I’ll admit, I’m a dress girl. To let you in on a secret, I’m the owner of a mere two pairs of jeans; my beloved raw hem vintage Levi 501s and an old ecru pair I’m yet to break in out of the house (shocking, I know). But, since living in Paris, I’ve developed an appreciation for denim and feel inspired to expand my repertoire of denim outfits.
As we gradually transcend seasons, light voiles are turned in for their denim counterparts and if there’s one place you’re guaranteed to find inspiration on how to wear jeans this winter, it’s the wardrobes of French women. Jeans have long been a staple of French women’s wardrobe, so much so that the Levis 501 have been termed the “French women’s jean”. Like Birkin’s rattan basket, embroidered blouses and wrap dresses, it’s become part of the framework for what constitutes French style. Whilst denim is unassuming and fits into the casual category, there are many ways to dress up the humble jean.
Typically, French women wear vintage wash styles and off-white iterations but now and again they dabble in washed denim and black. They do, however, celebrate the many styles that are available now, some of which are current trends. Take puddle pants, or low-rise denim, for example. You’re likely to see them sported by your favourite French satorialists. French style is nuanced, classic and daring and I’ve noticed that French women dip in and out of trends more than you’d expect, whilst continuing to wear vintage-inspired styles.
Among the wardrobes of French women, you’ll find ’70s style double pocketed designs, kick flares, straight leg and cropped jeans. Whether you’ll looking for some inspired looks for reference, or a new pair of jeans, keep on reading for five chic jeans ensembles to have in your back pocket.
Style Notes: We’d be mistaken for thinking that light denim is meant for summer. Instead, French women embrace bright tones in the autumn and winter. Pair it with a white shirt for a monochromatic look and when it’s gets chilly add a leather jacket, or a thick knit.
I always recommend COS’ white shirts.
Cat eye sunglasses loan a vintage look to any outfit.
Opt for cropped styles this winter so you can showcase ankle boots.
This cherry red also looks stunning with Breton stripes.
The closest iteration of the iconic Chanel two-toned flat, yet beautiful in its own right.
Style Notes: Khaite breathed life into the cardigan and now it’s one of the most fashion forward items for autumn. My favourite way to wear cardigan is minus layers underneath. Add lengthened jeans and heeled mules and there you’ll have an easy-to-wear evening look that’s both chic and cosy.
I started invested in cashmere a few years ago and I haven’t looked back.
Balzac Paris know a thing or two about the styles that French women like to wear.
This is bound to be an heirloom.
The curvature and sheen are a thing of magic.
Slip on and wear with ease, thanks to the supple leather and barely there heel.
Style Notes: It’s still trench weather in some parts of the world so dip into all seasons by juxtaposing light outerwear, hardened boots and eyewear for a complete transitional ensemble.
I’ve been recommending this trench coat to everyone. The shaping is reminiscent of the vintage Burberry which is hard to source.
A firm favourite of many editors.
The likeness to vintage jeans is uncanny, even up-close.
I’m very impressed with M&S’ offerings this season.
French women adore lacquered footwear in this exact burgundy hue.
Style Notes: I adore what Anne-Victoire’s deemed her “back to school look”. It boats monochromatic elements but with a pop of colour due to the contrasting accessories. Tie the look together with a bohemian-inspired choker. The fun-time heart on a chain has been trending but I like the mature element of the tiger eye stone and its beautiful properties.
Crew neck jumpers are often worn the autumn but for a slight touch of sports luxe, go for a knitted polo jumper.
A unique piece that inspires courage, power and protection.
The gold and leafy tones work in unison, to create this striking design.
Slouched jeans are incredibly easy-wearing.
Size up for a relaxed fit you can wear over light knitwear.
The ultimate dancing shoe!
Style Notes: As winter rolls around it’s time to start thinking about outerwear. If there’s one style French women revert to each year it’s leopard print. Make like Lena and team a loud print with a pared-back look.
Between the fluffy trim and irregular print, this style is so charming.
Familiarise yourself with layers. It’s that time, after all!
This exact hue is adored by many French women.
A slick shoulder bag (in a pillar box red, no less) by French accessory house, Lancaster.
Hot in from Gucci, sleek, suave and sophisticated eyewear.
Manu Atelier have crafted the ultimate power boot, with gold buckle adornments, of course.