We've Finally Worked Out the Real Difference Between French and U.S. Style

There's no denying the fact that we're obsessed with French-girl style. As we've discussed pretty tirelessly, Parisian women dress in a way that, for whatever reason, other women aspire to achieve. Normally, we ask our favourite French girls all about the items they're buying, wearing, loving, etc., so that we can all go off and make our purchases accordingly, but this time we wanted to switch it up. Intrigued yet?

We reached out to a handful of our favourite French women and asked them what, if anything, it is about American style in particular they don't "get". I tried guessing before I asked them the daunting question, but my answers were nowhere close to what they had to say. When it comes to the differences between American and French style, these Parisian ladies have quite a few things to say. Ahead, find out what French girls said...

1. Over-the-Top Party Dressing

"Sometimes I am a bit surprised by the ‘more is more’ party dress code, for example. I mean shiny makeup, hair done, glitter dress, high heels. I think it's silly—just not at all what I used to do.” — Chloé Harrouche


(Image credit: @louloudesaison)

Style Tip: If your dress has a festive adornment like feathers or crystals, opt for some more subdued shoes to let the real party pieces shine. 


(Image credit: @louloudesaison)

Style Tip: However, if you want to go all out the French way, make sure to choose pieces that are neutral in colour and unique in silhouette, like these crystal-fringe pants.


(Image credit: @louloudesaison)

Style Tip: Make an all-black party look pop with sparkly accessories.

Shop perfect party pieces:

"From my years living in New York, I remember lots of girls wearing at night super-mini and tight dresses with high platform shoes. The girls were a little over the top.” — Géraldine Boublil


(Image credit: @erinoffduty)

Style Tip: Even the simplest of black dresses can be made more interesting with the addition of statement shoes.


(Image credit: @erinoffduty)

Style Tip: Tone down a skirt that’s really “extra” with unusual counterparts like cowboy boots and slim sunnies.


(Image credit: @erinoffduty)

Style Tip: Instead of a minidress and platforms, try a velvet suit and manageable pumps.

Shop low-maintenance party pieces:

2. Leggings

"I definitely would say leggings. In L.A., it looks like all the girls are going to the sports hall.” — AnneLaure Mais Moreau


(Image credit: @adenorah)

Style Tip: Pair a bold-coloured top with leopard pants for a truly trendy look. You’ll look cool with minimal effort.


(Image credit: @adenorah)

Style Tip: Wearing checked trousers? Opt for a contrasting checked accessory, such as a bag, to make your look feel more forward and less dated.


(Image credit: @adenorah)

Style Tip: Toughen up preppy checked trousers with a graphic T-shirt.

Shop printed pants:

3. Super-High Heels

"Something that I’ve seen a lot on American girls is heels! They wear heels every day, everywhere, while in France, we wear sneakers—even at the office.” — Kenza Sadoun-el Glaoui


(Image credit: @kenzasmg)

Style Tip: Make your timeless wardrobe staples feel fresh by way of chunkier trainers. 


(Image credit: @kenzasmg)

Style Tip: Even your work trousers can feel more exciting with quirky last-minute additions like colourful sneakers and a shiny puffer.


(Image credit: @kenzasmg)

Style Tip: Instead of reaching for your tried-and-true pumps when rushing to get to the office, slip into a sleek pair of sneakers.

Shop sneakers:

"I actually find that most Americans are now trying to dress more European. But I do think super-high heels are silly. Less is always more in my opinion.” — Christina Caradona


(Image credit: @troprouge)

Style Tip: It’s not the heel height that will make your outfit a knockout; it’s the heel shape. This season, opt for square toes and low block heels.


(Image credit: @troprouge)

Style Tip: White shoes will always make you look polished, no matter how low the heel.


(Image credit: @troprouge)

Style Tip: And if heels aren’t your thing, this photo is proof that you can still look sleek sans heels, even while wearing sneakers. 

Shop low heels:

Editorial Director

Lauren Eggertsen is currently the editorial director of Who What Wear and has worked at the company for over eight years, where she started as an associate editor and has since worked her way up. Lauren has over 10 years of experience in the fashion editorial space, starting her career with internships at Marc Jacobs, Marie Claire, and The Zoe Report, where she was later hired as their editorial assistant. Lauren has worked in the Los Angeles and New York Who What Wear offices but currently calls L.A. home. It is here where she leads and manages Who What Wear's fashion team and oversees all day-to-day editorial content and large tentpole moments. This includes all of the runway, trend, and shopping-driven content that ultimately helps to build a strong brand reputation within the industry. Lauren's role also includes helping to set the fashion direction for all original photo shoots and often styles many of the celebrity cover shoots, including big names like Kaia Gerber, Normani, and Kristen Stewart.

She has also attended multiple fashion weeks, including New York, London, Milan, and Paris, where her personal style has been featured on sites such as Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, and Elle. She prides herself on discovering and supporting small brands and on her knack for a good vintage shopping find. When she isn't working, she enjoys researching and dining at reputable restaurants around both her neighborhood and the globe.