We Went Outfit-Hunting in the South of France—These 16 Looks Wowed Us

One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is overseeing our monthly street style photo shoots. For over a year, we’ve closely documented the stylish goings-on of people around the country. From the inherently cool ensembles styled out on the cobbles of Brick Lane in London to the layered-up looks captured in the narrow, winding streets of Edinburgh’s Old Town, spotlighting what people are really wearing in real time has become a passion of mine, one that gives me significantly more satisfaction than scrolling on social media. That might come with its fair share of entertainment value, but there’s only so much that I can take away from the outfits snapped through a filtered lens. If I want to adopt a look for myself or add something similar to my wardrobe, I like to take those cues from people who have dressed just for the sheer love of it, not solely for their feeds. This brings me to our next street style shoot, perhaps our most exciting yet.

Those familiar with my name in the byline (because—let’s face it—it’s pretty memorable) will probably be able to connect it with the majority of our French style stories. For the entirety of my career, I’ve relished analysing the outfits of our sartorially blessed Gallic cousins, coming up with myriad ways to mirror their formerly imitable style. When I think about it, I’ve probably written enough words on French fashion to fill a whole book. (That’s a project for another day, perhaps.) So you can imagine my sheer delight when the Who What Wear team asked me if I’d want to take a more acute look at the summer style of French women in the South of France by way of our very own street style shoot. As a self-confessed Francophile, I was excited to see the summer style of the South of France’s inhabitants. 

I connected with a photographer in Cannes, a date was set, and I waited with anticipation to see the outfits they’d capture on their Canon. As for the ensembles we would end up finding? Even I, who has developed a discernible eye for this sort of thing, was seriously impressed. A glittering jewel in the French Riviera, Cannes attracts different people from around the globe who want to soak up the glamour and splendour of the city, making it an incredibly unique place to outfit scout, with inspiration at every turn. The looks we found were more diverse than I’d predicted they’d be, which, again, is precisely why I love street style so. You never know what you’ll see. From relaxed tailoring in incredibly pleasing neutral palettes to dresses with shoulder pads so sharp worn with earrings so large, a common thread is difficult to discern from one look to the next. If, however, there’s one thing they all share, it’s a celebration of French style in its purest form.

Instead of describing what the stylish people of the South of France are wearing this summer, perhaps I ought to show you. Scroll on to see what women in Cannes are dressing in right now.

A great summer trouser option. 

Monochrome polka dots will never go out of style. 

I didn’t know I needed purple trousers until I saw Azade’s look. Now, I’m obsessing over this COS pair.

This would make for an epic wedding guest outfit. 

This will dress up any skirt, trousers or shorts you pair it with. 

I know I’ll live in these easy linen trousers. 

This will make all of your outfits feel current.

Personally, I always think ecru jeans look more elevated than pure-white jeans. 

Sarong skirts are really having a moment, particularly in floral motifs. 

Another excellent throw-on dress courtesy of M&S. 

I’m into the fade and front seams on these jeans. 

Hands down, this is one of the dresses of the season. 

Tick off two trends in one with a white dress in a maxi hemline. 

If you buy one accessory this summer, make it a linen bucket hat. 

Try matching the colour of your shoes to that of your top to pull your ensemble together. 

This bag is high up on my wish list.