What are the mysterious qualities that make French women so stylish? Words like “effortless” and “undone” come to mind, but we suspect it’s partly the things French women don’t do that make them so fashionable. And because French women are truly in a sartorial league of their own, the rest of the world is on a constant quest to emulate them. Knowing the set of guidelines they follow is the first step in achieving that effortless quality that they’re known for.
To find out what these no-nos are, we went straight to the source and asked our favorite French style bloggers for the fashion faux pas they would never make. From the footwear style they avoid (and what they wear instead) to their philosophy when it comes to accessorizing, these tips are timeless, simple, and relevant to every age group. Read on for your master class in je ne sais quoi.
French women would never… wear sky-high heels.
“A French woman would never wear too-high heels. You will never see a French woman with shoes like Lady Gaga!” — Labériane Ponton of The Blab
This modern take on a classic style is worth the splurge.
Comfortable and cool.
A new take on the kitten heel.
French women would never… wear a push-up bra.
“I would never wear a push-up bra. We think that small breasts are sexy too, thanks to Charlotte Gainsbourg.” — Aurelia of Absolutely Glamorous
Step up your lingerie game with animal print.
How about a little lace?
Wear this under a button-down.
French women would never… wear flashy logos.
“I would avoid wearing clothes or accessories with the name of the brand shown very distinctly. I think luxury is the way you wear your clothes, not by showing the name of the brand.” — Tokyobanhbao of The World of Tokyobanhbao
This minimal bucket bag sells out all the time.
You can't go wrong with neutral colors.
French women would never… over-accessorize.
“I would never wear more than three pieces of jewelry at once. I think any more than that clutters and confuses a look. Understated jewelry is usually my go-to, but if I do wear a statement piece it will always be on its own.” — Audrey Rodgers of Be Frassy
Our obsession with hoop earrings runs deep.
Perfect for layering.
For every day.
French women would never… try too hard.
“When wearing something really chic, you go easy on the makeup, and if you’re wearing only a shirt and a pair of jeans, a red lipstick could do the trick. We don’t really show off; we like simplicity.” — Typhaine Augusto of Cuillère à Absinthe
Every closet needs a classic go-to sweater (or two).
Meet the vintage-inspired jeans that you’ll wear forever.
A dark wash is perfect for winter.
French women would never… look too done up.
“I sometimes see girls wearing skirts in elastic material over their jeans. I do not understand the look. I would never do that.” — Kenza Sadoun-el Glaoui of La Revue de Kenza
The definition of throw-and-go.
Long live the slip dress.
Pair this with suede boots.
French women would never… wear nude pantyhose.
“I would never wear skin-colored tights. They are the worst thing in fashion.” — Valentine Vanesse of Hello It’s Valentine
French girls do love a good pair of black tights.
These are a fashion editor favorite.
For double duty.
This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated.