You Won't Catch French Girls Wearing These Jeans

It's hard not to be inspired by French-girl fashion. With their nonchalant style and enviable wardrobes, they’ve mastered casual-cool. We've already done some digging to break down exactly how to get their summer wardrobes and what they're packing in their suitcases. But one of the most interesting things about stylish French girls might be the timelessness of their outfits. The looks they're wearing today could just as easily have been worn by, say, Jane Birkin or Brigitte Bardot—seriously.

Perhaps the best example of this comes down to the jeans they're wearing and the styles you won't see them in. Scroll through Instagram, and you won't see them in anything too trend-driven like lace-up jeans or extreme flares. Instead, they gravitate toward vintage jeans and retro-inspired styles.

If you want to tap into their denim style, the rules are simple. First, opt for straight-leg silhouettes. Levi’s 501 jeans are a great baseline—the flattering cut is one you can find in any French girl's closet. Next, consider the wash. Anything from light blue to indigo to black makes the cut, but steer away from anything jarring like an acid wash. Finally, get some styling inspiration from their looks. You can't go wrong with a simple button-down and Chanel cap-toe slingbacks, or a breezy summer blouse with cat-eye sunglasses and espadrilles. Très chic.

Keep reading to see how French girls are styling their denim, and then shop for our favorite vintage-inspired jeans from Rouje, Re/Done, Reformation, and more.


(Image credit: @sabinasocol)

Make your vintage jeans the focal point of your outfit. Style them with a staple black tee and timeless loafers. 

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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.