5 Items Every French Woman Over 40 Owns

Want to know one thing stylish French women over 40 have in common? Seriously fine-tuned wardrobes that can teach all of us some lessons about how to curate closets brimming with chic pieces. In fact, many of them have the same go-to items that are the building blocks of a cool Parisian wardrobe, or non-Parisian wardrobe for that matter.

I started to notice these similarities when looking through some photos. From glossy black jackets to perfectly tailored tweed jackets, there are plenty of French wardrobe staples that are always consistent. Go on to see the five pieces every stylish French woman over 40 owns, and then shop the pieces for yourself if you find their outfits as inspiring as I do.


Sleek and refined, black jackets with a glossy finish are plucked straight from the 1967 French film Belle de Jour

Charlotte Gainsbourg


(Image credit: Getty Images)


Another outerwear staple that's a must among French women? Oversized, boxy blazers that look like they could have been borrowed from the men's department.

Emmanuelle Alt


(Image credit: Getty Images)


There may not be a more timeless or elegant shoe than the strappy heel—a style secret that French women over 40 are clued into.

Aïssa Maïga


(Image credit: Getty Images)


Perhaps one of the most recognisable pieces from French fashion is the tweed jacket. It instantly elevates a basic top and jeans, as is the case with outfits we've spotted on Vanessa Paradis.

Vanessa Paradis


(Image credit: Getty Images)


The French are known for their penchant for ankle boots, and the way these women style the footwear makes us think it's a practical necessity for city life.

Inès de la Fressange


(Image credit: Getty Images)

Next up, 10 Timeless Items Every French Woman Has in Her Wardrobe

This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated.

Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including Vogue.com, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.