A French Woman Walks Into H&M—8 Effortless Items She'd Buy, and 8 She'd Skip


(Image credit: @aidabadji_)

If you love French style and shopping at an affordable price point, then you've come to the right place! I'm a French woman at heart, especially when it comes to my style choices. I'm forever on the lookout for fresh pieces that embody that nonchalant yet polished aesthetic the French do so well. 

So if effortlessly cool French style is what you're looking for this season, and you don't want to spend a fortune on a fresh wardrobe, then it's worth taking a peek at H&M right now. From chic tank tops to straight-leg jeans and sleek skirts, the affordable brand has a host of classic yet trend-forward finds ideal for the current in-between-seasons weather.

Keep scrolling for our guide to what our Parisian fashion friends are likely to buy from H&M and the items they would likely say "non, merci" to.

Buy: Chic Vest Tops

Skip: Over-the-Top Party Tops


(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Style Notes: French women rely on chic and easy tank tops all year round. Skip the over-the-top party tops and pair an elevated tank with jeans and midi skirts instead.

Buy: Relaxed Button-Down Shirts

Skip: Tunics


(Image credit: @saraloura)

Style Notes: If there's one item stylish French women wear year-round, it's a relaxed and effortless button-down shirt. Set the tunics aside and opt for a button-down in white, blue, or stripes for the utmost versatility. 

Buy: '90s Straight and Loose Leg Jeans

Skip: Super Skinny Jeans


(Image credit: @annelauremais)

Style Notes: Jeans are a staple for French women, and you'll always find a '90s-inspired high-waisted straight-leg silhouette in their wardrobe. Bypass the super-skinny styles and go for a more relaxed cut.

Buy: Loafers and Boots

Skip: Sky-High Platforms


(Image credit: @leasy_inparis)

Style Notes: For wandering around Paris, flat, or at least comfy, shoes are a must and we've noticed our French friends are partial to a pair of classic loafers or a simple black boot. These versatile shoes can be styled with dresses, tailoring and jeans alike, and H&M has a ton to choose from right now.

Buy: Shoulder Bags

Skip: Micro Mini Bags


(Image credit: @lenafarl)

Style Notes: For summer it's all about the basket bag 'en France', but come autumn these are put away for their classic counterparts: the shoulder bag. Classic designs with room for the essential are a go-to. 

Buy: Minimal Skirts

Skip: Leggings


(Image credit: @lenafarl)

Style Notes: Sleek and elegant. This season, opt for streamlined slip skirts, maxi silhouettes, or minis that will transition seamlessly from day to night.

Buy: Textured Jackets

Skip: Quilted Jackets


(Image credit: @aidabadji_)

Style Notes: When it comes to jackets, skip more practical-looking quilted styles for elegant bouclé-style jackets. Whether it's a black cropped version or longer length tweed, this feminine jacket style is inherently Parisian (Coco Chanel did invent it, after all) and it will make any outfit feel polished. 

Buy: Striped Tops

Skip: Tie-Dye Tops


(Image credit: @annelauremais)

Style Notes: Yes, it's true. French women love stripes. They generally favour striped tops and sweaters more than tie-dye or geometric designs. Simply add a pair of high-waisted jeans, a belt, and ballet flats, and you have one chic-looking outfit. 

This story originally appeared on Who What Wear U.S. and has since been updated.

Judith Jones
Senior Fashion Market Editor

Judith is the senior fashion market editor at Who What Wear and has worked in fashion for nearly a decade. Judith started on the Shop Who What Wear team, creating content and managing a team of merchandisers for the Who What Wear shopping app. She later crossed over to the editorial team, where she shares the coolest, most desirable fashion market finds and brands in her shopping-focused stories and social takeovers. She has become one of the top affiliate earners during her six plus years at Who What Wear. Before working in fashion, Judith was a TV host on the PBS travel show Globe Trekker (airing on Netflix and Amazon Prime) and shared her passion for travel and food. She studied at the prestigious London Academy of Dramatic Arts as well as Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York. She later studied fashion merchandising and design, which laid the foundation for her career in fashion.

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