Summer Style From the French Riviera

Happy 4th of July!

It might seem strange to be inspired by the classic style of the south of France in the middle of a red, white and blue love fest, but there’s just something so fresh and timeless about all those Breton stripes, easy-to-wear shapes and beachy colors. (And hey, the French did help us win the Revolutionary War…)

I’m going to Minnesota lakes county for the weekend, but the stripes, shades and statement hats in my weekend bag would work on a beach or a patio anywhere in the world.

FrenchRiviera
Photo by blink+.

The region takes its style cues from the yacht set, but the look is more about leisure and an easy elegance than the preppy American interpretation that endures on this side of the Atlantic.

French Riviera style is classic and very wearable for both men and women. Here are some of my favorite ways to work a little French charm into your summer wardrobe.

French Riviera Summer Style

For the Ladies:
Put a classic Breton striped top, a breezy midi-skirt and a cute sun hat in your suitcase and you’re halfway there. Add a pair of classic Bermuda shorts, statement sunglasses and an un-fussy beach bag and you can mix and match these pieces all weekend long.

Stick with a mostly neutral palette of black or navy paired with white and add a pop of fresh ocean blue if you’re craving color. Gold or silver jewelry in simple shapes (a great watch, a solitaire necklace and a pair of studs) can go from day to night with ease.

This look is easy and breezy, so save your striking looks for the beach or the pool (a retro cut bikini or maillot paired with dramatic accessories always looks elegant) and choose light and breathable fabrics like cotton and linen for strolling.

French Riviera Style For Guys

For the Gentlemen:
Replacing your baggy summer gear with more tailored versions of familiar pieces will up your game and still keep you comfortable. Try a pair of khaki Bermuda shorts and a pair of swim trunks in a solid color. The basic styles and colors are familiar, but the streamlined shapes and more European cuts are unquestionably adult — and they’ll show off your hard work at the gym.

To take the look to the next level, try a few soft button down shirts in breathable summer fabrics like cotton or chambray. Their tailored shape looks polished, but the everyday fabrics keep it casual. Add a few classic polos or T-shirts in white or blue and you’re good to go for the weekend.

And if you really want to channel your inner international playboy, try a slouchy pajama-style shirt (seriously, how cool is that black and white one?) and a pair of these brilliant Rivieras shoes. The cotton and canvas deck shoes are just as comfortable as sneakers, but they add a dash of dapper 1950s style that can go anywhere.

Happy 4th of July everyone!

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