Ever wondered how the French always look so chic? We surveyed over 300 French fashionistas to find out how to create a capsule wardrobe and discovered their five secret weapons:

But how should we style these staple wardrobe items to get that je ne sais quoi here on British streets? Blogger Andreea Panciuc of Dreaming of Chanel shows us how with her capsule wardrobe style guide.

Little black dress

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Embracing the monochrome trend, Andreea paired her little black dress with classic houndstooth ballerina flats and a black clutch bag for a day in the city.

“The best thing about a LBD is that you can wear it in endless combinations, depending on where the day takes you.”

Andreea’s LBD tip: “Take your LBD into the evening by swapping your pumps for sandals or heels and adding some pearls.”

Black jacket

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Giving her LBD a second airing, Andreea added a tailored black jacket to give her look a sharp sartorial edge and combat the chill.

“Whether I have a meeting, or just a casual lunch with my friends, I slip on a black jacket to go from day to night in style.”

Which style is up to you – black denim, leather and tux are all versatile French favourites.

Andreea’s jacket tip: “A classic, tailored jacket will see a lifetime of wear…Save up and invest in a piece that will last.”

Ballet pumps

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A staple pair of ballet pumps will see you through every season. “I wear pumps with just about everything…I’ve been living in this pair since I got them.”

Choosing a neutral colour will help you mix and match with outfits, but Andreea’s black and white houndstooth flats prove that there’s no need to shy away from prints.

Andreea’s pump tip: “You don’t need lots of shoes to look fabulous – just one or two really great pairs.”

Skinny jeans

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Demonstrating denim’s versatility, French women are famous for dressing up their skinny jeans for an event – “whether they’re sat in the front row at a Chanel show or at an Avenue Montaigne fashion opening.”

Continuing the sophisticated and simple monochrome theme, Andreea styled her black skinny jeans with a white shirt, tailored black jacket and her trusty houndstooth ballet pumps. Front-row chic at its finest!

Andreea’s jean tip: “You don’t have to be French to pull off this look. Just keep it simple and muted for an effortlessly chic ensemble.”

Fitted shirt

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A fitted white shirt is capable of taking you from day to evening with a slick of red lipstick, and from work to weekend with rolled up sleeves – “there’s no need to bring a change of clothes with your classic white shirt.”

Andreea’s shirt tip: “To make your shirt work for the evening, add a pair of chandelier earrings and a red lip. It’ll hit that high-fashion note every time.”

For even more capsule wardrobe inspiration, check out Carly Musleh and Sophie Green’s style diaries, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for endless outfit ideas!

Words and retro style are my passions. When not writing I love inspiration hunting in second-hand shops.

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