French Women Always Look Chic in Winter Thanks to These 8 Items

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(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

It's not always an easy feat to keep our levels of chicness high when the temps dip low, but who better to inspire our winter outfits than the fashion-forward French, who basically embody the words "effortlessly chic"? In fact, throughout many years of writing about French-girl style, I've kept a close eye on items French women always reach for to look chic and polished through the cold-weather season.

When it comes to French-girl winter outfits, it's all about comfort, convenience, and classic pieces that will elevate an ensemble, and luckily for us, taking a leaf out of their book doesn't require too much effort. Keep scrolling for the eight essential items French girls reach for to stay warm and look chic all season long, from striking long overcoats to cozy cardigans.

1. Long, Oversize Wool Overcoat

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(Image credit: @sylviemus)

Style Notes: If there's one item I see over and over again on stylish French women in winter, it's a long, slightly oversize wool coat—usually in a classic colour such as navy, black, or camel. There is something so chic about the elongated silhouette, and it works with everything from sneaker outfits to knit dresses, jeans, and more. Unquestionably, it's the number one French-girl essential for looking chic in winter.

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2. Walkable Leather Knee-High Boots

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(Image credit: @aida.bdji)

Style Notes: When it comes to boots, the French crowd skips the Uggs and instead favours leather knee-high boots with a walkable heel or a flat sole, preferably in versatile tan or black hues. They're ideal for styling with tights and a mini or midi skirt.

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3. Turtleneck

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(Image credit: @salome.mory)

Style Notes: Whether layered under a blazer, button-down, knit, or all three, a classic turtleneck is a staple in every French woman's winter wardrobe. It's classic, smart, and chic. Nobody layers turtlenecks quite like the French.

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4. An Extra Jumper Tied Around the Shoulders

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(Image credit: @annelauremais)

Style Notes: There's no doubt basic sweaters are an integral part of a French winter wardrobe, but to add a stylish finishing touch to a cold-weather look, French women like to tie a chunky knit nonchalantly around their shoulders—over their coat, sweater, or blazer—which provides extra warmth and exudes that effortlessly chic touch they're well and truly known for.

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5. Cos`y and Cute Cardigan

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(Image credit: @monicaainleydlv)

Style Notes: French women wear cardigans on a daily basis, opting for thicker iterations in the winter months. This is the perfect opportunity to add a little pop of colour to their neutral hues throughout the cold-weather season.

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6. Shearling or Faux-Fur Coat

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(Image credit: @annelauremais)

Style Notes: Whether it's a '70s-inspired suede coat lined with shearling, a striking faux-fur coat, or a fuzzy-collar coat, the French love a textured topper. Opt for one in a vintage-inspired silhouette.

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7. Statement Accessory

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(Image credit: @pomelokiwie)

Style Notes: While we tend to see a lot of dark ensembles in winter, the French like to add an eye-catching element to their look in the form of statement accessories, like a zebra-print purse or a blue beanie.

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8. Black Tights

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(Image credit: @louloudesaison)

Style Notes: Okay, so this may seem pretty basic, but the French really like to make use of their tights in winter. Whether sheer or thick, we see French women styling them with tweed and wool miniskirts and even city shorts and boots throughout the colder months. Stick to black for a chic look.

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This post was previously published 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.