18 Easy Ways to Channel French-Girl Style All Summer Long
There’s just something about French-girl style that gets us every time — maybe it’s the ease and effortlessness that seems to pervade even the most fashion-forward of looks, or maybe it’s the confidence those fierce femmes seem to exude 24/7 that keeps us coming back for more. Regardless, if you’re ready to take your warm-weather wardrobe to new heights, this curated list of Insta-babe-approved summer style essentials is a pretty good place to start. We’ve scoped out some of the most popular pieces with the French in-crowd and put them all in one convenient guide that you can use to inject your duds with a bit of that covetable je ne sais quoi all season long. You can thank us later.
Black One-Piece Swimsuit
Black one-pieces are making the rounds on Insta, with almost every stylish French girl boasting at least one in her carefully curated wardrobe. The timeless suit is downright glamorous, but for a more modern edge, opt for styles with jaw-dropping details, like plunge necklines, gold hardware and open backs.
1. Lazul One-Piece Shirred Plunging Swimsuit ($259): Bow down. Rule the pool deck with this show-stopping number that would look downright supreme with a body chain and wide-brim hat. After a quick dip, layer it under an airy kimono to send those goddess vibes into overdrive.
Flirty Floral Dress
Sultry summer dress? Heck yes! The easy-breezy days of summer are that much better when you have a foolproof floral dress on hand that will take you from strolls along the shoreline to shopping dates with your besties like *that*. And that’s all before considering its after-hours potential, which, believe us, is so there.
2. Free People Liberty Red Floral Dress ($198): This ditsy floral dress is all kinds of pretty. Cue the strappy flatform sandals and cherry red lipstick: You’ll be taking this short-and-sweet stunner out for a test drive on GNO and for Sunday morning mimosas on the veranda. For extra French-girl style cred, team it with a classic biker jacket to balance out the flirty, feminine feel.
Straw Boater Hat
There’s just something about a boater hat that conjures up images of leisurely bike rides along the water, flower markets and picturesque picnics complete with chilled rosé and fancy throw blankets. C’est chic.
3. Lack of Color The Sunnydip ($79): Sundresses and straw hats go together like Anna Wintour and oversized shades. Round out a beach-bound ensemble with this beauty and pom-pom sandals for endless fun in the sun.
Bohemian Peasant Top
We’ll have whatever she’s having. Jeanne Damas epitomizes Parisian appeal, so if she’s endorsing flowy peasant tops with free-wheelin’ appeal, you know they must be good. Whether you style them alongside cropped high-waisted jeans or a button-front skirt, you really can’t go wrong.
4. Free People Picnic in the Park Top ($128): Be it a main stage event or the neighborhood block party, a peasant top is always a good choice. Do the hippie chic thing with a flowy maxi skirt and ankle boots, or go monochromatic with white boyfriend jeans and pointed toe slip-on sneakers for a more modern edge.
Don’t let the potentially prissy nature of ruffles put you off — with a bit of thoughtful styling, you can send those prim-and-proper vibes packin’. Case in point: this swoon-worthy ensemble. High-waisted shorts, fashion-forward steppers and intriguing hair accessories neutralize the frill-factor for a look that screams DDG.
5. J.Crew Ruffle Sleeve Top ($80): When your tee-and-jeans routine starts to feel meh, enlist a ruffle-sleeve top to give your off-duty uniform a boost. Style this striped number with a zip-front mini skirt, chainlink flatform sandals and a luxe belt bag, then proceed to take on that summer concert series or poetry slam in style.
Chainlink Flatform Sandals
Embracing your inner Parisian isn’t all about Breton stripes and don’t-care hair. These badass steppers are just as French-girl approved, and will inject major ‘tude into floral frocks and ultra feminine separates in seconds.
6. Mango Chain Platform Sandals ($100): Whether you’re a ’90s enthusiast or simply like an outfit that plays with contrast, you can’t go wrong with a pair of minimalist flatform kicks. Hit refresh on everyday basics by throwing them into the mix, or up the It-factor on tailored work-week essentials for an on-the-job ensemble that isn’t messing around.
Silky Square Scarf
A silky scarf is always a good idea, especially when bright colors and funky prints are involved. Keep it classy by knotting one neatly around the neck in true French-girl fashion, or follow Clémentine Desseaux’s lead and rock it as a hair wrap. Messy topknot and sleek aviator shades (unfortunately) not included.
7. Karen Mabon Lipstick Square Scarf ($210): Forget statement jewelry — a colorful scarf is the key to #OOTD success. Have a multitude of events on the agenda? Switch up your look from a.m. to p.m. with the help of this eye-cataching accoutrement that can be worn around the wrist in lieu of a classic cuff, or teamed with a slinky slip dress and block heels for a sophisticated soiree.
Cropped Suede Jackets
Put that leather jacket down — late-night beach bonfires and drinks on the terrace call for a topper with a little more summertime flair. And for summer 2016, suede is the name of the game. Just ask Michaëla Thomsen or Jeanne Damas.
8. Mango Suede Jacket ($130): A boxy suede jacket is a purchase you won’t second guess. Unlike your arsenal of midriff-baring tops and beach-ready bikinis, this hero piece in disguise will take you from the Fourth of July straight into fall and beyond. Wear it now with linen rompers and lace-up wedges, then pair it with culottes, mules and lightweight sweaters once the mercury starts to drop.
Jane Birkin-Inspired Straw Bag
If you can only add one Frenchified piece to your warm-weather lineup, make sure it’s a roomy straw bag a la Jane Birkin. It’s guaranteed to become your go-to companion for the beach and beyond.
9. Sensi Studio Maxi Woven Toquilla Straw Tote ($235): Enter the straw tote that will put every other carryall in your closet to shame. Take it along for the ride when you cash in on that ticket to paradise — it pulls double duty like a pro, serving as a prime place to stash your beach-day swag (think: SPF, magazines, water bottle and towel) and in-flight essentials.
For days when you’re not feelin’ the maxi dress or temps dive below 70 degrees, a trusty pair of denim will always have your back. Say sayonara to skinny, boyfriend and high-waisted jeans and embrace sassy crop styles in the vein of Kenza Sadoun.
10. M.i.h. Arrow Pant Cropped Jean Flare ($285): Keepin’ it real doesn’t have to mean going back to basics. Channel your inner French fille with zip-front crop flares, bright glove shoes and an airy cold-shoulder top for a laid-back barbecue or apero overlooking the water. Windswept hair and round shades are obligatory.
French girls are putting the leather jacket stereotype to rest (well, to some extent) with a seemingly endless array of alternative toppers that don’t fall short on style. A perfect example? Marta Cygan’s embroidered satin bomber. Delivering just as much attitude, but with an athleisure twist, one of these bad boys is all you need to turn up the heat on your summer capsule wardrobe.
11. Zara Printed Sateen Bomber Jacket ($70): Usher in baseball games and lazy evenings spent swinging in the hammock with a pastel bomber that reads cool girl in training. While it was practically made for classic tees and boyfriend denim, it creates unexpected contrast when layered over a metallic slip dress or pretty pleated skirt.
This is how la Parisienne does prairie chic. Forgo the fringe, buckled boots and ditsy floral dresses for a Western belt that can easily jazz up streamlined shift dresses, sleek jumpsuits and throw-on-and-go tunics. Yeehaw!
12. Pieces Skinny Western Belt ($12): Consider a statement belt your signature move when it comes to pulling together a polished look in seconds (you know — for those mornings when you’ve hit snooze one too many times). Cinch it around a foolproof shirt dress, then toss on a pair of peep-toe ankle boots and a marble watch for a killer girl boss getup with a touch of rough-around-the-edges allure.
Flouncy Wrap Skirts
Like your favorite sundress, but with unlimited styling opportunities, a wrap skirt was practically made for frolicking in the sun. Put it right up there with your most-loved sandals and can’t-live-without-’em sunnies on your must-pack list, because you’ll definitely want one of these numbers around as you explore quaint cobblestone streets and sip espresso at Pinterest-perfect sidewalk cafés.
13. Kimchi Blue Printed Ballet Wrap Mini Skirt ($59): Bad vibes don’t stand a chance against this sunny yellow skirt that would look just as ah-mazing with a plain white tee as it would with a dreamy off-the-shoulder top and dainty choker necklace. Pair it with lace-up ghillies and a quirky crossbody bag for an effortless outfit that can kick it day or night, no problem.
Looking like a straight-up goddess without even trying is in every French girl’s DNA (no matter what their style), but rest assured, it’s a trait that can be learned. And it all starts with a slinky slip dress.
14. Topshop Satin Ring Back Slip Dress ($125): Bring on the double taps with this sultry slip dress that’s ready to take on every event in your iCal like a boss. There’s no doubt you’ll steal the show when you sashay into the room with this icy blue number and strappy stilettos in tow. When you’re not getting your schmooze on at a gallery opening or swanky soiree, layer it over a sporty tee and pointed-toe slides for major off-duty cool.
A killer swimsuit commands an equally as Insta-ready cover-up, so don’t even think of setting foot on the sand without one.
15. Out from Under Embroidered Cover-Up ($49): Can it actually be called a beach day without a cover-up this DDG? Complement the bright embroidery with a tassel-tastic beach bag, turquoise ear jackets and huarache sandals that call to mind the crystal blue waters and sandy beaches of Tulum.
ICYMI: Off-the-shoulder tops are a thing, whether you call the good ol’ USA or a faraway locale home — which in our book is reason enough to give ‘em a try.
16. MLM Label Maison Off Shoulder Top ($150): One word: obsessed. This playful ruffled blouse is day-and-night certified, no matter how you spin it. When your rotation of body cons and LBDs starts to lose its luster, this flouncy top is ready to step up to the plate. Knock ‘em dead with leather shorts, block heel gladiators and a stack of arm candy that’s ready to party.
Backless Cotton Bodycon Dresses
Not just reserved for GNO, a bodycon can kick it all day, erry day if styled just right. The key to pulling it off during daylight hours is as simple as a pair of RN trainers, stylish sunglasses and a wear-anywhere crossbody bag.
17. Reformation Farren Dress ($98): Redefine one-and-done dressing in a rib knit bodycon midi with an OMG-worthy back. Seize the day with espadrille sneakers, a leather jacket and not-your-average studs for a look that will turn heads everywhere you go.
A tried-and-true pair of denim shorts always delivers, but a girl’s gotta have options, right? Say sayonara to chambray and throw a pair (or two) of throwback shorts into the mix for a fashion-forward fusion of old- and new-school styles that feel so RN.
18. ASOS Woven Jacquard Shorts ($46): Update your summer uniform with these technicolor shorts that are just as versatile as classic cutoffs. Whether you’re heading to a bachelorette party or fundraising event, these jacquard bottoms won’t disappoint. Dress them up with metallic heels, a frilly top and dazzling drop earrings, or play it cool with a cutoff tee and colorful hair scarf.
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