French Riviera Style Guide | What to Wear in the South of France

French Riviera style has always piqued my interest, so when Matt and I decided to vacation in St. Tropez, I went all in on my outfits. Whether you’re taking a trip to the Côte d’Azur, or you just want to embrace the breezy, but chic looks of the region, here’s my French Riviera style guide on what to wear in the summer.

Located in the south of France, the French Riviera has grown into a notorious vacation locale for the rich and famous. First a fisherman’s town, St. Tropez gained star power after Brigette Bardot shot the film And God Created Woman. (To Catch a Thief with Cary Grant and Grace Kelly also takes place in the French Riviera.) From St. Tropez to Monaco, these harbors and the Mediterranean Sea serves as a home base to super yachts and celebrities, but much like the Hamptons in New York, anyone can visit, and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a summer holiday in Europe. 

French Riviera style is timeless, with crisp whites, nautical influences, and brighter colors than most neutral Parisian chic wardrobes. Breton stripes, head scarves, and basket bags are a plenty, and it’s casual vacation elegance at its best.

Maybe you’re heading to the South of France in the summer. Maybe you just want to embrace that effortless European holiday je ne sais quoi while running errands. Either way, keep scrolling for my French Riviera style guide featuring 9 must-have pieces, plus south of France outfits you can wear to embrace simple summer sophistication.

If you are heading to the South of France and looking for things to do in St. Tropez, don’t miss my St. Tropez travel guide.

French Riviera Style Guide

French Riviera Style Guide

Anything White

Quintessential French Riviera style is anything white. Not only does white reflect the sun (which helps keep you cooler than darker shades), but it’ll also look great with your new Mediterranean tan.

I would also pack a few different white pieces; this can range from a casual white dress for the day, to a white blouse and tailored white shorts for dinner. 

French Riviera Style Guide
What to Wear in the South of France
What to Wear in the South of France
French Riviera Style Guide

Flowy Dresses and Skirts

Summer in the South of France is hot, so airy pieces like flowy dresses should be your go-to pieces to pack. Look for cotton, linen, and even lightweight silk to keep you cool. Lean into the St. Tropez glitz with fun prints and bold colors that you wouldn’t see in Paris or Provence.

Dresses take up minimal space in suitcases. And they’re also highly versatile for whatever you may have planned. Wear your dresses with flat sandals when you’re in town shopping, then swap out your shoes for espadrilles or block heels for dinner. 

To get a little more mileage out of your pieces, you can also opt for matching set with a skirt or shorts and a top (similar to how I wore the set in the above photo). When worn together, it’s obviously super cute, but you can also pair the bottoms with a tank top on another day.


Espadrilles are some of the most common shoes, other than sandals, women wear in the French Riviera. You can wear flat espadrilles for daytime or a heel version for wine tasting or dinner. In fact, the cities in the South of France are mostly cobblestone, and espadrilles are easy to walk in.

Castaner wedge espadrilles are also perfect if you’re looking for a classic wedge espadrille. They’re a French summer footwear staple; read my Castaner espadrilles review here.

Sezane also makes espadrilles every summer season. They’re a French brand that I love, and also have free returns on US orders. For a full size Sezane size guide review, click here.


Like I mentioned in the section above, the South of France is filled with cobblestone streets, so flat sandals are a must.

Make sure you stop by one of the K. Jacques boutiques in St. Tropez; the brand started in 1933 and the sandals are still made there today. Although you can find a few styles from the brand on Shopbop or at Bloomingdale’s, there’s a much wider selection of sandals at the boutiques, and you can even customize your own pair.

If you want to pack a heel, go for a block heel. I have these heeled sandals from Sezane; the gold instantly dresses them up. Also, there’s no chance of your heel getting caught between the cobblestones.

A Straw Bag

When it comes to accessories, a straw bag of any sort is the perfect complement to French Riviera style. We’re talking raffia, straw, jute, rattan, or any kind of natural, woven material. 

A larger basket bag (like this one from Sezane) acts as a chic beach tote, but you can also wear it around town to carry any things you may pick up along the way. There are also fresh markets there, and a straw bag is a great and stylish French option to hold your yummy finds!


As with any summer vacation, sunglasses are a must. For the French Riviera, opt for classic colors like black or tortoise and timeless shapes. Cat eye-shaped sunglasses are always chic, and they add a little bit of a retro flair. If you want to try something a little more fashion-forward, try a more rectangular shape.

Le Specs makes affordable styles, and many of them are under $100. (One of my favorite pairs I own is the Half Moon Magic silhouette.)

I also discovered Jimmy Fairly, a French sunglasses brand, while in Paris. There are stores all over France, including Nice and Cannes in the French Riviera. They just started shipping to the United States but I highly recommend you stop into a location to pick up an affordable French souvenir while you’re there!

A Chic Cover Up

Even swimsuit cover ups are chic in the French Riviera. You may find yourself going from beach club to lunch, so be sure to invest in something stylish to throw over your swimsuit. 

Your cover up could be anything from a loose shirt dress like this, or a pair of linen shorts with a matching linen button up shirt

A Striped Shirt

Breton stripes will always be associated with France and French Riviera style. Originally, Breton stripes, characterized by navy and white horizontal linens, were the uniforms of the French seamen. In 1917, Coco Chanel used Breton stripes in a nautical collection, and now, Breton stripes can be found in most closets throughout the world, even outside of France.

For a more traditional look, pair a striped tee or tank with lightweight cropped trousers. For a more modern interpretation, try a button up shirt or even vertical stripes. I love a striped oversized button up shirt and matching striped shorts


A Straw Hat or Head Scarf

Other than sunglasses, you don’t really need any other accessories in the French Riviera than a straw hat or a head scarf.

Straw hats protect you from the sun on the beach. And a fabulous head scarf will have you looking like you just walked off a luxurious yacht for a day in town.

A straw hat is always a great summer accessory. But if you’re looking to save precious suitcase space, consider packing a straw visor for your trip. If your budget allows, you can also invest in a silk Hermes scarf; you can find a bunch secondhand at The RealReal.

As you pack, here are a few things you won’t need in the French Riviera:

  • Graphic tees 
  • Casual flip flips
  • Jeans (it’s way too hot for any kind of denim)
  • Sweatpants or loungewear (except for a travel outfit)

The French Riviera is a beautiful summer destination and one of my favorite places I’ve visited. Embrace the laid back, glitziness of the coast, and when in doubt, just be sure to pack a lot of white.

Hopefully this French Riviera style guide gives you some summer outfit inspiration.

Looking for more on the French Riviera?

Au revoir!

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Hi, I'm Camille! I'm a bi-coastal blogger splitting my time between LA and NYC and sharing elevated, yet relatable ideas so that you can achieve your most stylish life.

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  1. 8.1.22
    Jessica Camerata said:

    These are the perfect looks for south of france. That Bash set may be my favorite. So pretty!

    xo Jessica
    an indigo day

    • 8.18.22
      Camille said:

      That’s my favorite outfit from the trip, too!

  2. 7.24.23
    Blanks said:

    This is an amazing guide! Thank you for sharing them all. I can’t wait to try them. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 7.25.23
    Lisa said:

    Thanks for your guide. These are perfect styles for south of France.

  4. 3.24.24
    Jackie said:

    I was wondering what you recommend to wear for a trip to Nice, Cannes and Marseille april 23-May 3 timeframe. Weather in upper 60s for high

    • 3.25.24
      Camille said:

      Hi Jackie, I haven’t been during that time, but I would definitely put a light jacket and sweater on that list!