I've Just Been to Paris—6 Summer Dress Trends I Saw French Women Already Wearing

It’s natural that whilst we await the warmer months, our minds and wardrobes shift but dresses are a year-round staple in the wardrobes of many French women. Come April, knitted dresses are swapped for their spring equivalent and French women slip into frocks with tights and trench coats thrown atop. I often find myself daydreaming about the dresses I’ll wear, be it for weddings or to elevate my daily wares, especially come spring.

Whenever I fancy treating myself to something new or require a fresh dose of fashion inspiration, there is a selection of women I turn to, and the fact they’re all French or reside in France is no coincidence. If you’re familiar with my byline (for better or worse, my name is pretty easy to remember), you’ll know that I am an avid fan of the French aesthetic. I was eager to find out which dress trends French women actually wear come spring to inform my own frock selection.

After hours of research, I can confidently say six dress trends get the overall French-girl stamp of approval. From the print that Gallic girls always come back to, to the shapes and silhouettes they prefer, scroll on to see the dress trends French women subscribe to each spring and summer.

1. BLACK DRESS WITH A TWIST

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(Image credit: @aidabadji_)

Style Notes: A black dress feels at home on the streets of Paris, with its fashionable residents leaning into the pared-back aesthetic of the piece. Come spring, they're worn with anything from denim jackets to trench coats.

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2. LONG-SLEEVE MINIS

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(Image credit: @tamaramory)

Style Notes: Although I don’t subscribe to the outdated rule that you should only show one bare body part at a time (this is 2024, after all), there is something very chic about minidresses with long sleeves—something French women are familiar with, as they wear them a lot.

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3. Denim

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(Image credit: @lenafarl)

Style Notes: French women wear denim year round and they turn to denim frocks with ankle boots, ballet flats or mules in spring. There’s something so charming about the style that I find impossible to resist.

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4. SIMPLE SLIPS

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(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Style Notes: When French women get dressed up, they often opt for "less is more” pieces. And the slip dress definitely falls into that category.

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5. KNITTED

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(Image credit: @tamaramory)

Style Notes: Knitted dresses are considered to be a transitional style staple and there are many styles French women wear — from ribbed styles to asymmetric styles.

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6. Florals

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(Image credit: @frannyfyne)

Style Notes: floral dresses are a piece that French women always have in their outfit rotations. Worn with ballet flats in the spring and summer, this is perhaps the chicest and most versatile dress style you can own.

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Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.