Continuing my eternal quest to dress more French-like, I’ve set my sights—as I know many of you have, too—on spring. Although we have a few weeks of winter still to get through, spring is very much on my mind right now as plans start to seep into my calendar and the promise of brighter, longer and warmer days begins to come into view.
This year, I want to make sure I’m prepared for the seasonal switch, and naturally, I’ve turned my attention to ascertaining which pieces form a French girl’s spring capsule wardrobe. For this, I’ve taken a close look at the sartorial habits of some of my favourite French women, deep-diving into their respective feeds to see what they wear when spring rolls around, and it didn’t take long for some patterns to emerge.
Now, I’m confident that the French woman’s spring capsule wardrobe can be encapsulated (and indeed replicated) in just 11 items—some of which I’m pretty sure you’ll already own, with a couple of stylish curveballs thrown in for good measure. Scroll on to see them and to begin assembling your own Français-inspired springtime outfits.
1. TRENCH COATS
Style Notes: We all know trench coats are an integral part of the British uniform, but French women have adopted them as their own, too, wearing them with everything from floral dresses (more on those later) to straight-leg jeans (also more on those later).
2. CHUNKY CARDIGANS
Style Notes: Cardigans are integral to how French women get dressed. If you follow their rules, the chunkier the better.
3. EASY CO-ORDS
Style Notes: French women tend to not overthink their outfits, which is why the idea of co-ords proves so appealing. I intend on capitalising on the knitted co-ord trend for maximum comfort.
4. OVERSIZED SHIRTS
Style Notes: Nothing has the power to make an outfit look pulled together quite like a shirt, and lots of French influencers tend to like theirs oversized. No need to size up; I’ve found perfectly cut shirts that tap into this aesthetic as they are.
5. LEATHER MINIS
Style Notes: I was surprised at just how many French women whip out leather miniskirts at even the first sign of spring. Wear with tights and boots now, then with Mary Janes just like Anne-Laure come April (or whenever there’s an, albeit unlikely, heatwave).
6. BASKET BAGS
Style Notes: It might sound cliché, but I have to believe some clichés exist for a reason. And that is certainly the case when it comes to French women and their penchant for basket bags, which peaks in the spring months.
7. SHIRRED BLOUSES
Style Notes: If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly looking for new ways to elevate your jeans. Well, look no further than the shirred blouse. While any colour or print will work, the French girls I found seem to favour crisp white blouses.
8. CROPPED JEANS
Style Notes: I’m not quite ready for bare-ankle season—Have you been outside lately? It’s cold—but when I am, you can bet the first thing I’ll be pulling on is a pair of cropped jeans.
9. TEA DRESSES
Style Notes: Tea dresses might sound dated, but French influencers still love wearing them. The trick is to look for floral prints that aren’t too trend-led—ditsy motifs in classic colour palettes seem to do the trick.
10. SUEDE BOOTS
Style Notes: Sharing similar climates (unless we’re talking about the South of France, that is), both Brit and French fashion people wear boots year-round. I’ve noticed that, as soon as spring rolls around, Gallic girls switch in softer suede styles that aren’t so harsh against lighter fabrics or colours.
11. TWEED JACKETS
Style Notes: French women have a knack at styling their tweed and bouclé jackets in fresh new ways, which always seem to come to fruition in spring when the need for heavy outerwear isn’t so pressing.