I can trace the root of my obsession with French style all the way back to the first time I watched Beauty and the Beast. Belle might have been bored with her provincial life, but I certainly wasn’t. I begged my aunt to let me cut the hem of an old blue bridesmaids dress that resembled Belle’s own, asked my mum to style my hair in a bow every morning, and insisted upon carrying a basket with me wherever I went.
Today, I still find myself trying to emulate the look of French women, albeit with less taffeta involved. I trawl through vintage photographs of Paris, looking at the outfits women wore in years since the past, as well as having an entire archive dedicated to saving images of the ensembles my favourite French influencers wear. Upon looking at these snaps that a pattern began to emerge—I realised that almost all of the women I follow own the same core capsule wardrobe of French fashion essentials. Of course, I am all too aware that this uniform may not apply to everyone in a country, but the women I’m particularly interested in? They all subscribe to a look I love.
“French women invest in timeless pieces over trends,” confirms Marissa Cox, a friend of Who What Wear, who now resides in Paris. “Wearability is integral to a French woman’s closet as she doesn’t tend to overdress. She looks for pieces that can be dressed up or down.”
So which French fashion essentials do the country’s best-dressers rely upon to ensure they look chic at all times? I decided to do the honourable thing and share them with you. Scroll below to find out.