How to Wear Jeans Like a French Woman

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Look More Elegant in Jeans With These Fashion Tricks

French women street style in jeans
Steal the style secrets of French women for dressing up in jeans. Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

According to a popular self-help book, French women don't get fat. Well, they don't wear shlumpy jeans, either. Think about Parisian fashion style and you probably picture slim silhouettes, perfectly paired separates, and effortlessly chic outfits. If you crave the comfort of denim, but care about looking slender and sophisticated in your outfits, we've got your go-to fashion guide -- inspired by real Parisian women and their street style -- to how to wear jeans like an elegant French woman.

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Jeans and a Blazer - Make It Your Uniform

Paris street style in jeans and a blazer
Paris street style in jeans and a blazer. Getty Images/Claudio Lavenia

French women and fashion editors -- not to mention stateside celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston -- have made jeans and a blazer their uniform of choice for a reason. This is an easy-to-wear combination that makes you look instantly pulled together, whether you're headed to work or going out with friends. A well-fitted, tailored black or navy blazer helps to give structure to your shape in jeans, making you look more dressed up.

Try wearing jeans and a blazer to the office with high quality accessories, such as an over-sized leather tote and black pumps. You can also wear this outfit with a crisp button-down blouse, or a chambray shirt as pictured here,  to parent-teacher meetings, or shopping with friends. Or create a grown-up, rock-and-roll vibe for weekends and casual days, by wearing a structured blazer layered over your favorite graphic t-shirt and jeans

Shop for tailored blazers for women on Amazon

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Match a Chic Striped Top With Slim Jeans

Street style jeans and stripes
Jeans and stripes are oh so Parisian. Christian Vierig/Getty Images

What's the secret to looking effortlessly chic in your casual weekend styles? It's all about knowing how to mix and match a few, well-chosen separates. You'll look like an everyday Parisian in a purposefully unpolished outfit of a must-have striped, cotton t-shirt and well-fitting, cropped straight leg jeans. Wear this easy outfit with trendy loafer slides, as pictured here, or classic ballet flats for running errands or taking the kids to the park. Or dress it up with high heels, a dark fitted blazer and an updo hairstyle for going to brunch with girlfriends.

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Wear Basic Jeans With (Real or Faux) Fur

Street style photo of woman in jeans and faux fur
Add one haute piece to jeans to dress up your look instantly. Getty Images/Kirstin Sinclair

Fashionable French women are expert at mixing bargain basics and thrift shop finds with high-end fashion pieces, to create an alluringly thrown-together look. Dress up a simple outfit of ripped jeans (these are by Levi's) and sneakers by layering it with a luxurious and attention-grabbing top layer, such as an over-sized (real or faux) fur jacket.

Buy vintage-inspired Levi's ripped jeans on Amazon

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A Black Leather Jacket is a Must

Street style photo of a woman in jeans and a leather jacket
A leather jacket always looks cool over jeans. Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Want an effortless top layer that not only keeps you warm when the temperature dips, but adds a fashionable edge to all your outfits in jeans? French women know that nothing is cooler -- or easier -- than pulling on a biker-style (or "moto") leather jacket over dark wash skinny jeans and flats. You could wear this outfit in Paris or New York City and fool them into thinking you were born there.

Shop for moto-style leather jackets for women on Amazon

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Wear Un-Boring Flat Shoes With Your Casual Jeans

Street style sneakers and jeans
Paris street style sneakers and jeans. Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

When it comes to casual weekends, flat shoes -- from the platform sneakers pictured here, to Audrey Hepburn-style ballet flats -- are a French woman's footwear of choice for wearing with jeans. Flats are not only practical for city walking, they lend a chic simplicity to your daytime style that's very Parisian. French women tend to choose flats with special or dressy details, to show off their personal style. Wear fur-trimmed loafer slides, blingy sneakers and other flat shoes with decorative details for chill days in denim, whether you're wearing jeans, denim skirts or dresses.

Shop for designer flats for women on Amazon Fashion

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Simplicity is Chic (But Always Add a Special Detail)

Street style photo of woman in jeans and high heels
Simplicity is stylish with one stand-out accessory. Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

French women are magical at looking sexy for work, rest and play. But for a Parisian woman, sometimes that means taking a slightly offbeat or mysterious approach to dressing. Rather than always showing obvious skin, French women sometimes like to create a sexy effect by tweaking a basic outfit, such as the white button-down shirt and fitted jeans pictured here. They will add one special accessory, to draw attention to their style and add a bit of sexy surprise to an otherwise classic ensemble. Here, it's banana yellow high heeled shoes -- but you could choose any beloved accessory that grabs people's attention -- such as a colorful statement bag, big designer sunglasses, or a metallic cuff bracelet. 

Shop for yellow high heeled shoes on Amazon Fashion

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Insist on a Perfect Fit

Paris street style in skinny jeans
Paris street style in perfect-fitting skinny jeans. Getty Images/Edward Berthelot

Besides knowing the art of how to style their wardrobe separates together, another major secret to French women's enviable style is their obsession with perfect fit. A French woman will only choose to buy clothing that flatters her body perfectly, regardless of trends. Follow this example at all times when shopping for jeans. Also know what can be altered on a pair of jeans -- sometimes the attention of a good tailor is all you need to make an almost-perfect pair work for you.

Learn what you can -- and can't -- alter on jeans in my go-to guide to denim alterations.