the winter, this French girl–approved piece is a true classic.
A great pair of ankle boots is an investment that is worth the cost per wear. You can pair them with a dressy suit for a red carpet–worthy look or style them with jeans for a more casual look.
Tweed is the luxe fabric that instantly makes me think of stylish French women. To avoid making it look too stiff, try pairing a jacket with leggings or leather pants for an outfit that is equal parts sophisticated and cool.
If you're looking to make your wardrobe feel more polished, you can't go wrong with a great pair of high-waisted trousers. Whether styled with a button-down top or a leather jacket, the tailored basic reads as instantly polished.
A tailored blazer might be one of the most versatile pieces you can add to your closet. For a piece that feels inspired by French women, look for a slightly oversize fit with sharp tailoring.
The ultimate heels that go with anything? Sleek pumps. The versatile staple is one that withstands trends, so it's easy to see why you'll find it in every French woman's wardrobe.
This piece was published at an earlier time and has since been updated. Next, discover the cool finds I'm obsessing over right now.
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.com, 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.
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