8 French Summer Outfits You Can Always Fall Back On

Classic french summer outfits:

Photo:

@annelauremais

Paris has a special place in my heart, and wherever my heart goes, my wardrobe follows. When it comes to fashion, most would agree that French style is the cream of the crop. I’ve studied the essence of French dressing with a fine-tooth comb, reading fashion literature and eyeing the wardrobes of French editors and modern-day fashion muses to pinpoint the quintessence of French style.

I’m fortunate enough to have visited Paris a handful of times, and if there’s one thing I’ve learnt through people watching, it’s the power of understated garments. In recent years, we’ve been graced with a slew of indie fashion brands, from Rouje to The Frankie Shop (a brand gaining considerable traction this year).

Classic french summer outfits:

Photo:

@basicstouch
Classic french summer outfits:

Photo:

@emmanuellek_

Among the classics—berets, trench coats and ballet flats—lie the subtleties of French dressing that bring the je ne sais quoi, so to speak. Ankle-skimming jeans, pointelle vests and slingback flats are some of the modest heroes that make up the foundations. Although French style lends itself to monochromatic dressing, a French wardrobe is incomplete without an injection of colour, whether that’s via accents on a floral slip dress, a rouge lip or a parakeet-toned dress, like the ones shown below.

Wrap dresses, short-sleeve blouses, cropped knits and embroidered stitching are among designs you may associate with French chic. When it comes to accessories, the same aesthetic applies—bags are small but statement. The French aren’t opposed to embossed monikers or monogram prints. France is the home of Chanel and Jacquemus, after all.

If you’re as passionate about the fashion capital as I am and the people in it, here are eight looks I think will get the stamp of approval from the French style setters we so fervently admire.

Classic french summer outfits:

Photo:

@annelauremais

1. Fine-Knit Cardigan and Jeans

Style Notes: French women wear light knitted cardigans and jeans throughout the year. Paired with slingbacks and a basket bag, your outfit is complete. PS: Knits make adequate tops when there’s an unpredictable forecast.

French women swear by the vintage Levi's 501s, and this newer style has a similar straight-leg fit.

The infamous 501 in the indigo tone most worn by French women.

I've worn my slingbacks so much this year. This style is similar.

Named after the icon Jane Birkin, the most fitting bag for aimlessly wandering around Paris.

Fashion a tie around the handle of your basket bag the way French women do.

2. Vibrant Tea Dress and Flats

Style Notes: A button-down dress always looks great come rain or shine. With the Pujka dress, leave a couple of hemline buttons undone for extra movement in the skirt.

French-style dressing also welcomes pops of colour.

A classic collared button-down in a striking colourway.

This bag can be worn from day to night.

3. Minidress and Ballet Flats

Style Notes: Leg-baring styles are synonymous with French dressing. Luckily, there’s not much to do here, as a monogrammed bag is all the accessorising you need.

A monogram bag is a staple accessory across France.

You can wear these for weddings or pair them with jeans.

4.  Embroidered Blouse and Denim Mini

Style Notes: I love the juxtaposition of rigid denim and voile. This outfit pairs perfectly with espadrilles and an oversized basket bag for market days.

Isabel Marant is known for its pretty embroidered blouses.

Like an embroidered blouse, a denim mini never goes out of style.

Ever so slightly longer than your average mini.

A true French-style shopper in a tight palm weave. Fill with baked goods and blooms.

5. Printed Skirt and Fitted T-Shirt

Style Notes: Tuck the fitted T-shirt into the skirt, or tie it in a loop at the waist with a hairband.

If you've ever wondered what fitted tee French women often wear, it's this!

The printed skirt pairs well with a plain white or black T-shirt.

I often see people wearing this exact print on a navy-blue background.

The supple texture contrasts the deep tone of the bag.

The oval shape of these flats makes them perfect for wearing with jeans.

6. Button-Down Dress and Slingbacks

Style Notes: You can always rely on a shirt dress. With slingbacks and a ’90s-style bag, you’re set for the day.

Jewellery designer Louise Damas creates her collections with the French aesthetic in mind.

7. Embroidered Dress and Ankle-Tie Sandals

Style Notes: An embroidered cotton dress is perhaps the most summery option. It’s also effortless whilst looking considered. For the sandals, you can tie the ankle strap high or low.

A lightweight, loose dress for meandering in the capital.

This piece makes me excited to wear my five-year-old ankle-strap sandals.

8. Floral Dress With Slip-Ons

Style Notes: Floral dresses are  the epitome of French dressing. They can be worn with many styles of footwear, but take advantage of summer days and wear them with sandals.

From occasions to summer days, you'll get a lot of wear out of this dress.

The classic daytime slip dress—wear it with anything from heels to trainers.

The infamous baguette-shaped bag in a soft suede.

The brand describes this hue as butterscotch, which makes me feel all warm inside. 

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