French Fashion: Casual Chic Style
One of my favorite parts of French fashion is the French’s affinity for casual chic style. The way the French mix casual and elegant together to create polished outfits that work in a variety of settings is golden when it comes to effortless, timeless style.
Casual Chic Style Elements
One of the things I always coach my clients on is creating a capsule wardrobe full of clothing staples. Some of these wardrobe staples include:
- Blue jeans
- White button down shirt
- Ballet flats
- Little black dress
- Trench coat
and the list goes on, which I share here.
This isn’t to say that these are the only items a woman needs in her wardrobe, but rather items every woman should at least own one piece of regardless of whatever else is in her closet.
A capsule wardrobe will carry you on a day-to-day basis, and can be supplemented or adjusted each season. For instance, a pair of white jeans may become a staple item during the summer, but you may swap those pants for a pair of dark blue jeans in the fall.
You may reach for gauzy, linen pieces during the summer and switch to thicker, merino wool sweaters in the winter. That’s why year-round staples like the ones shared above are great to have, but they’re only the very start of a creating a complete capsule wardrobe.
Casual Chic Outfit Ideas
Once you’ve created a capsule wardrobe of necessities, you’ll have room to play to create the perfect casual chic outfits.
For instance, if you have a solid, knit sweater in your closet, you can pair that with a staple, slip skirt for the perfect casual chic mix.
Or maybe your knit sweater has some rhinestone embellishments, making it a lovely choice to pair with some jeans and heels. A perfect blend of some glam and more dressed down pieces.
When one of your outfit pieces has a luxe look or feel, whether that’s in the details and embellishments or in the fabric choice, you have more freedom to pair the item with something that’s more casual and relaxed without sacrificing your sense of sophistication.
Here are some favorite casual chic outfits to give you inspiration:
Casual Chic Style: Things to Avoid
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to fashion, but I like to avoid a couple of styles to keep my outfits looking polished and sophisticated.
One of those things are torn jeans with big holes in them. In an attempt to make jeans look distressed and well-worn, many designers will purposely design holes in their jeans.
While a little tear here and there is not a deal-breaker in my book, I am not a fan of the huge holes that are designed in many of the trendy jeans found in the denim department.
I personally don’t find the appeal and think it ruins the polished look of an outfit.
I think it’s also wise to avoid fast fashion and instead invest in quality pieces. While quality clothing can often come with a bit of a higher price tag, it’s smarter to buy less in favor of quality.
If you’re wearing a cheap quality fabric or poorly made item, it can ruin the entire class and elegance of an outfit. Imagine wearing a crisp pair of quality denim with beautiful heels and a pilled sweater. The sweater will ruin the sophistication of the entire outfit.
Again, this is why being intentional with your wardrobe and creating a capsule collection of items can be highly impactful in terms of how you look and present yourself on a daily basis, especially if you’re going for that casual chic look!
I am 68 and I would wear each and every one of these outfits. Great selections!
Thanks Robin! So glad you enjoyed the article 🙂
I would love to see some ideas for a capsule wardrobe for older women (65+), who can no longer wear high heels and need shoes with a little more support than ballet flats, please.
Hi Maggie! French women who are 65+ tend to wear the same “styles” across the various age groups (even sneakers!), but what they tend to do is go for shorter heels (think kitten heels) and they pick shoes that have built in support. In the States, the Walking Company is a great option for shoes that blend style and comfort when you’re looking for a little more support beyond the standard ballet flat or kitthen heels you find in regular department stores.
so glad you addressed and answered this question as I wanted to ask the same.