Want to know one thing stylish French women over 40 have in common? Seriously fine-tuned wardrobes that can teach all of us some lessons about how to curate closets brimming with chic pieces. In fact, many of them have the same go-to items that are the building blocks of a cool Parisian wardrobe, or non-Parisian wardrobe for that matter.
I started to notice these similarities when looking through some photos. It occurred to me that, ah yes, the endlessly stylish Charlotte Gainsbourg and Catherine Deneuve both own glossy black jackets. My observations continued when I spotted both Carla Bruni and Vanessa Paradis in perfectly tailored tweed jackets. And it doesn’t end there. Go on to see the six pieces every stylish French woman over 40 owns, and then shop the pieces for yourself if you find their outfits as inspiring as I do.
Sleek and refined, black jackets with a glossy finish are plucked straight from the 1967 French film Belle de Jour. It’s no surprise, then, that iconic actress Catherine Deneuve is still wearing the piece, as well as her contemporaries.
Another outerwear staple that’s a must among French women? Oversize, boxy blazers that look like they could have been borrowed from the men’s department.
There may not be a more timeless or elegant shoe than the strappy heel—a style secret that French women over 40 are clued into.
Perhaps one of the most recognizable pieces from French fashion is the tweed jacket. It instantly elevates a basic top and jeans, as is the case with outfits we’ve spotted on Carla Bruni and Vanessa Paradis.
French women over 40 clearly know how to dress for the elements in a chic way. The piece they all own? A tailored wool overcoat to layer on top of pants or dresses.
The French are known for their penchant for ankle boots, and the way these women style the footwear makes us think it’s a practical necessity for city life.
Next, see the 13 fashion brands I wear on repeat.
This post was published at an earlier date and has been updated.