If you’ve ever imagined what the beaches of the Côte d’Azur look like once summer hits, they’re scattered with sun-kissed, swimsuit-clad French people next to the glittering waters of the Mediterranean. Sounds pretty perfect to us. But in case you aren’t visiting the South of France, it’s still possible to tap into that effortless, cool vibe that French girls don’t put on hold for a trip to la plage.
Interested to find out exactly which swimsuits French girls wear and how to replicate their style, we went straight to the source. We chatted with Anne-Laure Mais, Sabina Socol, Aude Sarkamari, and Sarah Nait—all endlessly chic French girls who filled us in on the styles they avoid and the ones they love to wear. We were surprised to learn that there’s one swimsuit style French girls say non to—anything with high-waisted briefs don’t make the cut. Instead, there are two styles every French girl has in her suitcase: one-pieces and a simple bikini. Not only are the styles flattering, but they’re also easy and timeless. Makes sense. Want to find our which swimsuits are French girl–approved?
Keep reading to shop swimsuit styles handpicked by our favorite French girls.
“I don’t have a particular swimsuit style to avoid, but I hate when it’s vulgar. I love a one-piece for the silhouette, but it’s not very good for a tan. I like a really simple cut or retro ones.” — Anne-Laure Mais
“I try to avoid everything with ‘too much information’ when it comes to bikinis. That includes weird shapes such as ‘trikinis’ and even high-waisted briefs, but that’s only because I don’t think they’re flattering on me. Over time, I learned what suits me, so I only wear triangle tops and not bandeaus (which I believe suit better to smaller breasts). I just love simple bikinis with ties on the briefs and a triangle top. When it comes to color, nothing flashy—I love earthy colors this season (tan, faded yellow, nude) or classic colors (navy blue, black, deep red). I also love a good one-piece with a plunging neck and back.” — Sabina Socol
“A swimsuit must fulfill two criteria: to show off while remaining elegant. Thanks to the comeback of the one-piece, it has been a few years that I’ve worn and loved it. My favorites remain classic black and glamorous red—both very chic.” — Aude Sarkamari
“I don’t wear high-waisted swimwear even if I find them very chic and elegant. I like minimalist bikinis in neutrals colors or iconic prints like Missoni’s zigzaggy pattern, for example. How it fits you is more important than the design or trends, and how you accessorize can make a big difference.” — Sarah Nait