If I know anything about fashion, it's that jeans will always be the ultimate staple pair of trousers. They're what you reach for when you think you've got nothing else to wear, when you're going on a night out and when you're just meeting friends in the park. They are also the one type of trousers I see French women wear on repeat. The thing is les françaises seem to know exactly how to make jeans look chic. I've spent plenty of time looking at how French women do it, and I've managed to narrow it down to six key jeans outfit formulas that they always return to.
Of course, there’s the classic blazer-and-smart-shoes combo, the oversized white shirt and then the cropped-blouse look inspired by Jane Birkin. But there are a few others that I think you’re missing out on—ones you’ll definitely want to know about. Below, I've found plenty of jeans outfits to get inspiration from, and you can shop the looks too.
1. Blazer + Smart Shoes
Style Notes: Both Camille Charrière and Emmanuelle Alt know a good blazer when they see one. In fact, nearly every French woman I follow on Instagram seems to have the ability to source a chic jacket built into their DNA. This bodes well for when you want to truly elevate a pair of jeans without being too flashy. Add cool mules or a pair of sandals to finish off the look.
2. White Shirt + Flat Sandals
Style Notes: The white shirt is another classic staple of the French wardrobe. The most French way to wear this is to keep it unbuttoned as far as you feel comfortable, and if you flash a tiny bit of lingerie, then you’re on your way to being très French. Ideal for wearing with any kind of shoes, but flat sandals are super chic.
3. Knit + Ankle Boots
Style Notes: I’ve seen French designer Jeanne Damas wearing this look plenty of times, and it always looks great. Yes, it’s incredibly simple, but there are a couple of French twists that are worth considering. First, tuck your jumper into your jeans. Also, make sure the jeans are high-waisted and a little cropped and your boots have a chunky heel.
4. White Socks + Loafers
Style Notes: This is a relatively new styling trend I’ve spotted on a couple of French women, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to be timeless. With the loafer trend continuing to boom, take a style tip from our Gallic neighbours by wearing white socks with your loafers. Yep, it’s that simple.
Style Notes: Double denim is loved by plenty of French icons, such as Caroline de Maigret and Charlotte Gainsbourg. The coolest way to wear it right now? Opt for a denim jacket with a twist (think a non-classic silhouette, oversized lapels or a belted version), matching jeans and a pair of heels.
6. Classic White Blouse
Style Notes: A real classic French denim outfit? The simplest of them all: a white blouse. Cropped, preferably.