7 Accessories French Women Use to Elevate Their Outfits

Accessories are potent. They have the power to take what is otherwise a pretty standard outfit and make it more exciting and unique to you. I find accessories particularly handy in summer, for instance, when a basket bag is all I need to make my fail-safe jeans-and-white-T-shirt outfit combination feel more seasonally appropriate. On the subject of basket bags, I also like mine because it makes me feel like a French girl when I carry one. And anyone who reads my features will tell you that’s precisely the aesthetic I want to emulate. 

There are many clichés surrounding French style—too many to get into here—but one thing we can all agree on is that our Gallic friends know how to put an outfit together. Whether they prefer wardrobe classics or bold statement pieces, the way they assemble their looks comes with an inherent je ne sais quoi. And I want in. 

In an attempt to make my outfits look the Parisienne part this season, I’ve decoded seven French summer accessory trends my favourite follows rely upon during the warmer months. Yes, basket bags are included in this edit, but so are a handful of other add-ons you mightn’t expect. Intrigued? Scroll on.

1. Basket Bags


(Image credit: @vikilefevre)

Style Notes: Think "French accessory trends," and basket bags likely spring to mind. Though French people loyally carry theirs year-round, I prefer to tote mine in the summer months. 

2. Headscarves


(Image credit: @frannfyne)

Style Notes: Recently, I’ve noticed all the the French women I follow are choosing to decorate their hair with silk square scarves. I find this accessory to be particularly handy, as I’m always looking for ways to extend the time between washes—now, I can do so chicly. 

3. Retro Sunglasses


(Image credit: @pomelokiwie)

Style Notes: Generally speaking, the French aesthetic feels quite ’70s—lots of tan suede and flared jeans. One of the most stylish ways to give your ensembles retro appeal is with a pair of oversized square sunglasses, another throwback from the ’70s that French women love to wear. 

4. Beaded Necklaces


(Image credit: @claire_most)

Style Notes: A sure-fire way to give your look a playful twist is by way of some fun jewellery, and right now, my French follows love nothing more than to stack and layer thin beaded necklaces together. 

5. Espadrilles


(Image credit: @tamaramory)

Style Notes: Along with basket bags, espadrilles are another style stereotype French people actually wear. With the ability to make even the fanciest of dresses feel more effortless—like you’ve thrown them on without care yet they still look incredible—it’s easy to see their appeal. Plus, they’re comfortable! 

6. Tan Belts


(Image credit: @juliesfi)

Style Notes: A well-chosen belt can make your outfit look and feel more expensive, and this is a rule French women know all too well. In summer, they swap out shades of black for tan, lightening their outfits (and matching their straw basket bags) in the process. 

7. Scrunchies


(Image credit: @sylviemus_)

Style Notes: Upon conducting my research, I was amazed at just how many French influencers wear scrunchies on the regular. Ensure yours looks as glossy as can be by sticking to block colours; you’ll earn extra style points if you match yours to your outfit. 

Next Up: I'm a Style Expert—16 Easy Staples I'll Be Living in This Summer

Maxine Eggenberger
Deputy Editor

Maxine Eggenberger is Who What Wear UK’s deputy editor and has over thirteen years of experience in fashion journalism. She been creating engaging and elevated style content specifically for Who What Wear UK since 2018, covering runway reports, emerging trends, long-form features, self-styled shopping stories and columns, including her edit of the best new-in buys. She ensures the highest editorial standards are met across the site, leads the editorial team in their SEO strategy and keyword planning, works closely with the beauty team on content initiatives, represents the brand at industry events, and regularly contributes to social media, including her own Who What Wear UK TikTok franchise, French Style Fridays. Previously, Maxine appeared on ITV's This Morning in her own fashion segment and has interviewed countless celebrities—everyone from Victoria Beckham to Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o.

Prior to Who What Wear UK, Maxine’s career began when, after completing her first-ever internship at Look magazine, she was offered a position on the brand's fashion desk. She accepted, leaving university a year early in the process. Her passion and natural talent for writing and styling meant she swiftly rose through the ranks to become the title's fashion news and commercial content editor, with a stint as InStyle.co.uk’s fashion and beauty writer along the way. She later served as Look’s acting Editor in Chief, overseeing both print and digital, before embarking on a successful freelance career, working with Grazia, The Pool, and Marie Claire amongst others.

Maxine is based remotely from her countryside home near Edinburgh where she spends her downtime renovating her house, walking her dogs, hosting friends and trying to master the art of making Old Fashioned cocktails.