Trends have the liberty to change in every single corner of the world, but when it comes to the chic and upscale realm of the French Riviera, time seems to be standing still. The styles rocked at this destination are as evergreen as the place itself – in a way, they’re like the iconic Chanel suit – both never go out of style. So, if you simply want to exude the French Riviera style or are actually heading to the most gorgeous place in France, don’t be surprised by the same ol’ Breton stripes, cropped trousers, basket bags and straw boaters – staple items that defined the Côte d’Azur back in 1957. Your style goals should include paying homage to the unofficial dress code while still bringing some of the new resort trends along, so you look both contemporary and trendy yet classic and polished – just like a true French girl would. Speaking of – don’t forget the nonchalant attitude – that is what seals the deal. So, now that you know the basics, let’s dive into the specifics and dress you up in a way that will make you look like you were born to be there.
Take cues from style icons
When in doubt, turn to the woman who did it best – the lovely and iconic Grace Kelly. The late actress-turned-Princess of Monaco was often spotted on yachts wearing white blouses and shirts, elevating her look with high-rise mid-calf pants. Does this look sound familiar? Breezy wide-leg trousers and high-rise belted culottes have never been more popular than now, so you are in a position to ooze timeless elegance and still remain completely trendy. Of course, don’t forget about the stripes – not only are these mandatory in France, but are the embodiment of both the resort trends in general and a staple of the French style. Pair this outfit with either stylish flat sandals, or even something along the lines of amazingly sleek Nike shoes, as with the rise of athleisure, mixing elegance with sporty pieces is quite popular, and even gives your look a touch of understated eccentricity.
Make it your own
As said, there is absolutely no rule that tells you that you can’t make your own signature, even when respecting the carefree elegant French Riviera style dress code. A pastel wrap blouse with bell sleeves will look gorgeous even if you pair it with a simple and elegant pair of dark wash jeans. However, the winner of the combo would be the iconic wooden bag that everyone’s trying to snag these days – the Cult Gaia Ark Bamboo clutch. Now, you could top this thing off with something expected and predictable as platform sandals or wedges with a delicate satin bow, but why not experiment and make the look your own with a comfortable pair of amazing and cute New Balance Sneakers? The athleisure trend has taken over the entire world, so why shouldn’t you be the first to rock the rules of the French Riviera style with a pair of kicks? It would be chic and rebellious at the same time.
Let there be dresses!
Ah, the breezy mid-calf, A-line, off-the-shoulder, midi, mini – as long as there are dresses there will be French Riviera vibes. They can be minimal and polished, like Audrey Hepburn’s little black dress, only white (or at least pastel, as pastels are dominating the runways this season). You could introduce a touch of bohemian spirit with a bit of lace or even a crochet dress. Complete the look with a chic straw hat in that gorgeous sun-kissed hue, as well as a few pieces of subtle gold jewellery and chic sunglasses. A woven tote is all you need to complete the look and a brown pair of espadrilles for exploring while your feet rest comfortably. Don’t forget your analogue camera – it will add to your cool bohemian factor.
A dose of color
Not everything has to be about pastels and whites, and if you love color, don’t be afraid to rock it. One of the best ways to channel your inner French girl, but on your own terms, is with a colorful pair of classy shorts or a mini skirt – perhaps the poignant red. Wear a white button-up with your sleeves rolled up and leave a few buttons undone. Put on your favorite locket and let it be seen. Now, this detail might sound a bit retro, but hey, retro is what the Riviera is all about, so take a decadent satin or silk scarf with golden details reminiscent of Versace and place it around your head like movie stars used to – just don’t pull a Bridget Jones and let it slip off. Sip your cocktails and glance at people through your amazing white-rimmed glasses. You won’t look strange, on the contrary – you will fit right in.
Time to dazzle on the beach
This isn’t your ordinary beach, it’s the beach that trumps all beaches so an enormous amount of attention must be paid when picking out your beach attire. The first thing to know is that accessories are paramount. Make yourself noticed with a pair of gorgeous mustard yellow flats by Brother Vellies and then work your way up. One-piece swimsuits are not only elegant, but also very retro, and that’s what you’re going for. A khaki laced back one-piece by Ephemera that exudes the right amount of elegance is a definite must, along with a tote in a matching or complementary hue.
Elegance and luxury are the two words that should serve as guiding stars when trying to channel the French Riviera vibes, and this extends to eveningwear as well. Now, with the return of the ever so seductive slip dress, as well as moderately sheer dresses, you have plenty of choices when it comes to evening glam so there is nothing to worry about. Peep-toe stilettos are a perfect companion as they are summery yet glamorous and demure at the same time, and the evenings are a time to rock that red lip and a bejewelled clutch. Pull all the stops, because everyone else will, enjoy your time and take the luxury in.