When it comes to haute fashion, the South of France does not necessarily have the best reputation. In a place where it’s sometimes too hot to even put clothes on and humidity is far above average, who needs more than a swimsuit anyway? Besides that, the southerners, especially Marseillais men, are known for bad taste, preferring slouched jogging pants, fanny packs and ridiculously colored shirts. So who could’ve expected that during one summer, fashion would flip over to their side, with designer Simon Porte Jacquemus launching his first ever men’s collection inspired by Marseille (including all said “tasteless” items), with French (and non-French) it-girls like Jeanne Damas preferring le style à-la-Provançale. However, the best part about southern style is that it’s incredibly light, easy to wear, and often incredibly cheap.
Here’s a compilation of summer’s hottest trends influenced by the South, and where to get them before summer flees. Even better, get them on sale and keep them for next summer because truly, French style is timeless.
The true femme française keeps her hair up at some point of the day during the summer because it is just too hot. She uses a $1 claw clip available almost everywhere — effortless and chic.
Who knew that a mom-and-pop shopping bag would become a major trend? Originally used for produce and groceries these were everywhere on the French Riviera this summer. Pro-tip (since they’re still cool): put a tote or a transparent makeup bag inside to be even trendier.
Unsurprisingly, the wicker basket trend hasn’t died since Jane Birkin paraded around with her basket. Available at any marché for as little as 10 euros, these can get as expensive as Eugenia Kim and as cheap as a Mexican market.
So long considered at the altar of bad taste, the leopard print came back this summer in the most unexpected way: swimsuits. Mixing too many prints and looking outwardly ridiculous is still a French faux-pas, but one attention grabber is permissible.
Credited in part to Jacquemus and his enormous Bomba straw hat, this summer’s trend was “the bigger the better.” While aforementioned hat costs a whooping couture price, any floppy straw hat will do the trick.
It’s still quite surprising that these commonplace pieces have only just made it big in the fashion industry. Espadrilles have always been a big part of Southern culture because they are cheap, easy to walk it, and incredibly comfortable. This summer they were dressed up with a wedge.
Another everyday staple, the linen dresses (and linen everything) is the little-black-dress of the South (how about that, Coco Chanel?). Photographer Jamie Beck, in collaboration with Luxe Provence made her own version of the dress.
Stemming from simply wrapping a shawl at the waist after the beach or backyard sun bathing, these dresses are light, often wraparound, and our best friend this summer. They range from colorful floral dresses, to anything you can imagine (even leopard).
A Catholic girl uniform, these skirts are the most comfortable summer staple.