French Wardrobe Staples For Fall

September 7, 2021

French Inspired Fall Capsule Wardrobe I wit & whimsy

Whenever I’m feeling uninspired with my closet I always go back to the basics. I think about what I would wear if I was in Paris and lean into the staples that I love in my wardrobe. What I love about French girl style is it doesn’t try too hard. It is classic, full of neutral colors and simple yet chic. It’s also formulaic once you have the right staples in your wardrobe.

French Inspired Fall Capsule Wardrobe

French Inspired Fall Capsule Wardrobe I wit & whimsy

French Inspired Fall Capsule Wardrobe I wit & whimsy

French Inspired Fall Capsule Wardrobe I wit & whimsy

French Inspired Fall Capsule Wardrobe I wit & whimsy

French Inspired Fall Capsule Wardrobe I wit & whimsy

French Inspired Fall Capsule Wardrobe I wit & whimsy

French Inspired Fall Capsule Wardrobe I wit & whimsy

Here are all my recommendations to build out a French inspired capsule wardrobe full of staples that’ll give you endless outfit opportunities. French fashion is simple, classic and timeless. I hope you’ll enjoy this comprehensive list and keep scrolling for some additional outfit inspo using a lot of the pieces mentioned!

French Wardrobe Staples For Fall:

A trench coat.

A timeless trench will always be a good investment. I like to layer mine over my leather jacket when I am in Paris to handle the unpredictable weather in the Fall. The best styles out now include this one (it has nearly 100 positive reviews!), this one and this one.

A striped tee.

Breton striped tees are oh-so-French. I will never tire of striped tees as a base layer. I wear them solo or under blazers and tweed jackets. Try this style or this style. I own black & white stripe, cream & beige stripes, navy & white stripes and red & white stripes.

A bodysuit.

Speaking of layering pieces, if you’re not yet on the bodysuit bandwagon, you’re missing out! I became obsessed last year with their ease of styling. I pop one on and then add my favorite blazer or tweed jacket and a pair of jeans and am out the door. My favorites are here, here & here and I size up in each to a Large.

A leather jacket.

If you want to get instant Parisian cool girl vibes, top  your outfit with a leather jacket. I still wear my Vince leather jacket I bought back in 2014 so much. If you’re looking for a good investment of real leather, I suggest this Madewell leather jacket or this Sezane leather jacket.

Heeled booties.

French women know that a timeless bootie is essential for Fall. I own and love this style and this style. A low, practical heel makes it French. I also like these and these as timeless styles.

Classic sneakers.

I swear by my Common Projects as they are so sleek and go with everything from dresses to jeans. You’ll see these sneakers all over France. Parisians also love their classic Converses and Sezane Jack sneakers, too.

Wear everywhere skinny jeans.

By now you know my go-to, feel-like-a-million-bucks jeans are the AGolde Nico High Rise jeans. They are the most flattering fit on and so easy to style. I just bought the sister style and am equally as obsessed. They are a bit skinnier in the ankle and don’t have a button up fly and I know I’m going to wear them loads. Size 27 in both pairs. See more of my favorite, go-to jeans here. And these are my favorite jeans under $100.

Weekend jeans.

I love the more casual vibes of my beloved Levi’s Straight Jeans styled in the above photos. French girls don’t really do distressed jeans but rather straight or kick flare or raw hems to add some edge to an outfit otherwise made up of classic pieces. Finally, a pair of black cropped jeans are a must. These and these are my favorite pairs. Size 28 in both.

A timeless button down.

I have gotten more wear out of my Sezane button down (size US 8 / FR 40) than I could have ever imagined. It is so timeless in style and such high quality that it wears well time after time. I love it tucked under jeans or into midi skirts or work pants. Super French in style is also this oversized button down I own in a Small that goes so well with jeans and ponte pants but also layers under sweaters and blazers well. I also really love the Everlane silk blouse for layering under sweaters.

A timeless sweater.

I believe in investing in quality cashmere sweaters that you can wear over and over again without much upkeep (poor quality cashmere will pill easily).  I recommend the quality of the White + Warren Essential Cashmere sweater. I own it in camel (size M).

For a more affordable option, this Everlane one fits the bill but you will have to remove pills after a lot of wear.

Flats you love and that are actually comfortable.

Look for comfortable yet timeless flats. I love ballet flats and own two pair from Chanel but for more affordable options I’d recommend include these, these or these and I own these and have worn them too many times to count. My other personal favorite is the Sarah Flint Natalie. It’s such a feminine yet timeless style and they’re so comfortable that they are worth the investment. You can see me style them here. Use code SARAHFLINT-MEGHAN for $50 off your first pair.

A classic coat silhouette.

A classic wool coat is the perfect timeless silhouette to top any outfit in a simple, French inspired style. I recommend this classic car coat by Sezane. The Sezane Johnson coat is so stylish on (size up) and incredibly versatile.

A blazer to style often.

By now you know my love for the J.Crew Regent blazer. This wool blend blazer is utterly timeless and has the best details to make it so flattering on. I wore it here, here. I own it in a size 6 in camel and in black but I think the dark blue is also beautiful and very French.

Want some more color or texture in your wardrobe? This is my favorite oversized blazer that I own in every color and pattern. I size down to a size 2. Want to dress up the look? Try a double breasted blazer!

A tweed jacket.

I love tweed jackets as a counterpart to my favorite blazers. A few styles I recommend include this one and this one (I own this one! I recommend sizing up) and I also bought this one (I recommend sizing down).

Ponte pants.

The Talbots Essex pants I wore here have to be one of the most versatile yet comfortable little black pant I’ve ever worn. Can’t recommend them enough. The 4 fit me perfectly. Pair them with a blazer or button down untucked or an oversized cashmere sweater. I also love the J.Crew everyday pant.

A staple loafer.

An iconic shoe silhouette that is so French in style. Favorite loafers of mine include these that are comfortable and don’t break the bank.

A comfortable heel.

The Sarah Flint Perfect Pump are so comfortable that you won’t wince at the idea of wearing a heel. I styled them two ways here and you can use code SARAHFLINT-MEGHAN for $50 off your first pair. I now own them in 3 colors! And also I love my Chanel slingbacks that I’m wearing in the above photos and these kitten heels that were one of the best shoes purchases I’ve ever made (sized down half a size to 6.5). I can walk so much in all of these pairs which makes each worth every penny.

A practical bag.

I love a fit-all tote and the Cuyana leather totes have been my go-to for more than five years.

Layering tees.

I’ve decided I’m never buying other t-shirts after falling in love with Cuyana’s classic tees. The fit and quality is so good and they don’t stretch out despite loads of wear + washing. (I wash on cold and dry on low heat and have had no issues with shrinking). I wear them in a medium and own both the white and black. These are the best tees you can buy in my opinion.

Simple yet striking jewelry you won’t tire of.

I am a big fan of subtle, dainty and feminine jewelry. My everyday jewelry.

Silk Scarf

One of my favorite ways to accessorize my French woman-inspired wardrobe is to add a silk scarf onto my look. I do so by adding it to the handle or strap of the bag I am carrying or around my neck. 

More French Girl Inspired Outfit Inspo:

Sarah Flint Natalie Flat in Navy I wit & whimsy

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Sarah Flint Natalie Bow Flat in Nude I wit & whimsy

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MM.LaFleur Jardigan Review I wit & whimsy

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French Girl Style Striped Tee I wit & whimsy

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French Girl Black Jeans I wit & whimsy

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Sezane Gaspard Sweater I wit & whimsy

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Ann Taylor Casual Blazer I wit & whimsy

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The best of France in New York City

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Meghan Donovan of wit & whimsy styles a trench coat

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Plaid Blazer + Loafers I wit & whimsy

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Easy Fall Style I wit & whimsy

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Affordable Outerwear I wit & whimsy

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Styling Classics I wit & whimsy

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Casual Fall Neutrals I wit & whimsy

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Styling an Oversized Blazer I wit & whimsy

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How to dress Parisian I wit & whimsy

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Plaid Jacket + Jeans I wit & whimsy

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Reviewing Tiffany's Blue Box Cafe I wit & whimsy

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Business Casual Outfit I wit & whimsy

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The Classics I wit & whimsy

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Everlane Boots and Blazers I wit & whimsy

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Preppy Fall Outfit I wit & whimsy

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Fall Basics Pieces I wit & whimsy

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Sezane Fall Collection I wit & whimsy

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. . .

Mango Jacket (wearing a M) // Everlane Striped Tee (Size Large) // Levi’s Jeans (Size 28) // Saint Laurent Betty Bag


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[Carter Fish Photography]

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12 comments on “French Wardrobe Staples For Fall”

  1. This is amazing because it is making me realize that I have the majority of these staples in my closet!! I just replace jeans with tights, and boom theres my French capsule! I love this style so much, it is so simple, yet incredibly chic, and that is the look I love!! Thanks for putting this together, Meghan! Hope you have a great Wednesday! 🙂

    xx Libby

  2. So many great classic styles across all price points! Pretty sure you’ve finally convinced me to buy a bodysuit.. haha they seem so easy!
    Also here to say those Sam Edelman Loraine loafers are INCREDIBLE! I have them in 3 different colors and they take no time to break in. My comfiest shoes for sure.

  3. love this roundup, and it’s perfect for fall fashion inspo as the weather finally starts to cool and I reach more for my topper coats and jeans!

  4. Thank you for this!! I’ve been a silent reader for just at a year now and have loved every post! I do have a suggestion for something I’ve been looking for but have found anywhere. French inspired formal wear. I attend three to four black tie events a year and I struggle w that. I have a capsule but it doesn’t feel me (maybe too prom-ish or bridesmaid y?). Lady tux, long black gown etc?? And then what about accessories?! Egads it’s frustrating!!

  5. Love this post(s)!!!! Thank you for so many great staple wardrobe ideas!!
    I need a major fall/winter closet purge. These ideas will help me reach my goal (hopefully ?).

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