It’s natural that whilst we await the cooler months, our minds and wardrobes shift to chunky outerwear and layers but dresses are a year-round staple in the wardrobes of many French women. Come October, mini-tea dresses are swapped for their autumn/winter equivalent and French women slip into frocks with tights and a chunky jumper thrown atop. I often find myself daydreaming about the dresses I’ll wear, be it for weddings or to elevate my daily wares and autumn is no different.
Whenever I fancy treating myself to something new or require a fresh dose of fashion inspiration, there is a selection of women I turn to, and the fact they’re all French or reside in France is no coincidence. If you’re familiar with my byline (for better or worse, my name is pretty easy to remember), you’ll know that I am an avid fan of the French aesthetic. I was eager to find out which dress trends French women actually wear come autumn to inform my own frock selection.
After hours of research, I can confidently say six dress trends get the overall French-girl stamp of approval. From the print that Gallic girls always come back to, to the shapes and silhouettes they prefer, scroll on to see the dress trends French women subscribe to each autumn and winter.
1. BLACK DRESS WITH A TWIST
Style Notes: A black dress feels at home on the streets of Paris, with its fashionable residents leaning into the pared-back aesthetic of the piece. Come autumn, they're worn with anything from heels to boots.
2. LONG-SLEEVE MINIS
Style Notes: Although I don’t subscribe to the outdated rule that you should only show one bare body part at a time (this is 2023, after all), there is something very chic about minidresses with long sleeves—something French women are familiar with, as they wear them a lot.
Style Notes: French women wear denim year round and they turn to denim frocks with boots in the autumn and winter. There’s something so charming about the style that I find impossible to resist.
4. SIMPLE SLIPS
Style Notes: When French women get dressed up, they often opt for “less is more” pieces. And the slip dress definitely falls into that category.
Style Notes: Knitted dresses are considered to be a winter style staple and there are many styles French women wear — from ribbed styles to asymmetric styles.
Style Notes: floral dresses are a piece that French women always have in their outfit rotations. Worn with knee-high boots in autumn and winter, this is perhaps the chicest and most versatile dress style you can own.