Heading To The South of France? Here’s 10 Key Things To Pack

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If you’re planning a trip this summer and always like to dress like a seasoned traveler, you’re in luck; we’ve put together a list of what to wear in the South of France to have you dressing like the chic French women of St. Tropez – no matter the time of year.

The South of France is a popular summer holiday destination for many people worldwide. With its beautiful beaches, picturesque towns, warm Mediterranean Sea, and weather, it’s no wonder why so many flock to this region for their summer vacation, including native French people with their oh-so-chic French fashion

For those not so naturally sartorially inclined, packing for destinations like the South of France can be tricky. It’s hot, and there’s a lot to see and do, but the last thing anyone wants is to look like a typical American tourist in sneakers, denim shorts, and athletic wear.

Chic green summer dress for the South of France vacation
Get this dress at Sabo Skirt

So whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, visiting the Cannes Film Festival, or soaking up the sun on the luxurious beaches of St. Tropez; here are our tips on what to wear in the South of France to stay comfortable and stylish during your summer holiday

What to Wear in The South of France

1. Linen Shirt

Linen is a lightweight and breathable fabric, making it ideal for the Mediterranean climate of the South of France. It allows air to circulate and helps keep you cool and comfortable in the heat. The natural fibers of linen also absorb moisture, making it suitable for those sunny days.

Linen shirts have a laid-back yet sophisticated look that aligns well with the effortless elegance French women are known for. They give off a relaxed and breezy vibe while still maintaining a sense of style. Whether you’re strolling along the beach or exploring the beautiful landscapes, a linen shirt in neutral colors can make you look polished and put-together.

Pair yours with shorts or lightweight pants for a casual daytime look, or dress it up with linen trousers for a more refined evening outfit. Linen shirts also work well as beach cover-ups or worn over a swimsuit for a stylish and practical beach ensemble, as well as acting as a light jacket during the winter months when the climate becomes cooler.

Rails Linen White Gauze Button Down Shirt

Ellis Gauze Button Down

At Revolve

Laura Lombardi Spira Gold-tone Hoop Earrings
Laura Lombardi

Spira Gold-tone Hoop Earrings

At Net-A-Porter

Celine Triomphe Tortoise Shell Oval Sunglasses

Triomphe Oval Sunglasses

At Nordstrom

2. Sundresses

Sundresses are typically made from lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton, linen, or chiffon. These materials allow air to circulate and keep you cool in the warmer days. The loose and flowy nature of sundresses also provides freedom of movement and a comfortable fit.

Whether you’re exploring the cobblestone streets of charming towns or lounging on the beach, a sundress can make you feel put together and chic. The versatility of sundresses also allows you to easily transition from daytime explorations to evening dining or socializing.

VINCE Margo Beige Cord Mule Slide Sandals

Margo Cord Mule Slide Sandals

At Neiman Marcus

LIKELY Lime Green Elisia Babydoll Mini Dress

Elisia Babydoll Mini Dress

At Nordstrom

Dries Van Noten Gold Twisted Metallic Leather Tote
Dries Van Noten

Twisted Metallic Leather Tote

At Net-A-Porter

3. Straw Hat

Wearing a straw hat in the South of France is not only stylish but also a good option for protection on hot summer days on top of your SPF 50+ sunscream. A wide-brimmed straw hat can provide shade for your face, neck, and shoulders, helping to shield you from the strong Mediterranean sun. It adds a touch of elegance and a vacation vibe to your outfit.

Floppy hats and Panama hats are popular choices that work well in Southern France. Look for a hat made from natural materials like straw, raffia, or even woven palm leaves, as these materials are lightweight and breathable, keeping your head cool, even during a heat wave.

Pair your straw hat with a flowing summer dress or a linen shirt and tailored shorts for a chic and effortless ensemble. All in all, straw ats are versatile accessories that can elevate both casual and more formal outfits, whether you’re exploring charming towns, having a boat day, strolling along the coastline, or enjoying an outdoor café.

Bottega Veneta light green Mini Jodie Handbag
Bottega Veneta

Mini Jodie Leather Bag

At Nordstrom

Gigi Burris Mary Jane Raffia Floppy Straw Hat
Gigi Burris

Mary Jane Floppy Straw Hat

At Neiman Marcus

Tularosa Dori Top & Tamryn Bottom White

Dori Top & Tamryn Bottom

At Revolve

4. Ballet Flats

As you probably know, the South of France is known for its charming cobblestone streets and picturesque towns.

Ballet flats provide cushioning and support for your feet, making them one of the best options for comfortable walking shoes to explore the region, whether you’re visiting museums, shopping at local markets, or dining at a cozy café. This ensures that you’ll always look smart for venues with a strict ‘no sneakers’ dress code.

Pair your favorite pair of ballet flats with breezy dresses, voluminous skirts, shorts, or linen pants to create the exact look that you’re after, and accessorize with a chic pair of trendy designer sunglasses.

Miu Miu Black Patent Ballerina Flats
Miu Miu

Patent Logo-Band Ballerina Flats

At Neiman Marcus

Prada White Retro Sunglasses

Irregular Sunglasses

At Nordstrom

Isabel Marant Red and Black Fringe Tweed Jacket
Isabel Marant

Nameo Fringed Tweed Jacket

At Net-A-Porter

5. LBD [Little Black Dress]

The LBD is a versatile wardrobe staple that is a summer staple for both daytime and evening events.

During the day, you can pair a black linen dress with sandals or flats and add a straw hat and sunglasses for a casual yet polished look. For the evening, wear an embellished or satin slip dress with heels, statement jewelry, and a clutch for a more sophisticated vibe.

Look for styles that are loose-fitting or have flowy silhouettes to allow for better air circulation and keep you cool.

Saint Laurent Monogram Quilted Black Wallet on Chain
Saint Laurent

Monogram Quilted WOC

At Nordstrom

Saint Laurent Logo Jerry Satin Sandals
Saint Laurent

Jerry Satin Sandals

At Net-A-Porter

Retrofete Black Sparkle Ella Dress

Ella Dress

At Revolve

6. Fun Swimwear

The South of France is known for its lively and fashionable beach scene. Wearing a unique swimsuit showcases your individuality and adds a playful touch to your beach attire. Whether it’s a colorful print, an unexpected design, or embellishments, make sure to pack a few different options to make the most of your vacation.

However, make sure to choose a swimsuit that flatters your body type and makes you feel comfortable, so you can fully enjoy your time in the warm Mediterranean Sea or pool. You’ll fit right in with the fashionable beachgoers and exude a sense of style synonymous with the South of France.

Magda Butrym White Bikini Top
Magda Butrym

Bikini Top

At Net-A-Porter

Light blue button-up shirt
Anine Bing

Mika Shirt

At Revolve

Magda Butrym Flower Embellished Ruched Bikini Briefs
Magda Butrym

Embellished Ruched Bikini Briefs

At Net-A-Porter

7. Sunglasses

As we already mentioned, sunglasses are essential in the South of France. The region is known for its abundant sunshine, making it essential to bring a pair of high-quality sunglasses with adequate UV protection.

Of course, as we know, sunglasses are now much more than a protective accessory, but a fashion fun statement. They can instantly elevate your look, ensuring you blend into the region’s effortless elegance and fashion-forward atmosphere. This year, Celine’s sunglasses are particularly trendy – we love the Triomphe sunglasses in particular.

Beige embroidered shorts

Embroidered Shorts

At Zara

Black Gucci square sunglasses

Square Sunglasses With Web

At Gucci

Loewe basket bag

Basket Small Palm Tote Bag

At Neiman Marcus

8. Beach Bag

A beach bag is an absolute must for any beach holiday, providing ample space to carry items such as towels, sunscreen, water bottles, snacks, a book, and any other items you may need.

As you’ll quickly realize, wearing a run-of-the-mill straw bag in the South of France is not typical. Instead, you’ll see people opt for designer totes and basket bags to carry their belongings on the beach and in beach clubs. Luckily, nowadays, there are so many incredible options across all budgets so that you don’t stick out like a sore thumb – here are our 25 favorites for this season.

Chanel straw raffia Deauville tote bag

Deauville Tote

Secondhand at Fashionphile

White Indah Innocence Solid Smocked Maxi Dress

Innocence Solid Smocked Maxi Dress

At Revolve

White Hermes Oran sandals

Oran Sandals

Secondhand at Fashionphile

9. Luxe Beachwear

From fun cover-ups to linen shirts and pool party outfits, beachwear comes in multiple fun options that include many other pieces than just bikinis.

If you don’t already own a high-quality cover-up, we recommend investing in one this summer, as it’s an easy piece that you can be throw on whenever you feel like popping into a beach bar for a few drinks or ice-creams.

Missoni Mare Asymmetric Crochet Mini Dress Multicolor
Missoni Mare

Asymmetric Crochet Mini Dress

At Net-A-Porter

Ray-Ban Irregular Aviator Sunglasses

Irregular Aviator Sunglasses

At Nordstrom

Chloe Tan Brown Woody Embroidered Logo Flat Sandals

Woody Embroidered Logo Flat Sandals

At Neiman Marcus

10. Flat Sandals

Like ballet flats, slides owe themselves to the coastal atmosphere of the South of France, famous for its beautiful beaches. They’re the perfect footwear for spending a day by the seaside enjoying beach activities, or simply lounging by the water, as they are easy to slip on and off.

While neutral hues have dominated the fashion scene for the last few years, don’t be afraid to opt for colorful sandals to add a pop of color to your outfits. If there’s a season to embrace color, it’s definitely the summer.

Paloma Barcelo Pink Malka Braided Slide Sandals
Paloma Barcelo

Malka Braided Slide Sandals

At Neiman Marcus

Dodo Bar Or Green Fringed Simmons Maxi Dress
Dodo Bar Or

Simmons Dress

At Revolve

Saint Laurent Small Brown Straw Tote Bag
Saint Laurent

Small Panier Woven Straw Tote

At Nordstrom

To conclude, one of the best general tips for Riviera dressing is ‘less is more’ – think Sophia Richie on holiday [after all, that’s where she got recently married].

We know the French have a great sense of style and love an “elevated basic’ so it’s a good idea is to stick to a neutral color palette with natural breathable fabrics like linen and cotton and throw in some colorful accessories, resort wear, and sparkly party outfits. You’re on vacation in Billionaires paradise after all.

We hope you enjoyed our French Riviera style guide and found useful tips for your packing list!

Up next:Vacation Style Guide: What to Wear on the Amalfi Coast

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