In honour of Bastille Day, we've gathered our favourite French girl crushes - from past, present and future

Without delving into a million clichés about Parisian street style, je ne sais quoi or, worse, that accent, it is admittedly difficult to describe what it is exactly that makes French women so widely admired. Sure, their epic and instinctual style eclipses that of almost all other nations and they have a knack of managing to look sexy and chic at the same time, but it's not all down to sartorial prowess. While many of these women are natural beauties, their enduring appeal lies in the way they celebrate their individuality and how they present themselves to the world - from their make-up, to their hair, to their eating habits.

And even though Caroline de Maigret and co. spilled the beans (in their compilation book How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are) - that the secret is to try, but not to look like you are - we're still intrigued. Here, we celebrate the French icons who truly make it all look effortless.

The 28 coolest French girls of all time