© Cover picture: Illustration by MW – Marion Wang

You must have heard about French style, and how French people, especially women, always look classy and fashionable. Well, here are some tips to blend in and to learn these little details that make a perfect French outfit and surprise your flatmates!


For women:

Every woman is different but in France, they are usually some similarities when it comes to looks. First, French women are, most of the time, overdressed! We tend to give priority to style rather than comfort. It is pretty unlikely that you will see a girl in sweatpants and a hoodie if she is not going to the gym or for a run. There are, of course, some exceptions, but women usually wear comfy clothes when they are not leaving the house, or when they feel sick (and you’d better not point the fact that they don’t look good out to them)!

And my next point will totally contradict what I’ve just said! French women, when they go to a party or to a date, are usually more natural and relaxed. Needless to say that this is only an appearance and that we usually have spent hours in front of the mirror… But in France, the less the better! First, when it comes to makeup, we usually only accentuate one thing, like lips or eyes. Girls with smoky eyes, red lipstick, blush, obvious foundation and sophisticated hair will not look classy and will clearly give away that the event is important and that they have spent hours getting ready for it (and you know that French women like to play hard to get, so it is not a good strategy…). We are also not fond of numerous, cheap, big jewellery, and we wear either a short skirt or a low-cut neckline but never both of them at the same time!


Léa Seydoux at the Festival de Canne in 2014


For men:

Men usually don’t admit it but they are as conscientious with looks as women, sometimes more! You have to know, those men like accessories and it is rare to see a man without a little something to perfect their outfit. The most popular and fashionable accessories nowadays are caps (and not just a baseball cap, caps with things written on it, with flowers, etc…), glasses (yes, we are in a country where people wear glasses not because they need them but because they are fashionable), scarves and bags. Not just backpacks, men also have handbags and they usually rock them pretty well! Another thing that men like, but it is more a question of fashion than the country I think, is the beard. Whether it be the stubble or the full beard, it is becoming more and more popular in France, and French people usually find it pretty attractive.

They also like to wear classy shirts and not only to go to work. No matter what kind of shirt they wear, it always makes an impression! They are also usually fond of jeans and especially skinny jeans. Some of them dare to wear colourful skinny jeans and it usually looks well on them. But if they are going to a formal event, they usually prefer wearing chinos or even a suit, if the situation is favourable to it.


General attitude:

American people are known for being enthusiastic and expressive, and even if I think this is great and that this is totally refreshing to see people smiling for no reason or being really interested in what you are saying, French people usually don’t do that. It is not because we are depressed or cold, but politeness in France is based mostly on not crossing some boundaries and being too familiar with people we don’t know. This is why people don’t talk to each other on public transportation or in the line in the supermarket. French people usually wear a poker face and it is difficult to make them smile without doing anything, but don’t be afraid to go talk to them, they will be nice most of the time, especially when they notice your accent!

French people don’t care! Well, they look as they don’t care. Once again, it depends, but the Frenchies usually look overconfident and walk like they own the world. There are a lot of smokers in France, and sometimes, the cigarette in their hand adds to the look of confidence.


These are mostly generalities and needless to say that, everyone is different and goes with their own fashion sense without worrying about pseudo-rules to look cool! The most important thing to remember is that French people look cold and unappealing but they are totally not and you will probably get a lot of French friends during your year abroad, whatever clothes you are wearing!

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