Few sartorial muses hold our fascination quite like French women. Their ability to look timelessly chic and elegant has inspired us for decades (centuries, really), and, even better, that impeccable stylishness doesn’t seem to wane with age. Case in point, these seven stunning French fashionistas, all over the age of 40, showing us the best ways to rock fall/winter fashion in 2023 like a true Parisian.
7 Things French Women Over 40 are Wearing in Paris Right Now
c'est très magnifique
PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.
1. Shades of Winter White
Audrey Tautou, 47
The “rule” of never wearing white after Labor Day has been out of fashion for quite some time, but there is some nuance to making the color look its best in the colder months. Cream, off-white and very pale shades of gray are much more seasonally appropriate than super-crisp white, and pair much better with other beloved fall colors like beige, camel brown and burgundy. And if you’re in a monochrome mood, you don’t need to stress over trying to match shades exactly, as Tautou’s outfit proves. Wintery whites can also help brighten up your outfit, something you’ll appreciate all the more once it starts getting dark at 4 p.m.
2. Casual Tailoring
Isabelle Huppert, 70
A smartly tailored suit will always be en vogue, but for 2023, the preferred cut is definitely a straight-leg and looser blazer over, say, slim-fit trousers and cropped jackets. The fabric should lay somewhere solidly in the middle, not too tight, not too loose. Keep those ‘90s minimalist vibes going by swapping a silky blouse for a comfy cardigan worn as a shirt or a plain white or striped T-shirt.
3. Vintage Flared Jeans
Juliette Binoche, 59
Bootcut and flared denim is having a comeback. But for those who want to ensure they still look polished and modern (and less like a ‘70s throwback), we suggest pairing them with sharp tailoring, rather than boho blouses or cropped cardigans. You can always add a touch of whimsy with a silk scarf or headband. As for footwear, opt for something with an almond or pointed toe that peeks out from under the hems of your jeans, be it a flat, boot or high heel.
4. Double Denim
Caroline de Maigret, 48
This trend may have started as part of the ‘90s revival, but we’re going to say that Britney Spears’s comeback definitely accelerated the movement. This time around, women are opting for matching denim pieces rather than mixing in multiple washes. Be sure to add in some contrasting items as well, like a plaid blazer or black crossbody bag, to help break up all that blue.
5. Cargo Pants
Inès de la Fressange, 66
Yes, you can wear cargo pants well past 40—and you can do it like a true French icon, too. Follow in the footsteps of fashion designer, Inès de La Fressange, and opt for a simple cargo style with clean lines and minimal fuss, and pair it with posh staples, like a sleek blazer and cashmere tee. The key to making this Y2K throwback feel modern and grown-up lies in styling it with traditionally sharp wardrobe staples to help elevate such a casual silhouette.
6. Statement Belt
Emmanuelle Alt, 56
Belts of all styles are coming back en vogue this year, so feel free to start adding them to any and all outfits you deem appropriate. But there is one combo in particular we think French women have absolutely nailed, and that we plan to copy ASAP: Layering a statement belt over your coat. You can swap out the matching belt your outwear came with for something in a similar color, like fashion editor Emmanuelle Alt, or go bold with a totally mismatched look. The key is to choose a belt that’s at least two inches wide so it doesn’t get lost in the cozy fabric of your coat.
7. Cherry Red
Carla Bruni, 55
Contrary to popular belief, French women are not averse to wearing bold colors. But whereas others may gravitate toward mixing multiple vibrant hues into one ensemble, French gals prefer to allow a single shade to steal the spotlight. For accessories and supporting pieces, choose just one or two neutral hues—like Bruni’s black handbag, belt, boots and coat—to keep all the focus on your brilliant red pieces. (P.S. You can make just as big an impact with the trendy color by incorporating it with smaller pops in an otherwise neutral outfit, if that’s more your style.)
Want to know which buzzy products are *really* worth buying? Sign up for our shopping newsletter to uncover our favorite finds.