I Stalked French Girls on Insta, and They All Own These 7 Non-Basic Things

French women are known for the classics. A good pair of jeans plus a cable-knit jumper plus timeless accessories make up one of the many outfits that I think of when imagining what one would wear to galavant around Paris. One thing the items listed above have in common is that we call them basics. Since French women are very well known for artfully styling wardrobe essentials, that tends to be what we associate them with. If you take a closer look, however, you'll notice that they also champion a lot of non-boring items.

Taking a break from exploring French basics led me to notice themes like funky stripes, menswear staples, unique tailoring, and more. There are a lot of micro-trends to be found in Paris, but some of them pop up more often than others. Below, see the seven non-basic things that seemingly all of the French girls own.

1. '70s-Inspired Stripes


(Image credit: @juliesfi)

French girls are known for their love of stripes, so this point may not surprise you. While black-and-white striped T-shirts are what most people consider to be French fashion staples, I beg them to think again. Colourful retro stripes seem to be in every French girl's closet these days.

2. Menswear Essentials


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

French women love the effortless appeal that comes along with a "borrowed from the boys" approach to their wardrobe. Right now, menswear ties are trending harder than ever. This is your perfect excuse to dive into the trend.

3. Unique Blazers


(Image credit: @emmanuellek_)

Any French girl's closet is a treasure trove of blazers. From what I've seen on Instagram, I'm assuming nearly all of them have one in every colour. While they love the classic silhouette, they always find a way to wear a blazer that's unlike anything you've ever seen before. Shopping for a unique blazer is the perfect way to get a statement piece that is also timeless. 

4. Blanket Scarves


(Image credit: @pia_mbd)

A blanket scarf can take any simple top-and-jeans combination to a whole other level. Throwing something like this over a blazer or coat makes for the ultimate layered look. We're all familiar with the ACNE Studios scarf, an It buy that I'm currently debating ordering right now, but no matter where you get your blanket scarf, you simply won't regret it. 

5. Military Jackets


(Image credit: @aida.bdji)

Structured silhouettes pair well with the effortless pieces that make up a French girl's closet. I rarely encounter a military jacket these days, but in all of France, it's a very popular piece. I'm grabbing one to finish off all of my looks. 

6. Ultra-Romantic Lingerie


(Image credit: @lenafarl)

While many people often overlook their lingerie drawers, French women have been giving theirs extra attention. They're the ones who invented the word lingerie after all. Ultra-romantic lingerie is right up their alley, and you're destined to find delicate lace, pretty pinks, and floral embroidery in their collections. 

7. Tailored Vests


(Image credit: @tamaramory)

Here's to a trendy buy that I personally can't get enough of. French women excel in the art of expertly layering tailored separates. Here's one they'll wear with or without the blazer. It can do no wrong. 


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This post originally appeared on Who What Wear US. 

Associate Editor

Sierra Mayhew was always destined to work in fashion, but she didn't know it at first. Growing up with no choice but to wear a rotation of school uniforms and activewear, her love for fashion really blossomed when she moved away for college and was able to finally define her very own personal style. Shortly thereafter, she interned at Elle magazine and instantly knew that editorial was for her. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, she worked for ShopBazaar, contributing regularly to Bazaar.com, and finally made her way to Who What Wear, where she is an associate editor. When she’s not working, you can catch her always trying to catch a flight, rollerblading through New York City traffic, or exploring the latest luxury vintage boutique.