The “French Girl Style” Formula

1. Artfully messy hair paired with wispy bangs

What do some of our favorite French muses Françoise Hardy, Brigitte Bardot, Betty Catroux, Caroline de Maigret, Sophie Marceau, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Lou Doillon, and Jeanne Damas have in common? They look like they just rolled out of bed, and somehow, it works? Even when their bangs are all over the place, they still manage to look chic.

(I deliberately gave myself a 5-minute time limit to achieve effortlessly messy hair. I think I did okay considering my hair is naturally limp and straight!)

2. Possible accessories: wide-brimmed or straw hats, straw bags, statement earrings, and flat shoes (preferably ballet style or espadrilles)

It’s easy to understand why wide, flat-brimmed hats have that “summer in Europe” feel to them once you’ve seen a photo of the lavandiere chapeaux, a traditional straw hat worn by farmers who harvested lavenders during summertime. (Yes! There’s some sort of functional history behind it!)

Espadrilles also have French origins and make the cutest summer shoes!

3. A hands-free anti-“it” bag

Especially the crossbody kind that screams “I’m a busy person!”. Straps are always useful when you’re running around doing errands. Get it in a “Bordeaux” color for laughs.

Something that I admire about French Girl Style in general is that they don’t seem too fixated on what’s “it” or what’s trendy. Instead, they go for things that are timeless, practical, and whatever fits their personal style and lifestyle.

4. A comfortable cotton tee in a neutral color

Don’t you just admire how easily French girls can pull off the simplest t-shirts? I decided to not go for the stereotypical Breton stripes because recently, I’ve been seeing a ton of photos of fashionable French models (like Camilla Rowe) with various cotton tee and denim combinations. Throw in a blazer ala Inès de La Fressange for an instant day-to-night look.

5. Ankle-skimming/cropped pants in a classic wash

Emmanuelle Alt hardly ever wears any other style.

Have you noticed anything similar with all my pants? They’re all cut right above the ankle. Showing off your ankles (the thinnest part of your limbs) have an instant slimming and lengthening effect, so I only buy pants that are this particular length. I don’t want to have them altered as much as possible because it usually takes away from the original cut. Mango has a wonderful cropped selection (at least for my 5’3″ height) so I mostly buy my jeans from them.

6. A low-key, nonchalant way of life

The true secret to achieving the much-coveted French Girl Style – dressing up for yourself, never second-guessing anything, and maybe keeping all these tips secret so it’ll look like you were just born with that je ne sais quoi!


Mango organic cotton t-shirt, Boyfriend Jack jeans, lace-up satin espadrilles, earrings / Michael Kors bag from A la Mode Bags / CMG hat / Solique x Agoo nail polish in Cloud

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