The most authentic way to embrace the French lifestyle is planning a trip to Paris. But because of, you know—time, work, and money—the next best thing is to embrace those little life and style hacks that will bring you joie de vivre (or happiness).
But dressing like a French girl doesn’t mean a lifetime commitment to berets. You can make things easier on yourself by simply shopping from French brands and thereby automatically applying that inexplicable, je ne sais quoi-quality to your wardrobe.
Sure, chances are that the big French fashion players (Chanel, Kenzo, Dior, etc.) are already on your radar—but there are some really amazing boutique brands to know about, too. These are the more affordable French sneaker, athleisure, hygge-ready, and ready-to-wear lines you should bookmark, ASAP.
Okay, so this one isn’t exactly “under the radar” per se, but Veja is still not a household name the way footwear brands like, say, Puma or Adidas are. Still, this French brand, which specializes in sustainable sneakers, has quietly turned into a street style darling. Plus, it counts Meghan Markle as a fan.
Combining inspiration from the African diaspora and traditional French aesthetics, Maison Chateau Rouge is one of France’s most promising and popular streetwear brands. Its tees, which hat tip to sportswear, come in an array of traditional African prints making them an easy way to take your black leggings to the next level.
There is so much clothing already readily available on the market, and if you (like me) prefer vintage shopping to fast fashion, Imparfait is a great online resource. It’s a curated online boutique of secondhand clothing that offers all the pros of thrifting (unique pieces and environmentally conscious consumption,) without the insane time and energy that goes into sifting through racks.
Musier makes the type of pieces that you can wear every day but that still have a subdued, dressed-up elegance to them. A mixture of smart tailoring and fabric choice (so much satin), these pieces feel like a version of & Other Stories that’s less focused on seasonal trends, with a more edited selection.
If Mara Hoffman and Maryam Nassir Zadeh collaborated on a capsule collection, it would be pretty indistinguishable from Rouje. The line is grounded in delicate, yet easy-to-wear, print blouses and structured velvet pieces that you can dress down with a pair of leggings or dress up with a pair of (comfortable) heels.
The sexiness of Fleur Du Mal combined with the youthful, playful vibe of Free People, Réalisation is what you wear when you want to serve looks but don’t actually want to spend the energy on creating one. The brand makes tops, skirts, and dresses. The highlights here are its slip dresses, which can be worn for a fancy night out or layered with a tee for a grunge redux look.
If you live in loungewear, this is the French brand you need to get acquainted with. Ysé is part Everlane type basics (soft, everyday bodysuits), part Sleepy Jones pajamas, and part luxurious undergarments. If you’re going to spend the entire winter in hygge hibernation, this is the place from which to stock up.
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