Four French-Inspired Essentials

By Bella Douglas

What is it about the French that is so captivating? An essence that is so hard to put in to words; that sense of “je ne sais quoi” that inspires books like How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are and Lessons from Madame Chic.  There’s no question that the rest of the world has a touch of Francophilia. The idea that French women are effortlessly stylish isn’t new to anyone, and by adding these pieces to your wardrobe, you too can have a certain “je ne sais quoi” about you.

1.  The Wool Coat

Once an ornate status symbol in France’s royal court, button-up coats have become an staple in any French wardrobe. Try wearing one draped over your shoulders for an “It Girl” look.

Courtesy of Madewell

2. Ostentatious Sunglasses

Obviously big sunglasses aren’t an essential owned solely by the French. However, it is one they adhere to with no apologies. Plus, who can deny that feeling of confidence when rocking a really cool pair? Keeping in mind your bone structure, pick a style that calls to you.

3. Oversized sweaters

French women of style present an attitude of blasé aloofness that is unparalleled. The oversized sweater drives this point home. With anything that is oversized, it must be balanced, so try pairing this staple with a pair of tailored pants or a skirt.

Courtesy of FIGTNY

4. The Striped Shirt

Perhaps one of the most recognizable staples of French fashion, stripes came from nautical beginnings. Coco Chanel 1917 collection introduced stripes to the masses. Modern iterations of this trend keep it fresh, so don’t be afraid to pair a striped shirt with something unexpected, like wide-legged pants.