No one does understated sassiness like the French. It's just one part of the je ne sais quoi that our Gallic neighbours across the channel are so good at achieving. Whether it's a hint of lace lingerie under a silk shirt or the fit of high-waisted blue jeans on the derrière, the French are incredible at being un peu playful. You need only look to the country's style muses to see that—from Brigitte Bardot to the contemporary Jeanne Damas. Right now, there's a trending top that's giving me all those French vibes: the tie-front blouse.
Championed by influencer Adenorah, the 2020 way to wear this item is to tie it loosely and pair it with jeans and strappy sandals or with denim shorts. Now, I can see why this might feel a little adventurous for some, so I have an alternative suggestion: Wear this top open over a slip dress or a camisole. Then again, Who What Wear columnist Monikh is also a fan and does hers all the way up (as you can see in the video below), which avoids the problem of accidental exposure.
As usual, there are plenty of brands carrying this style of top. My favourites are from our very own Who What Wear collection, which has a zebra-print version, and MaisonCléo. Unsurprisingly, there are many French brands such as Réalisation and Rouje that stock this top too, but don't overlook Kenzo's boxy orange version or the black Dries Van Noten top, which is currently in the sale. And if you're concerned about budget, Zara has a great option, but I'd also consider investing in the H&M top below, which is actually tied at the back. Turn it around, however, and you've got yourself a front-tied blouse. Keep scrolling for my full edit, and see how to style it.