The French Riviera has long been a destination for celebrities, wealthy travelers, and those looking to relax in the sun and enjoy the Mediterranean Sea.
From Cannes to Saint-Tropez and beyond, it’s no surprise that this beautiful region attracts visitors from around the world. But what should you pack when visiting this chic coastal area?
Well, if you are wondering what to wear in the South of France, you have come to the right place as I live in Nice and have the opportunity to observe the local trends on a daily basis.
In this guide, I am going to share with you some of the essential items to master the French Riviera style. Whether you are a tourist or a local, these items will help you feel and look your best.
On a hurry? These are some of the items you should pack:
What to wear on the French Riviera
When picturing the French Riviera style, the first thing that comes to mind is easy, breezy linen or cotton pieces in bright summer colors.
A good place to start is with a classic white collared shirt and some blue jeans – this look goes well with almost any outfit.
Or you could go for something more modern like a pair of relaxed trousers in beige or navy blue paired with a linen shirt or light sweater. Either way, don’t forget a straw hat or panama hat to protect your face from the sun.
Another staple item for the French Riviera style is a pair of espadrilles – these comfortable shoes have been around since the 14th century and are still popular today!
When it comes to accessories, the French Riviera style is all about simplicity and elegance. A pair of sunglasses in a classic shape will keep you cool and stylish on hot summer days.
Finally, no French Riviera outfit would be complete without a chic bag or clutch! Whether you prefer leather, canvas, or straw, make sure you choose one that matches your other pieces and isn’t too heavy.
Planning a trip to the South of France? Then make sure to follow my Instagram for insights, hidden gems, and tips about life on the French Riviera.
10 Essential Clothing Items for the South of France
The pieces in this French Riviera packing list will make sure you look stylish yet comfortable wherever your travels take you. So pack up your suitcase and let’s get started!
1) A white linen dress
Whether you go for a shirt dress or an A-line design, a white linen dress is the perfect piece for hot summer days. You will look effortlessly elegant and chic.
From Toms to Gucci slip-on designs, no Riviera wardrobe is complete without espadrilles. Wear them with dresses or jeans, they are so versatile!
3) Flowy midi skirt
A midi skirt is great for Mediterranean evenings when it’s not too hot but still balmy enough for skirts.
Pick one in your favorite print and wear it with a simple top to create an easy yet stylish look.
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4) Denim shorts
Go for high-waisted denim shorts (like this pair) and pair them with a crisp white shirt for an effortless, chic look.
5) Statement sunglasses
When you are in the South of France, make sure to pack a few pairs of statement sunglasses.
They will not only protect your eyes from the sun but also add a stylish touch to any outfit.
6) A straw hat
Don’t forget to bring along a straw hat when visiting the Riviera! Not only does it keep you cool during summer days, but it also adds an extra touch of style to your looks.
7) A striped t-shirt
Striped tees are essential in any French wardrobe and they go with any type of bottom – skirts, jeans, or shorts. Go for a classic navy and white combo or mix it up with colors.
Zara is one of my favorite shops for this kind of clothing.
8) A chic swimsuit
Whether you plan on relaxing by the pool or going down to the beach, make sure to pack a stylish swimsuit.
Go for an elegant one-piece or opt for a colorful bikini top and bottom set. My friend recommended me this model and I love it so much and think it looks divine on anyone.
9) A kaftan cover-up
Cover-ups are perfect when transitioning from day to night around the French Riviera. Go for a breezy cotton kaftan that will go over any outfit.
10) Block heels
Block heels are ideal when exploring cobblestone streets and markets in the South of France. They provide comfort while still keeping your look polished and sophisticated.
Finding the right swimwear
Dressing to go to the beach in the South of France is different from dressing to go to the beach in other places.
Many of the beaches on the French Riviera are more sophisticated and require more stylish swimwear than regular beachwear.
That’s why it’s important to find a stylish yet comfortable swimsuit when visiting this part of France. Look for pieces that are timeless and classic, like one-pieces in solid colors or two-piece sets with elegant details like ruffles or bows.
Other items to pack for the South of France
Besides the clothing items, it’s also important to pack a few essential items for your trip.
The weather around here is always sunny, so make sure to pack good sunscreen with high SPF protection.
Personally, I really enjoy wearing a tinted moisturizer with SPF so that I can stay protected and have a bit of coverage all at once.
My favorite is the EltaMD one.
2) Water shoes
I know water shoes are not the sexiest thing to wear, but they are essential when heading out on boat trips or going to the rocky beaches in Nice. They will keep your feet nice and protected!
This is the pair that I got.
3) Sunglasses Case
The last thing you want is to accidentally break a pair of sunglasses while on vacation. A sunglass case is a great way to keep your shades safe from scratches, dust, and other damage.
4) A good book
When it comes time for some downtime, bring along an inspiring or entertaining book that will keep you company at the beach or at one of the best cafés in Nice.
Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, make sure it’s something that makes you feel inspired and relaxed.
Some of my favorite French Riviera-themed books include:
Outfit ideas for the South of France
It’s easy to create stylish and comfortable looks for the French Riviera.
Here are a few outfit ideas that you can easily recreate with items from your closet or by shopping in local stores:
During the day
During the day, you want to be comfortable yet still look stylish. A lightweight linen dress or jumpsuit is a great option and can be accessorized with espadrilles, a straw hat, and sunglasses.
For something more casual, try denim shorts and a striped t-shirt. Finish off the look with some chic block heels or sandals.
At nighttime, you will want to step it up a bit by adding some statement pieces to your outfit.
Go for an eye-catching cover-up such as a kaftan or wrap skirt over your favorite dress or two-piece set. If you want to keep it simple, try wearing an A-line dress with a pair of strappy heels.
Finish off the look with some statement jewelry and you’re ready to go!
During the winter months, your wardrobe should focus on comfort and warmth. Try wearing a cozy cardigan or turtleneck over your favorite jeans or skirt.
Add a colorful scarf for an extra pop of color and pair it with some ankle boots or loafers. For something dressier, opt for an elegant midi dress combined with a chic blazer or wool coat.
Armed with these 10 essential items and additional travel must-haves, you can effortlessly pull off the classic French Riviera style while on vacation. Enjoy your trip and have fun in the sun!
Conclusion: French Riviera Style
This packing list for the South of France should help you master the chic French Riviera style. So don’t forget to pack them before your next trip south of France and have fun mixing and matching all these items together. Hope this helps 🙂
You might also enjoy reading our guides to some of the best destinations on the French Rivira such as Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Monaco, and Menton.
Oh! And if you are visiting the South of France soon, follow my Instagram for more hidden gems and travel tips. Happy travels!
Plan the perfect trip to French Riviera
👗 Shop all my Riviera essentials here.
📕 Get a personalized French Riviera itinerary here or check out my other travel planning services
🚂 Book trains and buses with Omio.
🗺️ Book guided tours through Get Your Guide and Viator.
🛏️ Find the perfect hotel on Booking.com.