This year marks my first December of living in Paris, and naturally, I’ve continued to partake in my favourite pastime of people-watching and deducing how French women dress. This November, I’ve turned my attention to evening wear and end-of-year parties. Partywear dredges up thoughts of dresses clad in weighty sequins, glistening adornments and towering heels and whilst French women do appreciate bold party styles, their outfit references are typically understated, give or take.
French women’s style makes for the ultimate inspiration during this season but you needn’t hoop on a Eurostar. Allow me to be your eyes on the ground, with the addition of Instagram, to bring you all the inspiration you need. Although we always look to these women for their basics—it’s the party outfits we’re most interested in right now. And rightly so considering brunches, dinner gatherings and after-dark soirées are filling up our diaries this year.
So whether you look to Anne Laure Mais for how to wear the sheer maxi dress outside of the home or Anne-Victoire Lefèvre for the art of dressing with simplicity, here are six French women–approved party looks you can re-create with ease.
Style Notes: I’ve spotted many French women wearing noughties-style slip dresses and clothing with sheer elements. If you’re easing your way into this style, pair it with a slip underneath.
The sheer dress phenomenon is much appreciated in France.
Why not opt for pearls and perspex instead of sequin clutches?
Aquazzura bring the goods, yet again.
It may be months down the line but the Daisy X Shrimps collaboration is still at the forefront of our minds.
Style Notes: A great going-out top will elevate even the simplest of jeans. Like Sara Loura knows statement jewels will make a simple look party-ready.
This isn’t the first time I’ve set my sights on the Zylah Knit top. Thankfully, it’s on promotion!
Bold gold earrings pair so well with cocoa-hued tops.
I adore wearing slingbacks.
Stack them high!
Agolde is much loved by editors worldwide.
Unclip the top handle for the evening.
Style Notes: If in doubt, bring out the mini dress. Julie Sergent Ferreri shows how to do it right with the statement Taller Marmo and mules. Also, all hail the return of the sparkly strap just in time for party season.
Taller Marmo dresses are so special.
Your party bag, sorted.
Bejeweled sandals are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. If not now, then when?
Style Notes: Ah, the humble maxi dress. Ready to be worn all year round, no matter the occasion, it’s the do-it-all dress French girls love to wear. Make like Aïda Badji Sané and keep the look simple and sleek with minimal accessories.
This dreamy Christopher Esber frock is now 50% off!
My new favourite Parisian bag brand!
There’s nothing that says festive dressing quite like crystal drop earrings.
Some of the sweetest mules on the high street.
Style Notes: Knitted dresses are here to stay. They’re an integral part of any French girl’s wardrobe, and it’s no surprise they work after dark with a fuzzy shearling jacket and slicked hairstyle.
Charlotte Simone releases limited runs of her iconic shearling coats a few times per season and they are so beautiful.
Charles & Keith’s Gabine looks like a premium bag.
Every woman can benefit from a square neck bodycon dress. Wear it as a layering or standout piece.
I adore hammered metal with the softness of pearls.
I’ve deemed these Cinderella shoes.
Style Notes: Stylish and clever, French women know how to take a day dress and turn it into an evening look. Add accessories to elevate the look further.
Take the classic wrap from day to date night.
Add this pearl wavy colour to Bardot or deep V-necklines.
A typical French-style sandal.