5 Fashion Faux Pas French Women Avoid

There’s something about French women’s style that seems like they’re the most stylish woman on the planet. Just look at the countless amounts of books and blog posts written on the subject. It’s truly a fascinating concept – dressing like the French: chic yet sophisticated. Relaxed yet completely poised. Planned but “natural”

What I believe it really comes down to is not how French women dress, but how they don’t dress which makes French “style” as we know it.

It’s not about the clothes, it’s about the attitude and choice behind the clothes. At the end of the day, French women wear what makes them feel good. However, we can use some of their tips to learn how and what they make the clothing choices they do.

French women make style look effortless and put together. And they do it by avoiding these faux pas.


French Woman Avoid Logos

French women do not like wearing logos front and center. A logo is reserved for a tag on a piece of clothing, not necessarily on the clothing itself. It’s a form of quiet luxury.

No one needs to know you’re wearing luxury. French women prefer to show luxury in the way they walk and talk. It is less of a physical concept than an emotional one.

But don’t get me wrong, a white shirt with a logo can do very well – as long as it doesn’t define your whole outfit.

French Fashion Faux Pas

SHOP MY OUTFIT: Striped Shirt // Pants // Beret


French Woman Don’t Do Picture Perfect or Perfectly Casual

French woman aren’t the most “put together” compared to their American counterparts. They may spend the same amount of time getting ready, but they want to make it look more natural. Hair may be unbrushed, teeth not perfectly white, and they certainly don’t focus on going to the gym on a regular basis. Worrying too much about how perfect you need to look is something French women don’t do.

Likewise, they don’t do all casual. It’s always a mix. If you’re going to put on jeans, put on heels too. They don’t wear atheliesure out – it’s for the gym and the gym only.


They’re Just Not Into Trends

Fast fashion and perusing the latest style blogs isn’t something that the majority of French women don’t really do often. For the most part, French women know what they like and dislike. And trends aren’t going to change their mind about it.

Instead of jumping on board with trends, French women will take one or two aspects of the trend and maybe try it out for a few months. But they’re really more focused on finding collections which will suit them for a lifetime.

Flashy is not a term in their vocabulary.

French Fashion Faux Pas


French Fashion Faux Pas

French Women Don’t Play Dress Up

What I mean is, here I am wearing what most women think French women look like. Hope you realize that this was purely for comical effect. Most French women do not go running around in stripe shirts and red berets. They don’t try to be anything but themselves. They don’t play characters – they just simply want to go about their day looking and feeling their best. And that’s whatever style suits them.

Do they own red berets and striped shirts? Absolutely. But they certainly don’t fit a stereotype or mold.


French Women Don’t Do Oversized or Too Tight

They wear clothes that fit them and no trends or styles will change that. If it doesn’t fit, they either tailor it or don’t buy it. Doing otherwise gives a sense of not knowing how to dress for your body. It’s not about sizing, it’s about the ability of the clothes they wear to fit perfectly into their routines – not drag on the ground, not blow up with the wend,  and not feel uncomfortable.


No Neon, Sequins, or Flash

French women often aren’t too bold with their style, but that’s certainly not always the case.

The rule is, just don’t wear all of those things all at once. If you have a sequin top, just keep it at that. Don’t add a sequin skirt, glitter headband, and tons of accessories. They like to keep their accessories to a minimum. There’s no such thing as ring or bracelet “stacking”. French women prefer one statement piece to wear rather than being a statement piece themselves.

French women generally don’t wear over-the-top anything. And maybe that’s a lesson we can learn about being more humble. Their clothes don’t directly reflect their personalities – it’s just an extension, a hint almost.

French Fashion Faux Pas


French style is really not about what you wear but how you wear it. It’s about not caring what society and standards say. It’s not about fitting in or standing out. There’s no competition. And despite the popular route “life is a runway”, to French women, it really isn’t.

Clothes are more of a way to just enjoy life, not overcomplicate it. If you’re looking for help on how French women dress, sign up to receive the French Girl Wardrobe List straight to your inbox, for free. It’s all the essentials you need in your closet to emulate that classic and timeless French style.


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    Behind The Blog

    The Petite Bijou is an online destination featuring wholesome yet sophisticated living and styling tips for women. The site is run by the family and friends of survivor, lifestyle influencer, and writer Mariam, who passed away in the summer of 2020.  Mariam also hosted The Bijou Show, a self help podcast.

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