In Cannes, you can pinpoint a woman’s origin by her outfit. French women don’t overpack. Nor would they be caught mort in a pair of sneakers or a tracksuit. What they do is travel smart by bringing along solid basics that are well cut and versatile. Staples — like a pair of sophisticated trouser jeans or a nude wedge — can be worn again and again with different ensembles and varied accessories.
These wide leg Gwen jeans from Hudson hark back to Cannes in the late ’60s, when “Easy Rider” nabbed the First Film Award. The dark rinse is treated with resin for a touch of shimmer and the mid-rise makes them ultra-flattering. Pair them with a boho tunic or a crisp white button down shirt and a carelessly knotted batik scarf. (Hudson, $165; hudsonjeans.com)
The Breton boat neck sweater like this knit from Saint James of Normandy is a Cote d’Azur no brainer. Channel Audrey Hepburn and add a pair of capris and a few gold bangles. Or just throw it across the shoulder to add some pep to a plain, fitted white tee. (Saint James, ebay.fashion.com)
Never mind the fact that these four-inch suede wedge “Vivan-S” lace-up sandals elongate your silhouette. The thick wooden heel makes them an extremely comfortable way to achieve some height and still maintain stability on those pesky cobblestone paths. Plus, the neutral shade works with a little black dress, a floral skirt or printed pants. (Loeffler Randall, $495; piperlime.com)
With a pop of splashy red leather trim atop woven straw, this Mark Cross 1845 Beaumont shoulder bag manages to straddle casual and chic. (Think Jane Birkin, who actually toted around a straw basket more often than her eponymous Hermes.) Multiple pockets make it perfect for stashed Power Bars and that extra pair of comfy ballet flats. (Mark Cross, $495; markcross1845.com)
With all those meetings, screenings and parties, it’s best to have a go-to cotton dress that will carry you from a luncheon to a cocktail soiree. This sleek sleeveless dress works perfectly with espadrilles and a ponytail for day, but could be amped up for evening if you add platforms, a chignon and a flashy choker. (Kain; net-a-porter.com)
Starlets like Brigitte Bardot have always understood the power of the oversized sunglasses. They signal confidence and VIP simultaneously. These Kate Spade Gabi shades with a violet lens and blonde tortoise frame will add some serious style to any look and camouflage those dark circles from your most recent Moet binge. (Kate Spade, $120; solstice.com)