Jeans – this American wardrobe staple is absolutely beloved by the French. A good collection of blue jeans is considered a wardrobe essential according to most French women. But what types of jeans do French girls own?
It’s true that over the years, the jeans that are in style have totally changed. Throughout my lifetime, we’ve gone from hip-hugger bell-bottom jeans to skinny jeans, and finally to straight-leg jeans which is the most “in” right now.
France tends to be ahead of the curve when it comes to the changes in style, so I always peek at what French girls are wearing to know about the upcoming trends. You can stay up to date on French girl style too by subscribing to my email newsletter at the bottom of this post!
Types of French Girl Jeans
Let’s talk about the current types of jeans in just about every French girl’s closet these days! High-waisted, straight-leg jeans are the most popular jeans in Paris today. They are tight around the hips and waist, lift the butt, remain fitted through the upper thighs, and then begin to taper out from the leg as they go down. There is ample room around the ankle. The edge could be left raw or sewn.
But what about the jean wash?
French girls wear all types of jeans washes, but here are the most common colors you’ll see are generally neutral or blue. When it comes to choosing a wash, be sure to pick one that is evenly colored throughout the pants. Slight variations in the darkness of the wash are ok, but generally speaking, the jeans should be just one wash.
Back in the day, jeans that were more faded in the center of the pant leg and darker around the seams were in style, but that’s no longer the case. Keep the design and color simple when it comes to jeans!
White jeans are great for creating spring and summer outfits. These neutral jeans are best paired with a contrasting color or beige.
The best selection of white jeans is found during the spring and summer months so keep an eye out for them during this time of year!
A good pair of ivory jeans can come in handy year-round. While this color is typically seen in spring and summer, I love wearing my beige jeans during the winter with a white puffer coat! It’s a great way to lift your mood instead of wearing gloomy black all the time when it’s cold out!
Light blue jeans are perfect for spring and summer. They pair well with pastel colors and white tops.
Dark blue jeans can be worn on a night out or to work. They are still navy, so I would only pair them with other dark blues, white, or black.
Dark gray jeans are nearly black but have less of a dramatic look to them. They are almost like a faded black color which makes your outfit less dark.
Solid black jeans can give you a very sleek look. They can be dressed up or down depending on how you style them.
One pair of each of these washes will give you a good basic jean wardrobe foundation for creating French style outfits every day.
French Style Jean Cuts
Do French girls wear jean cuts that aren’t straight-leg? Yes! Here are the main jean cuts you’ll see on the streets of Paris. I own a few of these but they aren’t a big priority for my French wardrobe.
Vintage Levi’s 501s Jeans
The best pair of jeans to own – and also the most difficult to find – are vintage Levi’s 501 jeans. I own three pairs myself yet each time I bought them, I wasn’t intentionally looking for them!
Straight-leg jeans are the perfect jean style when vintage Levi’s aren’t available or you just want a new pair of jeans without the hassle of hunting for a 501.
When the temperatures warm up, cropped jeans are the go-to cut for French girls.
Wide Leg Jeans
Wide-leg jeans are popping up everywhere lately. This is definitely the anti-skinny jean so it doesn’t surprise me that we’re swinging the pendulum to this side! Try the Totême Flair high-rise wide-leg jeans.
High-Waisted Flared Jeans
For an ultra 90s look, go with high-rise flared jeans.
Black Skinny Jeans
Skinny jeans are not in style in France but the exception to this rule is a simple solid black pair of black skinny jeans which are exclusively worn under knee-high boots (the cut must be skinny so they don’t bunch up around the knee). The Anine Bing Jagger jean is perfect for this.
Where to Shop For Jeans
A question I get very often on Instagram is: Where do you shop for jeans?
Many of my friends buy their jeans at vintage shops, but of course, that’s super convenient when you need a pair sooner rather than later.
If you’re looking for jeans to buy now, then here are the brands I recommend with flattering cuts:
Ironically, I don’t recommend buying new Levi’s jeans. Even if they advertise the vintage 501 cut, I’ve personally found that they just aren’t made the same and don’t fit as well.
It’s quite surprising considering the current vintage Levi’s 501 craze, but I’ve been so far disappointed by Levi’s reproduction versions of these jeans. Perhaps you’ll have better luck than me!