July 08, 2021 at 05:05AM

You know this already—we have a thing for French style. This probably doesn’t come as a big surprise, as we’ve investigated everything from the pieces they fill their homes with to what Parisians wear to weddings. In other words, we’ve done our research narrowing in on how they achieve that je ne sais quoi, and now we’re diving into their summer wardrobes.

French It girls like Jeanne Damas, Sabina Socol, and Anne-Laure Mais seem to line their closets (and suitcases) with many of the same items and follow a few of the same rules. The guidelines are pretty straightforward. First, keep your palette neutral. Stick to classic shades like navy, white, and red, as well as earthy tones like tan and rust. You’ll have a hard time finding French girls wearing anything too jarring like neon. Next, when wearing prints, go for seasonless patterns. Much like an It bag that’s often associated with the time it debuted, prints can look tired after a few months. You can avoid making your outfit look like it’s dated by wearing prints like polka dots, gingham, and simple florals, which will always be in style. Last, you can never go wrong by following the lead of Jane Birkin. Whether it’s emulating her basket bag, cropped hemlines, or layered necklaces, she’s a constant source of inspiration for us all.

Keep reading to see the eight pieces that define French summer style…

Cat-eye sunglasses are an effortless way to nail a vintage look. Match a pair of retro white sunnies with a timeless statement blouse. 

And clearly there’s a penchant for white frames…

If it’s printed, midi and has as slightly retro lilt to it, then you’ll definitely tap into that French summer look.

Best worn with gold jewellery and simple flats or sandals.

Puff sleeves, broderie anglaise and cropped lengths are all popular takes on a classic idea in Paris.

Milkmaid blouses make up for 90% of the white tops we see on French girls right now.

The French-girl one-piece is modest but it must be more than your average wear-it-for-lengths kind of sporty silhouette. Think cute prints, low necklines or cut-out details. 

Think classy Bond girl and you’re almost all the way to getting this beach look nailed.

It’s a combination that works universally: Straight-leg jeans, white tee and shoes of your choice.

And there’s no better partner to the aforementioned white blouses.

Neutral raffia colours are favoured, and that means they’ll work with all sorts of outfits.

When in France… wear espadrilles. They may be a Spanish shoe, but the French have wholeheartedly adopted them into their classic summer repetoire.

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They work with everything from jeans to slip dresses, and are damn comfy too.

Basket bags are not a fleeting trend, they’re a staple part of any decent French summer wardrobe.

French girls always wear minis so well—it must be because they always opt for flat shoes or low heels. Chic.

Balance out a shorter hemline with a full-coverage tee, et voilá.

Next up, the lesser-known French brands we love.

This post originally appeared on Who What Wear US and has since been updated.

Author Kristen Nichols | Whowhatwear
Selected by CWC

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