I always try to silence the “I have nothing to wear” thoughts that seem to creep into my mind at the start of any new season. I know I’m exaggerating when I do because, of course, I have things to wear. The truth is that I think I don’t have anything to wear as I’ve likely gotten myself into the funk of chucking on the same pieces over and over. I work from home and my daily uniform consists of jeans, one of three knits I have on rotation and slippers—hardly inspiring stuff—and it’s when I’ve worn little else other than these pieces that I start to lose sight of everything else in my wardrobe.
Refusing to buy anything new, I instead turned to a selection of influencers whose style I admire to see what they’ve been wearing so far in 2024 in the hope that they’d inspire me to shake things up. Ask anyone at Who What Wear and they’ll tell you I’m a bit of a Francophile so, naturally, I ended up focusing my search on French-girl outfits.
The main reason I did this was because I know these particular French women rely on basics to assemble their looks, so chances are I’d have similar items lurking in my wardrobe or chest of drawers that I could re-create them with without having to spend a penny. Elegant, easy and anti-trend (the most directional items are a leather skirt and Adidas Sambas), I thought my findings might be of interest to you, too.
Scroll on to see the French-girl outfits I want to copy in 2024. Should you find yourself lacking any of the key components, I’ve also linked out to suitable pieces.
Style Notes: The preppy aesthetic is something French women have always subscribed to, but they make it their own with elegant pieces that elevate the vibe. In place of varsity-style jackets and slogan sweaters, people in Paris do prep with contrasting collars peeking out from underneath cable knits, while pleated minis are made luxe in leather and wool.
Style Notes: French women are big fans of monochrome dressing—wearing one colour top to toe. Right now, cream seems to be the hue of note, which is great in terms of wardrobe longevity. Make like Mélodie Banfield and add some edge with contrasting black accessories and footwear.
Style Notes: We’ve recently coined The Mirror Method—a styling trick that involved wearing the same shade in different parts of your outfit (often by way of accessories) to pull your look together, which is perfectly demonstrated here by Julie Berard.
Style Notes: While it might be too soon to step out without a coat, you can bet I’ll be copying Sylvie Mus’s chic look under my puffer. A simplistic top worn with a plain skirt might sound boring on paper but the outcome is slick, especially with a leather belt draped on the hips and some sophisticated flats to round the whole thing off.
Style Notes: Just like the rest of us, more and more classy French women are incorporating trainers into their looks. While white will always be a safe bet, Léna Farl’s black trainers give this easy jeans-and-bomber jacket look a point of difference.
Style Notes: Brown might be the colour of the season but women in Paris have long been wearing it—it is a classic shade, after all! Right now I’m seeing so many knitted skirt sets on the French style set, too, so why not check off two key looks in one go?
Style Notes: French women consider their outfits thoroughly, all the way down to the finer details. Emmanuelle Koffi is an expert at this, perfect matching the colours in her silk scarf to that of her ballet flats. Adopt this attention to detail with your outfits and they’ll look significantly more French in the process.