How To Shop Like A French Girl

Update: This post was originally published on January 5, 2015.

Chic. Elegant. Uniform. These terms probably come to mind when thinking about French style. Parisian ladies have a seemingly effortless polish, but that perfectly-undone getup doesn’t just happen; it actually takes work. Nobody's waking up like that — not even the Frenchies.

The vibe can be easily mastered if you have the right tools and a few Parisian staples, like menswear-esque trousers, simple pumps, and crisp button-ups. Ahead, we highlighted eight stores — including Sandro, Iro, and Maje — with details on what makes each unique and quintessentially French. (We're one step ahead of you, Inès de la Fressange.)
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Death in Paris
Don't let the name turn you off — Death in Paris, founded in 2013 by two friends and originally based in Paris (though it now operates out of London and Bangkok), is a go-to for effortlessly cool handbags of all shapes and sizes.

Death in Paris Horizon Shopper, $179, available at Death In Paris.
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While this label has grown in popularity in recent years, it's been around since 1984. Evelyne and Didier Chetrite found success with their first fashion foray, a collection of patterned dresses. (Their son, Ilan, launched the men's line in 2008.) These frocks perfectly encompass that effortless, bohemian, French style and sparked an expansive full line of jackets, trousers, blouses, accessories, and everything in-between. We still can't get enough today.

Sandro Bubble Jumper, $395, available at Sandro.
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French-girl style seems to mean being selective about jewelry and accessories. If anything at all, it's got to be classic, refined, and elegant, and legendary fashion house Dior has those bases (among many others) covered.

Dior Tribales Earrings, available at Dior.
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Zadig & Voltaire
Founded by designer Thierry Giller (whose father founded Lacoste), Zadig & Voltaire has that quintessential, femme panache with a rocker-girl aesthetic. While the label has been around since 1997, it hit the U.S. in 2009 and is a staple for the grunge set. We're partial to the fashion-forward outwear, but the tops, dresses, and accessories are also noteworthy.

Zadig & Voltaire Crisp Print Cashmere Sweater, $398, available at Zadig & Voltaire.
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Started by two brothers in the music industry in 2005, Iro combines a rock-and-roll sensibility with nonchalant sophistication. The result feels very French. The most noteworthy pieces in the collection are an array of leather jackets that fit impeccably. Toss one on, and you're instantly cool in a not-trying-hard way.

Iro Onassis Sweater, $390, available at Iro.
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Comptoir des Cotonniers
One of the pioneers of "affordable luxury" in the '90s, Comptoir des Cotonniers offers a full range of easy separates that are equal parts cheeky and feminine. Mix one of the line's signature, chunky sweaters with a full, flannel skirt and add a few smart accessories. Voila! (Note: There is not a e-shop for the U.S. yet.)

Comptoir des Cotonniers Cashmere Pullover, $133, available at Comptoir des Cotonniers.
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From sleek tailoring to gorgeous gowns, Lanvin knows how to do "fancy" while still maintaining the effortless factor, as if it hardly takes the lift of a finger to look that spectacular (and when it's Lanvin, it really is that easy).

Lanvin Wool-Blend Coat, $3,085 $1,543, available at Net-A-Porter.
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There's a reason you want to live in A.P.C. They're the purveyor of all things simple-chic. Top dogs from Nike to Kanye itch for collaborations. Whether a boxy dress or modernized knit, the gamine-eque silhouettes are as easy to wear as, well, anything.

A.P.C. Manteau Coat, $610, available at A.P.C.
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The Frankie Shop
This cool-girl Lower East side shop just finally made its way online, which means all of its French-inspired trends and overall lust-worthy product offering is up for grabs no matter where you live. BRB, we'll be refreshing the New Arrivals page if you need us.

The Frankie Shop Beige Hand Sewn Wool Vest, $255, available at The Frankie Shop.
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The Kooples
What makes The Kooples unique is that it purposely blends the women's and menswear lines into one collection. So Parisienne! Like a man's top? Go for it. Into that women's sweater? Throw it on. This mix-and-match idea feels unexpected. Shop its offering at major department stores, its boutique locations, and online.

The Kooples Long Double Breasted Crepe Coat, $795 $477, available at The Kooples.
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Does Chanel really need an introduction? (Answer: No). But you've seen it — when a French girl completes the perfect laid-back jeans and a white button-up outfit with a classic quilted bag or brogue, well, it's hard to beat.

Chanel Laceups, $1,050, available at Chanel.
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Founded by designer Judith Milgrom in 1998, the brand's name is the initials of her loved ones. Maje stocks easy pieces that are classic in nature, but feature surprising touches and luxe details. The idea of having a little something special, with minimal effort.

Maje Pasaleo Virgin Wool High-waisted Trousers, $325 $227.50, available at Maje.
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Claudie Pierlot
After doing just about every job possible in the fashion industry: model maker, assistant, and designer Claudie Pierlot launched her namesake label in 1984 as a destination for "les femmes de Paris." Although she passed the label on to the founders of Sandro and Maje (along with Elie Kouby and Frédéric Biousse) in 2009, the collection still embodies that carefree, undeniably cool Parisian sense of style. (Note: There is not a e-shop for the U.S. yet.)

Claudie Pierlot Granite Coat, $580, available at Claudie Pierlot.
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French designer Simon Porte Jacquemus has risen to fashion-crowd favorite over the last year, and you can spot his pieced-together garments and often red, white, and blue color palette from a mile away. He's often inspired by his sunny upbringing in the South of France.

Cut Tee, $240, available at Nordstrom.
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Please Paris
Tictail is one of our favorite destinations for indie brands from around the globe, and Please Paris is one that's caught our eye. The brand's shoes are handmade in France and have that effortless-chic look you're going for.

Please Paris Kelly Silver, $488, available at Tictail.

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