The Items French Girls Don't Wear in the Winter


(Image credit: Jean Picon)

We all know keeping it cool in winter can be pretty tricky. And who isn’t super excited about wearing winter coat coats, knits, and boots when the first days of autumn start to show their wonderful colours? (Even if we do get tired of wearing the same pieces over and over again while struggling with winter-burdened, ghostly skin.)

But rest assured, I’m here to help you solve that problem. Ahead, I’m laying out three key rules to follow if you want to tap into French style. I’ll also tell you which popular pieces you’ll never see Parisians wearing in the winter, as well as the staples everyone needs to own. Let’s dive into winter styling à la Française!


(Image credit: Jean Picon)

Rule number one: Don't give in to too comfortable pieces

I know—Uggs are comfortable. But would Catherine Deneuve wear Uggs? I’m guessing you already know the answer. When it’s been cold for months and the days stay short, it can be tempting to leave the house in a puffer coat and winter beanie. But if you want to follow the French rules of winter styling, it’s best to leave these pieces at home. On a more serious note: I find that for me, placing style over comfort motivates me because it makes me feel good about myself.

I know it sounds weird, but I believe the key to the cool French-girl vibe is to neither overdress nor underdress. Always ask yourself: What would Catherine Deneuve wear? As a side note, this tip only works for those who live in the city. I wouldn’t recommend wearing heels in the countryside. I’m not that cruel.


(Image credit: Jean Picon)

Rule number two: Try not to accumulate winter accessories 

This is much easier said than done. While it’s fun and easy to go accessory-free in the summer (since you’re wearing fewer pieces of clothing), over-accessorizing in winter can make you look like a “Sapin de Noël”, aka a Christmas tree. (Yes, it’s a saying.)

I rarely come across women wearing the full winter package in the streets of Paris (oversize beanies, knitted gloves, oversize scarves, furry boots). It’s just too much. Wear leather gloves (if it’s really very cold) with a turtleneck layered under a men’s coat to make you appear lighter and more French.


(Image credit: Jean Picon)

Rule number three: Chose the perfect essentials and be playful with them

Sometimes it’s cool to be playful and wear your French basics (like a men’s coat, oversize knit, or the perfect jeans) with some fun items. To me, wintertime is the perfect season to wear glitter, velvet and furry numbers. Mix these with your everyday essentials. After all, it is party season.

Ahead, shop French girl–approved items à la Catherine Deneuve.

Fluffy Details

Fluffy details are my absolute go-to’s for party season. Pair them with a fun pouch and some cute heels (preferably fluffy as well).


Velvet can look so chic if paired with something super simple. It’s also perfect for going out.

Fur Coat

I love furry, vintage-looking coats. You see so many of them wandering the streets of Paris. They pair perfectly with a simple outfit. Wear one with a T-shirt, jeans and boots.


One can only call herself French if she owns at least one pair of super-cool boots.


And of course, pair all your outfits with some cool jewelry.

Sabina Socol

Who’s your style icon?
I don’t have just one. I’m a sponge when in comes to style icons and get inspired by my entourage, the girls I follow on Instagram, famous actresses like Catherine Deneuve.

What are your 5 favorite people to follow on Instagram?
Alexandra Spencer @4thandbleeker for her amazing taste and style, and her brand @realisationpar, for the clothes of course and the cool art direction. @leandramedine and @pandorasykes, I just love their input on fashion and their sense of humor. And @c__l__o for inspiration and their beautifully curated selection of images.

What’s the fashion essential you can’t live without?
A pair of high waisted blue jeans.

What’s your desert island album?