It's True—French Women Over 50 All Own These 6 Simple Items

It's no secret that French women possess a knack for a polished style that reads as effortless and cool. Over the years, they prove to really refine their personal senses of style with wardrobes stocked with incredible closet essentials. French women are truly in the know about which building blocks will last for years ahead, so it's no surprise you'll spot many of them wearing the same staples.

Yep, you'll be sure to see elegant tweed pieces on both Carla Bruni and Isabel Marant. The same goes for ankle boots, which you'll notice Nadege du Bosterus and Juliette Binoche styling with their looks. And it doesn't stop there. Ahead, take inspiration from stylish over-50 French women and see the six pieces you'll spot in all of their closets. You can also shop the items for yourself to replicate their chic looks.



(Image credit: Getty Images/Toni Anne Barson)

Isabelle Huppert in a trench coat and heels.

Style Notes: No matter what season it is, trench coats are an easy staple to make any outfit looks polished. Whether layered over a sweater, trousers and boots in the winter or Bermuda shorts and a tee in the summer, this French girl–approved piece is a true classic.


(Image credit: Getty Images/Christian Vierig)

Carine Roitfeld in a trench coat with leggings.

Shop trenches:



(Image credit: Getty Images/Jacopo Raule)

Nadege du Bospertus in black ankle boots.

Style Notes: A great pair of ankle boots is an investment that is definitely worth the cost per wear. You can pair them with a dressy suit for a red carpet-worthy look or style them with jeans for a more casual look.


(Image credit: Getty Images/Christian Vierig)

Juliette Binoche in chocolate brown ankle boots and flared jeans.


(Image credit: Getty Images/Kristy Sparow)

Bambou Gainsbourg in suede ankle boots.

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(Image credit: Getty Images/Jacopo Raule)

Carla Bruni in a tweed jacket and skinny jeans.

Style Notes: Tweed is the luxe fabric that instantly makes me think of stylish French women. To avoid making it look too stiff, try pairing a jacket with leggings or leather pants for an outfit that is equal parts sophisticated and cool.


(Image credit: Getty Images/David M. Benett)

Isabel Marant in a tweed waistcoat.


(Image credit: Getty Images/Foc Kan)

Anne Hidalgo in a tweed overcoat.

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(Image credit: Getty Images/Laurent Viteur)

France Zobda in wide-leg high-waisted trousers.

Style Notes: If you're looking to make your wardrobe feel more polished, you can't go wrong with a great pair of high-waisted trousers. Whether styled with a button-down top or a leather jacket, the tailored basic reads as instantly polished.


(Image credit: Getty Images/Stephane Cardinale-Corbis)

Isabelle Adjani in black high-waisted trousers.


(Image credit: Getty Images/Patrick McMullan)

Anh Duong in sequin high-waisted trousers.

Shop high-waisted trousers:



(Image credit: Getty Images/Kirstin Sinclair)

Ines de la Fressange in a navy blazer with white denim.

Style Notes: A tailored blazer might be one of the most versatile pieces you can add to your wardrobe. For a piece that feels inspired by French women, look for a slightly oversize fit with sharp tailoring.


(Image credit: Getty Images/Christian Vierig)

Virginie Mozat in a black suit.


(Image credit: Getty Images/Victor Virgile)

Virginie Viard in a tux-style blazer.

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(Image credit: Getty Images/Kirstin Sinclair)

Emmanuelle Alt in black pumps, wide-leg trousers and a leather jacket.

Style Notes: The ultimate simple heels that go with anything? Sleek pumps. The versatile staple is one that withstands trends, so it's easy to see why you'll find it in every French woman's wardrobe.


(Image credit: Getty Images/Pierre Suu)

Sophie Marceau in suede pumps and a pencil skirt.


(Image credit: Getty Images/Bertrand Rindoff Petroff)

Catherine Deneuve in black pumps and a leopard coat.

Shop pumps:

Next Up: Women in Paris Wear These 7 Elegant Basics More Than Anything Else

This piece originally appeared on Who What Wear U.S. and has since 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 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.