Fashion

How French Girls Do Athleisure

Most women have had a fling with French-girl style. From a perfectly undone beauty look to a wardrobe that seamlessly marries minimalism with the biggest trends, Parisian women have an effortlessly cool factor that’s easy to covet.

Injecting a little je ne sais quoi attitude into your wardrobe has gotten easier thanks to labels that have that DNA at its core. Take The Kooples, a straight-from-Paris brand of clothing and accessories that imbues a slouchy, sexy feel into nearly everything. Below, we highlight some of our favorite items from fall and the very oh-la-la ways to style them.

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Belt Your Jacket

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Will Vendramini

Just because the leaves are changing color doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite lightweight dress. Take summery, silky fabrics into the colder temps by layering them with a jacket and tights. Belt an oversized jacket to achieve a more defined waist (and keep it from swallowing you whole). It’s slouchy, but not messy—a key commandment of French-girl fashion.

The Kooples Long Silk Dress, $595

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Worn with: Point Off View Denim Jacket, $280, pointoffview.com; The Kooples Belt, $195, thekooples.com; Clyde Beret, $96, clyde.com; Falke Dot Tights, $40, net-a-porter.com; Gianvito Rossi Martis Leather Ankle Boot, $1,295, barneys.com

Look for Tailoring Touches

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Will Vendramini

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A key part of quintessential French style is built around clean lines and smart tailoring. A dress with strong shoulders allows you to achieve the sharp look even if blazers or menswear-inspired pieces aren’t your thing.

Dark-ground florals are a fall standard, and the red-against-black combo lets the blooms really stand out (adding extra pop within this look: a sunshine-yellow mini bag). Pair with statement extras like oversized fishnets and a western-inspired belt.

The Kooples Silk Dress, $450

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Worn with: The Kooples Leather Belt, $175, thekooples.com; The Kooples Yellow Nano Irina Bag, $395, thekooples.com; Wolford Madeline Fishnet Tights, wolfordshop.com

Swap Black for New Neutrals

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Will Vendramini

Something we definitely have in common with our sisters across the pond? A penchant for faux fur. When covering up this fall and winter, skip basic black in favor of rich, chocolate brown. It’s just as versatile as noir, but warms up your entire look.

The French girl was the first to learn that leopard is a neutral. Reconsider trusted silhouettes like knee-high boots and opt for leopard instead of black or brown. It’s adventurous and classic at the same time, and turns a basic piece into a standout style.

The Kooples Oversized Faux Fur Coat, $565

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The Kooples White Silk Shirt, $335, thekooples.com; Marissa Webb Aster Cotton Canvas Skirt, $498, marissa-webb.com; The Kooples Stella Bag, $585, thekooples.com; Michael Kors Collection Leopard Boot, $1,450, michaelkors.com

Upgrade Your Athleisure

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Will Vendramini

French girls don’t really do athleisure à la Americans (aka wearing leggings and sneakers even when a workout was not in the picture). Rather, their take would involve stylized staples like tuxedo stripe track pants, a leopard knit, and the perfect vintage tee.

Their accessories are in a different universe too. Sneakers are out in favor of tri-buckle patent leather boots with a shock of animal print. Overstuffed totes are also very un-French. Carry a mini cross-body with just the essentials instead.

The Kooples Black Trouser, $230

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Anine Bing Bandit Tee, $99, aninebing.com; Anine Bing Justine Cardigan, $229, aninebing.com; The Kooples Irina Bag, $575, thekooples.com; Belstaff Talton Boot, $625, belstaff.com

Layer with a Carefree Attitude

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Will Vendramini

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Our hypothesis for the je ne sais quoi thing? It’s about not overthinking, but instead, creating outfits that could’ve been assembled from the first things you pulled from your closet.

Wide-leg pants that mix three trends—velvet, pajama dressing, and athleisure—are fashion-forward, yet so unfussy that they could have been found in the corner of a dresser drawer. Layered tops (including oh-so-French stripes) finish a perfectly undone get-up that looks as though it happened on its own.

The Kooples Corduroy Trouser, $250

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Worn with: The Kooples T-Shirt, $100, thekooples.com; Alice + Olivia Metallic Pullover, $285, shopspring.com; Stuart Weitzman Bootie, $698, stuartweitzman.com

Styling by Sandy Armeni, Hair & Makeup by Ellen Guhin

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