When it comes to accessories, the French girl knows that less is more. Your French girl wardrobe should be the focus of your daily looks, and accessories are typically there to compliment your clothes. Most French girls won’t wear gaudy or flashy accessories, but they do like to accessorize with minimal jewelry, classic handbags and simple leather belts. Gold is often the metal of choice when it comes to jewelry (and any handbag or belt hardware, really).
French Girl Accessories
Here are ten classic French girl accessories that will give you a great start to accessorizing your French girl wardrobe. This list isn’t inclusive of all the accessories you should own when building a French Wardrobe, but they provide a strong foundation for complimenting your daily outfits.
1. Gold Hoops
Small gold hoop earrings are the quintessential style found on nearly every French it-girl from Jeanne Damas to Louise Follian. Seriously, this is the first pair of earrings I bought when building my French girl wardrobe. Some are small and thin, perfect for everyday use, while others are thick, wavy or textured for a bolder look.
2. Stud Earrings
Simple studded earrings are a versatile pick for the French girl’s wardrobe. Best worn to a cocktail party or to a job interview, simple diamond stud earrings give you just enough sophistication without being too over the top. Of course, you should choose a pair that are on the small side. Remember: less is more!
3. Gold Pendant Necklace
The gold pendant necklace is a trend I’ve seen on countless French it girls. I’ve seen entire articles dedicated to this necklace but I’ll keep it simple for you: A round, small gold pendant is a fabulous way to accessorize like a french girl! Look for a simple gold chain with a round pendant not larger than 1 inch wide. Don’t be afraid to layer 2-3 of these necklaces – just make sure the pendants vary in size!
4. Thin Gold Rings
In keeping with the gold jewelry theme, French girls love wearing thin gold rings around their fingers. Bauble Bar sells an awesome 3-piece stackable gold ring set to get you started. If you have a bigger budget, then take a look at Jennifer Meyer who designs whimsical, delicate gold rings.
5. Leather Crossbody Bag
The leather crossbody bag is the perfect way to carry your wallet, phone, lipstick and more like a French girl. Keep it simple and go with a classic French brand like APC or (old) Céline.
6. Straw Tote
With long brown leather handles, the straw tote is a classic accessory for the French girl who lives (or just vacations) in the south of France! Sometimes they are called “market bags” because they were originally used to transport fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses from local street markets in the south of Europe. Today, French girls use them for just about any everyday purchase, and even during the winter in Paris!
The best place to buy a straw tote bag is directly in Europe. You can find them at various local markets in France (try the famous L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue market), Spain, and Italy. If you can’t make it there any time soon, then try this bag on Amazon or this shop on Etsy which ships to the US at an affordable price!
7. Basket Bag
Popularized by none other than French style icon Jane Birkin, the basket bag has made a strong comeback with Parisian it-girls. Birkin originally purchased hers on the coast of Portugal, and it quickly became part of her signature style. She notably used a basket bag year round – even in Paris – and the trend lives on through chic Parisians today!
A few independent shops sell Birkin basket bag inspired wicker baskets that very closely resemble the original:
- Mima and Paula – $65
- Space Rocket Store – €70 (currently ~$79)
- DreamBaskets – $89
- AlbaATN – $89
- Blooming Dreamer – £130 (currently ~$167)
- Garmentory – $200
- Bonjour Coco – €200 (currently ~$230)
I would personally go with that first option because they are priced affordably in addition to being handmade in Portugal, where Jane Birkin originally purchased hers! Bonjour Coco has been featured by Vogue, but the price seems a bit high for a wicker basket.
8. Bucket Bag
Whether it’s a Simon Miller Bonsai bag on the arm of Leia Sfez, or a Staud Bissett bag attached to Jeanne Damas, French girls love their bucket bags. This is a trend I don’t see going away any time soon – so find the bucket bag you love the most and get on it!
9. Leather Belts
A simple way to tie your outfit together like a French girl is to wrap your waist in a smooth leather belt. Try to select one with an antique brass or distressed gold buckle. (The less shiny the better!) I picked up a handmade one from a local artisan at a market in the south of France, so be on the look out if you find yourself there this summer.
If you’d prefer to buy a belt sooner, these are the options I recommend: these affordable Madewell belts and Gap belts come in both black and brown. They’re under $50 each, and both feature a nice brassy buckle front and center. Black and brown are all you need to begin with – but if you’d like to expand your French girl accessories, then I’d opt for a red leather belt like this one to complete your collection.
10. Silk Scarf
The silk scarf is a classic French fashion accessory – and while Hermès is the most well known retailer of these scarves, you can hop on the trend like a true French girl by buying a vintage silk scarf. Farfetch incidentally has an amazing selection of vintage Hermès scarves if you can’t make it to your local vintage market!
11. Black Cat-Eye Sunglasses
Walk by Café de Flore, and there’s a good chance you’ll spot a French girl with cat-eye sunglasses, most likely in black. Black cat-eye sunglasses are almost universally flattering. I’ve seen them on countless faces and can confidently say that compliment all face shapes and sizes! While the original pair that started the craze are these $120 Le Specs x Adam Selman The Last Lolita cat-eye sunglasses, you can get the same look for much less on Amazon!
12. Tortoiseshell Sunglasses
For a softer look, French girls will opt for an oval-framed pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses. You could also for a cat-eye shape in tortoiseshell plastic, as well. Both are equally chic. I love the look of tortoiseshell sunglasses which compliment brown hair best.
While the below options offer a premium quality, if you’re looking to get the look for as little as possible, then this Amazon pair is your best bet.
What are your favorite french girl accessories?