We all know keeping it cool in winter can be pretty tricky. And who isn’t super excited about wearing winter coat coats, knits, and boots when the first days of autumn start to show their wonderful colours? (Even if we do get tired of wearing the same pieces over and over again while struggling with winter-burdened, ghostly skin.)
But rest assured, I’m here to help you solve that problem. Ahead, I’m laying out three key rules to follow if you want to tap into French style. I’ll also tell you which popular pieces you’ll never see Parisians wearing in the winter, as well as the staples everyone needs to own. Let’s dive into winter styling à la Française!
Rule number one: Don't give in to too comfortable pieces
I know—Uggs are comfortable. But would Catherine Deneuve wear Uggs? I’m guessing you already know the answer. When it’s been cold for months and the days stay short, it can be tempting to leave the house in a puffer coat and winter beanie. But if you want to follow the French rules of winter styling, it’s best to leave these pieces at home. On a more serious note: I find that for me, placing style over comfort motivates me because it makes me feel good about myself.
I know it sounds weird, but I believe the key to the cool French-girl vibe is to neither overdress nor underdress. Always ask yourself: What would Catherine Deneuve wear? As a side note, this tip only works for those who live in the city. I wouldn’t recommend wearing heels in the countryside. I’m not that cruel.
Rule number two: Try not to accumulate winter accessories
This is much easier said than done. While it’s fun and easy to go accessory-free in the summer (since you’re wearing fewer pieces of clothing), over-accessorizing in winter can make you look like a “Sapin de Noël”, aka a Christmas tree. (Yes, it’s a saying.)
I rarely come across women wearing the full winter package in the streets of Paris (oversize beanies, knitted gloves, oversize scarves, furry boots). It’s just too much. Wear leather gloves (if it’s really very cold) with a turtleneck layered under a men’s coat to make you appear lighter and more French.
Rule number three: Chose the perfect essentials and be playful with them
Sometimes it’s cool to be playful and wear your French basics (like a men’s coat, oversize knit, or the perfect jeans) with some fun items. To me, wintertime is the perfect season to wear glitter, velvet and furry numbers. Mix these with your everyday essentials. After all, it is party season.
Ahead, shop French girl–approved items à la Catherine Deneuve.
Fluffy details are my absolute go-to’s for party season. Pair them with a fun pouch and some cute heels (preferably fluffy as well).
Wear with jeans or tailored trousers for a fun finisher.
Stay warm during the colder months in this shearling jacket.
This sophisticated and chic dress is French girl–approved.
Velvet can look so chic if paired with something super simple. It’s also perfect for going out.
Tote this bag around for all occasions.
Put all your essentials in this bag for a night out.
I love furry, vintage-looking coats. You see so many of them wandering the streets of Paris. They pair perfectly with a simple outfit. Wear one with a T-shirt, jeans and boots.
This will be your new go-to jacket. We love the colour.
Style yours with white trousers.
French girls wearing furry coats over midi-length dresses.
One can only call herself French if she owns at least one pair of super-cool boots.
Every wardrobe needs these boots.
Wear these with ankle-grazing trousers.
Pair these boots with corduroy pants for a ’70s vibe.
And of course, pair all your outfits with some cool jewelry.
Let this necklace be the focal point of your look by pairing with a simple white blouse.
French girls always wear delicate, timeless earrings.