Fall Trends Inspired by the French

This fall, many of the key easy-to-wear fashion trends are very French in feel. Here are 11 ways to dress with effortless style and so much Parisian chic that they have us craving a croissant and a trip to the City of Light

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Trend #1: Velvet

It’s not the stiff, bulky fabric of yesteryear but rather a modern, softer version. It’s best in a blazer or slim (ankle-length) pants, and now is the time to start adding it into your wardrobe as we shift into fall. Look for saturated colors like chocolate, emerald, and especially burgundy. Our advice? Wear one piece at the time (a blazer with jeans, skinny pants with a crisp white blouse) and try it day or night. Versailles, anyone?


Kenneth Cole New York Vandita Velvet Jacket, $198; kennethcole.com

Photo courtesy of Kenneth Cole

Trend #1: Velvet

Rachel Zoe Lily Velvet Smoking Slipper, $225; neimanmarcus.com 

Photo courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Trend #2: Brocade

Although the word “brocade” comes from the Italian word “broccato” (meaning “embossed cloth”), the fabric has long been favored by French designers and, hence, French women. The beauty of this fabric is the rich texture and, often, the visual interest in the intricate designs that are often used. This fall we’ve seen a lot of brocades in graphic, repeating prints, and also brocades resplendent in lush blooms. Word to the wise: This is a bulkier fabric so put it on the slimmest part of your body.


Alice + Olivia Foss cutout floral-brocade dress, $440; net-a-porter.com

Photo courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Trend #2: Brocade

MSGM Brocade Skirt, $256.62; farfetch.com

Photo courtesy of MSGM

Trend #2: Brocade

J.Crew Gilded Brocade Top, $150; jcrew.com

Photo courtesy of J.Crew

Trend #3: Shades of Gray

French women have long subscribed to the notion that less is more when it comes to building a wardrobe, and they are known for having a keen eye for blending shades of the same color. Gray is an “it” color this season (50 shades or more), and the soft, cloudy hue reminds us so much of the cobbled streets of Paris that we had to include it in our top trends.


Peserico Grey Stretch Wool Shift Dress, $530; halsbrook.com

Photo courtesy of Peserico

Trend #3: Shades of Gray

Pashma Black Paisley Silk, Wool, Cashmere Knit, $195, halsbrook.com
Photo courtesy of Pashma

Trend #4: The Blazer

The French may not be able to claim ownership of the blazer, but French women certainly keep the blazer economy humming. In true French style, curating a wardrobe is about investing in classic, tailored separates that can be worn a myriad of ways. Hence, their devotion to the blazer.  Today’s modern version is shrunken to the body, shorter in length and festooned with, naturally, a scarf.

J.Crew Schoolboy Blazer in Houndsooth Tweed, $238; jcrew.com

Photo courtesy of J.Crew

Trend #4: The Blazer

Nine West Jacket, $99; macys.com

Photo courtesy of Nine West

Trend #5: Navy Blue

It’s the black alternative, and it’s tres chic! Wear head-to-toe, mix with camel, gray, brown and even black for a soothing, all-seasons shade.


Brooks Brothers Classic Fit Jacket, $498; brooksbrothers.com

Photo courtesy of Brooks Brothers

Trend #5: Navy Blue

Lands’ End Easy Open Cardigan, $69; landsend.com

Next: Your Fall Beauty Shopping List

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Photo courtesy of Lands' End

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