white button down outfit for a french girl starter wardrobe

French Girl Starter Wardrobe

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When you’re starting a wardrobe from scratch it can be hard to know what to get, especially when it comes to this seemingly elusive and mysterious French girl wardrobe. We all know that French women are iconic in their sense of fashion, timeless beauty, and overall elegance. But thankfully, you don’t have to be a French girl to create a French girl starter wardrobe!

In this post, I’ll be uncovering the enigma of the French wardrobe and how to build one from scratch. Read on for some of the best classic pieces to get you started.

French Girl Starter Wardrobe

white button down outfit for a french girl starter wardrobe

BOTTOMS

When it comes to emulating an authentic French wardrobe, there’s one type of bottoms that are non-negotiable: jeans. Straight-leg, wide-leg, and skinny jeans are the best pairs to get and will allow you to create a wide range of outfits. A nice medium wash or vintage wash will be perfect, and never cut corners on quality and fit! These two details are key to creating a put-together, flattering look and will make even the most simple outfits look like a million bucks.

Related: EASY FRENCH STYLING TIPS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW

TOPS

WHITE BUTTON DOWN
Of course, a classic white button-down is essential to every stylish woman’s wardrobe, but especially a French-inspired one! While you’ll notice lots of tailoring in French fashion, don’t be afraid to go for a looser fit with this one. The oversized fit is modern, chic, and incredibly versatile.

STRIPED TEE OR SWEATER
This one may seem a tad bit cliche, but a marinière can be found in almost every French girl’s closet. A striped top is a great way to add a bit of pattern to your look while still remaining timeless.

CREWNECK SWEATER
A crewneck sweater is always a chic and classy way to stay warm. Cashmere is always a good option. With its super soft feel and versatility, this is one of those timeless pieces that will be in your wardrobe for a long time.

Related: 7 SPRING OUTFIT COMBOS THAT ALL THE FRENCH GIRLS ARE WEARING

white button down outfit for a french girl starter wardrobe

OUTERWEAR

LEATHER JACKET
If you’re looking to add an edgy touch to a look, a leather jacket is the ticket. Black is always going to be a go-to, but don’t be afraid to branch out to other neutral colors for this one.

LEOPARD PRINT COAT
Ever heard that classic bit of fashion advice that leopard is neutral? It’s absolutely true! A leopard print coat will be a fabulous statement piece in your wardrobe and go with everything.

BLAZER
Whether you wear this with a white blouse, jeans, or as a standalone top, a classic tailored blazer is the perfect way to make an outfit that’s timeless, chic, and expensive-looking.

CARDIGAN
This is a French girl’s go-to for layering and adding a little warmth to an outfit during those chilly days. During the summer, try opting for a short-sleeved version.

TRENCH COAT
Of course, you can’t forget the classic camel trench when it comes to creating a French look! A classic for Parisian women, a trench coat works with literally every outfit. Go for a tan, beige, or camel version of this coat.

Related: 5 FRENCH OFF-DUTY LOOKS THAT ARE IMPOSSIBLY STYLISH

white button down outfit for a french girl starter wardrobe

SHOES

BLACK HEELS
Whether you go for slingback pumps or a low block heel, the added boost of height will instantly elevate your look, and add a flattering effect to boot. Add these to a little black dress and you have an instantly gorgeous Parisian look.

BALLET FLATS
For those days when heels just aren’t practical, ballet flat will be your comfortable and chic best friend. These are a great option for adding a feminine touch to any look. Just make sure to find a pair that’s versatile, comfortable, and high-quality.

ANKLE BOOTS
For this wardrobe staple, always go for quality. You’ll get wear out of these for almost the entire year, so they’re a worthy investment piece! Just as with most accessories, a black pair is a great option here, but brown also works perfectly for a more classic “leather boot”.

Related: 9 FASHION MISTAKES A FRENCH WOMAN WOULD NEVER MAKE

white button down outfit for a french girl starter wardrobe

DRESSES

SLIP DRESS
Luxurious fabrics like silk and satin are a must-have when it comes to Parisian fashion. These can be dressed up with heels and a low bun, or worn casually with a sweater layered over top and a pair of white sneakers.

BLACK DRESS
Looking for something to wear to a last-minute date night or dinner party? The little black dress is a signature to a chic wardrobe and is perfect for those more formal occasions when you can’t find anything to wear.

Related: 8 SECRETS OF FRENCH STYLE

white button down outfit for a french girl starter wardrobe

ACCESSORIES

LEATHER BAG
Signature to iconic French ladies like Jane Birkin, a great leather bag is absolutely one of the staple items of a French wardrobe. Since leather never goes out of style, consider making a neutral, structured leather bag one of your investment items.

SILK SCARF
It’s no secret that the French love their silk scarves! These are one of the main ways to truly emulate that Parisian woman style and add a pop of color and print to any outfit. Wear these around your neck, wrapped around a low ponytail, or tied to the handle of your leather bag.

Related: THE SURPRISING PERSON YOU SHOULD GET ALL YOUR FRENCH INSPO FROM

white button down outfit for a french girl starter wardrobe

While this certainly isn’t all you need in your wardrobe, stocking up on these pieces will be a great start to your French girl starter wardrobe! Remember to always go for quality and fit when shopping for these pieces, as you’re sure to get plenty of wear out of them. Some may even become generational pieces to be passed down over the years. If that isn’t a testament to the timeless and chic quality of French style, I don’t know what is!

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Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.