How To Dress Like A French Woman?

December 23, 2022

How to dress like a French woman? This may appear to be a simple question, but the more profound meaning is tough to uncover. Chadourne on Amiati, Les cafés-concerts (1889, 246) had a classic quote about French women: “Her voice possesses a charm, an emotion that penetrates you, draws tears, and inspires heroism.” As a result, women in France have been a symbol of lightness, elegance, and softness for a long time, and women’s fashion has played an essential role in expressing that spirit. Today this article on Liftyolife ( will show you how to show patriotism off your outfits.

1. French women fashion history

French women fashion history

French women fashion history

  • 1680-1689, 1690-1699, 1700-1709, 17th century, 18th century
    • Mantua: A jacket-like bodice with a drawn-back overskirt bustle in the back, first worn in the 17th century.
  • 17th and 18th centuries
    • Justaucorps: A justaucorps is a long-sleeved, knee-length coat worn by men beginning in 1666 and continuing into the 18th century.
  • 18th century
    • échelle: A decorative ladder of bows descending down a dress’s stomacher highlights this costume. It was worn in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. It’s also spelled echelle.
    • Polonaise: A style of dress popular in the 1770s and 1820s that featured an all-in-one bodice and skirts that were often looped up. During the 1870s, polonaise was also popular.
  • 1750-1759, 18th century
    • 1750 – Jean-Marc Nattier, Portrait of a Young Woman: Jean-Marc Nattier, a celebrated 18th-century portraitist, was known for his mythological style, depicting women in imagined costumes that were only loosely based on fashionable trends.
  • 1780-1789, 18th century
    • Robe en chemise: A dress popular in the 1780s made of muslin with a straight cut and gathered with a sash or drawstring.
  • 1790-1799, 18th century
    • 1791 – Rose Adélaïde Ducreux, Self-Portrait with a Harp: Rose-Adélade Ducreux’s self-portrait from 1791 shows her as a fashionable and accomplished 18th-century woman dressed in a lustrous silk cream and sea green striped robe à l’anglaise.
  • 1860-1869, 19th century
    • 1860 – Cream silk evening dress: This light pinky-peach gown with ruched bows and a full crinoline-supported skirt exemplifies the early 1860s ball gown. This garment is sophisticated yet effortless, with delicate detailing and a simple color palette–ideally in line with current fashions.
  • 1870-1879, 19th century

During the 1870s, women’s clothing became more complex, colorful, and restrictive, whereas a hardworking sobriety distinguished menswear.

  • 1870 – Berthe Morisot, The Pink Dress: Berthe Morisot’s portrait of adolescent Marguerite Carré features a light pink ruffle day dress combined with black velvet and lace accessories, evoking 1870s Paris fashion.
  • 1874 – Amédée François, Blue silk afternoon dress: This afternoon gown, while not as lavish as some of the elaborately decorated gowns of 1874, remains fashionable due to its tight-fitting bodice with an elongated waist, bustled silhouette, and embellished high neckline.
  • 1874 – Pierre-Auguste Renoir, La Loge: A black and white striped dress in the context of a theater box–a fashionable dress style but a questionable fit for that occasion. When the painting was shown at the Impressionists’ first group show in 1874, her heavily made-up face and messy hair sparked debate.
  • 1880-1889, 19th century
    • 1887-1889 – Jean-Philippe Worth, Evening dress: Jean-Philippe Worth designed this silk evening gown draped in lace in 1887-89, and it was very fashionable for its time due to his design, color, and stylistic choices.

2. How do you dress like a Parisian?

What distinguishes Parisians from other French women? Are you interested? Paris fashion always brings its own distinctive characteristics, which impresses many people at first glance. Let’s look at what distinguishes it from other fashion industries:

  • Parisians prefer timeless, high-quality clothing. Spend less money, but spend it wisely!
  • Wear clothing that is appropriate for your body type. Yes, you must understand your body shape and select the proper cut. Clothes should be fit for you. This relates to the previous point.
  • Clothes should be soft and comfortable. Your capsule closet should be both stylish and functional so that you can wear it frequently.
  • Avoid using bright colors and extravagance.
  • Avoid bragging and brand exposure. It is impolite to flaunt one’s wealth; it is disrespectful to flaunt one’s wealth.
  • Wear neutral tones. If you want to look like a Parisian girl, limit your clothing to no more than three colors. Wear no more than two colors for an elegant evening look. Remember that all black is always a safe bet.
  • Appreciate the ease of use. Dress in simple, minimalistic clothing. Don’t overdo it on the delicate pieces. Again, it’s all about the little things, the simplicity, and the modesty.

3. How to dress like a French woman

How to dress like a French woman

How to dress like a French woman

3.1. Start with clothing essentials

Everything unique stems from the fundamentals. So, let’s start with something you already have in your closet. Open your wardrobe and select the first item you see, which could be a pair of skinny jeans or slim boyfriend jeans, a striped top, a white button-up shirt, a black blazer, a white tee, a “little black dress,” ankle pants, and a trench coat. French women also favor white silk shirts. Silk shirts must usually be dry cleaned, so a cotton shirt that is machine washable is a better option. These essentials are the foundation of a French woman’s wardrobe. Therefore, these classic pieces are timeless and will never go out of style.

3.2. Wear a pop of blush pink or red with your outfits

Let’s add highlights and a pop of color to your outfit to make it more appealing. In this case, a pop of blush pink or red is the best option for you. This is ideal for a dark costume or a monotonous outfit. The color can instantly brighten any outfit. Red lip color or a blush or red bandana scarf will immediately make you look chic!

3.3. Wear a French signature shoe and carry a structured handbag

French women are well-known for their timeless and effortless style, laid-back but always put together. Nothing is more stylish than French women mixing high-end wardrobe staples with functional footwear. From strappy sandals that look great with white jeans and summer dresses to city-appropriate sporty sandals and on-trend espadrilles, the French women’s shoes cabinet has it all.

Furthermore, if anyone knows how to dress chicly, it’s the French. Maybe it’s because they understand the fundamentals of essential wardrobe staples, or perhaps it’s because of the bags they carry? So, if you adore French-girl fashion, don’t miss the following items!

A black heel or loafer is ideal for a French look. Black heels look great with dresses, pants, skirts, and even jeans. Loafers are a perfect casual shoe, but they can also be worn with skirts and ankle pants. Carry a structured bag in black (budget-friendly) or neutral-tone (budget-friendly) to look chic!

3.4. Use the “less is more” concept

Too much or too little is not good. Convert your closet to a “capsule wardrobe” to keep your clothes neat and easy to find. In addition, the rule of three in three out will also work well here. This means that if you buy three new items, you must donate three old items from your closet. Is that amazing? I’ve been following this rule and wearing a capsule wardrobe for two years now; I’ve saved money and love wearing everything in my closet. Furthermore, my closet stays neat. Plus, because I buy less, it’s better for the environment in the long run!

3.5. Invest in quality pieces that will last you for a few years

Buy once and wear for several years and seasons. This means you should pay closer attention to the quality of the clothes you purchase. If you’re looking for some key pieces but are on a tight budget, I recommend shopping end-of-season sales or holiday sales (not just Christmas and New Year’s sales, but also President’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, and so on). Retailers will have a few sales throughout the year, so keep an eye out for items on sale before you buy. Moreover, check out consignment shops or thrift stores for previously owned items as well. This is how I found a few of my clothes when I first started a capsule wardrobe. I discovered some things with tags still attached at a few thrift stores!

The first time we meet a French woman, we are struck by her spirit, beauty, and even unforgettable fashion. With all of the above tips on how to dress like a French woman, do you have a suitable answer for your own? Liftyolife ( hopes to become your fashionista for any look you desire. Subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about the fascinating world of fashion.

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