Italian vs French Fashion Style: What Are the Differences?

Italian vs French Fashion Style: What Are the Differences?

Fashion styles are as numerous as the areas they originate from. The influence of culture is undeniable when it comes to setting trends and in the recent years we have seen a number of fads come and go.

However, fashion styles that are related to a country cannot and should not be considered just simple fads that will go away as the times change.

Although cultures evolve and, especially for those of us who are European, we are seeing a progressive trend more and more throughout the years, there are still certain core values that affect how women and men in certain areas and cultures tend to dress.

It’s for that reason that there are numerous articles, comparisons and videos done on these topics, which compare things like food, fashion, makeup and all the way to relationships, between different countries.

American vs. Italian, American vs. French, Arab vs. American and so on are all a Google search away and for us, they are quite enjoyable and insightful as they give us a peek at how women from around the globe go about their daily lives in style and elegance.

Today we have picked two of the world’s most prominent countries when it comes to fashion, Italy and France. After all, those are the countries where some of the most renowned fashion icons came from and there is quite a lot to discuss.

With that being said, let’s now get started with the differences between the Italian and French fashion styles, taking a look at what makes them so distinct and understanding each a bit better.


1. Italian Fashion Style

1.1 A Bit Of History

Italian Fashion Style: Gianni Versace


Being one of the world’s top countries in fashion design, Italy has a rich history of important figures, amazing designs and shows that got the attention and attendance of prominent figures all over the world.

Versace, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, Valentino, etc. are all too familiar for many of us, they all came from Italy, and they are headquartered in Milan, the 2014 world fashion capital.

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Italian fashion’s popularity can be traced as early as the 11th century, when textiles, fabrics, dresses, jewelry and shoes were being produced and it hit its peak during the Renaissance.

The artistic development during the 16th century is what really took things to the next level and what put Italian fashion on top.

After French fashion took over for the next four centuries, with its luxury dresses made for nobility, Italian fashion slowly started to regain its former glory as fashion houses were created and the competition with the French haute couture began.

In the modern days, Italy is one of the top 4 leading countries of the world, with Milan being its main contender and Rome following suit.

1.2 La Bella Figura: It’s All About The Impression

Italian Fashion Style: Sophia Loren


It’s no secret that Italian women are known for their sex appeal and for always being groomed.

Their hair is done, they take care of their looks impeccably and prefer clothes that show off the beautiful curves of their bodies. When you think of Italian women, Sophia Loren or Monica Bellucci come to mind as two of the sexiest women that many of us grew up watching on TV.

Italian women are all about exuding femininity and they do so proudly and confidently, as is evidenced in their silhouette-enhancing clothing, refined makeup and chic accessories.

However, of course, the style varies a lot depending on areas of the country.

Women who live in northern cities, such as Milan, for example, tend to be really mixed, bringing out on the street a number of different styles.

See also: 3 Destinations For An Italian Summer Trip

Simplistic and minimalist styles seem to be the most preferred ones, especially for professional women, but it’s hard to miss the glamorous ladies going about their day in colorful and sensual clothing.

Those in the southern cities and islands are all about the statement. They are glamorous, well put together and the bold red lip is not a rarity. They look stylish, sensual and are dressed to impress.

It’s quite a feat to always look on point and the Italian women do it like no other.

Style of Italian women, Godfather’s hometown & Sicilian architecture | Justine Leconte

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2. French Fashion Style

2.1 A Bit Of History

French Fashion Style: Coco Chanel


As one of the fashion leading countries in the world, France also has a rich history of trends, incredible designers and beautiful women.

The country of Coco Chanel and Louis Vuitton, France’s presence in the European fashion world was more noticeable in the 17th century and it remained the main contender for the following centuries as well.

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However, what really stuck and is, to this day, still one of the most renowned fashion styles is the haute couture, which originated in the 1860s, and later the prêt-à-porter trend of factory-made clothing in the 1960s took things to the next level.

France’s capital, Paris, is the global fashion capital, home to renowned designers and the place where a number of fashion events take place each year.

However, Paris is not the only city where fashion pieces are made, as a number of other cities have turned into prominent names in the fashion world of luxury clothing and accessories.

100 Years of French Fashion | Glamour

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2.2 Style, Refinement And Elegance

When we think of French women, we think of minimalism and refinement. There is something incredibly feminine in simplicity and French women know this well.

They are the masters of femininity without abundance, be it in color, in accessories or exposure.

The famous bare face and red lip is an icon look that comes to the mind of many of us when we think of Parisian women.

French Fashion Style: Brigitte Bardot


The beret, the scarf around the neck and short, classy heels are the French look we have seen time and time again on movies and TV, and it’s a great representation of the general look French women go for, that of keeping things simple yet very elegant.

French women put a lot of effort into how they look not just in regards to having sensible and attractive outfits, but in what they eat and how well they take care of their bodies.

A good diet and a healthy skin are far more important than loading the face with foundation and intrinsic makeup. Elegant in shape, just as they are in style, French women are a great example of taking care of yourself inside and out.

3. Italian vs. French Style – What Is So Different?

By now, you have a good idea as to where these two styles differ from each other, but to quickly summarize it, we will focus on two aspects, that of overall style and color.

3.1 Abundance vs. Simplicity

While there are women of all occupations, with many different preferences, in general Italian women go for more in the way they accessorize, dress and present themselves.

Their cat eyes are beautifully done, their lipstick is impeccable and the high heels are not uncommon.

French women, on the other hand, prefer a more toned down look. They are simplistic in their clothing, accessories and prefer splurging on items that fit their style and fashion sense, rather than going with what is hot that year.

Less is certainly more in many cases, ladies.

3.2 Colorful vs. Matching

The Italian style calls for bold colors and prints, ready to catch the eye of any passerby. Italian women do not shy away from looking good and accentuating their look with accessories in vibrant colors.

The French style tends towards matching colors and typically earth to darker tones. A mix of many colors is not preferable in the style of French women and in this regard they also go for the “less is more approach”, preferring two colors typically, and rarely three.

They do, however, wear accent pieces, such as an accessory in bold colors or oversized jewelry, which break the monotone look of the matching outfit.

That’s it for today! We hope you enjoyed the topic and possibly resonated with either style and may have even found which one is your favorite. We will see you in the next one!

One Comment

  1. Fashion was invented by Louis the 14th. He and his economics minister invented it as a way to fill the French treasury which was broke. Clothing, shoes, hair styles, furniture, food and drink, jewelry and more Paris became the city of lights so that people would stay up late and party thus spending money.

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