10 Major French vs American Style Differences

Let’s talk French vs American style. If you love fashion, you’ve noticed that French style is often pitted against American style. But what are the real differences between the cultures beyond the clichés? That’s what I’d like to discuss today. 

I moved to Paris almost two years ago from New York – also a ‘fashion’ city but incredibly different in its own right. 

Fashion is important to a selection of New Yorkers but it’s something pretty much every Parisian thinks about in one way or another. 

I visited New York City recently on my way to Connecticut (where I’m from) and I was shocked at the number of women dressed in yoga leggings, sneakers, and North Face style puffer jackets. It’s almost like the uniform there! 

In Paris, no one would dream of going outside like that! Even the women who don’t care about fashion look presentable when going out.

French vs American Style Differences

French vs. American Style Differences

Here are the major French vs American style differences I have noticed between Parisian and New York women. 

Athleisure Hasn’t Caught on in Paris

Parisians don’t give a damn about the athleisure trend currently sweeping the States! Sportswear is a quintessential American contribution to the fashion world but Parisians stick to wearing yoga pants at the gym, not on the streets! 

Parisians Put Effort into their Day Outfits, Not Night Outfits

Getting all dolled up to go out or on a date is not how it’s done in Paris. 

The biggest difference between American and French style is that French women prefer to stick with classic timeless clothing while Americans are always following the latest fashion trends!

Wardrobe Colors

French women stick to neutral colors while Americans own clothing in every color of the rainbow.

Buy Less, Invest More

Parisians tend to buy less and invest more in their wardrobe, while Americans buy lots of clothing at cheaper prices. 

Small Accessories vs. Statement Jewelry

Parisians opt for delicate jewelry and small accessories, while Americans aren’t afraid to wear bold statement jewelry!

Super High Heels

Despite what Christian Louboutin will tell you, the French don’t wear sky-high heels very often! Even the French girl evening shoes typically have a small heel, not a tall stiletto.

Lingerie

Americans are fond of brightly colored lingerie, while the French prefer neutral skin-toned lingerie

Sizing

Parisians size up their clothing for a loose and comfortable fit. Americans take their size, or even size down! 

Form-Fitting Clothing

American girls love wearing form-fitting clothing (looking at you, Kim Kardashian), while Parisians rarely wear those hip-hugging dresses!

What do you think are the biggest French vs American style differences?

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  1. I’m from America and I couldn’t agree more. The yoga pants have to go along with all the form-fitting clothes. I just awful!!!

  2. I’m American and I hate how we “dress up” wearing fake nails, fake hair, shoes so high/elevated we can barely walk in for at least an hour. When I see most women dressed at night I think “gussied up” and definitely not comfortable. The French do have it right in that their elegant clothing does the talking therefore they don’t have to look or feel gussied up—whereas when an American woman gets home the first thing she shakes off is her “elevated kicks” that by the end of the night are killing her!!!

    1. Completely agree. I do not miss my sky-high-heel wearing days when I lived in New York and dressed like that cause everyone else did!

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