The 11-Piece Spring Capsule Wardrobe French Women Swear By

It's foolproof.

Continuing my eternal quest to dress more French-like, I’ve set my sights—as I know many of you have, too—on spring. Although we have a few weeks of winter still to get through, spring is very much on my mind right now as plans start to seep into my calendar and the promise of brighter, longer and warmer days begins to come into view.

This year, I want to make sure I’m prepared for the seasonal switch, and naturally, I’ve turned my attention to ascertaining which pieces form a French girl’s spring capsule wardrobe. For this, I’ve taken a close look at the sartorial habits of some of my favourite French women, deep-diving into their respective feeds to see what they wear when spring rolls around, and it didn’t take long for some patterns to emerge.

Now, I’m confident that the French woman’s spring capsule wardrobe can be encapsulated (and indeed replicated) in just 11 items—some of which I’m pretty sure you’ll already own, with a couple of stylish curveballs thrown in for good measure. Scroll on to see them and to begin assembling your own Français-inspired springtime outfits.  

Style Notes: We all know trench coats are an integral part of the British uniform, but French women have adopted them as their own, too, wearing them with everything from floral dresses (more on those later) to straight-leg jeans (also more on those later). 

This extreme-button, double-breasted style feels so fresh. 

Keep things classic with a belted iteration. 

Style Notes: Cardigans are integral to how French women get dressed. If you follow their rules, the chunkier the better. 

I’m enjoying the inclusion of a sailor collar. 

The perfect throw-on that comes in so many colours. 

Style Notes: French women tend to not overthink their outfits, which is why the idea of co-ords proves so appealing. I intend on capitalising on the knitted co-ord trend for maximum comfort. 

Ribbed knitwear is continuing to dominate for spring. 

How cute is the ruffle ankle detail? 

Style Notes: Nothing has the power to make an outfit look pulled together quite like a shirt, and lots of French influencers tend to like theirs oversized. No need to size up; I’ve found perfectly cut shirts that tap into this aesthetic as they are. 

Blue Oxford stripes will always be classic, but this green interpretation is a welcome change. 

If you want to tap into this season’s monochromatic-dressing trend. 

Style Notes: I was surprised at just how many French women whip out leather miniskirts at even the first sign of spring. Wear with tights and boots now, then with Mary Janes just like Anne-Laure come April (or whenever there’s an, albeit unlikely, heatwave). 

This looks just like a designer skirt. 

The front pleat gives this leather mini a distinguishable silhouette. 

Style Notes: It might sound cliché, but I have to believe some clichés exist for a reason. And that is certainly the case when it comes to French women and their penchant for basket bags, which peaks in the spring months. 

A basket bag that’ll last you a lifetime. 

The collaboration I didn’t know I needed but 100% appreciate. 

Style Notes: If you’re anything like me, you’re constantly looking for new ways to elevate your jeans. Well, look no further than the shirred blouse. While any colour or print will work, the French girls I found seem to favour crisp white blouses. 

The puff-sleeves, the flounced cuffs, the shirring—this is blouse perfection. 

A wardrobe staple you’ll wear right through summer. 

Style Notes: I’m not quite ready for bare-ankle season—Have you been outside lately? It’s cold—but when I am, you can bet the first thing I’ll be pulling on is a pair of cropped jeans. 

Seek out distressed denim for a could-be-vintage look. 

Such a great option—plus, they’re on sale. 

Style Notes: Tea dresses might sound dated, but French influencers still love wearing them. The trick is to look for floral prints that aren’t too trend-led—ditsy motifs in classic colour palettes seem to do the trick. 

Long-sleeve dresses will serve you well in the early days of spring. 

Réalisation continues to serve up some of the best tea dresses out there. 

Style Notes: Sharing similar climates (unless we’re talking about the South of France, that is), both Brit and French fashion people wear boots year-round. I’ve noticed that, as soon as spring rolls around, Gallic girls switch in softer suede styles that aren’t so harsh against lighter fabrics or colours. 

These come in four classic colourways. 

French women always gravitate towards Isabel Marant boots. 

Style Notes: French women have a knack at styling their tweed and bouclé jackets in fresh new ways, which always seem to come to fruition in spring when the need for heavy outerwear isn’t so pressing. 

Honestly, I can’t tell the difference between this affordable option and Leia’s. 

Cream tweed will never go out of style. 

Next Up, Spring/Summer 2022 Trends: The Only 17 Looks You Need to Know About

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