7 Accessories French Women Use to Elevate Their Outfits

Accessories are potent. They have the power to take what is otherwise a pretty standard outfit and make it more exciting and unique to you. I find accessories particularly handy in summer, for instance, when a basket bag is all I need to make my fail-safe jeans-and-white-T-shirt outfit combination feel more seasonally appropriate. On the subject of basket bags, I also like mine because it makes me feel like a French girl when I carry one. And anyone who reads my features will tell you that’s precisely the aesthetic I want to emulate. 

There are many clichés surrounding French style—too many to get into here—but one thing we can all agree on is that our Gallic friends know how to put an outfit together. Whether they prefer wardrobe classics or bold statement pieces, the way they assemble their looks comes with an inherent je ne sais quoi. And I want in. 

In an attempt to make my outfits look the Parisienne part this season, I’ve decoded seven French summer accessory trends my favourite follows rely upon during the warmer months. Yes, basket bags are included in this edit, but so are a handful of other add-ons you mightn’t expect. Intrigued? Scroll on.

1. Basket Bags

French Summer Accessory Trends: @vikilefevre

Photo:

@vikilefevre

Style Notes: Think "French accessory trends," and basket bags likely spring to mind. Though French people loyally carry theirs year-round, I prefer to tote mine in the summer months. 

Muuñ bags offer an authentic basket-bag experience. 

2. Headscarves

French Summer Accessory Trends: @frannfyne

Photo:

@frannfyne

Style Notes: Recently, I’ve noticed all the the French women I follow are choosing to decorate their hair with silk square scarves. I find this accessory to be particularly handy, as I’m always looking for ways to extend the time between washes—now, I can do so chicly. 

Blue-and-white always feels so fresh. 

I own this and love adding it to the straps of my tote bags. 

If you have the budget, invest in pure silk. 

3. Retro Sunglasses

French Summer Accessory Trends: @pomelokiwie

Photo:

@pomelokiwie

Style Notes: Generally speaking, the French aesthetic feels quite ’70s—lots of tan suede and flared jeans. One of the most stylish ways to give your ensembles retro appeal is with a pair of oversized square sunglasses, another throwback from the ’70s that French women love to wear. 

A frugal pair that nails the aesthetic perfectly. 

4. Beaded Necklaces

French Summer Accessory Trends: @claire_most

Photo:

@claire_most

Style Notes: A sure-fire way to give your look a playful twist is by way of some fun jewellery, and right now, my French follows love nothing more than to stack and layer thin beaded necklaces together. 

I love the colours within this necklace. 

The gold flashes add to the glam factor. 

5. Espadrilles

French Summer Accessory Trends: @tamaramory

Photo:

@tamaramory

Style Notes: Along with basket bags, espadrilles are another style stereotype French people actually wear. With the ability to make even the fanciest of dresses feel more effortless—like you’ve thrown them on without care yet they still look incredible—it’s easy to see their appeal. Plus, they’re comfortable! 

You really can’t beat Castañer espadrilles. 

I reiterate: You really can’t beat Castañer espadrilles. 

6. Tan Belts

French Summer Accessory Trends: @juliesfi

Photo:

@juliesfi

Style Notes: A well-chosen belt can make your outfit look and feel more expensive, and this is a rule French women know all too well. In summer, they swap out shades of black for tan, lightening their outfits (and matching their straw basket bags) in the process. 

I’m still into knotted belts like this one. 

The buckle had me convinced this belt was designer. 

7. Scrunchies

French Summer Accessory Trends: @sylviemus_

Photo:

@sylviemus_

Style Notes: Upon conducting my research, I was amazed at just how many French influencers wear scrunchies on the regular. Ensure yours looks as glossy as can be by sticking to block colours; you’ll earn extra style points if you match yours to your outfit. 

I have this scrunchie and use it to hold my low bun in place. 

Look for a swimsuit in this texture (there are lots out there) to take your outfit coordination up a notch. 

Free People always has the most beautiful hair accoutrements. 

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