We often discuss French-girl style: Simple wardrobe basics and mussed-up hair are at the centre of that Parisian effortlessness. But how does it translate to handbags—one of the essential wardrobe accessories?

We tapped four French girls to weigh in on the bags we would never find in their closets and the ones they wear on repeat. It turns out that French girls aren’t fans of oversized bags. When it comes to size, mini bags win out over larger styles. Those oversize shopper bags send the wrong message—French girls like to appear low-maintenance. On top of that, we also learned a few key rules. Stick to classic colours like navy or ones that can be found in nature such as terra-cotta and rust. Hues that are too bright or neon get skipped. Keep it simple. Anything that looks overworked with too many embellishments doesn’t make the cut.

Go on to see what French girls have to say about the bags they love and the styles they’d never wear, and then shop their picks.
A small crossbody bag is perfect for date night. 
Just too good to be high street!
The fun handle adds a twist to this neutral bag.
A dark red adds a chic pop of color. 
White works in winter, too.
A messenger bag is a timeless accessory. 
French girls are carrying baskets well into winter.
Party bags come small too.
An heirloom piece to love forever.
The perfect basket bag for a picnic. 
If you prefer structure, go for this sturdy option. 
Cute.
This has Instagram still life shot written all over it.
An everyday Parisian essential.
A scaled-down version of a French favourite.
Created by Italian girls, loved by French girls.

Next, what je ne sais quoi really means.

This story was originally published on Who What Wear U.S. and has since been updated.

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