Winters Past

20th Century Fashion from Deco to Disco

Fashion Basics, French Style

For a complex constellation of reasons, French ladies have that whole  cool girl, classic-meets-quirky style thing down.

So in this era of lists, I give you this simplified approach to French style: the Magnificent Seven basics that define one kind of French look.

Note how vintage pieces are worn with modern ones in each outfit.

1. Mens’ blazer. Try it belted or buttoned. Push up or roll the sleeves. How about wearing a blazer over a camisole?

Vintage blazer

Vintage plaid boy’s school blazer, worn just a bit too small

Vintage blazer

Vintage 1980’s blazer, worn with shorts and tights

2. Trench Coat. Again, roll or push up the sleeves for a casual vibe. Tie the belt in the back. Avoid pearls, long skirts or headbands so it’s more downtown than uptown.

Vintage trench coat

Vintage trench coat, jeans and heels

Vintage trench coat

Vintage trench coat worn one size too big

3. Navy Blue Sweater. With bangle bracelets, a pencil skirt, white jeans or loose, “boyfriend” jeans, it’s perfection.

Navy sweater

Navy sweater, white jeans, scarf, flats

Navy sweater

Navy sweater over a white button down shirt with loose fit jeans and a vintage necklace

4. Tank Tops in black and white

tank top under a vintage blazer

A tank top under a vintage tuxedo jacket ( or “le smoking” to the French) with track pants

tank top under a vintage blazer

Jennifer Lawerence wears a tank top under a vintage blazer

5. Little Black Dress, of course. With big sunglasses and ballerina flats.

Little black dress with flats

Vintage ittle black dresses with flats, done three ways

Little Black Dress, dressed down

Little Black Dress, dressed down, with big sunglasses

6. Well fitting jeans. OK, that’s not just the French-it’s everyone.

Jeans with a tuxedo jacket, flats and a scarf

Jeans with a vintage tuxedo jacket and Gaucho hat with new white sneakers

Jeans with a tuxedo jacket, flats and a scarf

Jeans with a vintage slim fit jacket, flats and a scarf

7. Leather Jacket, worn slim-cut and unlined, paired with a feminine dress

Leather jacket with a chiffon dress

Black leather jacket with a vintage chiffon dress

Leather jacket with a chiffon dress

Another black leather jacket with a soft, flow-y vintage dress, tights, heels and a big tote

There you have it: some basics pieces mixed with vintage accents, worn with confidence.

Author: Winters Past

I am a vintage clothing shop owner living and working in rural north Florida. I believe in adding a little vinegar and molasses to my greens, having my coffee outside whenever possible, and mixing something vintage into every room and every outfit.

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