We're slowly but surely uncovering the mysteries of French fashion one story at a time: Although only a hop, skip and a jump away on the Eurostar, there are still many differences between our respective strands of style DNA, but being un petit peu Parisian now and then is possible, thanks to a few pointers we've learnt over the years. For starters, there are the go-to Gallic brands you can shop from, Instagram's Parisian power-dressers to peruse or a simple list of Riviera summer staples that instantly exclaim bonjour! from a mile off.
Compiling the aforementioned stories (and many, many more) means that our team's eyes are always on the French fashion set, and so we start to notice—hawk-like—when microtrends present themselves. Recently our attentions have been focused in the footwear department, picking up on a conscious shoe choice our favourite girls have been making this summer: They aren't wearing sandals. It's really rare that you'll spot a chic French girl on a hot day wearing open-toed shoes.
Like all true French wardrobe foundations, one could chart this back to the leader of the pack: Jane Birkin. Unless barefoot and resplendent in denim, throughout the '60s, she was most commonly spotted in ballet pumps and closed-toe Mary Janes, even when summering in Cannes. Both of these styles have (as well as slingbacks) been making strong bids for summer 2017.
How do French girls not feel the heat and the subsequent urge to bare their feet? That we cannot answer. But what we can tell you is that there's something intrinsically imbued in the process of styling up your summer outfits this way—perhaps that's why the classic Chanel pump has long been a retail smash. Keep reading to see the French girls who are eschewing sandals for summer—and see what they're wearing instead.