5 Chic, French-Inspired Outfits Perfect for Spring

5 Chic, French-Inspired Outfits Perfect for Spring 7

It may be hard to believe, but spring is just around the corner. Cold, wet and windy days will soon be behind us, and with them will go our winter wardrobes. As we march through March we need a capsule wardrobe of transitional staples that are versatile and multi-faceted, pieces that can make a grey day feel like a bright one. For many, the coming of a new season brings an opportunity to rethink what we wear. The change of weather, especially during spring, is a time of reflection and new beginnings, and as such, this time of year sparks inspiration for the coming months. Whilst each year has its trends and aesthetics, it goes without saying that at Who What Wear, we’re more about timeless elevated staples that transcend seasonal fads. 

For me, there’s no designer better at ‘elevated staples’ than Polo Ralph Lauren. Polo Ralph Lauren doesn’t really need an introduction. Everyone knows the brand and what it stands for; and that’s timeless, quality pieces with a thread of Americana running through every design. Cable-knit jumpers, well-cut denim, cotton basics in a sea of neutral hues and the iconic logo will no doubt come to mind when you think of Polo Ralph Lauren. For a brand so synonymous with American culture, it may come as a surprise that for S/S ’24, the brand is looking to Paris for its inspiration. “American girl in Paris” is the theme, and whilst the clothing still feels perfectly on-brand, there’s a French twist that adds even more excitement.  


French style is one of the most-loved fashion themes amongst you, our readers, and there’s no denying how Parisians seem to be able to nonchalantly throw together an effortlessly chic look whilst appearing so polished and refined at the same time. Simple outfit formulas reign supreme (think a Breton top with a well-tailored suit or a slip dress under an oversized blazer), and it’s less about passing trends and more about timelessness and personal identity. Fuse these cornerstones of style together—Polo Ralph Lauren’s design heritage with classic French-woman dressing—and you’ll have an idea of this new collection. Trench coats, fantastic shirting in stripes and plain cotton, denim (of course), and an array of basics that are anything but basic; and you have the makings of a capsule wardrobe, ready to interpret in your own way.

You know how much we love to try on and style new collections from our favourite designers, but for this one, we wanted to ask one of the most stylish Parisian influencers we know to do it for us. Franny Mozemba is a big part of the Who What Wear UK community, and she also owns a vintage boutique between the 9th and 10th arrondissements in Paris, so it’s easy to see why her approach to dressing has us hooked. So, we took to the streets of her city to showcase how she’d style five hero items from the latest Polo Ralph Lauren collection.


Style Notes: I genuinely believe that a two-piece suit is one of the easiest, most hard-working staples in a person’s wardrobe. Let me explain why. With a stiff shirt and a pair of pointed-toe boots or loafers, it’s a professional yet functional outfit that you don’t really have to think about. Pair the suit with a T-shirt (bonus points for a Breton) as Franny has here, and the look feels a little cooler. You could go for trainers for a casual feel or choose strappy sandals in the evening with a red lip and a black bra peeking through underneath (be sure to button the jacket to show the double-breasted cut), but in my opinion, boots feel more versatile. Of course, you could always wear the trousers and blazer separately too. The wide-leg cut of the trousers and the blazer’s oversized fit give extra comfort despite the structure, and the navy hue is just that bit softer than black. These are the definition of transitional pieces—in the cooler months you can easily swap a T-shirt for a rollneck and layer with a wool coat over the top. 


Style Notes: Scroll through this collection and you’ll see that Polo Ralph Lauren does trench coats expertly well. In a variety of lengths, staple colours and fits, (there are double and single-breasted options as well as oversized and fitted), there’s a trench for everyone. April showers? May downpours? No problem. You’re set for spring with this water-repellent yet lightweight, breathable coat that epitomises classic French-girl style. Franny wears the navy Twill Long Car Coat with a plain white button-down and brown, tailored trousers—a perfect look for working lunches (with oysters, obviously) and appointments around town.


Style Notes: The slip dress may have made its breakthrough in the ’90s, but its comeback in the past decade has firmly cemented its place as a forever piece. The midi length is the key to its wearability; dress it up with heels, tone it down with a T-shirt layered underneath or a knit over the top—there’s really no wrong way to wear it. This cream hue is particularly attractive, with the sheen of its silky fabric catching the light and accentuating the body for a sultry feel. When paired with the blazer from the suit set (see, so versatile!) it feels more appropriate for daytime, whatever you’re up to. Although it goes without saying that in the height of summer, you’ll be able to wear this alone, until then, if you want to elevate your dress to look seriously luxurious, I suggest adding an oversized wool coat. This cream one is the ultimate investment piece. Made from Italian wool and designed with a double-breasted cut and large, deep pockets, it’s soft, cosy and très, très chic.


Style Notes: As much as we don’t recommend wearing denim in the rain, sometimes in Paris (like in the UK), you just can’t help the weather. In case you missed it, denim is having a serious moment right now—and I know what you’re thinking: when hasn’t denim had a moment?— and recently we’ve seen a rise in layered denim, with matching sets, contrasting washes and not only double but triple denim looks everywhere. The consensus is basically the more the merrier. This season, Polo Ralph Lauren has provided denim in full force, and it’s so much more than just jeans. There are jackets, shirts, a midi skirt and even overalls to choose from, but Franny’s outfit is the perfect example of casual cool: jeans, a classic logo Polo Ralph Lauren denim shirt and this cropped car coat. J’adore!


Style Notes: Is it even spring if you don’t crack out a midi dress? Polka dot, much like a Breton stripe, is a signature print in France. And in this navy blue and white colourway, it’s also signature Polo Ralph Lauren. Here, Franny has paired it with yet another of the brand’s trench coats—I told you it’s an essential item. The long sleeves on this dress make it ideal for in-between days until we reach the warmer months, and for those chillier summer evenings when you’re out for dinner, you’ll be glad to have the option of something more covered. And speaking of absolute functionality and convenience, have you seen this bag? Surely I don’t need to remind you how much we love the “ludicrously capacious” bag. This XL tote is so handy—if you’re a busy person on the go, rest assured it will carry a laptop, gym kit and all other essentials, and when you’re on your summer holiday, I can’t think of a better beach bag.

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Written by GossipPress

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