I've Worked It Out: This Is How French Women Always Style Jeans

If I know anything about fashion, it's that jeans will always be the ultimate staple pair of trousers. They're what you reach for when you think you've got nothing else to wear, when you're going on a night out and when you're just meeting friends in the park. They are also the one type of trousers I see French women wear on repeat, and it is obvious that they seem to know exactly how to make jeans look chic. I've spent plenty of time looking at how French women do it, and I've managed to narrow it down to six key jeans outfit formulas that they always return to.

Of course, there’s the classic blazer-and-smart-shoes combo, the relaxed white shirt and then the delicate-blouse look inspired by Jane Birkin. But there are a few others that I think you’re missing out on—ones you’ll definitely want to know about. Below, I've found plenty of jeans outfits to get inspiration from as well as all the pieces you might need to re-create the looks.

How French Women Style Jeans

1. Blazer + Smart Shoes


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

Style Notes: Camille Charrière knows a good blazer when she sees one. In fact, nearly every French woman I follow on Instagram seems to have the ability to source a chic jacket built into their DNA. This bodes well for when you want to truly elevate a pair of jeans without being too flashy. Add cool mules or a pair of sandals to finish off the look.

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2. White Shirt + Flats


(Image credit: @claire_most)

Style Notes: The white shirt is another classic staple of the French wardrobe. The most French way to wear this is to keep it unbuttoned as far as you feel comfortable, and if you flash a tiny bit of lingerie, then you’re on your way to being très French. It's ideal for wearing with any kind of shoes, but loafers or ballet pumps are super chic.

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3. Knit + Ankle Boots


(Image credit: @sabinasocol)

Style Notes: A simple, chunky knit will always be the foundation of our transitional wardrobes. Take notes from Sabrina Socol and wear yours with a dressy ankle boot and high-waisted jeans.

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4. Socks + Loafers


(Image credit: @vikilefevre)

Style Notes: This is a relatively new styling trend I’ve spotted on a couple of French women, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be timeless. With the loafer trend continuing to boom, take a style tip from our Gallic neighbours by wearing white or black socks with your loafers. Yep, it’s that simple.

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5. Double Denim + Heels


(Image credit: @frannfyne)

Style Notes: Double denim is loved by plenty of French icons, such as Caroline de Maigret and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The coolest way to wear it right now? Opt for a denim jacket with a twist (think a non-classic silhouette, oversized lapels or a belted version like Franny's above), matching jeans and a pair of heels. Swap in a shirt if you want to go back to basics.

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6. Broderie Anglaise Blouse


(Image credit: @lenafarl)

Style Notes: A real classic in a French denim outfit? The simplest of them all: a white blouse. With some lace or embroidered detailing, preferably.

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6. Chic Tanks and Camis 


(Image credit: @emmanuellek_)

Style Notes: Consider this a fashion girl's cheat sheet as it's a look that'll work just as well in the daytime as in the evenings. Whether the silhouette is fitted or floaty, a pretty tank is guaranteed to make you feel and look incredible.

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

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.