Have you ever heard the saying, “the best way to a woman’s heart is through her sole?’’ or Coco Chanel’s quote, “Keep your heels, head and standards high.” Such is the love we have for great shoes, n’est ce pas?
Keep reading to discover 6 essential shoes that every French woman owns for effortless dressing that is always chic.
“Shoes are the quickest way for women to achieve instant metamorphosis.” - Manolo Blahnik
Our first essential? With a look that adds a bit of savoir-faire to your French-fashion ensemble, it’s none other than the endlessly sophisticated penny loafer.
Originally used to hold pennies in the cut-out on the instep of the shoe to make last-minute phone calls in the street phone-booths of the 1930’s, the penny loafer has since graduated to another popular style - the tassel loafer. With its own dedicated fan base, the tassel loafer made its entry on the feet of those in the academic and legal circles, and later; was adopted by Hollywood’s female elite (think Katherine Hepburn and Bette Davis) – to become a style symbol in its own right.
Perfect for autumn as well as spring, this shoe also has a very classic charm about it – making your outfit look polished from head-to-toe. Pair a Bengajean® straight leg pant with our classic suede loafer in Ink, or a classic white pant with our tassel suede loafers in Green, Nude or White. C’est si bon!
2. Slingback Pumps
“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.” - Marilyn Monroe
Our second choice to dip your toes into? It’s a look that symbolises the feminine mystique, intrigue and mystère. An essential for every French woman, get to know the Slingback heel.
Think back to 1940, a time where ultra-thin ankle straps and exposed heals were considered risqué, these pretty shoes later appeared on the pieds of 1960’s Hollywood sirens such as Ann-Margaret. This trend was then followed by the likes of French-siren Bridget Bardot and other iconic women, who were able to accentuate their feminine prowess by showing a closed toe anchored by a glimpse of a thin strappy ankle – a sign of a woman starting to awaken and unleash her sense of inner playfulness.
3. The French Girl Sneaker
”A woman carries her clothes. But the shoe carries the woman.” - Christian Louboutin
The solution to a look that spells laissez-faire? Look no further…than the French Girl sneaker, known in French as les baskets.
Introduced in 1936 by a French brand called ‘Spring Court’, the first canvas low-top performance-based tennis shoe was crafted with built-in ventilation channels, with the pièce de resistance: of having an all-white silhouette and façade that matched the court dress code of Wimbledon.
Lightweight, refined, and ultra-versatile, these days a low-top neutral coloured sneaker can make the foot look smaller and can be paired with any outfit, be it shorts, a midi skirt, a dress, a tweed knit jacket, coat, or even your favourite Bengajean®. Ooh, la la!
4. Classic Sandals
“Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life.” - Noortje de Bijl
Our fourth choice for French-inspired footwear is the sandal - especially in spring and summer! Whether you need a stylish and chic shoe to wear with jeans, a skirt, or dressy resort attire, you can’t go wrong with a classic and practical flat sandal. Whether it’s in the colour of rose gold or tan, our summery sandal features a statement cross strap and tonal lining. A cushioned sole also gives this sandal support and comfort. Pair it with our Button Detail Linen Dress for easy coastal style. Bien sûr!
5. Ankle boots
“I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.” - Oprah Winfrey
A timeless French fashion staple, ankle boots are unarguably a must-have for every woman’s wardrobe and can be dressed up or down, depending on your mood. Whether you opt to wear leather ankle boots in chocolate brown and black for those impromptu rainy days in Paris, or a sumptuous Suede Tan Ankle Boot or Khaki Leather Boot for those breezy autumn/winter journées, the ever-chic ankle boot are made-for-walking, and work perfectly for the evening too! With easy-zip fastening and a comfortable, cushioned inner sole, these boots are the perfect combination of style and comfort, en vogue.
6. The Ballet Flat
“Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.” - Audrey Hepburn
Our last essential for day-to-night French elegance? They’re a little bit Audrey Hepburn, and just like the actress, very cute. Voilà! Introducing the beloved Ballet Flat.
An icon in itself, the classic French ballet flat weaved its way into women’s hearts in 1957, via Audrey Hepburn in her ‘Funny Face’ debut. A look that glorified the French gamine look of pared-down elegance.
Ballet flats are the parfait pair of shoes that have stood the test of time. Be it jeans, a dress, or pants, this gem of a shoe worn either plain or with a bow detail, evokes a feeling of simplicity and charm.
Time to get shoe happy? Our range of deluxe footwear is the de rigueur option: for classic French style. Best of all? They are a timeless wardrobe staple built to last. So, stand tall with confidence and elevate your presence from top-to-toe, with the help of some of our well-heeled friends.