French women love to wear dresses. Flattering for every shape, dresses are versatile and feminine, when you wear a dress, you look instantly put together, stylish, and chic. French women wear summer dresses showing off perfect style and casual comfort. Add a pair of functional sneakers, strappy sandals, or ballerina flats and you are dressing à la française!
You will see women wearing pants, but mostly they are brightly patterned made with silk like fabrics — they end up looking like a skirt. Whether you are in Paris or the Riviera, dresses are what to wear this summer.
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French Dress Style Boho Chic
Boho Chic is one of my favorite styles. This season it is up front in French girl style. Low cut V necklines, tiers of gathered fabric, and sweet floral prints make the boho style soft and wearable. You will see gathers in short, long, and midi dresses allowing you to show off as much or as little leg as you desire. Floral dresses are an essential piece in the summer French wardrobe.
Sew Your Own Boho Chic Dress
I genuinely love boho — I am a child of the 70s and I haven’t been able to shake the vibe.
Pattern: Simplicity 9702
How adorable is this Simplicity 9702 pattern. I have already made this dress — and wore it out to dinner on the French Riviera. You only need a pair of strappy sandals and delicate accessories to complete the outfit.
Fabric: Liberty London Wiltshire Tana Cotton Lawn
The Fabrics tend to be lightweight and semi-sheer. Add a lining if you prefer a bit more coverage. Florals and solids work best for this flirty and feminine style. This Liberty London Wiltshire Tana Cotton Lawn with its muted floral print is perfect for a gauzy, flowy dress.
The Class: View my Sew Along for Simplicity 9702 and make your own version of this adorable boho dress. (Sew Along coming soon – sign up for my 21 Tips To Take Your DIY Garment From Homemade To High End. You will be notified when then sew along is up and viewable.
French Dresses Style Linen
Linen, classic and cool, it is the perfect summer dress. Select classic shades in bright colors for a punch of style. Throughout the south of France, you see it everywhere. Slightly wrinkled or perfectly presses it is a goto all season long. Natural fabrics are perfect for casual everyday wear, they look chic and put together with very little effort.
Sew Your Own Linen Dress
A loose fitting or constructed sheath dress looks fabulous in a quality natural fabric.
Pattern: Style Arc June Sheath Dress
Combine your favorite sleeveless shift pattern like the super simple Style Arc Sewing Pattern June Sheath Dress with your favorite blouse pattern like the easy New Look Sewing Pattern 6378 for this updated classic style.
Fabric: Viscose and Cotton
I love this Linen Viscose Blend Fabric in tangerine. Just putting it on will make you smile. Add a classic white coverup shirt made in Minerva’s Core Range Linen Look Cotton for a completely pulled together french style dress.
French Dress Floral Shirt Dresses
Shirt dresses are still very popular. Keep last year’s pattern moving forward with bright floral prints that look breezy and cool.
Sew Your Own Floral Dress
Floral patterns made up in button down shirt dress or wrap dress style offers minimalist lines for an overall look.
Pattern: Simplicity Sewing Pattern 8637
Simplicity Sewing Pattern 8637 is a simple wrap dress that can carry any type of print. That makes it incredibly versatile — it might even become your new tried and true wrap dress. And, when you add the ruffle at the bottom, you will be at the height of French style.
Fabric: Viscose Challis
A tropical Viscose Challis would be fabulous for this wrap dress style.
French Dress Style Multi Layers
Long Over Long
Solid dresses with printed cover ups (and the reverse) were everywhere in the markets and on the street and in the shops.
Sew Your Own Long Over Long
Pattern: New Look Sewing Pattern 6889
You can’t get much easier than this New Look Sewing Pattern 6889. With a soft body skimming silhouette and a flattering V neckline, this dress is ready to go every time. Use your favorite blouse pattern for the coverup — simply add some length to the pattern to make it long like the dress
Fabric: White Ponte Roma And Paisley
The Class: If you are wondering how to make your favorite blouse pattern longer, I’ve got you covered. Go to How To Hack A Top Pattern Into Your Favorite Dress — It’s the same principle for extending a blouse pattern.
Short Over Long
Print dresses with ethereal cover ups that have an asymmetric hemline are definitely for the young and urban crowd. I’m not sure I could pull off this mullet look, but I like it.
sew your own short over long dress
Pattern: McCalls Sewing Pattern 7969
McCalls Sewing Pattern 7969 is just the dress for summer. With a little ruffle and V neckline, you will see it in all the shop windows. I like the sleeves on this, but you could make it sleeveless for a summery look. The lace over piece is a little more challenging. Personally, I would make it a short dress length then cut out the mullet before hemming. You can add the “pleat” detail buy applying finished bands of the lace to make them stand out.
Fabric: Cotton Poplin Floral Fabric And Floral Lace
The soft lace fabric on the over piece is light and sheer like this Minerva Core Range Chantilly Corded Lace Fabric. The large floral print — Rose & Hubble 100% Cotton Poplin Fabric — is a juxtaposition to the over piece but they both carry a floral motif giving off the garden party vibe.
Pro Tip: These dresses require gathering fabric. Don’t let that scare you. Follow my simple tips on How To Sew Gathers and you will see how easy it is to make this look.
Summer Colors For French Style Dresses On The Riviera
Bright colors and vibrant hues are staples in summer French style dresses. Chic French women of every age and shape are stutting bright orange, saturated blues, hot pinks, and tropical greens mixed with crisp white.
While you are shopping for fabric, keep these summer seasonal colors in mind.
Orange should be bright and vibrant like this Minerva Core Range Light 100% Cotton Poplin Fabric.
The blues are saturated and royal like this Minerva Core Range Linen Look Textured Cotton Fabric.
The pinks are hot and vibrant like this Minerva Core Range Light 100% Cotton Poplin Fabric in Cerise.
The greens are a rich emerald jewel tone, which sets off gold accents with a regal flair. This Minerva Core Range Rayon Nylon Jersey Stretch Knit Fabric is the perfect color — fit for a queen.
As always, bright white sets off every other color making it stand out and shine. Be sure to add plenty of white to your summer dresses.
Choose Comfortable (but cute) Shoes
White sneakers are a wardrobe staple. They give your feet support while imparting a city girl on the go look. Add a pair of cute sandals or flats in your bag for when you want something a little more dressy.
French Dresses – A Peek Into Fall
Start adding to your fall wardrobe with neutral colors that can be worn during the hottest days of summer yet will carry over to fall when layered. Select high quality materials in varying beige tones to be right on trend for fall.
Styling is simple – long chains or statement earrings for a chic elegance.
Dress Like A French Girl
Show off your Joie de vivre and dress like the French women. You will love adding these clothing items to your summer wardrobe. French women wear summer dresses with beautiful florals, bright solids, and classic white. Ruffled dresses in pretty prints are topped with soft linen shirts for a summer style that is hard to beat. While you are planning your European vacation, consider a River Cruise – here are my favorite stops along the Rhine River.
Make your garments better with my 21 Tips To Take Your DIY Garment From Homemade To High End
Do you love Sew Alongs and Sewing Tips and Tricks? My Youtube channel Barrett’s Custom Design is filled with great sewing techniques served up with a few laughs.
My Sewing With Sandi Etsy Shop has over 500 hard to find women’s, men’s, and children’s patterns. You will find little girls’ bows, a few sewing notions, sewing kits, but mostly lots and lots of patterns. You will find little girls’ bows, a few sewing notions, sewing kits, but mostly lots and lots of patterns.