Visiting Paris is always a good idea. And when you visit for the first time, you’ll finally understand exactly what they mean by “Parisian style”. It’s everywhere. The people of Paris just ooze effortless style that’s classic, yet functional and absolutely timeless. It’s incredible how stylish a simple pair of jeans, a trench coat and a simple ballet flat seems 100x chicer than it would here in the US. There’s a je ne sais quoi about Paris fashion if you will. And there’s definitely a way to recreate it at home. It involves great basics and the perfect accessories that give just a splash of color.
The thing about a French capsule is the functionality of the pieces. When you really think about it, a Parisian is out and about walking, or on a Vespa zipping around town. They’re often hopping on the Metro or sitting outside at a cafe for a quick espresso pick me up. The clothes so perfectly represent this lifestyle. Easy to layer, classic, and functional.
French Capsule Wardrobe
The key to building a French inspired capsule wardrobe is to stick to the basics in terms of pieces, silhouettes and even colors. There are no bright hues or statement necklines. It’s a lot of great basics in neutral colors like blacks, greys, camels and blues. With maybe a pop of color in an accessory like a neck scarf, hat or bag. And everything is well-tailored. No ripped jeans, no raw hems. The effortless yet polished look is what gives French women their own stylish edge. Pieces should be easy to mix and match from day to night, from the office to the weekend. That’s the true essence of a French capsule wardrobe.
Great basic tops is really what this capsule is all about. Start with a basic white crew neck tee and of course, a striped top is key. I mean it’s just quintessential really. Great button-downs that are good fitting which can be paired with skirts and jeans and be worn on the weekend or to the office. I’d go with a white button-down to start and add in some other colors or stripes too. And of course quality cashmere and knits. The key in a French capsule wardrobe is the ease of bringing pieces from day to night and work day to le weekend.
For pants or jeans, straight legs are the classic silhouette to get that french girl style. For casual weekends, a straight leg medium wash denim is perfect. And for summer, a pair of white denim is great too. Pair with any of the tops from above and voila, perfect outfit. A straight leg trouser is ideal for a more dressed up look or to wear into the office. A few other pieces to add could be a denim mini skirt or silky midi skirt. These can easily be paired with heels or sneakers. and then layered with tights and boots for the winter.
With all the walking that’s done in Paris, a comfortable shoe is key to French fashion. To start, a classic white slim sneaker. No not an Adidas, but something much more minimalist and chic like a Superga, VEJA or Soludos. And for something a bit more dressy, a ballet flat or loafer, a low block heel slingback and throw in a classic ankle bootie for good measure.
Here’s when you can add a bit of color if you like. Neck scarves that work great around your neck, or in your hair, or tied around your bag adds some color to any look. See a few ways to style a neck scarf here. A few other pieces to consider, a great leather tote (I love this one), simple dainty gold jewelry, gold rings and a pretty headband.
Keep it simple with a classic little black dress that can be styled with sneakers or with a pump. Also, a simple shirtdress is a perfect choice that stands the test of time. Minis and midis are what I think of when I think of French fashion.
COATS & JACKETS
The pieces that pull the looks together if you ask me. Top any of these pieces with a classic camel trench for a true Parisian look. A crisp classic blazer in navy, camel or a classic plaid will pair nicely too and make a perfect topper to any look. Blazers can easily be paired with dresses, to jeans and even shorts. For winter, upgrade your trench to a wool one for added warmth.
French Capsule Outfit Ideas
To get you inspired to pull together some French looks, here are a few classic ensembles to put together. From everyday weekend wear with straight leg jeans, to the quintessential trench coat styled 3 different ways.
Straight Leg Jeans For Casual Weekends
A trés chic look for le weekend is straight leg jeans. They’re insanely versatile and get easily Frenchified with the right shoes and tops. Go for a loafer or ballet flat, a simple white sneaker, or a low block heel. Love the colorblocked ones below on Wit & Whimsy.
Paris Style Outfits With Dresses + Midi Skirts
Dresses are an all year round affair in France. And one of the best things to pair iwth them in the fall and winter are knee high boots. I love a flowy midi silhouette paired with the knee high boots. Also a bootie works perfectly too. For warmer temps, opt for a slingback sandal or sneaker for a more casual look. PS, this also all works perfectly with mini skirts!
Outfits With Mini Skirts
There’s something so sweet and sexy about a mini skirt with tights for a chic French look. I just love it. For winter try a plaid mini paired with black tights and a pretty sweater. And for warmer weather, a denim a-line skirt with a tee and white sneakers. So perfect.
Outfits With Blazers
I love a blazer, LOVE a blazer. They’re structured and are flattering. Plus, they go with so much. They make jeans and a low heel look so chic. But can also be styled with shorts and a tank for a chic vibe. For summer, opt for lighter fabrics like linen, and winter go for heavier wool and structure.