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 five stunning French fashionistas, all over the age of 40, showing us the best ways to rock fall/winter fashion in 2022 like a true Parisian.
5 Things French Women Over 40 are Wearing in Paris Right Now
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1. Bold Footwear
Large swathes of vibrant colors and funky prints aren’t typical of French fashion, but that doesn’t mean they’re an absolute no-no. Revenge dressing and bold Y2K trends are both having a major moment right now, and, yes, there’s a way to incorporate both while staying true to French style. Opt for one pair of stand-out shoes, be it leopard knee-high boots or metallic silver Mary Janes, and allow them to fully steal the show.
Shop similar styles: Silent D Comess Knee-High Boots ($158); Everlane Merino Half-Zip Sweater ($145); Ann Taylor Bow-Tie Blouse ($90); J.Crew No. 3 Faux-Leather Skirt ($148)
2. Loose Suiting
A smartly tailored suit will always be en vogue, but for 2022, the preferred cut is definitely a straight-leg and looser blazer over, say, slim-fit trousers and cropped jackets or wide-leg pants and an oversize blazer. The fabric should lay somewhere solidly in the middle, not too tight, not too loose. Roll the hems and slip a T-shirt underneath for a more casual vibe, or stick with a traditional button-up and loafers or heels if you’re office is more conservative.
Shop similar styles: Mango Double-Breasted Blazer ($100) and Belt Straight-Leg Pants ($60); Madewell Whisper Cotton T-Shirt ($20); Circus by Sam Edelman Layla Boots (
3. Shades of Winter White
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 it’s 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. 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.
Shop similar styles: Free People Care Eastwood Sweater ($138); Buck Mason Ridge Twill Rider Pants ($125); Sézane Johnson Wool Coat ($405); Tory Burch Fleming Crossbody Bag ($698); Nisolo Emma d’Orsay Oxford Shoes ($160)
4. Wardrobe Basics in Textured Materials
Plain cotton tees and linen frocks are great for summer, but cold-weather basics can sometimes look a little, well, basic. But if you swap simple denim for velvet or corduroy and a crepe blazer for satin with touches of metallic thread suddenly those simple silhouettes no longer feel quite so plain. Even just switching out your matte leather loafers for a patent pair can go a long way toward adding interest to your ensemble.
Shop similar styles: Farm Rio Tucans Blazer Jacket ($240); Spanx Pima Cotton T-Shirt ($58); GAP High-Rise Corduroy Flare Pants ($80); Sam Edelman Lior Loafers (
5. Timeless Outerwear, with a Twist
French women know that a classic peacoat, trench or wool wrap will have you looking perfectly chic year after year, ad infinitum, but that doesn’t mean they’re opposed to playing around with something a little less traditional. Think wrap coats with leather trim, trenches in unexpected materials like tweed or patent leather or cropped peacoats. Especially while revenge dressing is trending, these styles are the Paris-approved way to make a (subtle, but present) statement.
Shop similar styles: Club Monaco Halli Wool and Leather Coat ($398); Reformation Henrietta Cashmere Dress ($278); Sam Edelman Cosette Boots ($225)