Everyone has a unique body type. Don’t feel pressure to own something if it doesn’t feel like you. The French girl style incorporates neutral colors and classic pieces. These fall French capsule wardrobe items are all great items to invest in this season. If you are on a budget, choose one item you know you will wear for many seasons. Each year, upgrade the items in your wardrobe when your budget allows.
Below is my fall capsule wardrobe checklist:
A blazer is a must-have wardrobe essential right now. I always love getting blazers at J.Crew. J.Crew Factory and Banana Republic also offer great options. You can pop a white button-down underneath to pull it together. Sézane also has excellent blazers.
In the fall, a navy blazer is the perfect everyday layer over a sweater or white blouse. I paired mine here with a blouse and styled it with the James jumper. Regarding colors for your capsule wardrobe, I prefer a neutral color palette. This allows you to be able to mix and match different pieces.
A leather jacket is an investment piece worth making when you have the money. I bought this one from Madewell last October on sale and I have worn it so many times it was well worth it. I got it in size M so I could wear sweaters under it and close it comfortably. There are many other options from other retailers use your own style and choose one that fits you best. You will find more excuses to wear it than you think. If you are headed to Paris, you will wear this in the early part of fall. You will need a warmer coat towards mid-October and on into winter.
I am wearing the Johnson coat above, and it is going into my 4th season. The coat is a great investment piece.
On one of my first trips to Paris, I was just starting as a photographer and had a limited budget for just about everything. The temperature dropped, and my leather coat would not hold up with the weather. I had my eye on a Sandro coat, and the guy I was dating at the time convinced me that I would wear it for many seasons and that it would be an investment. He was right, and the coat lasted longer than he did! A wool coat and scarf are great wardrobe pieces to keep warm.
There were a lot of navy wool coats last October, and I expect that trend to continue. I splurged on this navy coat last year and can’t wait to wear it again.
A basic tee is something that is in my wardrobe year-round. I will pair it with shorts in the warmer months and under a blazer or sweater in the colder months. There are pricier tees you can invest in or look for a more affordable option. For inexpensive options, I like the ones at Madewell and they are often on sale. Below are a few basic tees in both black and white. They are on sale during the Shopbop sale which is a great opportunity to research your new favorite. I purchased these four and promise to report back. Splendid has always been a favorite brand of mine and the quality is long-lasting.
The minute the weather turns in Paris, you will find Parisian women walking around with black tights paired with skirts, and dresses. It’s the perfect way to transition your fall outfits. There are several options for black tights. I typically purchase mine at Calzedonia, which you can find all over Paris, it’s a fun souvenir to bring home. Also, Sézane offers a few options, I just purchased a few pairs to try out. When it comes to black tights in Paris, less is more. A little pattern is fun, such as polka dots, but leave the loud prints for another time.
Ballet flats are a classic French wardrobe style that has never gone away. Audrey Hepburn wore them and they have stuck around in some fashion ever since. There have been a lot of articles lately about celebrities wearing ballet flats and how they are the “it” shoe for fall. My favorite ballet flat is the Margaux Demi. I own it in black, and now I really want it in brown. I wear these flats all of the time in the fall, and in Paris, they are one of my favorites for walking around Paris. They hold up well for long walks around the city.
A classic trench coat trench is an investment piece that you will wear for more than one season out of the year. French women wear them in the rain and also when it is sunny. I bought mine from Sézane and wore it on repeat from October through April. It’s a great transitional piece to add to your classic French capsule wardrobe for fall. More affordable options for trench coats can be found at J.Crew and Mango.
Cashmere sweaters are a great addition to your fall French capsule wardrobe. They will keep you warm and last in your closet for years if properly cared for. Jenni Kayne has some beautiful cashmere sweaters in different styles. I just purchased my first sweater and heard rave reviews from other readers who own her items. This turtleneck cashmere sweater in cream is on my wish list for sure! Jenni Kayne does do some 20% off discounts. It is worth it to get on their email list!
I will also say Quince makes an excellent cashmere sweater for $50. Size up one size, I take a medium.
I am always grabbing a button-up to pair with jeans or a skirt from my closet, I have multiple colors of this one, including a perfect white. J.Crew offers a great white button-down that can be worn alone, with a blazer, or under a sweater for a layered look.
The pleated skirt was a trend I called a few years ago. I saw so many people wearing pleated skirts in different lengths and colors. It took a few years for the US to catch on and now they are available all over. Here are a few favorites.
These are a favorite from Blondo and are also waterproof. The knee-high boots can be worn from fall to spring and in leather or suede. This is a trend I continue to see year after year.
If you don’t think you can pull off the knee-high boots, leather ankle boots are a great option and can be worn with jeans, shirts, or dresses.
A pair of white sneakers is a great French girl wardrobe essential to have in every season. In years past, I wouldn’t think to put a sneaker as a part of the French wardrobe but it is now much more accepted as a style, and is one of the biggest trends in footwear for women. The Madewell sneakers, Veja, or the Jack sneakers from Sézane are my top choices.
The striped tee is a bit of a cliché french-girl style to mention a striped tee or sweater but it is a classic style that comes back year after year. I have owned some Saint James shirts I bought with my aunt and uncle and they have heard up so well over the years. In my recent visits to Paris, it is one of the trends I noticed the most among the French was a striped tee layered under a solid blazer, trench, or just with a pair of skinny jeans.
I own this shirt in size small from Sézane that I wear on repeat. The pop of red is fun and it’s a bit different. There is a whole tee and striped sweater section in my own closet.
If you are traveling solo in Paris, this is the perfect excuse to get all dressed up and go out for a great dinner. I always pack a little black dress with me for a dinner out.
A little black dress is a must for date nights, meetings, and going out with friends in the city. In Paris, I would skip the high heels and go with an ankle bootie or flat. Sézane has some great black dresses for the fall, also try Sandro and Maje.
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