What to Wear: Style Tips for Women
Colorful hilltop towns, bright blue coastlines, and mind-blowing cuisine are just a few things the French Riviera boasts. Not merely just another playground of the rich and famous—the French Riviera is the playground, and it has an unwritten uniform that falls somewhere between nautical and Parisian chic.
For centuries the Cote d’Azur has been known for its glitz and glamour all over the world. With vistas a-plenty, lavender fields galore and perfect bays to park your yacht, this area has it all for a summer getaway. But don’t forget your wardrobe to match…
The French Riviera is known for its visitors and residents being decked out in high-end Bobo style. The look that sophisticated French women choose is elegant and classic. Though capri-length shorts are definitely in, forget your distressed denim jeans, slogan t-shirts, and sweatpants as it wouldn’t fit in on the French Riviera.
People on the French Riviera do tend to pay a lot of attention to what they’re wearing. In fact, in cities like Cannes and Monaco, it’s not unusual to see women dressed up with a nice hairdo, simple yet elegant jewelry, and makeup done just to walk their dogs.
What To Wear (& What Not To!)
Below, we bring you a guide to what to wear during your stay on the French Riviera:
Ditch the Heels
In French Riviera fashion, ditch those mile-high stiletto pumps for chic comfy sandals. Heels don’t fare well on grass or the area’s many steep cobblestone streets, so smart locals rarely wear them.
Dress for the Beach
Chic totes, crossover bags, and even basket-woven bags are fantastic, especially if your outfit has white in it. A wide-brimmed straw hat or fedora, paired with chic cat-eye sunglasses (no aviators!), will instantly make any kind of outfit summer-ready and chic.
Flowy Dresses are Classic
It’s time to flaunt your breezy summer dresses in classic colors and flowy silhouette. Choose natural fabrics like linen, silk, and cotton, that never go out of style. Skip the synthetic and sheer fabrics. Aim to look elegant, not ‘sexy’. Tight-fitting, mini and low-cut dresses are what women who are ‘for sale’ wear (…there are plenty of them around), and –trust me– you don’t want to be mistaken for that.
Breton stripes are all over the beaches and streets of the French Riviera. So, think of classic nautical stripes on your dresses, casual top, dress pants, feminine skirts, chic jumpsuits, and rompers that can make your look appropriately dressed against the seaside scenery. Pair something striped with something white in cotton or linen, for an elegant, nautical look.
White is the New Black
Because it’s hot on the French Riviera, stick with light neutral colors preferably white or cream. Keep your tight black NYC outfits in the closet and go for light and airy. Think minimalist and pick ensembles with detailed tailoring and upscale natural fabrics. Opt for a loose but belted blouse and romantic, flowing skirt combination that would be an ideal look for when you are having your breakfast at a seaside café.
Leave Your Designer Items at Home
Due to a completely crazy (but actively enforced) French customs law, it’s not safe to wear designer items. Here’s everything you need to know about that law.
Aside from that, theft is common (and the local police don’t seem to want to investigate these crimes), so if you want to avoid being beaten within an inch of your life for your watch (as many have been), leave it in the safe at home.
Visual Sample Wardrobe
By heeding our style guidelines, you can now look like you were born to lead the jet-set lifestyle on the French Riviera. Not sure where to shop? Check out our guide to the best places to shop on the French Riviera. Here are some picks to give you an idea of the overall style: