classic french outfits

Transform Wardrobe Essentials Into 20 Classic French Outfits

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Does the idea of “French fashion” seem overwhelming when it comes to applying the French girl style to your own wardrobe? Well, luckily for you, you can recreate 20 classic French style outfits with wardrobe essentials you probably already have in your closet. With a little flexibility, you can take inspiration from the looks below to put together classic French outfits that would seamlessly blend in on the streets of Paris.

1. striped button down + jeans + mary jane flats

classic french outfits

button down | jeans | mary jane flats | earrings | socks | belt

Elevate your weekend or casual Friday style like the French girls do by using classic wardrobe essentials with unique details, like the frill on these ankle socks or the rounded collar of this button-down shirt.

Stripes are an easy way to emulate Parisian style, and when designed vertically, they offer a slimming effect as well. Pair the piece with skinny jeans or straight jeans, with no holes or rips.

Next, match your belt to your shoes – like a black belt with this pair of Mary Jane flats. These shoes offer a fun, nostalgic look to the style. Finish the outfit with minimalist jewelry, like these gold and pearl earrings.

2. striped turtleneck + black pants + loafers

classic french outfits

striped turtleneck | loafers | pants | leather bag | sunglasses

Speaking of a striped shirt, here’s another great way to wear one paired with classic pieces you might already own. The fun detail here is the slightly ruched stitching on the shoulders, which adds a unique touch to the staple striped turtleneck.

Pair it with a relaxed pair of black trousers, making this look work-appropriate. Add a black leather crossbody bag, your favorite pair of loafers, and your favorite pair of sunglasses to complete the outfit.

3. crewneck sweater + white pants + trench coat + ballet flats

classic french outfits

sweater | pants | ballet flats (similar) | trench coat | earrings | purse

This look is straight from the streets of Paris. Parisian women are not afraid to sport white after Labor Day, and you shouldn’t be either! Pair your favorite white jeans or trousers with other neutral pieces for a chic look for work or play.

Dress up the camel sweater and pants with a trench coat – not only is it an ideal piece for your capsule wardrobe, but it’s the perfect layer to wear from fall to spring. Add a chic black shoulder bag and cap-toed flats (or some with a small heel) that are reminiscent of the iconic Chanel pair.

4. v-neck sweater + white tee + wide-legged jeans + sambas

classic french outfits

t-shirt | sweater | sneakers | jeans | purse

French girl style isn’t limited to office-ready looks. For more casual attire, a simple t-shirt goes a long way. Layer your favorite plain white shirt with a v-neck sweater for an easy way to create an eye-catching contrast in the top half of your look. Add a pair of wide-legged jeans for an updated version of today’s trending denim.

Finish the look with a sleek black leather shoulder bag in a rounded shape. As for footwear, we spotted Adidas Sambas all over the streets of Paris. Not only are they a fun take on the classic white tennis shoe, but they’re comfortable for logging miles of walking around the city. This look is the perfect way to elevate the “athleisure” that is more popular in American style.

5. plaid blazer + pleated skirt + knee high boots

classic french outfits

blazer | pleated skirt | knee high boots | purse | belt

A French woman’s wardrobe isn’t complete without an oversized blazer. And yours shouldn’t be either! This piece is among the timeless classics for a reason. A neutral, plaid blazer like this one will soon be one of your favorite blazers as it’s versatile enough to pair well with your capsule wardrobe, but can also act as a great statement piece for a unique style.

To continue building an academia-inspired look, add a pleated midi skirt, pulling out one of the colors of the blazer. Finish the look with neutral accessories in varying materials and textures like suede knee-high boots, a brown leather bag with gold details, and a classic belt.

6. red cardigan + dark jeans + leopard print flats

classic french outfits

cardigan | flats | jeans | necklace | belt

French girls love a pop of color, and this bright red is not only trending, but the perfect way to perk up your winter looks. Start with a cozy button-up cardigan, paired with straight jeans.

And if you’re looking to incorporate a statement shoe, try this pair of leopard print “smoking slippers”. Polish off the style with a sleek black leather belt, and a simple gold necklace.

7. lady jacket cardigan + white button down + khaki pants + ballet flats

classic french outfits

lady jacket | button down | pants | flats | earrings

If you want to add visual interest and contrast to your favorite cardigan and trouser pants, try layering a white button-down shirt underneath. The pop of white will draw your eye, and instantly make the look more intentional and put together. The same concept is true for adding a white t-shirt underneath your sweater.

Finish the look with a chic pair of ballet flats, and simple gold hoops. This would be a great look for the office, or even just an elevated style for a day out and about.

8. overcoat + little black dress + polka dot tights + ballet flats

classic french outfits

overcoat | tights | dress | flats | quilted bag

For colder months, dress up your little black dress with a chic overcoat. The neutral color of this one will ensure it pairs well with whatever you’re wearing underneath, and the gold buttons elevate the look with a subtle metallic detail.

When it comes to basics, paying close attention to the quality of materials and the tailoring will go far. Choosing more structured pieces will help with this, or pieces that are a majority fabric of wool or cotton.

Add another point of interest to your look with polka dot tights (these are said to be a trending item in the upcoming year, if you keep an eye on trends!). Finish the perfect dinner look with black ballet flats and a quilted shoulder bag.

9. velvet blazer + scarf + plaid pants + ankle boots

classic french outfits

boots | pants | tote bag | velvet blazer | white shirt | scarf

If you love incorporating new and interesting materials into your classic style, try velvet for a timeless and elegant statement piece. Dress up a plain white t-shirt with plaid trousers, a velvet blazer, and neutral accessories.

To emulate the classic French style, don’t forget to add a scarf! It’s the perfect alternative to your favorite necklace, especially in the winter months. Complete the look with ankle boots and a black leather tote bag that will be perfect for holding your office necessities.

10. green sweater + baseball cap + mixed metal watch + mini skirt

classic french outfits

green sambas | tights | sweater | watch | mini skirt | hat

If your 2024 resolution is to start adding more color to your wardrobe, create an effortless look by choosing one color to act as your accent. For this casual look, timeless pieces like a black mini skirt, black tights, and white sneakers prevent the style from becoming too trendy. Plus, the Samba sneakers pull the green back into the look within the stripes of the shoe.

Elevate bold colors with your styling, and addition of accessories like a mixed metal watch, and a logoless khaki hat.

11. white button down + flared jeans + basket weave tote

classic french outfits

button down | flared jeans | heels | woven tote | earrings

There are endless different ways to style a white button-down shirt, and endless styles of them to choose from. To elevate the piece, try choosing one with more structure, or unique details like this sleeve detail and length. You’ll never regret this must-have in French-girl style that can take you through all four seasons.

Take this look from day to night with flared jeans, sling-back heels, gold earrings, and a woven tote.

12. leather jacket + white tee + black jeans + veja sneakers

classic french outfits

leather jacket | black jeans | white tee | sunglasses | veja sneakers

What capsule wardrobe is complete without a leather jacket? The great thing about this piece is that it can be styled to fit your personality. Whether you prefer a more casual, slightly edgier look like the one above, or something more feminine like when it’s paired with a dress or skirt, a leather jacket is a fun statement piece that is perfect for a night out.

Start this effortless look with white sneakers, like this Veja pair. Next, add a pair of black jeans – a wider fit is perfect for this aesthetic. Add a long-sleeved white shirt, your leather jacket, and a pair of sunglasses for a cool, easy style.

Looking for more capsule wardrobe-approved pieces? Check out My Chic Obsession’s free resource for everything from shopping guides to checklists and more.

13. olive turtleneck + pleated midi skirt + silk neck scarf + overcoat

classic french outfits

turtleneck | pleated skirt | knee high boots | earrings | scarf | coat

If one thing’s for sure, it’s that monochromatic looks will never go out of style. For this French girl-approved ensemble, start with a midi pleated skirt, and a turtleneck in a similar or identical color.

Use the sandwich theory to match your top (a black overcoat) with your shoes (a knee-high black boot). Top off the look with a French girl-approved silk scarf in an interesting pattern, and minimalist gold earrings.

14. blue sweater + scarf + canvas tote + veja sneakers

classic french outfits

sweater | tote bag | jeans | veja sneakers | socks | scarf

If you can’t beat the winter blues, join them! Start your look with a pop of color in a blue sweater. The lighter shade will ensure that this piece will take you effortlessly through your spring transitional outfits as well. Add a pair of wide-legged jeans in a light wash, a canvas tote bag, a cozy scarf, Veja sneakers, and ankle socks.

Canvas tote bags were a must-have on the shoulders of Parisian women that we spotted on our trip this fall. Wondering what other bags French girls were sporting? More here: A Guide to the Most Popular Handbag Styles in Paris.

15. rosette top + wide-legged trousers + mary jane heels

classic french outfits

rosette top | trousers | hoop earrings | mary jane heels

Sometimes it’s all in the details if you’re looking to take your look from ordinary to extraordinary. An eye for these details, whether it’s the tailoring, the fabric, or the pattern, will set you apart.

High-quality pieces don’t have to be expensive. They can be timeless classics that fit your personality, with little additions that make them a piece you’ll reach for time and time again.

Let’s take this halter top with a rosette detail. If you love florals but are looking for a way to incorporate them into your look in a unique way, this is the perfect alternative.

The black and white top is effortless elegance when paired with wide-legged trousers, and a small heel. Add silver earrings, and you have the perfect recipe for a holiday party or a dinner date.

16. pleated skirt + oxford shirt + knit sweater + chunky loafers

classic french outfits

pleated skirt | loafers | tights | sweater | button down | headband

Pleated skirts were all over Paris. Whether you prefer a mini skirt version or the midi version mentioned earlier in this post, they can be a great way to add interest to your look.

The academia aesthetic lovers will love this pairing with a chunky loafer, tights, a white button-down shirt, a layered crewneck sweater, and a headband.

It’s the perfect style for a day spent wandering a museum, sipping a hot coffee, or perusing your local bookstore.

17. white oxford shirt + pleated shorts + Chanel two-tone flats

classic french outfits

oxford shirt | pleated shorts | ballet flats | belt | earrings

Before we know it, warmer weather will return. Wondering how to transition a white button-down for spring and summer looks? Keep the elevated feel by pairing it with dress shorts, like this pleated pair.

Add a leather belt, and you have a flattering, yet cool outfit. Finish the look with cap-toed flats (whether you choose a pair of Chanel lookalikes or splurge for the real deal) and minimalist gold earrings.

18. Breton stripes shirt + flared jeans + trench coat + mule slides

classic french outfits

striped shirt | jeans | mule slides | trench coat | earrings | purse

There’s a reason we associate Breton stripes like these with boating and nautical-inspired aesthetics – they were originally worn by sailors to ensure they could be easily spotted in the water! There are also plenty of associations of the pattern with the French girl aesthetic.

You’ll be ready to walk the streets of Paris when you pair this striped shirt with flared or wide-legged jeans, mule slides, and a timeless trench. Finish the outfit with gold and pearl earrings for sophisticated yet minimal jewelry, and a black leather handbag.

19. denim shirt + white jeans + silk neck scarf + cowgirl boots

classic french outfits

denim shirt | white jeans | cowboy boots | neck scarf

The Western aesthetic was all over the streets of Paris and the boutiques we shopped this fall. It was like a little surprising piece of home that I hadn’t expected to see in the City of Lights, but it was fun to see how Parisian women were putting their own spin on the trend.

To ease into the aesthetic, pair tall cowboy boots, white pants, a denim shirt, and a neck scarf for a Parisian flair on the traditional American style.

20. oversized blazer + boatneck shirt + jeans + ballet flats

classic french outfits

oversized blazer | jeans | boatneck tee | ballet flats | sunglasses

One of the first things that I noticed appearing in French fashion over and over again was the blazer! Whether it was more fitted or oversized, had many buttons or one, patterned or solid, casual or elevated, the blazer was a French girl staple that we saw again and again on the streets of Paris in classic French outfits.

It makes sense – blazers work for all body types, and any age of women. They can be incorporated into a more casual look by adding a baseball cap and leggings or a pair of jeans, or elevated for work with trousers or chinos. For a look that could take you from casual Friday to happy hour, try pairing a plaid one with a black t-shirt, jeans, sunglasses, and chic ballet flats.

The Essentials of French Fashion

Whether you prefer a more casual look or are looking for inspiration for a night out on the town, hopefully, you found a look inspired by French fashion to fit any occasion.

But most of all, I hope this post helped you realize how many pieces you probably already own that can be paired together to create Parisian-inspired looks. And if you don’t have them, well, happy shopping as you continue building your capsule wardrobe!

Don’t know where to begin with your capsule wardrobe? Start here: Streamlining Your Closet: Key Pieces to Include in Your Capsule Wardrobe Essentials List


Hi, I'm Cassie! My husband and I have a full house with three furbabies, and when I'm not spending time with them, I'm loving all things fashion, travel, and romanticizing life's little moments. I'm also a self-described book nerd, and am always on the hunt for my newest read.