How To Spot A French Woman In The Wild

It’s been rumored they exist outside of their natural habitat.

Sightings are reported every now and again. They’re like bigfoot (if bigfoot wore Chanel °5 and smoked 2 packs a day).

French women.

They’re out there. And they’re coming to a city near you. Today we are hosting our first guest blogger on The Petite Bijou: Bradley, french language and culture expert! He’s going to tell us all about how to spot a french woman in the wild! So…

 How do you spot one in the wild?

How To Spot A French Woman In The Wild | The Petite Bijou

Mariam’s Outfit Details: Blazer (similar) // Shirt // Scarf // Jeans // Shoes // Sunglasses



Whether they have long hair or short, bangs or a bob, curly hair or straight, French women sport tousled hair that speaks to that effortless aura we identify with them. The goal here is ease, so you will see blunt cuts past the shoulder or at the neck with bangs to frame the face.

Follow The Petite Bijou Hair Board on Pinterest for tons of hair style and ideas you can save – including some iconic french styles!

Now, don’t go living your life thinking every person with disheveled hair is French (you’d be surprised by how many people just don’t shower on a regular basis…).

How To Spot A French Woman In The Wild | The Petite Bijou
Mariam getting her classic bangs cut and a slight balayage to achieve a glamorous but carefree everyday look



French women opt for a neutral palette with a mix of affordable basics and finer statement pieces that fit a timeless aesthetic (bye-bye, passing trends!).

French woman usually has one stand-out aspect of her outfit; everything else is understated to create a balanced composition. A loose blouse would be paired with a tailored cigarette pant or jean and vice versa.

Cigarette Pants

What I’m trying to say is, when the woman in aisle 3 is sporting a tailored ankle-cut dark denim jean with a dark blouse and an oversized coat (and maybe if she’s smoking in the store while holding a round of brie cheese and a baguette, too), her name might be Marie-Antoinette.



The rule for this one is KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid!

In the spirit of effortlessness (aka doing the least amount of work for the maximum payoff), French women wear a minimal amount of makeup.

In regards to eyes and lips, only one of the two is emphasized, with both being understated a good majority of the time. Remember – balance is key! A bolder lip is paired with a nearly-naked eye. In turn, if the eye is bold, the lip is natural.

This one might be harder to spot, but not wearing makeup is only French if the hair and clothes fall in line (pajamas and no makeup in public are just a sign of a hangover, not a je-ne-sais-quoi – sorry to disappoint).

How To Spot A French Woman In The Wild | The Petite Bijou

Mariam prefers a wearing a bold lip with a classic cat eye look to complete her French inspired outfit




Scarves, bags, and shoes – OH MY! When I’m French-spotting (can we turn this into an Olympic sport?), the most identifiably French things I look for are the accessories.

Scarves:  Basically, if it looks like someone has a giant blanket wrapped three times around their neck, you can be pretty sure they’re French. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

How To Spot A French Woman In The Wild | The Petite Bijou

Mariam is wearing this solid dusk blue scarf from Old Navy – psttt.. it’s under $10!!

Bags: French women with usually be seen with one of two styles of bags; a large, slouchy leather tote or a square canvas bag. Both speak to that classically nonchalant quality we’ve identified with French women in their look and usability.

How To Spot A French Woman In The Wild | The Petite Bijou

Or go for a happy medium with a faux leather cross body bag that is chic and adventurous, just like a French woman.

Shoes:  A leather or suede heeled boot (black or tan) is a staple of a French woman’s outfit. It goes with everything, looks stylish, and is comfortable. You will also spot a lot of French women wearing grey gym shoes (neutral colors for the win!).

How To Spot A French Woman In The Wild | The Petite Bijou

This suede heeled bootie is a perfect addition to any french inspired wardrobe!



Identifying what gives a French person that je-ne-sais-quoi (cliché, I know) will give you the tools to begin emulating those same qualities. On your mark, get set, GO!



What quality of French women do you wish you could adapt in your life? What else do you want to know about the French?



Learn More About Bradley & His Business Here

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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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Leave a Comment


  1. Cara wrote:

    your hair looks amazing! xo

    Posted 5.9.17 Reply
  2. Jessica wrote:

    This is such a fun post! I love french women’s style, it is so effortless!
    – Jessica
    Miss Moore Style

    Posted 5.9.17 Reply
  3. What a fun post! So true about the very simple makeup… I love a bold lip with a clean face, it’s so chic!

    Posted 5.9.17 Reply
  4. Ha! Loved reading this post & wish I could pull of bangs like you do! So pretty!

    Posted 5.8.17 Reply
  5. Brittani wrote:

    Wish I could pull bangs off this well! You look gorgeous!


    Posted 5.7.17 Reply
  6. What a fun post! I have always been envious of women who can pull off bangs.

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

    Posted 5.5.17 Reply
  7. Ru wrote:

    Your hair looks stunning and I love your look!

    Posted 5.4.17 Reply
  8. Adriana wrote:

    Such a great post girlie!
    You look so pretty!


    Posted 5.3.17 Reply
  9. Roselyn wrote:

    Seriously you are so cute and I adore your style!

    xo, Roselyn

    Posted 4.30.17 Reply
  10. What a cute idea for a post! I’m so envious of how effortless French woman always seem to look!

    Birdie Shoots

    Posted 4.30.17 Reply
  11. Louisa wrote:

    Bradley is right on! I did two study abroad sessions in France and was in awe of the effortlessly and elegant look of French ladies!

    Posted 4.30.17 Reply
  12. Emily wrote:

    Oh my gosh I love this post, how cute! Your wittiness in it makes it a joy to read. And you know, that is exactly what I imagine when I think of french- classy, classic, effortless, and making just enough of a statement that you know it’s intentional but kind of wonder if it isn’t:).

    Posted 4.30.17 Reply
  13. Jaime wrote:

    This is such a fun post! I wish I looked like a French woman, haha!! xo, Jaime Sunflowers and Stilettos

    Posted 4.30.17 Reply
  14. Elise wrote:

    Love this post!! You’re right – it’s a guide to being 24/7 chic!

    Posted 4.30.17 Reply
  15. Azanique wrote:

    I love those accessories! So classic

    -xoxo, Azanique

    Posted 4.30.17 Reply
  16. adriana wrote:

    Those booties are adorable! I love the Parisian/French style!

    Posted 4.30.17 Reply
  17. Caitlin wrote:

    I love the effortlessly chic style of the French!!

    Posted 4.30.17 Reply
  18. This is such a fun & creative post idea. LOVE IT! I didn’t know what those pants were called, but now I know it’s cigarette pants, so thanks for clearing that up for me. So cute, and I will now be able to spot a french woman outside of her natural habitat! xx

    Posted 4.30.17 Reply
  19. I love this post, and so true of French style. I wish I would pull it off!

    Posted 4.30.17 Reply
  20. Lindsay wrote:

    You totally nailed French style! I love all of the classic pieces you incorporated

    Posted 4.30.17 Reply
  21. Nataly wrote:

    I love the French style. Wish I could pull it off!

    Posted 4.29.17 Reply
  22. Emily wrote:

    um such a cute post, and helpful for those of us who strive to be as effortlessly chic as the french girls!

    xo Emily

    Posted 4.29.17 Reply
  23. roxy wrote:

    Ha! This is perfection, and describes Parisian women to a tee. I especially love the bangs + red lipstick combo….killer fab!!

    Posted 4.28.17 Reply
  24. Loved this post – and totally agree that sometimes the chicest looks are the most simple!

    Posted 4.28.17 Reply
  25. Sara wrote:

    This entire post perfectly describes all of the fabulously simple and chic women I saw while visiting Paris last year! They have the most effortless and sophisticated style!

    xo, Sara

    Posted 4.28.17 Reply
  26. Steph wrote:

    I spent about 3 weeks in Paris and I have to say, scarves were definitely a staple.

    @trendyinindy ||

    Posted 4.28.17 Reply
  27. Jenn wrote:

    Love the french style!!!! The pop of red lips is pretty

    Posted 4.28.17 Reply
  28. love the black booties!

    Posted 4.28.17 Reply
  29. I will always be envious of the perfect tousled undone hair!! Mine is always a mess lol

    xo Jackie

    Posted 4.28.17 Reply
  30. I love French style!


    Posted 4.28.17 Reply