With the exception of today and yesterday (it’s been in the thirties 😂) it’s finally feeling like spring has arrived in Chicago. Whenever the shoulder seasons hit, I reach for my transitional staples–most of those, let’s be honest, inspired by that effortless French-girl style we Americans are always trying to accomplish.
Not to mention…my desire to wear something other than sweats is the highest it’s been in a long time! 😂This time of year, I feel my best in elevated classics that fit just right. And when paired together, add just the perfect amount of flair. French-inspired style never fails in hitting that perfect combination, which is why I gravitate toward their style principles for every season.
If you missed it, I previously covered a fall and winter French capsule wardrobe and a summer French capsule wardrobe — and so I pulled some of my favorite spring looks from the archives to make it a trifecta! (Let’s be honest, a LOT of these basic staples overlap and are timeless for all times of the year–many of which I have owned for YEARS now– so you’ll definitely see some repeat favorites here!)
If you’re excited to rediscover pieces in your closet again, are ready to GET DRESSED in real clothes, and are looking for style inspiration for patio drinks and spring-time picnics, this capsule wardrobe is for you.
If we can’t be in Paris right now, at least we can try and dress the part, right? 😉
(Here’s a snap from our last Paris trip just because. 😉)
How To Create A Spring French Capsule Wardrobe
FRENCH CAPSULE WARDROBE ESSENTIALS:
For crisp spring days and chilly nights, a trench coat is the perfect classic layer to stay warm. The modern a-line trench you see here has been my go-to lately because it’s roomy enough to layer underneath and I love the vintage-inspired lines. London Fog also makes a classic favorite (the one I’ve had for years I can’t find online anymore–but they have a great shorter version!) J.Crew also makes a beautifully classic version if that’s more your style.
Great for a day or night, moto jackets add the perfect amount of edge and keep you warm through the transitional season! BlankNYC is my favorite brand for moto jackets (I have a few colors!) and many are on sale at Bloomingdales right now!
The foundation of any French capsule wardrobe — a great fitting striped tee! I love this boat neck version, I’ve had it in red for years and love the navy as well! A great transitional staple!
Button-downs are so timeless and I love playing with a little color during Spring. Opt for a pastel or striped print to add a little whimsy! These are also great as cover-ups as temps rise if you size up to make them oversized. OR, you can spring for a men’s oxford–another favorite trick of mine–if you love the oversized look!
Neutral Cardigan Sweater:
I love how functional cardigan sweaters are! Wear them open as a cardigan or button them up as a sweater for a whole new look. Keeping them neutral in hue elevates a look and helps the thicker layer feel lighter! Madewell is always a go-to of mine for sweaters–like this one! Able makes another pretty cardigan I’m loving, and is a company with an amazing mission!
Sézane Gaspard Jumper:
Okay I know this is also technically a cardigan, but it gets it’s own spotlight because it’s truly my #1 favorite sweater, you can wear it forward or backward and it always makes me feel so beautiful and polished and chic! It’s made by one of my favorite brands, Sézane! (The sweater I’m wearing in the first photo of this post!) Comes in many colors, I have a size small–it’s a little slouchy, exactly the way I want it!
Like a sweatpant meets a regular pant, but more refined! Comfortable and chic — and a great material for warm days spent outside, but suitable for going back to the office, since those days are around the corner! Madewell also makes a cargo version that looks super comfy!
Lighten up layers with white denim — it’s fresh, the epitome of spring, and makes stripes pop! Madewell makes awesome white jeans and I particularly love the cut of this pair! If you’re looking for a SUPER-soft, relaxed fit, I loveee this pair and wore them a ton last summer (I wish they fit now 😂)
Light Wash Denim:
Similarly, a light wash denim is a capsule must-have — my Levi’s wedgie jeans have been go-to’s for years! Can’t wait to be able to wear them again too!
These Tretorns are one of my all-time favorite pairs of white sneakers! They’re a little preppy, a little retro, but 100% classic and work with any French wardrobe outfit! (Sizing: TTS) These have been a bestseller of mine for years now! My new favorites are Freda Salvador’s d’Orsay sneakers (an investment, but a small, women-owned brand!)
Loafers are a great way to incorporate a little masculinity into your look. I have the Gucci Convertible loafer and love they are my #1 favorite investment staple. They are a beautiful, classic staple that I will have till the end of time (thanks to how well they are made!) I wear size 37.5, and I’m usually a US 8 for reference.
Ballet Flats or Neutral Mules:
On the flip side, ballet flats are a great way to add a little femininity to your look. I love these Schutz flats — they are like BUTTER–so insanely comfortable right out of the box and the toe is elongated and square, so they’re much chicer than regular rounded toe ballet flats. I wore these ALL over San Francisco (we’re talkin’ MILES and miles) and no blisters!
The ultimate French fashion accessory: the silk scarf. I reach for these year-round because they are so versatile. Wear around your neck, in your hair, or tie to your bag to add an effortless touch to your look. Check out my post on “Two ways to tie a French-style scarf!” and “How to tie a scarf in your hair.”
I’ve been a fan of the leather tote for years and years and it works perfectly with a French-inspired look. It’s polished, yet effortless and can be dressed up or down, and great for carrying a bunch of things for picnics, the beach, or travel (whenever that happens again?) Madewell’s Transport has been a favorite for years now–Able is also an amazing brand known for its incredible ethically made leather totes!
Similarly, straw totes are a fun way to add a little texture and carry all of your picnic/beach/outside things. I have a vintage one that I love but this one is very chic with its fun handle!
MORE FRENCH OUTFIT IDEAS FOR SPRING
Stripes + White Denim:
Playing with Juxtaposition:
Topped with a Moto Jacket: