I've written a lot about packing for Paris. Be it my 5 tips or seasonal picks (Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer) for clothing, shoes, and accessories, but I have yet to write about jewelry. I don't wear a lot of jewelry, but when I do I stick to classic pieces which I think is pretty on par for most French women from my observations living in France and having a French mother-in-law. There are definitely exceptions that I will walk through in this guide to French jewelry styles.
Much like my recommendations for packing for Paris, these are suggestions for what kind of jewelry you will see in France so that you can either capture the look or pick up some pieces while visiting!
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Adorn Yourself the French Girl Way
Le jour est arrivé! You’ve booked your flight, brushed up on your French, and have packed all your essentials: muted blazers, impossibly chic boyfriend jeans, and your trusty travel jewelry case. I love this one from Roam often. It is simple, holds just the right amount as is made of vegan leather. Much like the coin purse I highly recommend you bring, this case is a must for keeping your jewelry safe and organized, plus it is small enough to stash in my day bag should I not want to leave it at the hotel or Airbnb.
But wait one second–what should you bring with you in your jewelry case? You want to blend in while turning a head or two at the same time, so what kind of jewelry should you pack?
For the first-time France traveler, this question can be a bit daunting. Many first-time globetrotters, especially Americans, worry about sticking out like a sore thumb. I’ve all been there before, so don’t worry. Today I'm here to help you out by sharing some of my favorite pieces of jewelry that both French and American women alike love.
I've written about the French wardrobe being mainly muted tones (black, navy, grey, brown) in which fashionable pops of color are added to, such as a scarf. But statement necklaces accomplish the same effect. These bold, eye-catching pieces seamlessly blend bravado and simplicity. French women especially love to opt for a medallion or pendant-style pieces. If you don't want these necklaces to be the focal point of the outfit; choose a muted gold to lend your casual look an air of polished nonchalance.
Gold hoop earrings
Small gold hoops are a great way to add a touch of class to any outfit. Most French women prefer tasteful, understated pieces they can wear daily, so they’ll likely be an effortlessly cool addition. But sometimes they go big with large gold loops, what you will notice is when they do that, the rest of the outfit is typically muted except for maybe bright red lips. Lots of French women start their jewelry collection with gold loops and improve their quality as they age.
In Paris, the Breton style permeates nearly every aspect of fashion. Breton here refers to a nautical style, perhaps most famously recognized in the horizontally-striped boating shirts that most French stereotypes are decked out in. What this means is that any Breton-style jewelry pieces are likely to go over very well en la France, so don’t be shy about getting a little nautical. If you follow me on Instagram or read any of my Brittany posts you'll know this is my favorite part of France outside of Paris, that I wear Breton stripes all the time!
Vintage gold rings
The French can’t get enough of gold, and who can blame them? Gold jewelry can be the perfect balance of look-at-me-world and flying-under-the-radar. Not to mention, vintage jewelry is especially well-received in France, where it’s often paired with newer, more eclectic pieces. If there’s one thing you can learn from our beloved Frenchies, it’s that you blend the old and new ones to create something unique. Check out the French flea markets, called marché aux puces for the opportunity to find some fantastic vintage jewelry.
Perhaps you’d like to go for a more bohemian look, though. In that case, layer a few crescent necklaces. The mystical moon shapes complement larger statement necklaces beautifully, and you can balance them out by adding a few smaller, daintier chains on top. These are all the rage at the moment!
Hopefully, you have a better idea of what jewelry pieces you should pack for your next trip to France. When thinking about what to pack remember to leave your best jewelry at home, travel with your jewelry in a case, keep it in your carry-on luggage while traveling, and either lock it in the room safe or drop it into your day bag while out and about. Don't forget to check out the classic department stores, local boutiques, and flea markets to bring some French jewelry home with you as well!
How about you? Do you travel with jewelry? What style of jewelry do you like best? What's is your favorite piece of jewelry you've purchased on a trip? Do share!
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