It’s a well-known fact that the French are some of the best dressers in the world, and their style is emulated by French wannabes around the globe. But what exactly is it that gives the French that je ne sais quoi? Fortunately, I’ve spent quite a bit of time there and have picked up on some of the best style tricks and must-haves for a wardrobe that is très chic.

1. Jeans – NOT leggings

The French do not wear leggings outside of the gym. Athleisure is not a thing in France, so the French prefer something much more classic – denim. Having some well-fitting, flattering jeans may not always be as comfortable as leggings, but they look much nicer and put-together.

2. Sneakers

The go-to shoe of the French is sneakers. Oftentimes you can even find working professionals wearing sneakers with their work clothes, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a French woman wearing heels on a daily basis. One of the most versatile colours is white, so you’ll find that most French people have at least one pair of classic white sneakers in their closet. For a more feminine take on everyday shoes consider ballet flats.

3. Avoid trends and focus on classic pieces

This tip can save you a lot of money in the long run. Avoid trends that come and go, and instead, invest in quality classic pieces that you will keep in your wardrobe for years to come. As a bonus, when you have a closet filled with classic items, you’ll never struggle to put together a polished look.

4. Layer your jewellery

Layering your jewellery, no matter the colour of the metal, creates a bohemian, alluring look that the French love. Plus, you can show off all of your favourite pieces at once! The key here is to find the fine line between just enough and too much. Your jewellery shouldn’t be making loud noises and flying everywhere when you move, but it should be noticeable.

5. Don’t look like you tried to hard – because you didn’t

Your lipstick and eyebrows shouldn’t be absolutely perfect, your hair can be a little messy, and your clothes can be a little wrinkled (all within reason). A French person does not want to appear as though they stood in front of the mirror for hours trying to decide what to wear or how to do their makeup. They don’t have time for that! Instead, they have a simple go-to makeup routine and a closet full of things that go together. When it comes to the French, it truly is more-is-less.

6. Always wear a watch

Every single French person I know always wears an analog watch. While smartwatches are becoming more popular, a classic wristwatch immediately gives someone the aura of being put-together and mature. Most of the time they will not be wearing luxury watches on the daily, but instead a sturdy, comfortable band that will last for years.

– Emily Kemp