parisian chic outfit

How To Style Parisian Chic Outfits Like the French

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One thing I’ve learned in my personal style journey is that creating an effortless look takes a lot more effort than you think! After walking the streets of Paris and taking note of how French women approach style, gave me a deeper appreciation for the science of getting dressed. I’ll be the first to admit that science and math have never been my greatest strengths, but when it comes to creating great looks to attempt to emulate Parisian chic outfits, I think it’s worth going back to school!

Whether you use the analogy of balancing scales or balancing equations, the image will help you put together looks inspired by the French girl style. Balancing proportions, patterns, colors, and masculine vs. feminine elements are all key to creating a style mantra to guide you. After a while, it will become muscle memory, but in the meantime, it takes practice! Seeing how French women dress has truly helped me, and hopefully, the looks I’ve put together with my notes from Paris will help inspire you too.

1. linen button-down + midi skirt + slide sandals

Parisian chic outfit - linen button-down + midi skirt + slide sandals

button-down | skirt | sandals | watch | tote | sunglasses

When you’re unsure of how to start a look, picking out a button-down from your capsule wardrobe is a great place to begin – no matter the time of year. A button-down is one of those classic pieces that will truly never go out of fashion and is available in so many different styles that it’s easy to find one that matches your personal taste.

For summer, I would recommend choosing a breathable fabric like linen or cotton to keep you from overheating.

Looking for more capsule wardrobe tips? MCO has a free resource for you here.

On the bottom, try a midi skirt to add a more traditionally feminine piece to balance out the masculine element of the button-down. Accessorize with neutral pieces like these slide sandals, a leather tote bag, a gold watch, and gold-rimmed sunglasses.

An all-neutral look appears elevated and thoughtful without too much extra effort on your part. This would be a great ensemble for the office, or a day when you want to dress up a bit more for your summer activities.

2. striped t-shirt + oversized blazer + straight jeans + heels

Parisian chic outfit - striped t-shirt + oversized blazer + straight jeans + heels

jeans | shirt | blazer | sunglasses | tote | heels

An easy way to call French girl style to mind is to incorporate a striped tee into your look. This is another one of those classic pieces that will never go out of style and is easy to wear because of the simplicity of the pattern.

For this casual Friday look that could take you straight to after-work cocktails, pair your short-sleeve striped t-shirt with straight-leg jeans, and an oversized blazer.

The oversized blazer will balance out the straight cut of the jeans and the tee that is slightly more form-fitting to the body. Add heels to lengthen the appearance of your legs (plus, they’re a great confidence booster for many of us!) and a pair of square-frame sunglasses.

3. striped button-down + navy sweater + wide-leg jeans + fisherman sandals

Parisian chic outfit - striped button-down + navy sweater + wide-leg jeans + fisherman sandals

sweater (similar) | button-down | sandals | purse | jeans | neck scarf | sunglasses

Layering is another key staple of Parisian chic outfits. Although temperature may prohibit lots of layers in some climates, you can always save this look for when it cools down!

Start with a blue-striped button-down as your foundation. Next, add a blue sweater to create a monochromatic pairing on top. Continue this through your jeans, with a light or medium-wash pair. You could choose skinny jeans, wide-leg, or slim jeans – whatever cut best fits your personal preference.

Accessorize with a light blue bag, to add another shade of blue into your look. Then, mix things up with neutral leather tones with this pair of fisherman sandals. Complete the look with a neck scarf – a quintessential French woman accessory.

Related: 11 Impossibly Chic French Spring Outfits Worn in Paris

4. statement top + a-line skirt + raffia clutch + woven Mary Jane flats

Parisian chic outfit - statement top + a-line skirt + raffia clutch + woven Mary Jane flats

skirt | clutch | ballet flats | top | earrings

It’s often the little things that can take your look from good to great, and details like the statement sleeve of this top and the mixture of textures set this particular look apart.

Adding volume to the top of your look as well as the bottom can help to balance your proportions. In this case, the volume at the bottom of your a-line skirt helps create symmetry, while also slimming your midsection.

French fashion often incorporates memorable details like the sleeves of this top, as well as interesting accessories. Finish this look with a pair of woven ballet flats, a textured clutch, ribbed earrings, and a chic pair of sunglasses.

Related: What to Wear in Paris | Spring Packing List & Capsule Outfits

5. cropped blouse + high-rise jeans + day flats

Parisian chic outfit - cropped blouse + high-rise jeans + day flats

jeans | flats | bag | top | earrings (similar)

French fashion is just as much about innovation as it is about the classics. Balance the two by trying to create an outfit based on timeless pieces mixed with trendier elements.

Start this classic look with a black top and dark blue jeans. Mix in modern elements of a high waist in the jeans, with a cuffed hem. As for your top, try a slightly shorter length to pair with the higher waist of the jeans – this blouse hits at hip level. If you’re on the petite side like me, this will help your legs appear much longer.

Finish the look with a tried and true nude pair of flats. Add in a summer element with the straw tote, with a ruffle detail. Classic gold hoops in a saddle shape round out the outfit.

6. striped shirt + white tank top + dress shorts + Adidas sambas

Parisian chic outfit - striped shirt + white tank top + dress shorts + Adidas sambas

shorts | tank top | striped shirt | sneakers (similar) | belt | sunglasses

When we were in Paris for Fashion Week, it was noticeable that although it was warm, there were very few Parisian women wearing shorts! However, the ones that were wearing them seemed to favor dress shorts over denim or more casual options.

Start this shorts look with a pair of khaki chino-style ones. Next, add in a wardrobe staple like a white tank top, and a striped shirt tied around your shoulders. If the day cools off, this will act as a great layering piece to throw over your tank.

Finally, complete your look with one of the more popular shoes that we spotted in Parisian street style – Adidas Sambas. This black and white pair is perfect as they are both neutral and comfortable!

7. striped shirtdress + cat-eye sunglasses + slide sandals

striped shirtdress + cat-eye sunglasses + slide sandals

shirtdress | purse | sandals | earrings | sunglasses

French style wouldn’t be complete without a chic dress for summer. This piece from J.Crew is one of my personal favorite looks because it offers a feminine take on button-down shirts (another one of my favorite summer wardrobe essentials).

Little details like the belted waist and subtle sleeve ruching make a big difference in making this a piece I could envision on a Parisian woman.

Keep your accessories neutral to finish off this chic outfit. Slide sandals, a structured shoulder bag in sleek white leather, cat-eye sunglasses, and a pair of gold stud earrings complete the look.

Related: Dress Like a True French Girl in These No-Fail Parisian Summer Outfits

8. quilted jacket + white button-down + wide-leg jeans + ballet flats

quilted jacket (similar) | shirt | jeans | ballet flats | purse | earrings

Parisian chic outfits often incorporate a statement piece – whether that’s in the form of something colorful, something with interesting proportions, or an unexpected texture or pattern. Quilted jackets seemed to be an especially popular piece to satisfy this guideline when observing Parisian chic style.

Although you might need to save this piece for a breakfast date early in the morning or outdoor dining after the sun sets, it’s a great alternative to a denim or leather jacket. Layer it over a neutral piece like a white tee or white button-down shirt. On bottom, try a pair of straight-leg jeans in a lighter wash – perfect for summer looks.

Accessorize with a comfortable pair of shoes – Parisians wear flats often because of how much walking they do within the city limits. Add a woven handbag and a pair of classy gold and pearl hoops to finish the outfit.

Related: 21 Fall/Winter Trends Spotted on the Streets of Paris (That You Can Easily Wear)

9. black midi dress + oval sunglasses + strappy heels

Parisian chic outfit - black midi dress + oval sunglasses + strappy heels

dress (similar) | bag | sunglasses | heels (similar)

The little black dress is a classic piece found in many capsule wardrobes because of its versatility. If you’re looking to elevate your piece for a chic summer look, try a midi length rather than a mini version.

The volume in this skirt adds the perfect amount of vintage drama that you can accentuate with a simple pair of strappy black heels, and oval sunglasses.

Complete your summer date night look with a basket tote – perfect for holding a bottle of wine to take with you to go to enjoy with dessert at home!

10. cashmere shirt + trench coat + pleated skirt + lug sole loafers

Parisian chic outfit - cashmere shirt + trench coat + pleated skirt + lug sole loafers

skirt | socks | loafers | bag | cashmere shirt | trench coat | necklaces

Academia-inspired looks are a popular aesthetic influencing Parisian chic outfits. Whether you’re perusing your local bookstore or heading to a coffee date with a friend, try this outfit.

First, start with a pleated mini-skirt. If you prefer a longer length, there are also midi and maxi versions of this style out there! Next, tuck in a cashmere top for a luxe addition. If the morning chill calls for bringing a jacket along, you can’t go wrong with the classic trench coat – a Parisian staple.

Finish your look with lug sole leather loafers, and socks with a frill detail. Accessorize with a structured leather bag and stacked gold necklaces.

11. vest top + pull-on pants + red purse + Adidas sneakers

Parisian chic outfit - vest top + pull-on pants + red purse + Adidas sneakers

sneakers | bag | pants (similar) | vest top (similar) | sunglasses

Speaking of a pop of color, adding one to your summer look is the perfect way to emulate Parisian chic outfits. Red is a great place to start if you also follow trending looks and want to give it a try!

Start small if you’re unsure about this trend and aren’t looking to fully commit. This is a great motto when it comes to experimenting with new trends – starting small will prevent you from filling your wardrobe with pieces you might quickly fall out of love with.

Incorporate your pop of red with a pair of Adidas sneakers and a red handbag for this trending look. Next, try adding a pattern like these leopard print pants. Keep things simple on top with a black vest top. Tortoiseshell sunglasses finish the outfit.

12. bell-sleeve sweater + pleated midi skirt + flats

Parisian chic outfit - bell-sleeve sweater + pleated midi skirt + day flat

pleated skirt (similar) | flats | tote bag | cardigan | earrings

If you want to style an elevated look but aren’t sure where to start, try a monochromatic outfit. Although it doesn’t take too much effort to pair pieces in a similar color, it will create an intentional overall look in the end!

Summer is the perfect time to break out lighter tones, like neutral tones of white, beige, and cream. Even though these pieces aren’t an exact match, they’re close enough to still create a monochromatic effect.

Pleated midi skirts were popular in Paris, and are perfect for an occasion that calls for dressing up. Pair this silk style with a classic cardigan – the bell sleeves add a special touch of something unique. Complete your look with a leather bucket bag, a day flat, and gold earrings.

13. white tank top + high-waisted trousers + macrame tote + flip flops

Parisian chic outfit - white tank top + high-waisted trousers + macrame tote + flip flops

tank top | flip flops | trousers | sunglasses | earrings | tote bag

Chic Parisian outfits don’t have to be complicated – especially in the summer, when less is more when it comes to warmer weather. Style this look with basics that you probably already have in your closet: a high-neck white tank top and high-waisted trouser pants.

Add in texture and pattern with your accessorize. A pair of leather flip-flops are perfect for those days when you don’t want to wear heels. Finish the look with a macrame-style tote bag for an organic touch, gold earrings for a hint of metallic elements, and a chic pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses.

14. white-button-down + linen pants + striped sweater + white sneakers

Parisian chic outfit - white-button-down + linen pants + striped sweater + white sneakers

pants | sweater | sneakers | tote bag | button-down | sunglasses | watch

Speaking of easy, casual looks for summer, here’s another idea for you. When it comes to comfort, you can’t find much better than a pair of linen pull-on pants. On top, try a classic white button-down.

This is one of those times that you might consider investing in high quality – it will get a lot of wear, and one made with durable fabric will hold up after many washes! Tie a striped top or sweater over your shoulders for a Parisian-approved detail.

Finish your look by accessorizing with oversized black sunglasses, a macrame tote, a silver watch, and white sneakers.

The Classic Parisian Look

Chic Parisian outfits don’t have to break the bank or be purchased from French retailers. There are plenty of ways that you can emulate the classic style of Parisian women by creating outfit formulas that not only achieve balance but also align with your personal style.

Whether you like to dress for the occasion or lean toward more casual looks, hopefully, some of these outfit ideas will get you thinking, and excited for getting dressed this summer.

Looking for more linen looks? Up Next: 10 Stylish Linen Outfits for Women for Work and Play

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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.