French women are often celebrated for their effortless style that is built around some recognisable pieces. I’ve written many stories for Who What Wear breaking down the essential items to craft a Parisian wardrobe for yourself, and they inevitably include French-girl favourites that we see on repeat (wrap dresses! Basket bags!). But of course, not all French women dress alike.
One style subset that has made an impression on me lately is the French woman with the minimalist wardrobe, built around clean lines and smart tailoring. It’s a way of dressing that hits on the trends in a subtle way, but the looks are refined and classic, with pieces that can be worn season after season. If you find yourself gravitating toward this modern way of dressing, you’ll enjoy what’s ahead. I’m breaking down the essential items needed to create a French minimalist capsule wardrobe—and the stylish women who are putting it on the map.
Bags have architectural shapes and geometric designs—like these leather styles from The Row and Danse Lente.
Satin Slip Skirts
An easy way to tap into this style is with a neutral wardrobe color palette. Stick to shades of white, tan and black (with the occasional rust or red).
When it comes to shoes, choose simple slide sandals finished in leather. Hermès makes a classic version, but you can also find affordable versions at Zara. Buy now, and set aside until your winter holiday or, if you're not jetting off any time soon, until spring.
Thin Ribbed Knits
Ribbed tops and dresses prove to be the ultimate layering pieces in the minimalist French-girl wardrobe.
Another essential? A sharp-tailored blazer—for wearing with matching trousers or on its own.