silk scarf

9 Fashion Mistakes a French Woman Would Never Make

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

The base of French style is minimalism, classic pieces, and confidence to say no to trends and stick to who you really are. I talk a lot about French women, their style secrets, and what they wear and do, but I haven’t yet mentioned what they wouldn’t do. If it’s your goal to dress like these classy women, then avoid these 9 fashion mistakes that a French woman would never make!

9 Fashion Mistakes a French Woman Would Never Make

1. Sweats

“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life and you bought some sweatpants.”
-Karl Lagerfeld 

Athleisure has become a big trend. It’s basically wearing gym clothes outside of the gym in the place of “real” clothes. I think there’s a fine line between sporty chic and sloppy, but there’s no line at all for the French women! Sweats are a big no-no.

skinny jeans outfittee (JCPenney, similar) | skinny jeans (tjmaxx, similar) | pumps (similar)

Related: 7 French Outfit Formulas You Can Copy

2. Out there heels

You know those super out there sky-high heels that celebrities like the Kardashians, Lady Gaga, and Katy Perry wear? Yeah, you won’t find those on French feet. Instead, they opt for a simple kitten heel, sleek pump, or sensible slide or loafer.

satin scarfskinny jeans (thrifted/Gap, similar here and here) | silk scarf | embroidered mules (Target, similar here and here, but in love with this pair and this one)

6 Stylish Ways to Wear Your Silk Scarf

3. Overdoing it

“Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”
-Coco Chanel

French women believe that less is more. Before leaving the house they even check themselves over in the mirror one last time and remove one more thing. Understated is their motto.

oversized black sunglasses outfitsunglasses (Forever21, similar here and here) | blazer (similar)

Related: 8 Secrets of French Style

4. Clothes covered in logos

“The total head-to-toe designer look is ridiculous. It’s the opposite of fashion. A matching bag and shoe and hat makes you look like a Christmas tree.”
-Carla Bruni

Lots of the luxury fashion houses originated in Paris, so while Parisians are no stranger to designer pieces, they showcase their love for quality and luxury discreetly. They refrain from being covered in logos head to toe as this can take away your originality.

white wrap topwrap top (Amazon) | mom jeans (Boohoo) | block heels (Target, same shoe different brand here)

5. Wearing strictly trends

“Fashion fades, only style remains the same.”
-Coco Chanel

French women like to avoid wearing what everyone else is. They prioritize individuality. While fashion is just what’s hot at the moment, style is your true personality. In a world where the hottest things change each month, French women have established a look that stands the test of time. However, they will still look over the trends each season and pick one or two items that speak to them to add a new twist to their wardrobe.

socks with heelsjeans (Boohoo) | star socks (sheIN, similar) | pumps (similar)

6. Trying too hard

“You can be the chicest thing in a t-shirt and jeans. It’s up to you.”
– Karl Lagerfeld

Perfect hair. Perfect nails. Perfect makeup. That’s not so perfect to them. Looking a little undone is more effortless and carefree. If you want to look “perfect”, pick one thing to focus on instead and keep the rest of your look simple.

black and white outfitwhite button down (hubby’s, similar) | black mini skirt (similar)

Related: 3 Cute Ways to Layer a T-Shirt

7. Buy cheap clothes

“The difference between style and fashion is quality.”
-Giorgio Armani

It’s all in the details for the French and they take their quality very seriously.

check blazerblazer (Target, similar here and here)

8. Garish colors

“Elegance is not standing out, but being remembered.”
—Giorgio Armani

It’s no surprise that French women love neutrals. It’s not that they’re opposed to colors, they just don’t wear it all at once, but choose to add a pop to their wardrobe in small doses.

white skinny jeans outfitsunglasses (Forever21, similar here and here) | blazer (similar)  | cami (Target, similar) | skinny jeans (JCPenney, similar) | bag (Shopko, similar here and here) | sandals (Rue21, similar here and here)

9. Dressing for other people

“Women should dress up for themselves, not for showing off but to feel better – and if you feel better, you look better.”
-Ines de la Fressange

French women focus more on what they want to wear and what they feel comfortable in. They don’t stop wearing something just because it’s “not in”, and at the same time, they don’t wear something just because it is. That’s dressing for society and other people. French women dress for themselves.

french outfithat (American Eagle) | tee (I Love Apparel, similar) | skirt (American Eagle) | espadrilles (Payless, similar here and here)

I definitely have made some of these fashion mistakes before. Though at the same time I don’t think they all need to be followed (if you like color, wear color!), but I’m guilty of #7 & #9 the most! Sometimes I haven’t worn something before because it’s “so last season” and I didn’t want people to think I was out of style. Just typing this out it sounds so silly! Here’s to dressing for yourself and not other people. That’s one thing I think French women do so well!

Out of the 9 fashion mistakes a French woman would never make, which stands out to you?

P.S- I love books about French fashion and being Parisian chic! I regularly check them out at the library for a new way to be inspired that’s not on Pinterest. I especially like this one and this one. But here are a lot of options!

Related Fashion Posts:

fashion mistakes a french woman would never make


Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.