What I Wore In Biarritz, France

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Biarritz, in case you’ve never heard of this gem of a city, is known as the surf capital of Europe. Located on French coast (just a few miles north of Spain), it’s the most amazing mix of French charm (cobblestone streets, beautiful pastries, etc), but with an undeniably laid-back, surf vibe. This entire region is definitely worth a visit (article coming out soon), but from a style perspective, I found the outfits both wildly inspiring and eminently wearable. Think: French-girl goes California.

Biarritz, France

Biarritz has all of the style of Paris, but with a decidedly casual (and dare I say, American?) bent. Birkenstocks and Nikes Dunks (or Jordans) were the most-worn shoe spotted on Biarritz locals, for example, as well as plenty of cut-off Levi’s (something I rarely see in other parts of France). If interested, I threw together a post last summer inspired by my favorite Biarritz-girl looks.

Summer Travel Packing List: What To Wear In Biarritz, France

Our summer vacations are – typically – the shore (or lake) with a little overseas travel thrown in. After so many years, I’ve now got a pretty reliable packing list for the shore (cut-offs, flip-flops, windbreakers) and a reliable packing list for European summer vacations (white linen dress, tan sandals, silk top, etc). For Biarritz, I basically combined the two packing lists, then edited it down to a few pieces that worked together. It was perfect! Biarritz can be really hot in the summer, but there’s often a cool breeze right on the water, so packing for both intense heat and a chilly wind was key. Here are the outfits & pieces I wore the most in Biarritz.

1. Little White Dress

What to pack for vacation in France, white dress

on Me: dress, old | similar bomber jacket || on Pax: tech pants | shoes (all my guys swear by these for summer travel)

If I had to point to one piece that I’ve brought on every summer vacation for the last 5-10 years, it would be a little white dress. I like a true white – not only does it show off a tan, but bleach works, if needed. Little white dresses are the kind of piece that always look a little fancy – I’ve worn mine out to dinner plenty of times – yet are right at home with comfy, walkable shoes. I most often wear mine with sneakers, Birkenstocks, or flat, tan sandals.

What to pack for vacation in France, white dress

dress, old | sandals | bag

Shop More Little White Dresses

My favorite little white dresses are usually 100% linen, and most of mine have been bought, over the years, at Reformation. Here are a few current options that caught my eye.

Shop White Midi Dresses

While I typically save my longer white dresses for Italy or Greece (a white mini dress has a beachy-chic vibe that feels spot-on for Biarritz), this is still France, after all, so a midi dress, if you’re looking for more coverage, still works great in Biarritz.


2. Oversized Bomber Jacket

Vacation packing list, bomber jacket

similar bomber jacket (xs) | sandals

Since Biarritz often had a cool breeze coming off the water (especially in the early mornings or at night), a lightweight jacket like this was welcome for those early morning coffee runs or after dinner strolls. I’m kinda over denim jackets right now (except for these), but I’m finding that some sort of oversized, cotton bomber jacket is a solid replacement. The shape looks great with all kinds of dresses (short, long, midi) and works equally well with jeans or shorts. It’s casual enough for day, but cool enough for dressier outfits, too.

Shop More Bomber (or Bomber-ish) Jackets

While I’ve found that a slightly oversized bomber jacket shape is the most versatile, don’t overlook cool, quilted jackets, varsity jackets, or cropped bombers, too.


3. Sailor Jeans

Vacation packing list, sailor jeans

on Me: similar top (s) | jeans (27) | sandals || on Pax: pants | shoes

A crisp, well-tailored sailor jean has the perfect amount of interesting detail, yet won’t skew overly casual for nights out – especially in France. While Biarritz is definitely more casual than other parts of France, I wouldn’t have been nearly as comfortable in the faded jeans I swear by at the shore.

Besides, these sailor jeans are just cute. And were a fun pairing with all of my sneaky-fancy tops (like this silk cami).

What to wear on vacation, sailor jeans

similar top (s) | jeans (27) | sandals

Shop Sailor Jeans


4. A Pretty Little Top

What to wear in France, silky cami, denim shorts, tan sandals

similar top (s) | shorts (27) | sandals | sunglasses | bag

I swear by pretty little tops. I called them ‘sneaky fancy’ and that’s exactly it: you can wear them at night, sure, but you can also rock them during the day with cut-offs and flat sandals. My favorites aren’t cropped, but they don’t necessarily have to be tucked in, either. I’m forever a ditsy floral (the vintage vibes are just too good), but there are a ton of really pretty options.

Shop Pretty Little Tops


5. Long Silk Dress

What to pack for vacation, long silk dress

On Me: dress (6) | sandals | bag || On Boys: shirts | shorts | shoes

I love a good silk dress. It’s one of the few pieces I wear all 12 months of the year – I think they’re a fantastic investment. 100% silk can be fancy if you want it to be, but there’s this…quiet luxury to silk that means it’ll look just as good with flip-flops.

I also appreciate that silk dresses are often simple in shape, so warming them up is usually easy. For Biarritz, I swore by this cropped little sweater (in 100% cotton)…

What to pack for vacation, long silk dress

dress (6) | sweater (s) | sandals | bag

…but even a sweatshirt would work. I stole Raines’ newly purchased Parlementia sweatshirt (IYKYK but no, I didn’t actually let him surf it) when I got cold at dinner one night, and the outfit still felt perfect for Biarritz.

What to pack for vacation, long silk dress

on Me: dress (6) | sweatshirt | sandals | bag

Shop More Long, Silk Dresses


6. Everyday Midi Dress

Vacation outfit, black midi dress, tan sandals

dress (s) – or this one | sandals | sunglasses

This is another piece I almost never leave home without: a dark-colored midi dress. The dark color hides all dirt (essential if you’re dealing with any sort of summertime public transportation or, in the case of Biarritz, a fun day trip to Spain), and the midi length means I can sit without worrying about the backs of my legs sticking to the chair/bench/grass/whatever.

Vacation outfit, black midi dress, tan sandals

dress (s) – or this one | sandals | sunglasses | bag

Because it’s so well-used, I highly recommend getting a dark midi dress that you love. I’ve been happiest with a dress in a slightly elevated cut, for example, instead of just a basic black (or navy) dress.

Shop My Favorite Everyday Midi Dresses


7. Little Crochet Dress

Vacation style, crochet mini dress, slide sandals

same dress, but this year’s version (size s), similar here or here | slides

There’s something about this granny-square crochet that just feels special – like it’s some cool, vintage find. It’s not! But for some reason, I seem to gravitate to these standout crochet pieces on vacation (case in point: Cuba), and the playful, unique vibe is perfect for Biarritz. Word of warning: crochet is never as cool as I think it should be, so I’d skip these pieces on truly hot days.

Shop Little Crochet Dresses


8. Bright & Cheery Dress

What to pack for vacation, a colorful dress

similar dress (6) | sandals | bag – or similar

For summer vacations in Europe, I usually end up with five dresses: A little white dress, a dark midi dress, a silk dress, a playful everyday dress (in the case of Biarritz it was crochet) and…one colorful dress. I almost always end up choosing a colorful linen dress from Reformation. One year it was a dress like this (in red) with old Hollywood vibes (served me well in a really fancy hotel in London), but for Biarritz, I wanted something more girl-next-door. The vintage-y button-front and cheery color of this one totally sold me. This is one area where I really play with the feel of the place I’m going, and try to match it.

Shop Bright & Cheery Dresses


9. Sailor Shorts + Cute Tops

What to pack for vacation in France, sailor shorts and pretty tops

vintage top – similar vibe | shorts (28) | bag

I’m a die-hard shorts wearer, even in Europe. And sailor shorts seem to be the best compromise I can make between my summer propensity for Americana & not wanting to look like a complete tourist. These shorts elevate any outfit – even a basic tee – but look especially cute with a playful little top.

Vacation outfits, sailor shorts and pretty tops with slides or sneakers

shorts (28) | bag | slides | sneakers

Shop Sailor Shorts


10. Levi’s Shorts + Swimsuits / Cover-Ups

Vacation packing list: swimsuit and cover-ups

similar cover-up or this one | bikini | shorts (27) | bag | slides | sunglasses

When we were actually heading to one of Biarritz’s many beaches, I wore my trusty Levi’s. Levi’s are my swimsuit cover-up of choice, but if I wanted more coverage, I added a gauzy cover-up picked up on our travels, or – if it was breezy – a windbreaker.

Vacation outfit, denim shorts and a pretty floral top

similar swimsuit | shorts (27) | sandals | bag | sunglasses

These outfits were cute enough for seaside espressos, but still practical for a day at the beach. (Gahhh my mom is SO CUTE.)

Selfie in France on vacation sipping hot tea

on Me: similar swimsuit | windbreaker (s) || on Mom: similar top (s) | similar pants (s)

Cute One-Piece Swimsuits (To Wear With Cut-Offs)


11. Frank & Eileen Travel Set

Travel style, travel outfit, airport outfit, frank & eileen travel set

travel set (s) | sneakers | sunglasses | luggage

Lastly, if there’s one set that I cannot recommend highly enough, it’s this Frank & Eileen triple fleece set. This thing is magic. It’s basically fancy sweatpants, and I wear it on every overseas flight, yet emerge off the plane looking put-together and remarkably unrumpled. I’ve worn it to a fancy English tea in London while we waited for our hotel room to be ready, I’ve worn it hot-air ballooning in Turkiye, and I definitely wore the heck out of it in Biarritz, too. Not only is this set incredibly useful, but the individual pieces are pretty great, too.

capelet (s) | shorts (27) | slides | sunglasses


Ahhhh…happy summer travels!

xo,

S